Are you Harming Your Expensive Ride with Engine Oil Made for Cars Built in the 1930s?

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The Petroleum Quality Institute of America takes action to help consumers sort out the good from the bad in engine oils.

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Thomas F. Glenn, President of PQIA, says these potentially harmful engine oils are not hard to find. In fact, Glenn says, 'They are readily available and often sit shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most sophisticated engine oils on the market.'

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America takes action to help consumers sort out the good from the bad in engine oils.

According to the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), there are engine oils currently on the shelves at auto parts stores, gas station C-stores, food stores, and other retail outlets that can cause harm to your car’s engine. Yes, you heard correctly - Cause harm to your car’s engine.

What’s more, Thomas F. Glenn, President of PQIA, says these potentially harmful engine oils are not hard to find. In fact, Glenn says, “They are readily available and often sit shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the most sophisticated engine oils on the market.” Furthermore, whereas some of these oils can cause harm to your engine, it’s challenging for everyday shoppers to sort out what’s right from what’s wrong for their engine. This is because “Engine oils that can cause harm often sport slick labels with such wording as Premium Protection, High Performance, Supreme, All Season Protection, and others that denote quality,” says Glenn.

To make it more challenging, while there may be only a few inches and a few cents separating one bottle of oil from another on the shelf at a retail outlet, there could be close to eighty years of science and technology separating their performance. Again, you heard it right… close to 80 years separating their performance. The end-result, in an effort to save a nickel or two, car owners can unknowingly put their high priced rides at risk simply because they do not know how to read the ABCs on engine oil labels. As a result, unless they live in California where it is illegal to sell API SA engine oil, they run the real risk of buying engine oil not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automobile engines built as far back as the 1930s. And even if they live in California, or any of the other of the 49 states, one can still easily pick engine oil formulated for use in vehicles many decades old - engine oil that the American Petroleum Institute says, “May cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.”

In an effort to help educate and protect the interest of car owners, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America, recently added a section on how to read engine oil labels to its website. The new section explains the “ABCs” of engine oil labels. According to Glenn, “The first lesson to learn about the ‘ABCs’ of engine oil labels is that, “unlike grades on a school paper, when you see an ‘A’ on a bottle of engine oil, look hard, because if the ‘A’ on a bottle of engine oil is preceded by an ‘API S‘ it’s more indicative of a very bad grade, than a good grade.” The same goes for “SB, SC and a few others often found mixed in with the current ‘API SM’ Service Categories,” Glenn adds.

The new PQIA webpage titled “Engine Oil Labels 101” assists consumers in understanding and interpreting the codes/acronyms on a bottle of oil to assure that they use the "right stuff." For car owners that have their oil changed at fast lubes, new car dealers and others, the website also provides them with the knowledge they need to ask the right questions. For most, that question is, "Does the oil you are servicing my car with meet the API, ILSAC, and other specifications required for my engine, and is it the right viscosity grade for my car's make, model and year?" If the ones changing your oil can't answer these basic questions, Glenn says, “It’s time to consider changing the ones changing your oil.”

PQIA’s new webpage “Engine Oil Labels 101” is located at: http://www.pqiamerica.com/Labels.htm

About PQIA
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) is an independent resource for information and insights on the quality and performance of lubricants in the marketplace. The institute tests and publishes brand specific data on its website at http://www.pqiamerica.com.

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