Oil Specifications! Approval VS. Meets Requirements… Round 1 FIGHT!

Keith from Collinsville Instructor Posted   Latest   Edited  
Discussion
Parts

This should be fun!

Today we had found that our oil supplier has been filling our 100 gallon containers with Service Pro 5w-30 instead of our Castrol GTX 5w30 that the container is labeled as! 

Our Magnatec 5w-30 was replaced with Service pro Full Synthetic 5w-30 and a few others were substituted with "Generic" oil as well.

Obviously this presents a few challenges for us as we have been doing oil changes with this oil, while our receipts and front signage reflect that we use Castrol, BUT THIS IS NOT OUR TOPIC FOR TODAY!!!

This started an internal debate amongst, the front staff and myself. It has been difficult for me to explain that a oil company can make a claim to meet a specification, and it actually has not been tested to meet that specification, or have an OEM approval for that matter, and what the difference is.

So, I pose the question; 

What are your thoughts on meets requirements vs. OEM approval.

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Matt from Red Wing

 

Diagnostician
 

We don't mess around. We get the OE approved fluids and make sure our clients know that.

I would also toss in that we don't do all that many straight oil changes, meaning it is a rare occurrence a vehicle is dropped off with the sole purpose of having an "oil change".

+4

Keith from Collinsville

 

Instructor
 

Before this new front staff we have now, and when we were using mainly Castrol/Mobil1/LiquiMoly products, we stuck to OEM approvals, but things have obviously gone to the wayside......

0

Richard from Palmetto

 

Instructor
 

From a purely legal C.Y.A. standpoint, you better have OEM approved oils.

"Meets requirements" means absolutely nothing. I have seen some bottles of oil labeled with the words "Meets engine wear specifications of Dexos/Ford WSS etc etc" So the label is telling you that the oil passed one portion of one test of the requirements from the oem. 

That oil isn't the proper oil, regardless of what is listed on the front of the bottle

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Keith from Collinsville

 

Instructor
 

100% agree! Just gathering facts and opinions.

+1

Adrian from Winter Springs

 

Owner/Technician
 

OEM approval would be more who the OEM is in bed with such as Mercedes and Mobil 1. The will have a standard that will include their testing procedures, as long as the oil has met those standards under those testing procedures I see that as meets requirements. 

+1

John from Ogden

 

Educator
 

Claiming to meet or exceed manufacturer specifications does not mean it actually meets manufacturer specifications. Modern day pirates are out there to take your money with all kinds of claims. This is especially true with automatic transmission fluids. I have seen companies claim to meet or exceed manufacturer ATF specifications, they will even go as far as showing you 5 or 6 specification line items that they meet, but neglect to show you the other 15 specification line items they may not meet. Stick with OEM licensed oils and fluids and you cannot go wrong.

+5

Keith from Collinsville

 

Instructor
 

Agreed!

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Keith from Collinsville

 

Instructor
 

As a point of clarification, I am of the thought if it is not OEM approved, it doesnt "cut the mustard". Really I wanted to hear the different viewpoints, but mainly the different "whys and why nots." 

+1

Cliff from Santa Maria

 

Diagnostician
 

We use individual qt/liter bottles for this exact reason. OEM's no longer warranty engine repairs like they once did. I had a good friend that worked at a GMC dealer and if an engine failure was under warranty the first thing they did was send off an oil sample as well as checked the oil filter. I still haven't convinced the boss to use OE filters but in the long run for engines under warranty it is definitely the best practice.

0

Hans from Salt Lake City

 

Diagnostician
 

We've actually had some mis shipped boxes of oil come from the dealer. I was reading the label one day and noticed it only had a S for spark engine rating instead of the C for compression (diesel). I told our parts guy about it and he called the dealer and they were convinced it was correct. I kept bothering them about it and finally took it all of the shelf so it could be taken back. And yes, the dealer finally admitted they sent us the wrong stuff. 

I'm a big proponent of OE specified oils, especially dealing with VW/Audi engines. We bought some bulk oil and I made sure it met the spec what we needed, and it does, at least so they say...

+1

Nick from Culver City

 

Manager
 

Wow! I bet that was a surprise finding out that your oil supplier has basically been lying to you. I hope that situation gets worked out in your favor. We have adopted a policy at our shop that we use oils that carry OEM approvals. It has to have the approval for my liability sake and I also don't want to cause any engine damage due to using the wrong oil. "Meets or exceeds" may or may not mean that it's ok to use in an engine that requires specific specifications by the OEM. However, some OEM's aren't particular and in those cases we would use Castrol Full Synthetic Magnatec or Edge. It's no longer the way it used to be when oil was oil and we were all afraid that 5W30 would blow up our Honda engines. 

+1

Nick from Culver City

 

Manager
 

One more thing...you might check with your state's division of measurement standards for enforcement on this issue. 

+1

Jaime from Ocala

 

Diagnostician
 

You might have to find out how "good" the oil supplier's insurance really is.

+1

Geoff from Lahaina

 

Diagnostician
 

If it meets the spec it's fine. Since it's illegal for the OE's to say "you must use Brand X oil" they came up with this "OE approved" jargon to try and persuade you into using Brand X. The approved companies paid BIG $$$$ to get on the list. Any company that sells a product that "meets spec ###" is legally obligated to be telling the truth. I don't get up in the morning assuming everyone is lying to me, so if it says it meets spec ### I trust it. That being said, I wouldn't buy any oil from out of the back of trailer in an alley on the South Side of Chicago no matter what it says. I'll get it through our supplier.

+1

John from Ogden

 

Educator
 

Hi Geoff, The companies with "OE Licensed" oils/fluids did not pay BIG $$$$ to get on a list, they paid big money to have their product tested to determine if it actually meets all of the manufacturer specifications. Oils/fluids that meet all of the specifications (not just a few of them) receive a license number which must be printed on the packaging. That testing is very comprehensive, time consuming, and expensive to perform. Without that license number, the claim of meeting or exceeding manufacturer "specifications" is without merit and can be misleading or confusing to the consumer. Did you hear of the Dollar Store chain selling cheap Motor Oil? On the back of the oil bottle in the fine print it said the oil was not to be used in engines produced after 1930, yet the front of the bottle looks like any other oil bottle. Technically they are not lying, but the typical consumer may think they just found a great deal on motor oil. A company does not have to lie to be intentionally misleading. I bought a quart of Premium automatic Transmission Multi-Purpose Fluid from a local national auto parts chain. In large letters on the front of the bottle it reads "Compatible for use in General Motors and Ford automatic transmissions". The fine print on the back of the bottle indicates the fluid is compatible with with GM's Dexron-IIIH (A 2003 fluid specification) and Ford "Type CJ" (A 1974 fluid specification), and GM Type A Suffix A (A 1960 fluid specification). A typical consumer might think they just found a great deal on transmission fluid for their newer vehicle and use it instead of the more expensive OE licensed correct fluid. I am about to release a video series on the history of automatic transmission fluid. There have been, and will always be, those companies making false, or "partially true" claims about their oils and fluids. I hope that helps.

+5