METUCHEN, N.J.--()--The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) issues Consumer Alerts on Super XXX 10W30 and Liberty Gold Plus SMO 10W-40 Motor Oil. Test results show these brands of motor oil can cause damage to car engines.
“This is not the first time we have found serious deficiencies with these two brands.”
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) has been sampling motor oils in the USA for several years, having them analyzed and publishing the results on their website (www.pqiamerica.org). The organization recently tested Super XXX 10W30 and Liberty Gold Plus SMO 10W-40 Motor Oil it purchased at convenience stores in the Chicago market, and PQIA says the results were “shocking.”
The Super XXX 10W30, and Liberty Gold Plus SMO 10W-40 samples tested have very serious deficiencies and it starts with the viscosity, or thickness of the oil. The viscosity of these products is close to 75% below where they should be to meet specifications. This means they are much too thin to adequately prevent metal-to-metal contact of moving parts and that results in excessive wear and premature engine failure. And for those unfamiliar with what viscosity means, if you shake a bottle of these products the sound you hear will speak volumes. That because the product in the bottle will sound more like water than they do oil. See video.
Whereas the PQIA feels the extraordinarily low viscosities of these brands alone is enough to warrant consumer alerts, other test data also indicate use of these products can cause damage to car engines. The silicon levels in each of these brands are also very high. Silicon is typically associated with abrasive contamination when found in engine oil. Further, both brands lack any meaningful level of additives required by car manufacturers to protect engines from wear, sludge, and rust.
In addition to what’s in the bottles, PQIA says the labels on the bottles of these brands also provide evidence of their harmful nature. The label on the back of the SuperXXX for example says, "It is designed for use in older model automobiles requiring SB specifications and where economy is a major consideration." But what it fails to say is that the API Service Classification SB was designed for vehicles manufactured between 1930 and 1963. Further, SB oils are deemed by the API to be "obsolete" and the API says they "can cause equipment harm." Whereas the sample of Liberty Gold shows it too lacks any meaning level of additives to protect engines, its label provides no reference to any performance specifications. Consumers are buying blind with this one.
PQIA cautions that it has observed these brands in convenience stores in the Chicago market and in other mid-west cities and states.
According to Thomas Glenn, president of PQIA, “This is not the first time we have found serious deficiencies with these two brands.” In fact, Glenn says, “In addition to the very concerning issues with the products PQIA’s recent tested, we found similarly serious deficiencies when we first looked at these brands in 2011.” It’s clear from test results then and now, that Super XXX 10W30 and Liberty Gold Plus SMO 10W-40 Motor Oils “should not be used in cars as they can cause serious engine damage,” says Glenn.
These brands are not the only ones PQIA advises consumers to steer clear of. In fact, PQIA published a story in December 2012 titled “Enough-is-Enough - It’s time to get these bad Bottles off the Shelves.” The focus of that article was bottles of oil bearing the Super Star, Royal Star, City Star, and Royal brand names. PQIA says these brands are frequently found in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio and they too can cause harm to car engines due to their viscosities being significantly lower than needed to protect engines.
Interestingly, PQIA says consumers in lower income urban areas should be particularly aware of the dangers of these motor oils. This is because PQIA finds that the chances of running into these brands increases significantly when it visits convenience stores, corner stores, and bodegas in these areas.
As an example, PQIA recently found obsolete and off-spec motor oils at over 60% of the 18 convenience stores it visited in Dearborn and Detroit. Sadly, Glenn says, “It appears that the producers and marketers of these bad motor oils are preying on people in lower income communities where purchasing decisions are often made on price.” These unsuspecting consumers can ill afford to have their car engines damaged because some unscrupulous manufacturers think no one cares. “Well they are wrong, PQIA and others in our industry do care,” says Glenn, "and PQIA will continue to test and report on these bad oils, make authorities aware of them, and ask stores to remove them from the shelves to protect the public."
Visit the Petroleum Quality Institute of America's website for details on these and other brands of motor oils, both good and bad: www.pqiamerica.com
About PQIA: The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is an independent research company whose mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace.