Detroit News--Valvoline Tribologist & Oil Blending

Southern California
Semi-interesting read. Warren Brown sounds like an idiot doling out mindless pap for the great unwashed masses. That's OK, though - idiots are fun. (That's why every village wants one...)
London, AR
This answers a few questions that keep getting asked. First Valvoline is telling Customers to follow their owners manual on changes, not 3K like most accuse them of. Also Black oil is not necessarily bad. And mixing the new Generation non-hydrocarbon synthetics with dino may be questionable.
What you need to know about motor oil -- Do not be alarmed when motor oil turns black, which can happen long before the oil's protection value is used up. Engine combustion produces soot, and other byproducts disperse throughout the oil, turning it dark. But if the oil is thick and dark, that means its contaminant-dispersant qualities have diminished and that it should be changed. -- You can mix most synthetic oils with conventional motor oils inasmuch as both currently are derived from crude oil-based fluids. But be careful with new-generation synthetics that could contain non-crude-derived chemicals. -- High-mileage oils generally contain either more or higher-quality seal conditioners to help protect valve seals in older cars -- typically those five years old, or with 75,000 miles of use. A side bar article from the Detroit Daily Press about Valvoline. -- Daily commuting constitutes severe, stop-and-go driving, short trips and lengthy idling, all of which put extra strain on your engine. Regular long-distance highway driving is easier on most engines, thanks to better combustion of fuels and constant engine cooling in steady travel. Change oil more frequently for severe driving. Change it less frequently if most of your driving is on the highway. Consult your owner's manual for recommended oil change intervals.
Again, don't sell Valvoline oils short. Their oils are very competitive in price and performance. [Cheers!]


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Katy, Republic of Texas
new-generation synthetics that could contain non-crude-derived chemicals? What is new about them? Haven't Grp IV and V been around as long as Grp III hydrocracked? As far as Valvoline goes, I used All Climate for years, stopped when I came here (not because it was inferior, but I came herewhen all the free after rebate deals came about from Valvoline MaxLife and DuraBlend and the $1 clearance @ Auto Zone happened). I have a UOA sample sitting on the shelf from about 2 yrs ago that I took, but sold the vehicle before I mailed it in, so I never bothered. If I find Valvoline on sale for around $1 (and in about 3 yrs from now when my stash is gone) I will probably get it then.
"But xxxxxx, the man in charge of the research lab, was not impressed. Additives cost money. The more a company puts in, the more it has to spend. "xxxxx, in the lubricant business for 140 years, has a racing-born reputation for exceeding customers' expectations. But xxxxxx assured me that the overloaded additives in Warren's Super Slick could grease the skids for corporate bankruptcy. "What you put together is so expensive, no one would make it because no consumer could afford to buy it," xxxxxx said. In short, my mix left the company no chance for recouping its investment, which is not exactly the best way to run a business." From the above linked article. Exactly why science will always be trumped by the money people and GREED. If you want top notch lubes you will pay for it and need to find tribologists not employed by a major corporation. Specialty Formulations is exactly that kind of honest forthright type outfit. I don't see Dotson or Lockwood sharing snippets of hard data here for folks. I would welcome it though. And agree the lubes they are allowed to make are quality formulas that show well in used automotive oil analysis.
Surrey, BC
I don't see what's greedy about it. Just being realistic. A high-quality oil will have a high-quality price tag, and most people don't care enough about what oil is in their car to pay for it. I'm sure that SF oils are top-notch. I'm also sure that SF's profits are a little bit lower than Shell or Exxon. [Wink] If everyone demanded esters and high add-packs, the big companies would make those oils. Same way that McDonald's profits are way higher than a local high-class restaurant... they make what sells. If everyone demanded pheasant under glass and goose liver pate, you'd be able to buy a McPheasant at your local McD's.