Factory fills with M1

Not open for further replies.
May 16, 2003
OK, are the factory filled M1 cars ( Vettes, Porsche, etc..) getting M1 cuz it's the best for the car/engine, OR because it's driven by big business.

Say I give you the rights to factory fill my WonderCar in return for mucho $$$. Which you turn around and say "We factory fill Eds WonderCar so we are the best oil"

Everyone makes out well from the arrangement.

But other oils may do just as well.

Mobil 1 gets the factory fill contracts for a number of reasons:

1.People worldwide do believe it's the best oil out there
2.Truth be told, it really is a very good oil, not the best, but very good
3.Mobil 1 is a HUGE company, and can get these types of contracts quite easily due to their popularity
4.It's available worldwide, it's reasonably priced (relatively speaking) and is easy to find
It is all about economys of scale. Mobil was able to under cut the competition. THey are also able to meet all of the volume needs and are a stable company. Exxon/Mobil has complete control over their product.

If I had to venture a guess I would have to say that Mobile is probably selling to these big OEM's for $2 a quart or less! Mobil also makes a good product that grosly exceeds most companys needs in N.A.!
I'd agree mostly with Patman. Probably the all round best oil comercially available (within reason). Consistancy of product. Its gonna be more forgiving than a dino oil. Also if there are problems the manufacturer knows that Mobil/Exxon will be on the spot with the expertise to determine if the problem was the engine or the oil and how the problem can be fixed.

Like anything else There are working relationships between Manufactures and vendors. Probably are other reasons that none of us knows
I can think of a couple factors that go into making such a corporate decision:

- The notion of putting the "best" into the "best".

- Cost is just a drop in the bucket compared with the profit margin of these cars.

- Some of the people who buy these cars are mecanical idiots (more money than brains), who beat the crap out of their cars, plus forget to maintain the oil. This saves the company during the warranty period.

[ January 24, 2004, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: Kestas ]
I'll tell you why, because Mobil makes a great product and is a large company that can meet their demands. Marketing, barganing and $$ do play a role, but the bottom line is if you look at what Mobil gives you for $4qt, it's tough to beat. It's a proven oil. Are their better oils? Yes, of course, and in fact Mobil is bringing one to the market shortly, called M1R. Redline and some of Amsoil's oils are better. The fact that Mobil makes many of the elements found in their oils, and owns Infineum jointly with Shell, gives them an advantage IMO. Blenders must source everything out and it's been said many times that supply changes often effect some of these other brands. Just my opinion.

[ January 24, 2004, 12:05 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
When you offer a $100,000 supercar, something like an exotic Porsche Cayenne Turbo or 911, there is enormous image associated with that car.

They don't even dream of having that exotic car on the side of the road with a blown motor. Though I'm sure that's a recurring nightmare in Stuttgart: Nein nein NEINNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!

The German engineers are fanatical to extract maximum performance AND life from the motor. They test oils with their prototype motors and develop a short list for Approval.

Most of the folks I've met who are lucky enough to own an exotic supercar appear just as fanatical about how they look after it. A frequent poster here is Jeffrey Behr with his Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and he fits the bill.

A friend of mine in Deer Valley Utah has a 6 year old Porsche 911 Turbo he bought new. He's so picky he had a special lift installed in the garage so he could lift it after every drive and WIPE OFF THE UNDERSIDE with a terry towel. You don't get more devoted and/or fanatical than that.

Mobil 1 is actually a cost decision as it's usually the cheapest performance synthetic, grade for grade. There are a lot more choices in Europe, such as Agip.

Even large commercial trucks are showing up factory-filled with synthetics: Mobil MobilTrans SHC 50 in the Eaton RoadRanger transmission, Mobil MobilLube SHC 75W-90 in the tandems, and Mobil Delvac 1 5W-40 in the motor.

Unlike the generic disposable car, a large commercial truck is a MAJOR investment in capital and time. Just like the exotic supercar, and to make matters worse it has to work for a living. You have to eke every last mile of use out of it, and only synthetics deliver.
If I were to buy a new car with a factory fill of M1, I would drive it home and drain it!. Then refill with Wal-Mart oil or something and drive it for at least 2 to 3K to seat the rings before putting the M1 back in. Did you ever notice that all these cars use oil? They have to be run in before the good stuff goes in.

No, I will not offer proof of this statement other than my brother builds one-off motors for a living and he won't do it.

Originally posted by KW:
If I were to buy a new car with a factory fill of M1, I would drive it home and drain it!. Then refill with Wal-Mart oil or something and drive it for at least 2 to 3K to seat the rings before putting the M1 back in. Did you ever notice that all these cars use oil? They have to be run in before the good stuff goes in.

No, I will not offer proof of this statement other than my brother builds one-off motors for a living and he won't do it.

I've broken in several new cars on Mobil-1 going back starting in 1996 and not a one of them used any oil and all those engines ran great........

[ January 25, 2004, 06:47 AM: Message edited by: Hankrr ]
I'm using M1 myself right now.
I just thought I'd open up alittle discussion.

I'm amazed how just a few big Corps seem to own everything.

[ January 25, 2004, 11:13 AM: Message edited by: Swift ]

The Mobil 1 factory filled in the Corvette comes with a special cap with the Mobil 1 Logo on it. Must have been some special deal with GM to have the produce a special oil filler cap recommending Special Lubricant required.


[ January 25, 2004, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
If you look at uoa's, it would seem that M1 allows for enough engine wear to break one in fine. I hear statements like once you go synthetic engine wear virtually stops, but I don't think so. I wish it did!!

Originally posted by KW:
If I were to buy a new car with a factory fill of M1, I would drive it home and drain it!. Then refill with Wal-Mart oil or something and drive it for at least 2 to 3K to seat the rings before putting the M1 back in. Did you ever notice that all these cars use oil? They have to be run in before the good stuff goes in.

Modern engines do not require ring seating. When you get a new car, the engine has been run for a least an hour and maybe more. All car have to pass emissions testing before leaving the assembly plant, they are shuttled around the stagging yards, on and off trains, on and off the delviery trucks and then test driven by the dealer. When my new 2002 Pontiac arrived at the dealer is had 4 miles on it already and who knows how many hours of use. So you are not getting a vigin engine with a new car, especially with cars that come here by boat, they are probably started many times in the travles to get here and then you want to break it in?

Here's a quote from Mobil 1 FAQ web site.


One of the myths that persists about Mobil 1 is that new engines require a break-in period with conventional oil. Current engine manufacturing technology does not require this break-in period. As indicated by the decisions of the engineers who design these high-performance cars, Mobil 1 with SuperSyn™ can be used in an engine from the day you drive the car off the showroom floor.

In the Corvette's case M! came about due to an engineering decision (demand, actually), to reduce weight. By using Mobil 1 they could remove an oil cooler and with associated lines, etc. save something approaching 100 pounds. That was in 1997 and it has continued ever since. The rest have very likely been a combination of necessity and marketing...
George Morrison, STLE CLS
I think the previous post is good info, I also have it on pretty good authority that the original shift to M1 came when they found that on cool mornings in Kentucky, they were losing crank bearings on start up. The problem was traced to a lot of cranks with oil passages that did not meet properly and caused a restriction. By switching to M1 the bearings got oiled ok, even in cold weather. I think the decision to remove the oil cooler, etc., happened later as the engineers figured out how to maximize the gain.

Originally posted by Mike:


Most motors now are run-in on dyno's at the engine assembly plant, primarily for QC purposes and also for emissions. A "green" motor usually burns a lot of oil until the rings seat, and this would quickly destroy O2 sensors and catalytic converters. You would never meet OBD2 emissions and certainly not CA emissions if the thing had visible oil consumption.

GM does not do this, the test the engine using water pressure to be sure of integrity but the first time the engine is ever fired is on the assembly line when the car is born and it goes thru emissions at the end of the assembly line. Been there and seen it done, from the time the engine was born on the line to when it when to the dyno it took about 15 minutes, all the while the car is running, car is fired, systems are checked, driven off line to front end alignment, then off to the dyno for brake and other system checks, here the car is run up to 70mph for a set time and then off to water testing.

This info is from GM...

Weird, I had the opportunity to speak with a GM engineer last summer and he claimed they DO dyno the motors at the assembly plant.

Usually, engine assembly plants are separate from line assembly plants. The motor is mated, fired up, and good to go. Otherwise, even with modern automated engine assembly, you must get the occasional dud motor. So would the entire assembly line grind to a halt while you change out the motor or pull the car off the line??

How on earth could you possibly pass an emissions test with a green motor? The amount of blow-by and oil burning would fail the test. Good bye O2 sensors and catalytic converters.

We have a local Cummins certified engine rebuild shop. When they first start the motor on the dyno, if you're outside you'll see CLOUDS of blue smoke from the stack for about 5 minutes, then it settles down.

After 40 minutes or so, as the load is carefully increased to max, the motor is running as it should be. At the end of the 1-2 hour run, they shut down the motor, change the oil and filters, and mate the motor back to the truck.

I've seen folks in the local car clubs who rebuild motors for Old Iron cars: 50's to early 70's. Same thing, there are CLOUDS of blue smoke for the first few minutes.

In high school I tried to carefully help rebuild a 350 for my friends old truck. Same thing, when we fired up there were CLOUDS of blue smoke for about 5 minutes.

The shop instructor had warned us this would happen so we kept the motor at 2,500 RPM. Twenty minutes later when we shut it off, the oil level was a bit below Low. We changed the oil and it seemed to run ok after that, using about 1 quart every 2,500 miles. Hey, we were on a budget back then.

Even if you don't have a dyno, every engine rebuild book I have ever read ALWAYS recommends running the motor at 2,500 RPM for at LEAST 15-20 minutes just to break-in the cam and start to seat the rings. Otherwise they warn of early failure.

A slow putt-putt drive at under 1,000 RPM from the assembly line to headlight aiming (BTW: my GMC headlights arrived almost crosseyed)then to the transporter isn't even enough time to break in the cam. Or does the dealer take every car off the transporter and run the motor at 2,500 RPM for 20 minutes? You know, just for their customer's well-being.

Again, I don't see how cars could pass stringent new emissions tests, or how they could be factory-filled with a synthetic, if the motor wasn't run-in on a dyno.
When I bought my 87 bmw 320, the mechanic I knew told me the best thing to do would be to drain the oil and replace along with a new filter. He said the car was probably started, driven ten feet and stopped 50 times from factory to boat to cargo to dealer. Lots of gas being dumped and the engine not warming up.

My new CLK has M1 and FWIW the service interval is 10k or there abouts depending on the Flexible Service Interval gadget built into the car. No dipstick either, need ot rely on electronics to read the oil level. I hate to say it but this might be the one car I don't change the oil myself
I just fired off an email to my cousin asking him what they do where he works. He is the engine test engineer at the St.Catherines GM plant which assembles the LS1 and LS6 Corvette motors, along with the various variations of that engine which go in the trucks, and they are also doing a new V6 engine soon as well I believe.
A lot of relatives from my Dad's side still live in and around Detroit, Pontiac, and Lansing Michigan.

Though they're all retired now, I called one of them who worked in an engine plant until 1996. He claims they did run in most of the motors, just for QC.

The test cell equipment was made by Advanced Technology & Testing (AT&T), Detroit, Michigan. Not sure if they still make this product or even if they're still in business. I would think their AT&T label might cause problems.

Ever hear of Failure Analysis Associates (FAA)?? They had to change their name to Exponent.

Not open for further replies.