Fleecing of America? : Group III & PAO Production vs Europ

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Okay, Now I have little problem with American cars...but budding issues with the quality/durability nearsightedness of the Big 3's white collar exec's. Not to create spin but here is a new theory. Obviously BMW, Mercedes,VW and other German vehicles are excellent and are continuously being engineered with "green" thinking in mind. Here is my dilemna it boils to: In North America Group III Petroleum base stock production is slated to further intensify. In Europe PAO production is slated to intensify over Group III. What I am saying is that through castrol NAD decision has the American consumer been effectively dumbed down. Do they Europeans understand something that we do not? I think America has been Fleeced by the NAD decision...to the consumers & environments weakness.
 

Al

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I guess I had difficulty in understanding your point. Its probably just me [Smile] 1. American consumers are dumbed down..that's a given. 2. I don't think that foreigh vehicles are any "greener".
 

outrun

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"2. I don't think that foreigh vehicles are any "greener". " The higher engine cleanliness brought forth by true synthetics means less emissions. The small percentage in MPG+ would be significant when multiplied the XXX amount of cars. The tolerance to extended intervals beyond 16,000km would mean less disposed of oil. Each of those points equate to some level of "greeness"
 
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Off the top of my head (so I may be wrong in some points, and please correct me if I am): Obviously the American system has not worked that well with regard to motor oil classifications. The Group III is refined, not synthesized, and therefore should not be called synthetic, even though it has much of the qualities of synthetic oil. I really think the name "semi-synthetic" is most applicable to Group III. Unfortunately some have taken to calling blends semi-synthetic, which seems to be inaccurate. But getting back to the original post, it seems that since Gp III can be called synthetic, we are deluged with GP III in the synthetic motor oil market, which makes true synthetics few and far between; whereas, I assume things are different in Europe and so true synthetics are more abundant among the brands, no? [ April 21, 2004, 09:08 AM: Message edited by: TallPaul ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by outrun: "2. I don't think that foreigh vehicles are any "greener". " The higher engine cleanliness brought forth by true synthetics means less emissions. The small percentage in MPG+ would be significant when multiplied the XXX amount of cars. The tolerance to extended intervals beyond 16,000km would mean less disposed of oil. Each of those points equate to some level of "greeness"
The "green" factor you're trying to support is a function of the PAO synthetic and NOT the automobile using it. Your argument would be no different if made with a GM, Ford or MOPAR vehicle. Regarding the auto execs "shortsightedness", wouldn't the move toward a 5w-20 motor oil qualify as being a level of "greeness"? As to BMW, Mercedes and VW being "obviously excellent" well I guess that is your personal opinion. Fact is that VW is suffering from substantial quality/reliability issues on more than one model. For just one example check out some VW forums and read what 1.8T Passat, Jetta and Beetle owners have been dealing with the last few years. Now to your main points; Yes, American consumers have ben dumbed down. I think the European auto execs are largely responsible for not caving into the Castrol kind of mentality and thus the industry there drives the common thought/perception of quality into the consumer market. I think if the "industry" there made a move toward the Castrol type marketing it would be met with initial resistance but eventually would take hold. Much the same as it did here in the U.S. I too think Americans has been fleeced by the Castrol decision but for different reasons. I don't off hand disbelieve the effectiveness of group III hydrocracked synths but rather feel "fleeced" by being asked to pay the same price as a real group IV/V synth. IMO, GIII synths should be no more than $2.75/ qt and blends should be no more than $2.25/qt.
 
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Outrun: I am inclined to agree with you on all points. Think of this, If the oil companies here were to get the American public more inclined to use synthetics on around a 50% usage level, do you know what that would do for the amount of petrolium base lubes we rely on now? A large derease! And if we were to extend the OCI on all new auto's with this synthetic base how that would also be effective! Now, what if we also started to switch all or most vehicles to diesel power instead of gasoline and we stopped the 17 different country wide blends we use and pick the best 2 blends of fuel and made only 2 types of gas that were 91 and 94 octane. Our prices and reliance on large amounts of petrolium would drop. I was in europe lately and saw a diesel Grand Cherokee!! I would snap one of those up in a heartbeat. Mercedez makes the engine for it and I think I remember it get's around 29+ miles per gallon. Why the H3LL don't we do that here?!!?
 
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Oil companies are only going to produce what is needed in a given market. As the top tier auto matkers in Europe are now designing their engines for longer and longer drain intervals, the oils have to meet tougher and tougher specs. Hence, you're going to see more Group IV and Group V being used along with Group III. Historically, Group III production has always been higher in Europe than in the US. Group III was the route most oil companies took in the early 90s when the ACEA clamped down on oxidation in the face of the "black death" plague that was ruining engines left and right over there. Oil specs in the US are getting tougher to meet as well, but we are still roughly a decade behind Europe and the ACEA. Consequently, we are just now getting to a point where the oil comapanies are going to have to start using some Group III in the base oil blend in order to meet the specs. Ford forced the issue two years ago with their tough spec for 5w20, and that's why any 5w20 you buy is going to have some Group III in it. But with GF-4 and beyond, we are rapidly approaching the point where all "conventional" oils are going to have some Group III in them and that's why Group III production will have to increase.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: (snip) ..... and that's why any 5w20 you buy is going to have some Group III in it. But with GF-4 and beyond, we are rapidly approaching the point where all "conventional" oils are going to have some Group III in them and that's why Group III production will have to increase.
Do you know this to be fact (both the 5w-20 and GF-4). In the words of Johnny Carson....."I did not know that".
 

outrun

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Well there is the other aspect of fleecing. The NAD-Castrol decision perhaps shafted the future market of Base oils. I would suppose that if the ill thought decision did NOT happen....all over the counter petroleum oils would today or in the future would be full Group III'zed. It would have made sense as the natural progression of things Hence, all labeled Synthetics would still be Group 4 & 5. I better stop posting before Castrol sends some thugs to silence my whistleblowing *lol*
 
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A number of your assumptions are not true, even as I understand you have a right to your opinion. In so far as the oil issue, I think that markets are dialed into the fact that the American consumer has been brainwashed to the 3,000 mile oil change vs 10,000- 15,000- 20,000 mile oil change intervals (more common for Euro cars). So when American consumers ( the majority that is) are ready to do the 10,15,20k intervals then you will see more products to fit that reality. As an aside, [Off Topic!] in comparison to the market at large, I am a statistical deviant with a 15,000- 20,000 mile inteval oil and filter change; even for this august group of oil enthusiasts! [LOL!] So for example, the markets in the USA reflect this deviance. There are very few (group 4) PAO products available [Thumbs Down!] (such as Mobil One, Delvac One, Redline, Amsoil,) [ April 21, 2004, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: ruking77 ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by mikep: Do you know this to be fact (both the 5w-20 and GF-4).
Yes. The makeup of 5w20 that meets Ford's spec has been well documented in the industry literature. 5w20 oils that meet Ford's spec will have anywhere from 20% to 50% Group III depending on what other components are used. The upcoming need for Group III to meet newer API and ILSAC specs has also been discussed in industry papers and journals. Keep in mind that GF-3 was what forced the production of so-called Group II+ oils. For 5w30, Group II+ was needed to meet the GF-3 specs, while Group II alone could be used for 10w30.
 
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The argument runs aground from the very first assumption:
quote:
Obviously BMW, Mercedes,VW and other German vehicles are excellent and are continuously being engineered with "green" thinking in mind.
Europe has consistently trailed far behind the US in automotive pollution control standards. Much of Western Europe only got rid of leaded fuels in the last several years, over a decade behind the USA. Catalytic convertor adoption was much, much later in Europe than in the USA. The German mfg. have been rushing headlong into making ever bigger engines and ever bigger vehicles which consume ever more fuel. VW's two most recent product releases are the Toureg and the Phaeton. MBZ just rolled out the Maybach while VW/Audi plows money into ever more oppulent Bentleys and BMW is now owner of Rolls Royce. Those $100,000 to $400,000 vehicles are amazing things ... but not "GREEN". It seems to be a common misperception in the US that all things European are more environmentally appropriate. The facts do not support that bias. Diesels are far more popular in Europe than in the US due in part to the more relaxed particulate emissions standards in Europe as opposed to the US. As far as quality and reliability ... the European brands are now in third place behind the US brands and Japanese brands. Go visit some of the VW owner forums on usenet to get a look under that curtain! John P.S. The Castrol company many folks love to hate over the Group III issue is a division of British Petroleum. [ April 22, 2004, 03:24 AM: Message edited by: jthorner ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jthorner: Much of Western Europe only got rid of leaded fuels in the last several years, over a decade behind the USA. Catalytic convertor adoption was much, much later in Europe than in the USA.
Western Europe and predominantly Germany had gotten rid of leaded fuels in the early 1980's while leaded fuel was still sold in the western states of the USA through the late 1980's. I can still remember seeing leaded pumps in Wyoming when I lived there in 1989. The use of catalysts was mandated on all new production road going vehicles by 1986. To this very day the installation of a catalytic converter on a vehicle is purely left up to the vehicle owner. If a person wishes to remove any pollution control device on their vehicle it is allowed by the government (German) but the registration fees are often heavily increased and based solely on the vehicles power output and pollution output. Note that Switzerland does not fall under any of these regulations nor has any ties to the European Union. Their attitude toward environmental correctness is heads and shoulders above every other country that I've ever visited with the exception of Sweden which also takes the environment seriously - so much so that the purchase of harmful chemicals such as anti-freeze is heavily monitored and in some jurisdictions only available to licensed businesses. You won't find huge greasy oil spots on the ground at the grocery store and you'll NEVER see some guy changing his oil in the parking lot of a local business in Europe. As for diesel use - diesels are proven to produce far less green house gases than comparable gasoline fueled vehicles. The European Union views green house gases as being more harmful than the smog producing heavy particulates that are produced in greater quantities in diesels. They have simply taken a different approach to controlling pollution than the USA has but it is arrogance to think that our way is correct and theirs is wrong. Coincidentally they feel the same about us and our huge consumption of gasoline and SUV use for commuters. The intelligent person would look at both situations and adopt the best from both worlds instead of looking down their nose and pooh poohing another persons attempt at improvement.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jthorner: ... The Castrol company many folks love to hate over the Group III issue is a division of British Petroleum.
John, Wasn't BP's purchase of Castrol completed after the whole G3 "definition" thang? [I dont know] I can tell you that BP is the only gasoline supplier in my area (out of at least seven major brands & even more independents) that identifies their product as low-sulfur fuel. I can't smell the difference on either of my older vehicles, but the '99 stinks on other brands & runs odor-free on BP.
 
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Although we may be dummed down slightly...the only difference as I see it is that group III's are labelled as such in Europe ie. HC and here they're simply "synthetic". What do I say? Get over it. We've seen charts that show both as comparable. So why all the fuss? In either case, the price we pay for any brand here is a joke compared to what they pay in other parts of the world. And the price seems to be now beginning to reflect any perceived differences between the 2 groups...ie. M-1 is slightly more expensive than other OTC synth. brands.
 
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I think the Europeans are way ahead of North America in motor oil specifications. I don't care about whether an oil is group III, IV or V. Any oil that can meet the 2002 European ACEA specifications for high performance extended drain motor oil such as A5/B5, A3/B4 is an outstanding product. Below I have copied a post from TooSlick. He did an excelent job of explaining what a group III oil can do if it is properly formulated.
quote:
GSV, Read the article in Lubes and Greases again ... The quoted price difference between Group III and PAO basestocks was $1.50-$2.00/gallon - that's only 35 to 50 cents per quart. A Group III basestock will generally require a more robust additive package to stabilize it, so there really isn't the cost savings everyone thinks there is. Companies like Petro Canada, Chevron and Shell that sell Group III based synthetics for $15.00/gallon all make their own basestocks in-house. They are also selling these products at a fairly low profit margin in order to gain market share. When Castrol switched from PAO to Group III basestocks, they probably only saved about fifty cents per quart on the fully formulated oil. The data I've seen indicates that a Group III basestock with an OPTIMIZED additive package will perform like a PAO up to perhaps 10,000 miles. The extended drain market will continue to be dominated by the PAO/Ester synthetics. I recommend the following SAE Paper: #2000-01-2920 "Formulation Capabilities with API Group III Synthetic Fluids" by Petro Canada. Part of this paper compares a 5w-30, Group III and 5w-30, PAO based synthetic - using the exact same additive chemistry and VI modifier. The comparison was done in Ford taxicabs w/ 4.6L, V-8 engines. Oil analysis was performed after 7500 mile and 12,000 mile change intervals and engines were torn down and rated for wear and deposits. These results showed essentially equivalent performance from the Group III and PAO based oils in all respects - wear/deposits/oil degradation .... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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interesting points on both sides of the issues at hand. i think the main reason alot of euro cars are diesel is because of the fuel prices. if we americans had to pay $5 a gallon for gas probably alot of us would convert to diesel as well.
 
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