How important is API certification?

Messages
450
Location
The Bay Area
Hi- Red line hasn't sent their products to the API for certification. This is teh primary reason for my running Mobil 1 in my Stang (03 GT). How important is API cert. on a new vehicle? which one will protect more to the 5,000 mile point (5W30 viscocity)?
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
I would say that if there is an engine problem why put anything in your way that would cause a problem. That said Mobil 1 would work just fine and let you sleep at night untill the warranty period is over. [ August 26, 2003, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Steve S ]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I couldn't care less about API certification, or even following the manufacturer's recommendations for viscosity or oil change intervals. When I buy a new car, I do whatever I want. The chances of blowing an engine during the warranty period is so super slim.
 
Messages
3,216
Location
BC, Canada
Patman; So its ok to not bother changing the oil or filter at all during the warranty period because the chances of blowing the motor during this time period is slim? Then and if you do change the oil, its ok to use a non-detergent un-graded lubricant of any viscosity say an ISO 1000 industrial EP gear oil? OK [I dont know]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Believe it or not, if you don't change your oil at all, an engine can often last longer than the basic warranty. A friend of mine is a service advisor at a GM dealer, and once every few months or so they get engines that have seized up, and the owner has never done an oil change. He says the engines usually have about 70 to 80,000km on them. The GM warranty is 60,000km. I obviously wouldn't be foolish enough to not change my oil at all though.
 
Messages
47,697
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
The whole API is blown way out of proportion. A PETROLEUM I. To the point of guys dumping new batches of oil due to worry....I'm sorry but that is just lame. 1) Using an oil the meets the testing requirements but doesn't have full API political blessing will NOT void the waranty. 2) Using an oil the meets the testing requirements but doesn't have full API political blessing will not cause your engine to blow. 3) API performance is a minimum bar. I certainly wouldn't use an oil that couldn't pass the wimpy performance requirements of API. At least API has has made the testing a little tougher, but Redline would have ZERO problems passing these tests.
 
Messages
3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
I'll say it again for the 100th time. THE API IS A LOBBY GROUP FOR THE PERTROLEUM INDUSTRY! This is why GM came out with their own standard for the corvette. This is why I look for european standards for my VW as opposed to the API, ACEA standards are much higher than what the minimum API requires. Now if the API came out with a Tiered rating system, where there is a minimum standard, but then another catagory for better oils, that would make a little more sense, But come on. How in the **** can $.69/qt oil be as good as Mobil 1 which is $5/qt? IT'S NOT! If it were me, I would not lose any sleep over using Amsoil, Mobil 1, Redline, or any other top quality oil, API or not. As long as the oil is made for the proper specifications, you are good to go. BTW, API certified oils are normally only for automobiles. Most Industrial equipment lubes do not have API information. Guess what, Industrial equipment if far more expensive than your little ford mustang engine.
 

CJH

Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
For one thing, to get the API Starburst, an oil has to be shown to promote fuel economy over a standard 40W oil. The only 40W oil I know that has been able to demonstrate that is Mobil 1 0W40. That requirement virtually rules out the gutsier 40W and above oils from the API Starburst. Shows you how rediculous it actually is.
quote:
Originally posted by mf150: Hi- Red line hasn't sent their products to the API for certification. This is teh primary reason for my running Mobil 1 in my Stang (03 GT). How important is API cert. on a new vehicle? which one will protect more to the 5,000 mile point (5W30 viscocity)?
 
Messages
688
Location
Morgantown, WV
API certification isn't important. Who cares if an oil company is a member of a lobbying group -- because that's about all it takes to get API certified. Userfriendly, come on man, you're reading way more into Patman's comments than he intended. Saying "I'm not going to use the mfr recommendations" is not the same as saying "oil changes are for sissies". Almost forgot... either one will get to 5k without even breathing hard. Cheers, 3MP [ August 27, 2003, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: 3 Mad Ponchos ]
 
Messages
3,023
Location
USA-Michigan
I know someone around the block here who claims he does not change his oil at all and knowing him for over 40 yrs, I believe it totally. He is about 75 yrs old now and could buy 10 trucks if he wanted. He and his wife drive the back roads picking up returnable cans and bottles for the 10 cent deposit. Right now he has a 1990 Chevy extended cab pickup. I walk by his truck every day. It is rusted, dented and not worth $500. He is a tightwad big time. Buys a truck and just drives it till it won't go anymore and then buys a new one. He saves every receipt for gas, oil, tires etc and deducts it from his business. He owns and rents out houses, has about 10 of them and he and his brother used to own a IGA grocery store till the 80's. He is always trying to tell me how to save a buck and is proud of the fact that he has never spent a dime on his truck. He carries the basic insurance. His engine is a little noisy but it runs. He has about 90,000 miles and is shopping for a new truck now but he was grumbling about the cost. He will go to the moon and buy a new one if the price is right. He has been like this all his life, will not spend a dime unless its absolutely necessary. I wish I could be like this, maybe I would have the first dime I ever made, like he does. btw-I have used non-API oil since 1975. If API is the standard, then go and buy the cheapest you can find and forget about it. Ace hardware has a sale, API certified and its 79 cents a qt. [ August 27, 2003, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
 
Messages
751
Location
98245
quote:
Originally posted by mf150: Red line hasn't sent their products to the API for certification. This is teh primary reason for my running Mobil 1 in my Stang (03 GT). How important is API cert. on a new vehicle? which one will protect more to the 5,000 mile point (5W30 viscocity)?
The fact that you ask "on a new vehicle" suggests you're concerned about warranty issues. The warranty usually requires the use of an oil with a specified weight and API rating. In the unlikely event that a problem occurs, they might honor your warranty even if you used a non API oil, but why put yourself into a position where you may have to fight that battle? Since there are API certified oils that meet all your warranty requirements and far exceed your engine's lubrication requirements, why use anything else during the warranty period? What benefit is there in doing that?
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
API is much more than an oil industry lobbying group. They take a major part is getting the involved parties together to set world-wide industry standards. New standards for oil are originally set by ILSAC, a group of American and Japanese car makers and oil and additive company representatives. They combine the needs of new government regulations for fuel economy and emissions along with car makers needs and what's doable and affordable from the oil companies. ILSAC GF-3 is the current standard, and GF-4 will be out next summer for Model Year 2005 cars. After ILSAC makes it's standard, API puts that together with European representation to create the next API Service Category, soon to be SM. Much the same process takes place with heavy duty diesel engine oil--PC-10 is the process currently in place. Here's what got changed for the current SL & GF-3 standard: http://www.76lubricants.com/cmc_upload/EDITORIAL/0/000/017/869/tn3_4.pdf Here's what's happening for the new GF-4 and SM standard: http://www.lubereport.com/e_article000164110.cfm In addition, it can cost millions to test oils for the new spec: http://www3.imakenews.com/lng/e_article000141414.cfm So...API certification of an oil is meaningful, in many cases the additive packages are certified and the oil blender does not have to do individual testing, some oil blenders do not use additive packages that would meet the requirements so no point in testing, and the premium uncertified oils will do an excellent job in an engine. Amsoil is a case in point--they chose a high phosphorus content combined with low volatility--it won't meet the standard of ILSAC or API, but won't hurt the engine or catcon either. Warranty?...who knows. I haven't heard of a car maker demanding proof of certified oil to cover a warranty repair, but nothing says that they can't. Amsoil's warranty?...it explicitly excludes pre-existing conditions and OEM defects. The car maker's warranty covers these conditions--if you follow the maintenance requirements. Ken [ August 27, 2003, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
 
Messages
835
Location
Ohio
I recall reading somewhere that it is not all that uncommon for some API certified oils to not meet API specs when they are tested randomly. Who, if anyone, monitors the oil quality of every batch of oil that is sold once the certification for that oil is granted?
 

JTK

Messages
13,289
Location
Buffalo, NY
Originally posted by harrydog:
quote:
Who, if anyone, monitors the oil quality of every batch of oil that is sold once the certification for that oil is granted?
Good point. Thats why we need the FDOA - Food Drug and Oil administration!! [Big Grin] Joel
 
Messages
3,327
Location
Bolivia
The API certainly isn't everything, but it is much more than a lobbying group. Although up to about 20% of the samples they run don't meet what the recipe calls for, some of the brands I have seen that don't even apply for the certification, either by price shopping additives or cheating or not caring have demonstrated in analisis I've sent to labs that they vary as much as 90% short of additives, and some SAE 40's that don't even hit 10 cSt. It boils down to your confidence in the brand as represented in YOUR country.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
I wouldn't have any concerns running Redline in an engine under warranty, provided you stick with the manufacturers recommended drain intervals ....If you want to extend them using oil analysis, that is fine as well. Oil analysis is considered legal proof that the oil is still servicable. Tooslick
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I bought a new Civic 4 months ago. I've read all the material (manuals, warranties handbook, etc) that the dealer gives you with my lawyer hat on. In the "Warranty Provisions", they say "...Not Covered... a fluid other than specified by Honda." But, when you go to the 'Owners Manual', they say "Recommended Egine Oil: API Premium grade 5w-20 detergent oil." In another section they say "Always use a premium grade 5w-20 detergent oil displaying the API Certification Seal. This seal indicates the oil is energy conserving and ......" The way I see it, you are not required to use API certified oils to maintain your warrenty in a new Honda. In addition, there is nothing that states using a 30w or 40w oil will void the warranty. There's a difference between Recommended, Required and Specified.
 
Messages
961
Location
Tacoma ,WA
As for the above post ...has anyone ever heard of any manufacturer voiding a warranty because the customer was using the wrong weight oil...they would have to have it analysed..and they just are not going to go thru that much trouble.....I don't believe any oil of a heavier weight then 5- 20 can effect your engine...unless you were to use gear oil! [Smile]
 
Top