Mobil 1 0W-40: Euro vs. U.S.

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Falcon, do you have any of that old M1 left that you could send for analysis? Or have you done any UOAs with that stuff in the engine?
 

Falcon_LS

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Not saying this happened to you, but counterfeit oil being sold in genuine containers has been known to happen in some parts of the world.
Originally Posted By: CentAmDL650
There are dishonest people who make their living by scamming unsuspecting customers. It's easier to do when there are less (or no) regulators to ensure customers are getting the genuine article. There is more potential for it with high end luxury products because there is more profit involved. Because quite a bit if money can be made counterfeiting, counterfeiters will sometimes make the investment to produce perfect duplicate labels and containers. Unfortunately a sad fact of life. That said, what we don't know is the entire history of the engine in question. Is it possible that before you used M1 0W-40 you (or the previous owner) used a lesser grade of motor oil, especially a conventional in excessively hot desert conditions? A less probable theory would seem like: for the period of time that lesser oil was in use, it made deposits in the engine, and now, after changing to M1 0W-40 synthetic, those deposits were loosened by the previous three fills and are now (finally) freed up and circulating with the current fill. So if that's the case, it could be possible you received genuine M1 0W-40 every time. But it just seems more likely that the 1st or 2nd fill of M1 0W-40 would have performed a significant amount of cleaning on the existing deposits and the results would have shown what you are seeing now on the dipstick.
Unlike much of the Middle East, the Kuwaitis are very stringent about what comes into their country. Imports have to go through Intertek, which is an absolute pain in the backside for importers and suppliers alike, before they can even be considered to be licensed for sale. The regulating government body does and can, at any given time, pick random samples of products to compare against technical inspection reports they have on file for any given product. As far as lubricants are concerned, if they pick a random sample of Mobil 1 0W-40 off the shelf at an authorized distributor or reseller and analyze it, and it doesn't match what is on record, there are serious consequences. I'm not implying that scams don't happen, but for such a small country, these things are easy to regulate and the government body responsible takes it very seriously. Agents show up as regular customers, and even pay for products just like Average Joe would. If the standards are met, the store will never even know they were sampled. Many moons ago, there was a massive investigation involving both General Motors and Toyota concerning counterfeit oil filters and brake pads. Some scam artist managed to import Chinese clones of ACDelco and Toyota filters/pads to be sold as genuine parts. Not only was the person responsible put behind bars for heaven only knows how long, but his license was revoked permanently, products destroyed and banned from ever setting up shop ever again. The media is also used as a major tool and nobody wants bad publicity. They upped everything by several notches ever since. The Mobil 1 distributor is a major holding, who are also authorized sole distributors for Michelin, BFGoodrich, Mazda and several other brands. They will not risk getting their status revoked by ExxonMobil, bad publicity and closing shop for the sake pennies earned by selling counterfeit products under their distributor umbrella. As far as the history is concerned, my family is the original owner and the truck was bought brand new in October of '99. For the first few years of it's life, it was dealer maintained and run on Group I based Gulf 20W-50 conventional sourced from Dubai. Sadly, products imported from member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar) do not go through Intertek and corporations take advantage of this loophole in the system by setting up shop at a GCC destination, predominantly Dubai. Dubai sourced lubricants are some of the poorest in quality and barely meet the specifications they list on the bottle - I know this for fact because I had some of them analyzed and compared against their European counterparts. Castrol are especially bad at this. Most major brands are blended by the Middle East Lubricants Company, including Gulf Oil, and are best avoided at all cost. That being said, the oil did leave deposits behind, which were not removed by 4 different Auto-RX cleaning cycles. The engine developed the infamous oil burning issue through the valve stem seals, and I took this opportunity to pull the heads off to replace the guides, get the heads cleaned and put everything back together. Ironically, the guides had normal wear and tear, contrary to my expectations. The valve seals, on the other hand, were rock hard. I have since run nothing but synthetics meeting ACEA standards. I started with Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30, which met ACEA A5/B5, but later switched to Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 for the MB Sheet 229.5 specification. A year later, I made the permanent switch to Mobil 1 0W-40 and three years down the road, I'm still running it.
 

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Originally Posted By: glxpassat
Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
Would you, or anyone else for that matter claiming what I've used was fake, mind explaining how exactly this stuff is "counterfeit"?
"Fully synthetic" only means "fully sythetic" when bought in Germany.
I haven't a clue what you're getting at here. I never even brought up Mobil 1 0W-40 to be a Group III hydrocracked synthetic or indeed a Group IV/V based full synthetic. We're discussing the possibility of counterfeit Mobil 1, not base stock.
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Falcon, do you have any of that old M1 left that you could send for analysis? Or have you done any UOAs with that stuff in the engine?
I haven't done any UOA with Mobil 1 0W-40 in this engine, but I have dumped the fill you see in my original post. I was considering getting it analyzed, but Trav brought up a good point. I still have the stuff though, as I haven't had the time to take it to a recycling facility just yet. If it's the New Life stuff you're asking about, I can always buy a bottle and have it analyzed. That being said, I contacted Mobil 1 in the United States and provided them with a link to this very post. It'll be interesting if and when they chime in.
 
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For what is worth this jug and description on it looks exactly the same like on Mobil 1 sold here. There could be difference between Belgium and US formula though.
 

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Originally Posted By: chrisri
For what is worth this jug and description on it looks exactly the same like on Mobil 1 sold here. There could be difference between Belgium and US formula though.
Save for the Mobil 1 5W-30 meeting Dexos1 spec, imported from the United States, our Mobil 1 lineup is exactly the same as what is offered the EU - ranging from 0W-30 to 10W-60. Products are imported from Belgium (e.g. 0W-40), Finland (e.g. 10W-60) and France (e.g. 5W-30 ESP Formula). I cannot recall where the 0W-30 and 5W-50 offerings are imported from, but they are definitely from the EU as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
I haven't done any UOA with Mobil 1 0W-40 in this engine, but I have dumped the fill you see in my original post. I was considering getting it analyzed, but Trav brought up a good point. I still have the stuff though, as I haven't had the time to take it to a recycling facility just yet.
What I was getting at was that by seeing the ad pack in that old oil (from either VOA or UOA) we could probably easily tell whether it was a true M1 0w-40 or a fake.
 
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So since everyone thinks the oil is in some way at fault I'm going the other way on this and I'm guessing it's poor quality fuel. My theory is that combustion blow-by has gotten into the oil inevitably and those visible deposits are actually agglomerated blobs of ash that haven't been filtered out as of yet. The worse the fuel,the more agglomerated blobs. Just a guess
 

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Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
What I was getting at was that by seeing the ad pack in that old oil (from either VOA or UOA) we could probably easily tell whether it was a true M1 0w-40 or a fake.
I can grab a bottle and send a sample for analysis. thumbsup
Originally Posted By: Clevy
So since everyone thinks the oil is in some way at fault I'm going the other way on this and I'm guessing it's poor quality fuel. My theory is that combustion blow-by has gotten into the oil inevitably and those visible deposits are actually agglomerated blobs of ash that haven't been filtered out as of yet. The worse the fuel,the more agglomerated blobs. Just a guess
If it is, that wouldn't surprise me one bit. In my Envoy and Grand Marquis, I run Euro V rated 95 RON, which costs about $3.67 a gallon and is imported from Europe. My old man is the Mitsu's primary driver, and he runs Euro II rated 98 RON, which is imported from the Far East. Granted it's a major step above the locally blended 91 and 95 RON, and has an additive package supposedly tweaked to the demands of German manufacturers (mainly Porsche), it's not going to be anywhere near the quality of the Euro V.
 
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Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
What I was getting at was that by seeing the ad pack in that old oil (from either VOA or UOA) we could probably easily tell whether it was a true M1 0w-40 or a fake.
I can grab a bottle and send a sample for analysis. thumbsup
Just to clarify, I was talking about the oil from the containers you ran a few OCIs before. I think you referred to it as "Made in Belgium".
 
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Originally Posted By: Falcon_LS
Got it. I've ordered a kit, I'll grab a bottle locally and send a sample.
No, I was talking about the actual old bottle that you poured the oil from into your engine. There is no guarantee that the bottle you'll grab tomorrow will be the same stuff as what went into your engine.
 

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Don't have any left in old bottles. I do have the containers on my shelf from my last two intervals, and I may be able to find NOS with the same date codes.
 
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