oil bashing

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Feb 21, 2004
So. Cal.
i was told today by a kid at walmart that pennzoil causes parafin buildup in a motor,over at complaintstation.com a couple of ridiculous rants,one saying that a 1/4" of wax was found in a oil pan when rebuilding a motor,also a person with multiple examples of pennzoil causing engine failure..come on .....i have read otherwise here....
These are what I like to refer to as "idiots".
They seem to be rather plentiful...
Yeah, you are going to hear stuff like that. All it takes is one person to start these 'urban legends' and they seem to live forever. Pennzoil is made of group 2+ hydroprocessed base oils with a good addative package.
years ago folklore(40to50+) Pennsoil did have wax problems along with all oils off and on over time.(I have seen Pennsoil seperate in the can years ago(67/68)at my Dad's-and he hated Pennsoil-gas station when a bad batch was sold to us/Penns gave us 6qts to replace the one sample we saved to show them) The good oils lived on, the problem ones died away(example ARCO Graphite). Today brands really do not mean much with the standards that all oils have to meet to be sold per the ratings, along with who owns what company-Penns used to come from the state of Pennsulvania(Pennsulvania crude is long gone-the oil wells were tabbed out years ago-Pennsoil's claim to fame) but now is in Texas where they owned Quaker State (who also used to be in the state of Penn) yet they both are now owned by Shell. Who owns what anymore. They all use the same processes, each other bases, make each others oils, etc. As long as the oil used meets the rating reguirement for your vehicle it will work and by law it all has to be compatable with each other so as it can be mixed. Now who's Syn's are the best? thats another story.
I am now using synthetics in both vehicles but until the past few years, Pennzoil dino has been in evrything I owned.
I knew two brothers that were hotrod Ford fanatics. They built street/strip while I was in highschool. They were in their 30's and used Pennzoil in everything they built.
The rumors about sludge and other engine degradation from this product were plentiful in the late 60's, so I asked the men why they used Pennzoil. Their response was,"We have tried most everything. Engines we build last longer, blow up less and are cleaner than with any other oil we have used."
One of the brothers' wives drove a 64 Galaxie with over 200K which was not subject to hot rodding but used this "dreaded" oil exclusively.
This was as "scientific" as any evidence I needed to continue using Pennzoil through the years.
Just to make a long story longer, I had oppurtunity to speak with Don Johnson(president of Pennzoil, not the actor)in the early 90's about the degradation of this product. He responded that in earlier years all oils lacked the quality of modern formulas and that Pennzoil has been consistenly the sales leader. Mechanics upon finding a sludged engine would ask their customer type of oil used and often the response was Pennzoil. Fewer motorists were using Pennzoil and were therefore statistically having fewer problems because of the ratio.
He added that modern oils have eliminated sludge problems provided they are routinely changed. He then closed with this statement,"Buy any oil as long as it is wrapped in a yellow bottle!", which is still what I do for my daughter's vehicles and for any future use when using dino. I have never had any oil related problem in over 30 years.
I think there are differences in conventional motor oils and some may be better than others. But I think you could take any major brand conventional motor oil that meets all of the current requirements (Pennzoil, Quaker State, Castrol, Valvoline, Chevron, etc.) and that motor oil would do just fine in 3000 mile or three month oil changes.

And motor oils today certainly are better than even a few years ago. Sludge in an engine today is probably the result of few or no oil changes, using a motor oil that does not meet requirements, etc.

And even if a typical conventional motor oil might cause some sludge, cleaning the car/truck engine with Auto-RX at 25,000 mile intervals would probably take care of the problem.
yeah if i stay with dino oil i will do the 3k mile oci to be conservative. with my lead foot, stop n go driving and all. i figure now that shell owns pennzoil,it will stay a quality product like rotella-t,aeroshell etc.funny,years ago we used pennzoil outboard 2 stroke oil in our dirtbikes because it was cheap,went to the desert and ran the **** out of them...
I watched Pennzoil commercials about 'purebase' and clean engines and tried it in my Mazda Protege (squeeky clean engine - scrupulous 3k oil changes). About time for the 3K OCI it was getting the usual darkness but then at the bottom of the dipstick were some dots. I wiped the stick on my business card and took it in to the microscope at work. Sure looked like parafin stuff about half the size of a salt grain, elongated, brownish red. Then it smugged when I dragged the particle across the paper. I don't know if it was the oil or the oil cleaning the engine though. Sorry to say it was 3K and I was changing over to M1. The good news is at 3K the oil on the card was spreading the dirt out ie suspension was working great.
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