Oil Brand Marketing, Perception and Reputation

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That’s why the approvals, specifications and licenses the oil holds (or does not hold) are critical and eliminate the often uneducated worry over typical values on a PDS which are not “specs”.

Also those “cold flow” videos, are they more representative of what is actually relevant to engine starting and operation than the series of tests in SAE J300 that result in the winter rating?
What I liked was the cooked oil was almost a tie.

 
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I was first impressed with an oil's marketing when Mobil1 came out with the frying pan comparison. I found it to be straight forward and relevant. Oil commercials now contain what marketing folks call "glittering generalities", which carries no weight with me.

 
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What did that video tell you then?
Amsoil was ahead of the oils tested. Each 5w-30 that was tested went head to head on the flow chart in the beginning, a nice sample of the best oils from manufacturers. 430 degrees for 2 hours kinda simulated the Noack test. VOA done of each was nice but still does not prove as much as a physical test. The wear test was not as important to me as the cold flow test. -40 degrees and on other tests done that I have seen him done the cooked oil was far behind the new oil. Not this test. My present bias is a good base oil that does not degrade with heat. And 90% of the wear is on cold starts. But I bought 0w-20 so….
Marketing eliminating from this test and the cost of PUP sold me. Truth is all these oils are great and they all are API certified.
 
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The “wear test” is absolutely worthless. That’s been discussed here many times as it is not representative of any process inside the ICE nor is the YouTube version performed in a statistically valid manner. 90% of wear does not occur on cold start, please reference a technical paper or study that shows this. You won’t find one. Flow is nearly irrelevant, what matters is pumpability and that’s what the tests in SAE J300 and the winter rating represent. The YouTube test is flawed in many, many ways and adds no useful data.

The cooking test is equally useless since no engine raises the temperature of the oil to degradation like that nor does a failure test properly characterize the oil (what ASTM test does this mimic?)
 
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Pennzoil’s claim of keeping pistons and rings cleaner than Mobil 1 swayed me to use them exclusively in my Accord since I purchased it 7 years ago. Only recently did I switch to Mobil 1 in that car due to claims of superior base oils.

Mobil 1 has always come across as THE synthetic oil.
 
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The “wear test” is absolutely worthless. That’s been discussed here many times as it is not representative of any process inside the ICE nor is the YouTube version performed in a statistically valid manner. 90% of wear does not occur on cold start, please reference a technical paper or study that shows this. You won’t find one. Flow is nearly irrelevant, what matters is pumpability and that’s what the tests in SAE J300 and the winter rating represent. The YouTube test is flawed in many, many ways and adds no useful data.

The cooking test is equally useless since no engine raises the temperature of the oil to degradation like that nor does a failure test properly characterize the oil (what ASTM test does this mimic?)
Thanks for you input…
 
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The OP asked for perception. The tests for certification does not compete but passed. All these oils are certified.
 
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Thanks for you input…


You should know that there is one huge difference between oil exposed to high temperatures in a engine versus oil exposed to high temperatures in a frying pan.

I will wait for the answer.
 
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Agree… So it is a crap shoot. There are no bad choices. I am 68 and most likely if I change the oil every 6 months it does not matter. The engine will be there for me, or I will sell it. The question was posed and answered. Of course it is not your answer.

So Mobil 1 for you?
 
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Amsoil was ahead of the oils tested. Each 5w-30 that was tested went head to head on the flow chart in the beginning, a nice sample of the best oils from manufacturers. 430 degrees for 2 hours kinda simulated the Noack test. VOA done of each was nice but still does not prove as much as a physical test. The wear test was not as important to me as the cold flow test. -40 degrees and on other tests done that I have seen him done the cooked oil was far behind the new oil. Not this test. My present bias is a good base oil that does not degrade with heat. And 90% of the wear is on cold starts. But I bought 0w-20 so….
Marketing eliminating from this test and the cost of PUP sold me. Truth is all these oils are great and they all are API certified.
Amsoil SS is not certified.
 
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Agree… So it is a crap shoot. There are no bad choices. I am 68 and most likely if I change the oil every 6 months it does not matter. The engine will be there for me, or I will sell it. The question was posed and answered. Of course it is not your answer.

So Mobil 1 for you?


I use any major brand that meets the specs for my engine.

Good luck.
 
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I have not seen the differences in engine life of a properly maintained vehicle benefit from a boutique oil vs a quality oil from the majors. Maybe in the 1970s there were benefits. But most engines out last the chassis they are put in.
I put 590k miles on my 85 Toyota 4x4, changing once per year, for 19 years. About 30k miles on each oil change. I'd change the filter every 6 months with a land cruiser 1 liter sized oil filter. I ran Mobil1 for a couple of 100k's then Redline til 500k. At that point it was burning a quart a week.
After I changed to Delo 400 15w40, it burned about a quart a month.
 
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So, this summer I (along with some other members) scored a tremendous amount of oil. I've been hustling it for months. I've got M1, Pennzoil, Quaker state, Valvoline, Carquest, Castrol, Chevron and Havoline. Here are my observations. Marketing works.

* By a 10 to 1 margin, the majority want or demand Mobil1. Even at a higher price.
* Probably 75% demand full synthetics. Folks with older vehicles and on a tight budget will buy the blends. But blends have been challenging to sell or trade.
* Around 10% absolutely refuse to use Pennzoil or Quaker State. These brands simply cannot live down the alleged "sludging" that might have plagued them 30-40 years ago, well before synthetics.
* Advanced Auto was smart to drop their Carquest line. Almost nobody wants it. The full synthetics sells for about the same price as blends in other brands. It was slow to move it.

The takeaway, is that M1 absolutely dominates the oil game from my small experience. I was pretty shocked.

Edit: Out of boredom or curiosity, since I have a fleet of vehicles, I did oil changes in all of them using various brands. I've used QS, Pennz, M1, Chevron, Castrol, and Valvoline. My observation is that the Valvoline, Pennzoil, and Castrol are the best, but there's so many variables I don't think I can really conclude anything. I believe they are all so close that it barely matters as long as you have a premium name brand, and use the correct grade/weight API.
 
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Back in the late 60s, one of my fraternity brothers used to get D-A Lubricants oil from Indianapolis and re-sell it. When he came up to Michigan he'd have a trunk full of cardboard boxes of the old style round quart cans of oil. (He never revealed "how" he was obtaining all this oil, LOL). IIRC it was 20 cents a quart.
Doesn't sound like hauling it around was worth the markup of like 10 cents a quart. Extra weight = extra gas, plus a chance of leaking oil in the trunk.
 
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