Quick Lube Bulk vs Shelf

Messages
32
Location
NV
I have a question for everyone and would be especially good for Johnny. I searched forum's but didn't find similar question before so forgive me if it HAS been discussed before. Is the Bulk oil being used by Quick Lubes/Dealerships, etc the SAME formula and same oil as what is sold in bottles? This is pertaining to the Penzoil/Jiffy Lubes, QS, Texaco, and others. If so, then the only advantage to changing yourself is about a $10 savings. And does that make up for the dirty,oil slicked hands; taking time to deliver oil for proper disposal, etc? Just wondering Bud
 
Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
Budman: I can only speak for Pennzoil and Quaker State. The answer is yes. It's the exact same product. But here is something to consider. The lube centers receive the product in bulk from usually a distributor. That lube center, and you the end customer is depending on that distributor handeling the bulk product correctly. In other words, pumping from clean lines, no co-mingling of different products. We inspect our distributors 4 times per year to make sure they are handling out product to our specs. The bottled oil is filled at the factory. No contamination concerns. Hope this helps.
 
Messages
3,651
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
The potential contamination is one reason I stick with the $11.94 Wal-Mart house brand special despite the fact that SuperTech oil is probably inferior to Pennzoil (although I'm still not convinced that it's inferior to QS). Maybe Bob will repost his infamous oil drum pictures. I'm sure that Wal-Mart and most quick lube places control their stock better than this, but in the back of my mind is the niggling question that maybe the dregs of that drum contain SG rated oil left over from the early nineties. No such risk with bottled oil.
 
Messages
3,695
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Not that you should not trust a dealer or quick lube but you just don't know what is in that 55 gal drum? Could be old 10W30 mixed with 15W40 etc. etc. I don't believe a dealer has the time or personnel to properly clean a tank/drum prior to a refill. Assuming the drum is refilled. If replaced with a new one each time then it is simple how long has it been sitting there accumulating grime.
 
Messages
3,651
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
By bottled oil I mean anything that can be poured quickly into a car and not sitting around (sometimes outside) in a big rusting barrel with god knows what in the bottom of it. Four little bottles or one big bottle makes no difference.
 
Messages
1
Location
Northwest
Please, give us people in the business some credit for knowing what we are doing. The bulk oil that is sent to the quicklubes is the same as the oil that is put into the bottles. Most quicklubes have large tanks that aren't even visible to the consumer. Our drivers are professionally trained to pump oil from the tanker truck into the customers tanks, just like the people who are trained in many other jobs that produce finished goods that you use every day, but don't question the quality. I think some of the people on these forums take these oil issues a little to seriously. Maintain a proper maintenance schedule, use quality oil and all should be fine. Enjoy your vehicles, but don't try and over analyze them.
 
Messages
3,327
Location
Bolivia
I think most major brands in the US have the same in both bottles and tanks, and most can be trusted as said. But I know some who only put their API formulas in bottles and use a least cost formula with spot purchases of additives or base oil for equivalency in drums and bulk. I know of a major company who has tank trucks of SC/CC and their driver goes around filling any drum or tank he can find. I once saw him filling a Texaco Ursa Super Plus drum at a service station and called the manager of Texaco. The next day it was gone. I refuse to sell in bulk or drums to 99% of the service stations here because they refill the drums with dirty oil and SC/CC or less. The more educated the consumer, the less that can be pulled over his eyes.
 
Messages
531
Location
Columbus, Ohio
That is not to say that some unscrupulous quick change operator is not out to make money. There are many what are termed "blenders" out there that sell bulk API rated engine oils to quick change opeators for as much as $1 to $2 less a gallon than the national name branded products. It is likely not widespread but certainly exists. It is impossible for the nationals to monitor each and every quick lube.. Just as some quick lubes, again few and far between, but does exist just the same, with the "Parker 51" oil change via pen only... Many a young lady's Honda Accord has not had an oil change in quite a while with just a sticker in the window...
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,725
Location
Iowegia - USA
Speaking of Quick Lubes: Has anyone had problems with a Quicklube shop that refused to use a customer's supplied oil for the oil change? (This question does not apply to Dealers). I have come across only one when I lived in an apartment and I didn't have my own oil change facilities. The owner had changed the oil before with my lube but one day refused. Upon asking why, he said he could not guarantee the quality of the oil. I said fine, then you write on the ticket, "customer supplied oil installed - no gurantees," and you only guarantee the labor. He wouldn't go for it, so I went down the street to another Quick Lube who said, "sure, no problem!"
 
Messages
3,845
GeorgeCLS, the "Parker 51 " reveals your aviation background and is well worth warning about the "pencil whiping" that goes on in alot of shops both automotive and other. Buyer or customer BEWARE.
 
Messages
3,651
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Think I've usually received oil, but always a little bit wary when I get an oil and filter change for the Cavalier and I don't smell hot oil on the exhaust when I start it up. That filter's a booger to get at and "too neat" filter changes always get me suspicious. It's also hard to check and see that they've used a SuperTech and not a Fram filter.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,725
Location
Iowegia - USA
GeorgeCLS, I think if the customer took the time to stand and watch the technician (whether or not he or she knew a darned thing about mechanics), the "penciling" might not happen. So many customers are simply too lazy or disinterested to get involved in quality car care.
 

mph

Messages
356
Location
Johnstown, PA
quote:
Originally posted by Budman: If so, then the only advantage to changing yourself is about a $10 savings. And does that make up for the dirty,oil slicked hands; taking time to deliver oil for proper disposal, etc?
Well, other advantages include the crankcase being filled to the proper level (instead of a quart over, like it ends up when anyone else does it). I guess they think that if the manufacturer's recommended 3.5 quart fill is good, then 4 or 5 quarts is even better. Plus, I know that my drain plug will be torqued to specification, with a new crush washer, and the filter will not be overtightened. Besides, I do my oil changes when I'm visiting my girlfriend, two hours from home in the middle of the desert, and she's at work. Gives me something to do. Justifies the purchase of tools. That sort of thing.
 
Messages
531
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Many shops will not allow one to "view" the oil change process for "safety reasons". I stopped in a very fast lube shop a while back as I noticed two very attractive blonde haired young ladies, dressed in technician uniforms sitting outside the door smiling away. Being a pilot, of course, I had to go over and chat with them, asking how long they had been oil change technicians, etc. As per my constant battle for technicians to wear hand skin protection due to the potential long term health risks, my cautions to them were met with outright laughter! They looked at each other and the one said to me "I don't think we will get lead poisoning".. Well, I again reinforced the importance of wearing latex gloves and she said "you don't get it do you?"... Duhhh... Then I realized, "Parker P51".... And the guy that drove up in his Corvette as I talked with them could care less, as he had a bigger grin than they did!
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
Speaking of Quick Lubes: Has anyone had problems with a Quicklube shop that refused to use a customer's supplied oil for the oil change? (This question does not apply to Dealers). I have come across only one when I lived in an apartment and I didn't have my own oil change facilities. The owner had changed the oil before with my lube but one day refused. Upon asking why, he said he could not guarantee the quality of the oil. I said fine, then you write on the ticket, "customer supplied oil installed - no gurantees," and you only guarantee the labor. He wouldn't go for it, so I went down the street to another Quick Lube who said, "sure, no problem!"
As far as I know, Wal-Marts up here do not allow the use of other name brands except for Pennzoil/Quaker State....at least the WalMart near my place. Regards, Oz
 
Messages
3,651
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Our Wal-Mart has SuperTech for $11.94 and a choice of fill or fill & check fluid levels with QS or PZ bulk for added $$$ (think $15.94 and $18.94 been about a year since I used anything but ST bottled) . In addition they'll use any of their bottled oils for an extra fee or any synthetic for about $29.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,990
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I don't like having my oil changed by someone else for two main reasons. One, they only drain the oil for maybe 3 minutes tops, and two, they never fill the new filter with oil. Plus they use dirty old funnels instead of the nice brand new one I use with each oil change! [Big Grin]
 
Messages
3,327
Location
Bolivia
I didn't mean to start everyone against quick lubes. Just to say buyer be ware. You should know your mechanics or at least who you do business with. I own a quick lube (although it is less than 2% of my business. But my interest is in selling the oil I import from the U.S., not adulterating it or anything else. I still have customers who will pay extra for the bottled product. If they bring their own filter we may or may not install it. If we do, we write on the ticket that it was customer supplied and customer was advised. If it says "Maid in USA" instead of "Made in USA" there is no way we will use it. No one has ever (5 years) brought their own oil for us to change, but we would not do it.
 
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