The German Castrol

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Originally posted by buster: Are Mobil's European oils meeting more of the European specs the the US oils? Is there even a difference between M1 in the US and Europe?
If you look at the various European Mobil 1 web sites, there are really only two Mobil 1 grades sold in Europe right now: 0w40 and 5w50. (Edit: The German Mobil web page does list the A5 rated 0w30, too.) The 0w40 (and 0w30) are the only ones sold in the US and Europe. However, all the grades of Mobil 1 sold in the US (with the exception of 0w20) meet the A5 spec, which is just as tough as A3, it's just a low friction, low HT/HS spec. [ May 31, 2003, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: G-Man II ]
 
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The Castrol company website and their contact mechanism is just as lame as ever, despite the promise of this oil becoming available. I sent them an email over a week ago asking about their intentions to continue marketing this oil in North America, and whether they were exploring other sales options and outlets in addition to the few that there are now. No reply. The only way that it seems one can contact them is by emailing their "Ask the Expert" address. One must fill out a form of personal identifiers, vehicle make and model, other obnoxious fields in order to ask a question. They promise a reply within one business day if the question has merit for their general audience. I don't remember exactly how it is stated, but it's something offputting like that. They might have a real winner with this oil. They might have an opportunity to take a chunk of business away from Mobil1. This could be an opening many other companies and firms in industry can only dream of. Who knows? I'm only speculating, of course. But they sure don't get it regarding their interface with inquiring potential customers. In the age of the internet and instant communications, it's remarkable how poorly and slowly some enter the game.
 
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The suggestion that European motor oils are of higher quality than those generally available in the U.S. is interesting in light of information this past week at Lube Report. Total, S.A. is reported readying a facility to further ramp up production of Group-III lube base stocks. In the article, the claim was made that European refiners do not produce Group-II lube base stocks. Is it possible that Europe has shown the way U.S. base stock may be heading in the near future? Would a complete swing to Group-III lube base stocks be part of the equation for the upcoming conventional SM/GL-4 dino oils? Can anyone confirm whether Europe produces Group-I lube base stocks? [ May 31, 2003, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by Ray H: The suggestion that European motor oils are of higher quality than those generally available in the U.S. is interesting in light of information this past week at Lube Report. Total, S.A. is reported readying a facility to further ramp up production of Group-III lube base stocks. In the article, the claim was made that European refiners do not produce Group-II lube base stocks. Is it possible that Europe has shown the way U.S. base stock may be heading in the near future? Would a complete swing to Group-III lube base stocks be part of the equation for the upcoming conventional SM/GL-4 dino oils? Can anyone confirm whether Europe produces Group-I lube base stocks?
When European oil makers started dealing with volatily issues for conventional oils about a decade ago, the route they took was to increase Group III production and "fortify" their convention oils (made with Group I) with a heavy dose of Group III. The route taken in the US with GF-3 was Group II. The trend in Europe now, with longer drain specs, and ever increasing performance demands from car makers, is to make top tier oils totally from Group IV and Group V. These oils will meet the toughest OEM specs (like MB 229.5 and BMW LL). Other oils that will still meet most of the tough specs will be blends of Group III and Group IV, or blends of Group III and Group V. Once again, we are seeing the oil situation in the US lagging behind Europe. What you'll no doubt see with GF-4 are blends of Group II and Group III. (In fact, we're getting a taste of that now with Ford's performance specs for 5w20. The Motorcraft 5w20 made by Conoco is a blend of Group II and Group III.) And as US car makers start requiring extended drains (probably in the neighborhood of 10,000 miles), you'll see Group III gradually eclipse Group II.
 
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I wonder if Castrol is dumping the German SLX in North America because they just want to get rid of it. Is it no longer considered a top-tier oil in Europe? Have they quit making it? [ May 31, 2003, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: YZF150 ]
 
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Frankly it makes me kind of angry that Americans cannot buy the same motor oils that Europeans can buy. Now, I am almost done with my last oil change and I will start using Schaeffer's Oil, which is probably better than most American motor oils. I don't know how Schaeffer's Oil compares to the European oils, but at least it is better than most of the motor oils in this country. I agree with what YZF150 said above. Castrol has an incredible opportunity to compete with Exxon-Mobil. The number one synthetic oil in America is Mobil 1 and Castrol in its advertising could talk about how the German Castrol 0W30 was equal to or better than the Mobil 1 oil. Castrol could potentially make hugh sums of money. If Castrol lets this opportunity slip away then there is something seriously wrong in the Castrol orgainization, in my opinion.
 

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Originally posted by YZF150: I wonder if Castrol is dumping the German SLX in North America because they just want to get rid of it. Is it no longer considered a top-tier oil in Europe? Have they quit making it?
If you go to www.castrol.com, the 0w30 Formula SLX is the only PCMO they "feature" on the main corporate page. The other oil is the HD Elixion. Castrol does make other top tier oils for sale in Europe, but the SLX is still considered to be one of the best. My theory as to why Castrol has started importing the SLX: Because they realized that they didn't have a single Syntec grade that could compete with Mobil 1 as far as OEM approved "bragging rights." Also, it's probably cheaper in the long run to import the SLX than to keep trying to produce a sub-standard 0w30 in the US made from Group III base oil (the old yellow label stuff).
 
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I think that if Castrol started offering these better oils over here, Mobil would most likely reformulate and make more oils like Delvac 1 for gas engines. Castrol doesn't have to bring them over, which is why they havn't. They are not really better oils in terms of quality, I think they are just better for longer drains from what I have seen. It is interesting that Mobil decided to bring over there 0w-40 and market it as there european oil. I guess people with high end cars such as BMW that want to change there oil could use this. So does BMW then import there Castrol R that goes into the M3? Also, what Mobil oil is factory fill then in the Mercedez and Porches? I'm thinking 0w-40? Until there is a demand and until the car manufacturers start dictating (which i don't see happening), we are stuck with what we have. Like G-Man said, the API is the control in the US. Is Castrol like the Mobil 1 of Europe? The whole situatioin is kind of backwards I think. The US consumes more cars and drives more then any other country but we are so concerened about CAFE rather then extending drains where in Europe, these oils are demanded for extended drains, even though they drive less then we do. [ May 31, 2003, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by buster: I think that if Castrol started offering these better oils over here, Mobil would most likely reformulate and make more oils like Delvac 1 for gas engines. Castrol doesn't have to bring them over, which is why they havn't. They are not really better oils in terms of quality, I think they are just better for longer drains from what I have seen.
You could be right, the UOAs on their oils might just show higher wear numbers than our oils, just that their oils stay in grade and hold their TBN better for the long intervals. Time will tell.
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by buster: Also, what Mobil oil is factory fill then in the Mercedez and Porches? I'm thinking 0w-40?
Mobil 1 0w40 is factory fill for all Mercedes AMG models. It's also factory fill for every Porsche and Aston Martin.
 
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The US consumer mentality is use and dispose. There is very little regard for conservation of the environment. Why pay more for long life oil when it costs three to four times what a less expensive oil would cost. There is little thought about the extra base stocks that is consumed or the disposal issues. Look at the recycling requirements of new cars in Europe. The US is way behind in environmental issues and it is sad that the general population in the US can't accept it. With regards to SLX it is there to fill the needs of an approved oil for European cars. It is a niche market and Castrol cannot charge more nor rename because it would destroy their total marketing plan of their conventional Syntec. Take advantage of their conundrum, don't make too much noise about it, even to them. The last thing they really want is a rush to get the 0w-30 by many people. Truly that is the last thing they want - it will cannibalize their current business.
 
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Fron castrol USA site. It appears that all new 0W-30 meets the high standards. SAE 0W-30: is for winter conditions where low temperature pumpability is required. A unique, low-temperature formulation provides exceptional pumpability in cold weather and allows for unaided engine starts down to -40°F. Exceeds all car and light truck manufacturer's warranty requirements for the protection of gasoline, diesel and turbocharged engines where API SL, SJ, SH, CF or CD is recommended. Exceeds European ACEA: A3, B3, B4; VW 502 00, 505 00, 503 01; MB 229.1, 229.3; BMW LL-01 and the engine protection requirements of ILSAC GF-3 for API Certified Gasoline Engine Oils and meets Energy Conserving Standards.
 

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Originally posted by tenderloin: Exceeds European ACEA: A3, B3, B4; VW 502 00, 505 00, 503 01; MB 229.1, 229.3; BMW LL-01 and the engine protection requirements of ILSAC GF-3 for API Certified Gasoline Engine Oils and meets Energy Conserving Standards.
I doubt very seriously if this oil is GF-3 certified as far as "Energy Conserving" requirements; the viscosity is just too high. It's phosphorous levels would be low enough, however, for GF-3. The bottles themselves don't have the GF-3 "Starburst" on them.  -  -
 
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Weird, I went to AutoZone and found some yellow labels (assume these are the old ones) and a bunch of red labels like those above but the back said "made in USA with domestic and imported parts". Have they changed the 'imported from germany' statement?
 

G-MAN

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Originally posted by drm7: Weird, I went to AutoZone and found some yellow labels (assume these are the old ones) and a bunch of red labels like those above but the back said "made in USA with domestic and imported parts". Have they changed the 'imported from germany' statement?
The yellow label 0w30 is the old stuff. You're the second or third person who's said he's found some red label 0w30 with Made in USA on the back. If that shows up at my AutoZone, I'll guess I'll buy a bottle to see if it's the SLX oil inside. The quickest way to tell is look at the color: Formula SLX 0w30 is green. (And it doesn't smell anything like the other grades of Syntec.) I'm just wondering if there was a label change (to red) before the German stuff started being imported. All of the yellow label 0w30 I've seen is the "old" Syntec label, so it is possible that some of the last domestically produced 0w30 got the "new" Syntec label (with red lettering) before the German stuff took over.
 
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from G-Man II doubt very seriously if this oil is GF-3 certified as far as "Energy Conserving" requirements; the viscosity is just too high. It's phosphorous levels would be low enough, however, for GF-3. The bottles themselves don't have the GF-3 "Starburst" on them. Below is the link. Also Mobil 1 0W-40 is now listed as "energy conserving" http://www.castrolusa.com/products/prodpop/syntec_pop_frame.asp?pop=grades [ May 31, 2003, 10:07 PM: Message edited by: tenderloin ]
 
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Can Castrol's Group III Syntec possibly comply with the specs that they list there on their website?
 

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Originally posted by tenderloin: from G-Man II doubt very seriously if this oil is GF-3 certified as far as "Energy Conserving" requirements; the viscosity is just too high. It's phosphorous levels would be low enough, however, for GF-3. The bottles themselves don't have the GF-3 "Starburst" on them. Below is the link. Also Mobil 1 0W-40 is now listed as "energy conserving" http://www.castrolusa.com/products/prodpop/syntec_pop_frame.asp?pop=grades
I know what the Castrol web site says. We have a couple of options here: one, the marketing dept at Castrol USA got it wrong on the web site because the "old" yellow label 0w30 WAS energy conserving; or, two, importing the non-energy conserving German 0w30 was a stop-gap measure and production of domestic 0w30 (with red labels) has resumed and IT is "energy conserving." Either way, the German SLX 0w30 is NOT energy conserving. The fact that Mobil 1 0w40 is GF-3/energy conserving is irrelevant. The reference oil it would have to beat to attain that rating would be a Xw40. The reference oil that the SLX would have to beat would be a Xw30. And with a vis at 100°C of 12.2, I doubt if it could do it.
 
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G-manII Not getting in a p*****g contest. My first post #722 states "It appears that all new 0W-30 meets the high standards" Talking about different oils? Although the topic listed is German Castrol, you were responding to my post about new 0w-30 on Castrol USA site. Just a few weeks ago old infomation was listed on Castrol USA site under 0-W-30, did not meet these tough European specs. [ June 01, 2003, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]
 
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Right. But, 1. That language on the website now cannot be truthfully referring to the German oil because the German oil is not GF-3, and 2. Are we to believe that the domestically produced Syntec 0w-30 has been reformulated? It couldn't comply with all of those specs before, could it?
 
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