Whats the big secret?-formulations

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1,933
Location
Oklahoma
Why when you call a larger oil company they will not answer questions like does the formulation have moly or how much Zinc is in that 10/30 oil you make and sell? Like pulling teeth to get some questions answered. All I have to do is by a bottle and get a sample of it looked at and on a larger scale any big company could do the same but of corse really pick the formulation apart if they wanted to know. So, in the interest of being a consumer freindly company why is this type info not readily given? Again,it is not like I am going to gear up and duplicate a oil,and if a large company wanted even more exact info,it would be way easy it seems.
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,011
Location
Guelph, Ontario
That bugs me too! I once emailed Mobil 1 and asked them a simple question like that and they wouldn't tell me, as if I was going to go and mix up my own custom Mobil 1 at home or something! If anyone from Mobil 1 (or any big company) is reading this board, you really need to be more forward with your technical data, because people like us are going to find out one way or another. It's better we hear it straight from the horse's mouth, so we don't get frustrated about it. That's what I like about Schaeffer, they post a LOT of technical data about their oils. Amsoil does pretty well in this respect also. Everyone else just basically gives what they want to give.
 
Messages
597
Location
Salisbury, MD
Perhaps, in a sense, the spirit of ole John D. lives on in the industry. That, and no one in the company wants to be accused of undermining a multi-million dollar ad campaign. Business is business. In a similar vein, the high priests of science enjoy an aura of mystery. Heck, think of Paracelsus and the double meaning of pharmaceutical.
 
Messages
485
Location
Montgomery, AL
quote:
Originally posted by dragboat: Why when you call a larger oil company they will not answer questions like does the formulation have moly or how much Zinc is in that 10/30 oil you make and sell? So, in the interest of being a consumer freindly company why is this type info not readily given? .
Johnny had a really good post on a similar subject. IMHO you overestimate an oil company's desire to be consumer friendly. The big companies want to leverage their reputation and ride on that. Look at the lame info on name brand oil bottles. Even Mobil has gone to some not so useful dribble on M1 bottles. To give out too much info would tend to give a lessor known company (schaeffer, amsoil) an edge. The 300 folks on this board are a very, very, very small percentage of the oil buying public. They simply don't need to market to us.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,946
Location
Iowegia - USA
I know it's frustrating, but the general public is not interested in formulations, nor are they educated enough to know what differences in additive chemistry and what affects what engine parts at what temperature, etc. In my view, general information should be given out, but as Johnny has stated, litigation is one primary reason not much info is given out, and our society is litigous society, folks. Most oil formulations are similar to say a cookie recipe. That recipe is the cooky company's bread and butter. Mucho bucks were spent paying chemist's salaries to formulate an oil for the motorist. Something called "return on investment" is used to determine how many thousands of gallon's of oil have to be sold to see a return on the investment; the investment being the time to research the new formulation. So a certain amount of propriety information is kept closely guarded to keep other's guessing. However, people on THIS board know that with enough money, we can "crack" the codes if necessary for our own educational benefit. [ September 02, 2002, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 
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597
Location
Salisbury, MD
I think Nietzsche put it most succiently, that is, all language is a form of deception. After all, humans were human long before they created language (sometime shortly after the last glaciation). Hence, Nietzsche's observation in regards to the creation of language as merely a manifestation of the will to power...
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I wish all the motor oil companies would at least tell you right up front what their basestocks are, i.e., group I,II,III, etc. That info is what most of us use to separate the fattest calves from the mangy strays. This is especially important since the line between synthetic and petroleum basestocks has been blurred by the Castrol vs Mobil decision.
 
Messages
1,874
Location
Ocala, Florida
quote:
Originally posted by Jay: I wish all the motor oil companies would at least tell you right up front what their basestocks are, i.e., group I,II,III, etc. That info is what most of us use to separate the fattest calves from the mangy strays. This is especially important since the line between synthetic and petroleum basestocks has been blurred by the Castrol vs Mobil decision.
very disappointing. [Frown] There is no way to determine a good oil from a ok oil from that. There is really only one way to make that determination. Look at oil analysis reports. This will show you just how well the oil will perform as a whole, not just one part. To evaluate an oil by one thing or another is like what some oil sales companies do, push one or two aspects of the oil and to heck with the other. Not a good way to establish the over all performance on an oil.
 
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