Why does Pennzoil get so much crap

Messages
55
Location
Moorhead, MN
For years I've heard from local car buffs how Pennzoil is so inferior. I have used it and got high mileage out of many of my cars. I see very little negitive on the boards here at Bobs. Any ideas where the negitive on Pennz ever got started.
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Biggest selling oil so more 'bad' stories I guess? I used to think it was junk even though shelves here in Oz full of it. I now use it due to this site and info from Pennzoil Johnny who appears to have gone 'missing in action lately'
 
Messages
107
Location
Averill Park, NY
Ironthinker, I think it comes down to the fact that everyone has a different opinion. I've run into people that swear by some oil filters, but have never taken one apart. I also believe that at this site you have a higher percentage of people "in the know", perhaps that's why Pennzoil isn't denegrated as much here. Personally, I've used PennZoil High Mileage in a number of vehicles and it seems to do just fine. Bogatyr
 

CJH

Messages
489
Location
Pennsylvania
There is a vocal percentage of people who like to bash the market leader for some reason. I see it with Microsoft and Wal*Mart all the time. Some people say Microsoft makes junk software and they bash the company, even though it is used on 95%+ of computers and is the most successful software company in the history of the world. People bash Wal*Mart which has to be the most successful retail operation in the history of the world. Things I have heard or read...customers are trailer trash, carry low quality products, treat their employees badly, they ruin your town, etc. etc. etc. I don't know why many of us cannot admire and respect a market leader. Obviously many do or they would not be market leaders, but there is a vocal percentage that want to bash them and I think that is what you see with Pennzoil.
quote:
Originally posted by Ironthinker: For years I've heard from local car buffs how Pennzoil is so inferior. I have used it and got high mileage out of many of my cars. I see very little negitive on the boards here at Bobs. Any ideas where the negitive on Pennz ever got started.
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
Many of your market leaders have not gotten there by providing a superior product and good value. I use Pennzoil not because I think it is the greatest thing there is, oil being hard to judge, but because I know it is reasonably good and I have no trouble finding the same thing every time I change oil. (With the corporate buyouts, at least the package is still the same.) If I was seeing a lot of bad UOA's on it here, I would switch. I usually buy it at Wal-Mart because they always have it and usually the lowest price in town. On the other hand, I avoid many other market leaders because I have found many widely used products to be inferior to others. Microsoft is the best example. Most of the people using Windows have no choice or never actually tried anything else. Fram is another, and Michelins. Some of this relates to price. Many people think if something is expensive, it has to be good. Some people let advertising influence them. They will buy any highly advertised product if it has an image that appeals to them. It is not a rational world.
 
Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
I believe this all started back in the 40's and early 50's, when all brands of oil were very low in detergents. At that time Pennzoil, Quaker State, Kendall, and Amalie were made from Penn grade crude, with a very high viscosity index and was very good for making motor oil. However the refining process was nowhere near what it is today and the Penn grade crudes were very high in pariffin content. When the folks I talk with today that tells me they would not use Pennzoil because it sludges a motor, I ask, how do you know that. Most say my grandfather told me how it sludged up his flathead Ford in 1948, etc. I tend to look at it this way. When you go by a repair shop, which brand of vehicle do you see being worked on most, probably Chevrolet. Not because there bad, because there are more Chevrolets than anything else. Pennzoil has been the number one selling oil in America since 1985. To give you an idea of how much is sold, Quaker State is number two and Valvoline is number three. There is more Pennzoil sold than number two and three put together. That's a lot of all. We cannot please everyone, but we do please the majority. My family has used Pennzoil for over 75 years without any problems at all. But let me add this. No decent motor oil will sludge an engine. Sludging is do to mechanical problems, poor driving conditions, and poor service.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,988
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I still see negative press about Pennzoil on some of the other message boards I'm on, and I ask these guys flat out "what proof do you have that it sucks, because I see lots of proof that it DOES NOT SUCK!" We've seen enough good UOAs on this stuff to prove that it's definitely one of the best OTC dino oils going. IMO, if you use this oil and do 3-4k oil change intervals, you'll get extremely good engine life.
 
Messages
1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
I would not hesitate to use Pennzoil based on quality. I have chosen Chevron because the UOA show it to be one of the best, if not the best value on the market and I have no problem finding it.
 
Messages
7,775
Location
Oklahoma
I look at it like this: Since Pennz. has such a large market pool and a wide range of product dispersion, there will be at least a 1% chance that a problem could occur. I mean, look at the best cars made, they too have some lemons. Nothing is perfect. But looking over older posts, Pennz. has proven itself without a doubt. I'm sure we all remember the Quaker State "sludge" debates a decade ago.
 
Messages
413
Location
Marietta, GA
Ironthinker, Check out the Used Analysis Section. Pennzoil PureBase is one of the better dino oils on the market now. Castrol GTX was mediocre for awhile and in the last few years has become a good oil. Havoline is better now that it has become an equilavelant to its sister product Chevron Supreme. Valvoline is the oil that I would avoid based on UOAs and going over 3,000 miles. My point is this: oil companies change their formulations over time and good oils become lesser oils and vice versa. The only way to find out what is happening with different oils is through used oil analysis.
 
Messages
125
Location
Virginia
I surely do not want to start a row with Pennzoil fans, but I will post why I do not use it. I have a Toyota 4 wheel drive pick up that I bought new in 1988, with the 22re four banger motor and 5 speed tranny. Had an '85 before that. I used Pennzoil 10w/30 , when it was new, with the oil and filter changed every 3000 miles/3 mths religiously. Still have the service records and receipts. When I pulled the valve cover for service at 98,000 miles, it was full of black gunk/sludge to the point of having to get out the putty knife to start the clean up process! This truck had the air cleaner and pvc valves all serviced on time/schedule, and had been driven by myself ( not abused) the entire 98k miles. I flushed it, switched it to Havoline 10/30, and it is now at 168000 miles. The body is now shot, you could strain soup with the all the rust holes on the bed. But I just pulled the valve cover last week to adjust/check the valve lash and it is clean. This motor should go another 168000 miles. I am sure the newer Pennzoil is great stuff, and I would even consider using it again. But I have other choices, and I am sure I am not the only one to have this happen.
 
Messages
33,973
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
We've seen enough good UOAs on this stuff to prove that it's definitely one of the best OTC dino oils going. IMO, if you use this oil and do 3-4k oil change intervals, you'll get extremely good engine life.
I think Pennzoil right now is a top dino oil. As far as the sludge in the Toyo, don't know what to say about that. Oils like anything else go through phases where they are good and bad I imagine. It's also a Toyota so you never know.
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
sumerduckman, I have to say that I still reluctant to use Pennzoil. When I was using Pennzoil I did notice that my engine looked kind of dirty. But then again, I was buying used cars back in those days. When I started to use other brands of motor oil, it did seem like my engines cleared up. Maybe Pennzoil had a few bad years. But apparently, judging from the UOAs at this site, Pennzoil is fine now. Right now when it comes to conventional motor oils, I would say that my first choice is Chevron. Chevron seems to always have good UOAs at this site and Chevron has the resources to develop its own base oils and its own additives. I think this may make a difference. According to what some at this site have found out, there are only a few chemical additive manufacturers for additives in motor oils. ExxonMobil and Chevron are some of the few. If some company is producing motor oils but getting its base srocks from some other company and its chemical additives from another company, that company may have a harder time creating a good motor oil. But if a company can manufacture its own base stocks and its own additives, that company may be able to make a better product. Does that make sense?
 
Messages
69
Location
MA
I've actually only heard very favorable things about Pennzoil. I was even thinking about switching from Castrol GTX to Pennzoil in my girlfriend's Volvo. Strange.
quote:
Some people say Microsoft makes junk software and they bash the company, even though it is used on 95%+ of computers and is the most successful software company in the history of the world.
Ok, this is WAY off topic, but I feel the need to address this. People bash Microsoft because they make junk, unreliable software, and keep competition at bay via unethical methods. If you actually try some other software alternatives that are innovating rather than marketing, you'll see exactly where Microsoft is lacking. But I digress.
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
guitargeek, Linux, Mac OS 10, and graphical interfaces for Unix look a whole lot more exciting to me then what Microsoft has to offer. Unix in many ways is probably the best computer operating system-all it needs is a great graphical user interface. And actually, in something like 1993 or 1994, IBM (Big Blue) came out with perhaps the greatest operating system of all time-O/S2. It could have been improved. The world adopted Windows 95.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Mystic: ... Chevron has the resources to develop its own base oils and its own additives. I think this may make a difference. According to what some at this site have found out, there are only a few chemical additive manufacturers for additives in motor oils. ExxonMobil and Chevron are some of the few. If some company is producing motor oils but getting its base srocks from some other company and its chemical additives from another company, that company may have a harder time creating a good motor oil. But if a company can manufacture its own base stocks and its own additives, that company may be able to make a better product. Does that make sense?
The four big oil additive package makers are Chevron-Oronite, Lubrizol, Ethyl, and Infinium. Lubrizol and Ethyl are independent, and Infinium is jointly owned by ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch/Shell. The current owner of Pennzoil/Quaker St. is...Royal Dutch/Shell. Ken
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by Sumerduckman: ... switched it to Havoline 10/30, and it is now at 168000 miles. The body is now shot, you could strain soup with the all the rust holes on the bed. But I just pulled the valve cover last week to adjust/check the valve lash and it is clean. This motor should go another 168000 miles. I am sure the newer Pennzoil is great stuff, and I would even consider using it again. But I have other choices, and I am sure I am not the only one to have this happen.
What was the vintage of the Havoline?...up to 1998, Havoline was a Texaco product. From '98 to 2002, Havoline was a product of Equilon (a Texaco/Shell venture). After 2002, Havoline is a product of ChevronTexaco Corp. Combined with the changes in the formulation due to changes in the API Service category, the only thing that stayed the same was the name. Ken
 
Messages
69
Location
MA
quote:
guitargeek, Linux, Mac OS 10, and graphical interfaces for Unix look a whole lot more exciting to me then what Microsoft has to offer. Unix in many ways is probably the best computer operating system-all it needs is a great graphical user interface. And actually, in something like 1993 or 1994, IBM (Big Blue) came out with perhaps the greatest operating system of all time-O/S2. It could have been improved. The world adopted Windows 95.
I don't mean to clog up the thread, but... Linux has several great GUI's. Well, to be more correct, environments. I'm a die hard Gnome person myself. If I was rolling in the dough, I'd buy myself a Mac, because really, it looks like they've taken Unix to a whole new level in easy to use effciency, but I'm quite happy with my Mandrake setup for now. I got to tinker with OS/2 for a little bit, well after it had been abandoned, though. Quite interesting nad surprising that Win95 took over.
 
Messages
8,467
Location
Colorado
I used to use Pennzoil motor oil and FRAM oil filters all the time. I stopped using the FRAM oil filters when two failed on two different cars, but that is another story. I stopped using Pennzoil when a remarkable number of people who seemed to know something about motor oil told me that Pennzoil (and Quaker State) cause sludge in engines. I was told this by mechanics, a couple of race car drivers, people at new car dealerships, etc. But if you look at the VOAs and UOAs that people have done and put the results up at this site, you will see that Pennzoil is one of the top performing conventional motor oils. As far as I can see, probably the three best conventional motor oils based on VOAs and UOAs that people have done are Chevron, Pennzoil, and Castrol. I think what happens is that mechanics see a lot of sludged up engines in cars and trucks where Pennzoil and Quaker State motor oil was used, just because Pennzoil and Quaker State are so popular. If a motor oil is a very popular brand, you are bound to see some car and truck engines where that brand was used and the engine is sludged up. Why is the engine sludged up? Probably because the owner neglected oil changes, or let the engine get too low on oil, or put some sort of useless oil supplement into the oil. Some of these oil supplements and engine treatments are less then useless. The mechanic sees all the car and truck engines with sludged up engines, and a lot of those engines had Pennzoil or Quaker State motor oil in them, and he adds two plus two and gets five. He thinks it was the brand of motor oil and actually it was bad maintenance. The mechanic dos not notice the few cars and trucks that used less popular brands of motor oil and also have sludged up engines. A lot of mechanics I know use Valvoline motor oil in their own cars and trucks. Why? Probably advertising. You know-more mechanics supposedly use Valvoline then any other brand. But conventional Valvoline motor oil has not looked as good as Pennzoil in the VOAs and UOAs that I have seen at this web site. Actual testing (VOAs and UOAs) is going to show us the way to the best motor oils. You don't want to depend on word of mouth, what grandfather used, or advertising. And remember, even once we know what a good brand of motor oil is, that may change over time. What is a good brand today may be a poor brand tomorrow, and what is a poor brand today may be a good brand tomorrow. Just a change in management at an oil company might affect the quality of motor oils produced.
 
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