PQIA's MISSION
PQIA’s mission is to serve the consumer of lubricants by testing and reporting on the quality and integrity of lubricants in the marketplace. It is expected that this improved visibility of quality will lead to wider conformance by lubricant manufacturers to specification and performance claims.  

PQIA SUPPORTERS
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America serves buyers and consumers of lubricants through the generous support of: 


Afton Chemical


Chemlube International

Chevron

CHS Industries

CITGO

Eni USA R&M Co. Inc.


Gulf Lubricants

Infineum USA L.P.

Lubrication Engineers

Lubricating Specialties Co.


Lubrizol

Phillips 66

Pinnacle Oil

Safety-Kleen

Universal Lubricants, LLC

Warren Distribution

Warren Oil


Lubricant Distributor Supporters

 

PQIA CODE OF ETHICAL BUSINESS CONDUCT

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) Code of Ethical Business Conduct (Code)
is the cornerstone of the PQIA initiative as it clearly and strictly defines the standards by which PQIA and its management, employees, and supporter (“Supporters”) will conduct business in the lubricants marketplace.
 
Code of Ethical Business Conduct


PQIA ADVISORY BOARD
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America's Advisory Board comprises a distinguished group of professionals with prominence in a broad range of fields in the lubricants business.

The role of the Advisory Board is to provide PQIA's management with guidance, advice, recommendations and counsel in how to best pursue PQIA's purpose and mission.

 Advisory Board Members

Click here for AB Members

 
Consumer Alerts
Conventional
Synthetics
Diesel Engine Oil

ATF

 
 



Bad Motor Oils Exposed - Four Month Follow-up
April 16, 2013

In December 2013, News12 New Jersey, in cooperation with PQIA, ran a three part investigative series on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of bad engine oils in the marketFour months after Kane In Your Corner investigation exposed harmful motor oil for sale in New Jersey, the bad brands are still on the market.  

Click for Kane in Your Corner follow-up story    




L .F. Powers Joins to Support PQIA
March 26, 2014

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), is pleased to announce L.F. Powers Co, Inc., headquartered in Waterbury, CT,  has joined the ranks of other lubricant blenders, marketers, additive companies, and others  supporting PQIA's efforts to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.
Click for more

PQIA Issues a Don't Buy on Orbit Type A Transmission Fluid

March 17, 2014

Last week, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) announced "Don't Buys" on three viscosity grades of Orbit motor oil. PQIA now issues a Don't Buy on  Orbit's Type A Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF). 

The label on this product says Automatic Transmission Fluid, Type A.  Test results show the sample is more than 70%
 below the minimum viscosity requirement for a Type A ATF.  In addition, the flash point is 24°C below the minimum requirement for a Type A ATF. Use of this oil will cause damage to automatic transmissions.

It should also be noted that Type A is an OBSOLETE specification intended for use in General Motors automatic transmissions built prior to 1957.

Click Transmission Fluid Time Line

PQIA Issues a Don't Buy on Orbit Motor Oil  
March 13, 2014

PQIA has uncovered a fraudulent brand of "Motor Oil" on retail shelves in Missouri and Indiana, and likely available elsewhere throughout the Midwest, that is capable of destroying your car engine in short order.  The brand is Orbit and it's manufactured by Orbit Oil in Gary, Indiana.

PQIA's analysis of the Orbit samples show the products are extremely thin, as much as 74% below the minimum viscosity requirements for their implied viscosity grade.  Motor oils this thin are not able to adequately separate and lubricate moving engine parts and can lead to rapid wear and even engine seizure.  In addition, the samples tested lack the critical additives needed to protect car engines from wear, sludge, rust and corrosion, and may contain abrasive contaminates.  Accordingly, PQIA has issued a "DON'T BUY" for Orbit brand motor oils.    

CLICK LINKS BELOW FOR DETAILS 
These fraudulent oils should not be added to your car engine, and if you see this brand in your area, please contact PQIA via our hotline.  Missouri
 Orbit  5-30 
Orbit 10-30 
Orbit 10-40
Indiana 
Orbit 5-30 
Orbit 10-30

Orbit 10-40

Note: The labels on the products tested prominently display what a reasonable person would believe to be a viscosity grade (i.e."5-30"), implying that the oil is a 5W-30 motor oil. None of the products tested come close to the implied viscosity grades shown on their labels.

     

 

PQIA Completes Third Set of 5W-20 Motor Oils

March 3, 2014
PQIA has completed another set of analyses for 5W-20 motor oils. No issues were found in this set.
Click for specifics about these brands.  



 

In addition, the test results for the last 27 samples of 5W-20 are now consolidated in a single table for convenient review. Click  for all 5W-20 tested to date. 

 

February 27, 2014

Michigan AG Announces Felony Charges Against Four Individuals for Intentionally Selling Mislabeled Motor Oils

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced felony criminal charges against four Wayne County individuals for allegedly selling intentionally mislabeled motor oil products to retailers across the state. Schuette charged Moussa Kaddouh, 58, of Dearborn; Ali Kaddouh, 34, of Dearborn; Joe Kdouh, 61, of Dearborn Heights; and Ayman Faraj, 36, of Canton, with felony charges for intentionally selling an improperly labeled commodity as well as misdemeanors for possessing an uncertified measuring device to sell commodities.   

  

City Petroleum, based in Dearborn, sells wholesale motor oil and transmission fluid products labeled “City Star” to retailers throughout Michigan. Brothers Moussa Kaddouh and Joe Kdouh own and operate the business and employ Ali Kaddouh, Moussa’s son.

Star Petroleum, based in Detroit, sells wholesale motor oil and transmission fluid products labeled “Star” to retailers throughout Michigan. Star is owned and operated by Faraj. City Petroleum and Star Petroleum are not affiliated.
 

 

The product sold allegedly contained used motor oil instead of new motor oil. In addition, the bottles were under filled. The felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. 


It should be noted that PQIA’s analysis of these motor oils, beginning in 2011, not only indicated the presence of used motor oil but also other serious deficiencies that would likely result in damage to a car engine.  

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE

 

January 16, 2014
Ashland Responds to PQIA's Advisory on Valvoline NextGen Conventional 5W-20 Motor Oil
On January 8, 2014, PQIA issued an Advisory on a sample of Valvoline NextGen Conventional 5W-20 motor oil. The reason for the Advisory is that the sample tested failed the Noack Volatility requirements for an API SN/ILSAC GF-5. 

  

Thom Smith, Vice President Lubricant Technology Ashland Consumer Markets, sent PQIA a letter on January 10th outlining Ashland's position on the analysis of the Valvoline NextGen 5W-20 sample and the Noack Volatility test. The letter was accompanied by an email noting that Mr. Smith would call PQIA to discuss their position. Mr. Smith contacted PQIA on Jan 15 to review the letter and its position. 

 

Published with Ashland's permission, its letter to PQIA on this subject can be seen by clicking the letter at the right.     

The essence of Ashland's position is expressed in Thom Smith's statement:  

   "As you are aware, the ASTM D5800 test results can vary significantly from one piece of test equipment to the next. We have experienced variances between calibrated units in excess of the published reproducibility when testing commercial formulations. We believe that this may explain the extreme difference in test results that we are seeing.  

 Valvoline has long been concerned that the ASTM D5800 test for volatility is prone to variation that may not appear when calibrating or when testing the oils included in the ASTM round robins and would actually prefer that alternative volatility tests be considered by the industry for future specifications. Given that D5800 is the industry standard today and the differences between our D5800 results we may want to jointly approach the ASTM Volatility Group requesting that they
take another look at the published D5800 repeatability and reproducibility values.
"  

Whereas PQIA respects Ashland's position with regards to this issue, PQIA's approach is to use the industry standards when we perform an analysis. The industry standard for Noack Volatility is ASTM D-5800, Procedure B.


January 8, 2014

The results of PQIA's second round of testing on 5W-20 motor oils are in and an Advisory is issued on one sample tested (Valvoline NextGen®) as it does not meet the volatility requirements for an API SN/ILSAC GF-5.    

Click on the bottles below for brand details or consolidated for a side-by-side view of the test data.

 

         
Advisory    



 

With 2013 now behind us, it's a good time for all of us to reflect on the challenges and changes that came our way over the past year; what we have learned,  how we have grown, and changes we will try to make moving forward.

On reflection, one interesting observation PQIA made in 2013 is how lubricant blenders and marketers respond when they hear PQIA issues an Advisory or Consumer Alert on their brands. Some hide behind layers of LLCs and unknown addresses, deny anything is wrong, attack the test results, or hope their silence makes it all go away. PQIA, however, tips its hat to those who step up, take responsibility, and make changes to assure consumers get what they expect and pay for.

One company deserving of such recognition is RelaDyne. Their response to a Consumer Alert PQIA issued in April 2013 was commendable. That response will be the subject of a feature article in an upcoming column, "Doing the Right Thing."   



December 11, 2013

 

News12 New Jersey Presents an Eye Opening, Three Part Series about Bad Motor Oils on  the Shelves

 

Walt Kane (New12 NJ) and Thomas Glenn (PQIA)

 

News12 New Jersey, in cooperation with PQIA, ran a three part investigative series on a serious issue all car owners should be aware of; bad engine oils in the market.

 

This is a must see series if you own a car..


 

 


   
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3    



To see the full test analysis for the "Failed" motor oils featured on News12, click the bottles below.



 
  Maxiguard Black Knight, US Economy US Spirit

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News12 NJ... Kane in Your Corner -The Details

A News12 NJ Kane
in Your Corner investigation finds motor oils not suitable for cars are commonly found for sale at gas stations and convenience stores in New Jersey. Some of it is contaminated, some of it is for cars made before the 1930s, and some of it is possibly even used oil that has been repackaged and resold. All of it can do serious damage to your car according to an exclusive Kane In Your Corner investigation.

"The probability of getting some of this bad stuff is pretty high here in New Jersey," says Tom Glenn, president of the Petroleum Quality Institute of America. 


State Regulators Warn Consumers of Noncompliant Motor Oil according to the National Conference on Weights and Measures

Weights and Measures officials in some states are removing motor oil from retail shelves that may be hazardous to your vehicle engine. Alleged violations include incorrect viscosity ratings, short-filled packages, and possibly reselling used oil. Click for more.



December 5, 2013

North Carolina Issues Stop-Sale Order on Everclear Motor Oil and Automatic Transmission Fluid

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) appluads the action taken by the State of North Carolina today to protect it's citizens from harmful motor oils and transmission fluids. PQIA reported on serious issues with the Everclear motor oil brand in 2011, and its transmission fluid in 2012.

PQIA is pleased to hear the State of NC has ordered it off the shelves. At the same time, we once again, ask, what are the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and others doing to protect its citizens from these and other known bad oils PQIA observes in their states? CLICK FOR MORE







November 19, 2013


The Spotlight is now on 5W-20s

 

With many car manufacturers now recommending SAE 5W-20 motor oil for their newer model engines, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America is shifting gears to take a closer look at this rapidly emerging viscosity grade.  The 5W-20 grade currently represents roughly 25% of the passenger car motor oil market, and its use, along with 0W-20 is expected to grow steadily in the coming years.

 

The test data for the first eight 5W-20 samples examined by PQIA indicates some issues with Noack Volatility. Other than that, these samples are consistent with their stated specifications and claims.

 

So here is PQIA's first look at the 5W-20s.

CLICK INDIVIDUAL BOTTLES FOR DETAILS OR CONSOLIDATED FOR THE SIDE-BY-SIDE  

And more...a 5W-30 and 10W-30

 

 

October 30, 2013

If You See It in Michigan, Report it.

 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) ask that consumers and others call the MDARD Consumer Complaint Hotline at 1-800-632-3835 if you see the Bullseye motor oil, City Petroleum (dba City Star) of Dearborn, and Star Petroleum of Detroit brands on the shelves in the state of Michigan. More...



Nu-Tier Brands/Gulf Lubricants Becomes PQIA Supporter
October 16, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA), is pleased to announce that Nu-Tier Brands/Gulf Lubricants has joined with other industry stake-holders in supporting PQIA's efforts to help assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.  Click for More.


Michigan Orders Another Bad Motor Oil Off its Shelves!

October 7, 2013

PQIA tips its hat to Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Jamie Clover Adams, Director MDARD for their work to protect its citizens from engine damaging motor oils. In what is clearly starting to look like a crackdown to protect its citizens from lubricant manufacturers taking advantage of the citizens of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)now issues a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Order on all motor oils sold by Bullseye Automotive Lubricants, Inc. under the Bullseye brand. CLICK FOR MORE

Long Story Short - DON'T BUY BULLSEYE MOTOR OIL, AND IF YOU HAVE IT, DON'T USE IT! Also, if you see it on the shelves in Michigan or any other state, contact PQIA's HOTLINE 732-910-0017.


PQIA Issues Consumer Alerts on Two Brands of Motor Oil Purchased in the Chicago Market

October 2, 2013

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America issues Consumer Alerts on Super XXX 5W30 and 10W40, and Everclear 5W-30 motor oil. This is not the first time PQIA found serious issues with these brands. 


 

CONSUMER ALERT - SUPER XXX 5W30: The label on this product states it is an "SAE 5W30" motor oil and "it is designed for use in older model automobiles requiring SB specifications".  In fact, PQIA's test results show this product is not an SAE 5W-30, and does not meet any recognized specifications for motor oil, and it lacks the critical additives needed to protect modern engines.  In addition, the analysis shows extremely high levels of silicon, which is often associated with abrasive contamination and other contaminants. CLICK FOR DETAILS

 

CONSUMER ALERTSUPER XXX 10W40 The label on this product states "it is designed for use in older model automobiles requiring SB specifications".  PQIA's analysis shows this sample contains none of the critical additive necessary to pass SB specifications.  The analysis also shows high levels of silicon, which is often associated with abrasive contamination. Further, API SB is an obsolete specification. The API cautions this specification is "Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1951. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm." CLICK FOR DETAILS

CONSUMER ALERT - EVERCLEAR 5W-30 The label on this product states it is "5W-30" motor oil.  In fact, PQIA's test results show this product is not an SAE 5W-30 oil, and it lacks the critical additives needed to protect modern engines.  In addition, the high levels of iron, aluminum, copper, lead, and silicon strong suggest this product contains used oil.

 CLICK FOR DETAILS

As noted, this is not the first time PQIA issued Consumer Alerts on these brands. Click for Super XXX  and Everclear for previous. Also, see Press Release



Michigan Orders City Star/Star Petroleum Motor Oils and ATFs off the Shelves!

September 13, 2013 - The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued and Stop-Removal Orders for motor oil and transmission fluid manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by City Petroleum (dba City Star) of Dearborn and Star Petroleum of Detroit after finding the products did not comply with; the Michigan Weights and Measures Act, 1964 Public Act 283.

 

The Stop-Use and Stop-Removal Orders prohibit the sale, offering for sale, or use of motor oils or transmission fluids manufactured, packaged, and/or distributed by City Petroleum (dba City Star) and/or Star Petroleum. These products should no longer be used, immediately be removed from store shelves or other product displays, and no longer be offered for sale. These products may cause damage to vehicle engines.

 

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America applauds Bill Schuette, Michigan's Attorney General and Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director, for taking action to protect its citizens by ordering the removal of City Star motor oils and transmission fluids off the shelves and out of the fast lubes.

CLICK FOR MORE







Know what you are buying.

With Tom Schaefer Whereas most of the oils on the shelves are good quality, there are some that can destroy your engine. Yes, you heard it right, destroy your engine. So read the labels. Some of the oils on the shelves are made for cars built prior to 1930!




PQIA Tests Six Brands of Heavy Duty Engine Oil and They All Look Good

PQIA recently added another six brands of heavy duty engine oil to its spotlight on HDEO. The results of the tests conducted on these samples meet the requirments shown on their labels.  

 

Car Owners Take Note - Read the Labels

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America visited a convenience store in Savona, New York last month to take a look at the brands of oil on the shelves. What we found was the store's private label brand, Arrow Mart Yellow Goose Motor Oil, and Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).  What we didn't find is of concern. 

 

Also making headlines

Wisconsin and Alaska Not in on the Change, July 30, 2013 

Get the Word Out to Installers, July 23, 2013

Tell Them What You Sell Them, July 2, 2013

It was a Good Day for Car Owners, July 1, 2013


 
RECENT TEST RESULTS/em>
PQIA Tests Six Brands of Heavy Duty Engine Oil and They All Look Good
 
July 30, 2013


CLICK BOTTLES FOR DETAILS



 
Buyers Take Note - Read The Labels

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America visited a convenience store in Savona, New York last month to take a look at the brands of oil on the shelves. What we found was the store's private label brand, Arrow Mart Yellow Goose Motor Oil, and Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF).

 

What we didn't find is of concern. 

 

Other than SAE 5W-30 shown on the motor oil label, these products do not reference any industry or car manufacturer specifications. Without this information, a consumer cannot determine if these lubricants are suitable for use in their vehicle and compliant with their warranty.


CLICK FOR DETAIL

In addition,  while the manufacturer of this brand recommends the ATF for "automatic transmissions in all types of passenger vehicle service", PQIA's test results on this sample show the ATF does not meet the Brookfield viscosity specifications required by most transmission manufacturers for modern transmissions. 

 

So remember, read the front and back labels of the motor oil and transmission fluid you buy and always consult your owner's manual to determine what motor oil you should use. Click here for guidance on what to look for on motor oil labels

CLICK FOR DETAIL

Another Batch of  ATFs, Consumer Alert Issued On Two
June 25, 2013

Three ATFs tested checked out fine. Consumer Alerts Issued on two. Click Bottles for test results.


SMB - Consumer Alert

The labels for this product claim SMB is a "Premium" Automatic Transmission Fluid and recommends it for use in all transmissions requiring Dexron III or Mercon fluids.  In fact, the viscosity and flash point of the fluid tested falls far below the specifications for Dexron III and Mercon fluids.  Use of a fluid with this low of a viscosity can cause unsatisfactory performance and/or damage to automatic transmissions.  This product is not suitable for the intended uses it recommends. More...


MaxiGuard - Consumer Alert

The label on this product claims it is "suitable for year round operation in automatic transmissions".  In fact, the viscosities of the fluid tested are far off the specifications required for nearly all automatic transmissions on the road today, and may cause damage during low temperature operation.  In addition, PQIA's analysis shows strong evidence of contamination with used oil and possibly abrasive matter.  This product is not suitable for the intended uses it recommends. More...



Spotlight On Synthetics

PQIA tested and reported on 24 samples of synthetic 5W-30 motor oils in 2013. The samples included those produced by major oil companies and independent lubricant manufacturers. The results of the tests conducted on each brand sampled meet the requirements of an API SN, ILSAC GF-5, SAE 5W-30 engine oil. 


 
 
MoreTest Results and News



CLICK HERE FOR MORE SAMPLE RESULTS AND NEWS

 

In an effort to help raise awareness about the importance of  motor oil specifications, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America developed an easy to understand visual timeline illustrating the vintage of vehicles associated with each specification.

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE



a- Test results are specific to samples purchased by PQIA at the location and on the date shown.





The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is able to serve buyers and consumers of lubricants in part through the generous support of lubricant manufacturers, marketers, and others. Please contact us at the link below if you too would like to sponsor PQIA's efforts to help assure the quality of lubricants in the marketplace.
 
Click here to contact us about how you can help supporter PQIA's efforts
or call us at
732-201-4033


Click or Call
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PQIA NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES

 
Press Releases

9/30/2013
The Petroleum Quality Institute of America Applauds Michigan for Taking Action to Protect Its Citizens from Harmful Motor Oils

 

9/26/2013: Steve Mulvaney Appointed Chairman of PQIA Advisory Board

 

4/17/2013: David Fenderson Joins the Petroleum Quality Institute of America Advisory Board

 

CLICK FOR MORE


Ocean State Oil Joins to Support PQIA

Keller-Heartt Supports PQIA

Leahy-Wolf Joins to Support PQIA's Efforts to Help Assure the Quality and Integrity of Lubricants in the Marketplace

PQIA Adds Automatic Transmission Fluids to its Motor Oil Timeline

David Fenderson, from G.H. Berlin Joins the Petroleum Quality Institute of America Advisory Board

API cancelled several Silogram API certifications, as well as the Auto Club brand

RelaDyne took swift action to recall defective motor oil sold in quart bottles under the "Bullet" brand

Responsible Labeling Of Motor Oil...Room For Improvement

Alarms should go off when you read "Top Off" on the label

CLICK FOR MORE

Read the Labels!
Unless this is your car, you could be damaging your engine with obsolete oil made for cars built in the 1930s

CLICK FOR MORE


For Email Newsletters you can trust

 

 

Knowing What Motor Oils Not to Use

Engine Oil Labels 101

Are 4% of "Good" oils bad?

What is currently done to insure the quality of lubricants?

The games people play with tractor hydraulic fluid

 Do you have an article of interest or a whitepaper that you would like to share with the PQIA community? Please contact us
 
 
















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