Do I Have To Use the Manufacturer's Oil?

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited January 2015 in General
imageDo I Have To Use the Manufacturer's Oil?

Engines are placing higher demands on oil, which has prompted some automakers to mandate their own formulations. But are car owners required to use them?

Read the full story here


Comments

  • thecardoc3_2thecardoc3_2 Member Posts: 8
    There are several other issues that must also be considered as to why the manufacturers specific oil must be used with today's cars. One of which is emissions warranties are getting to be longer and longer. A PZEV can have portions of its emissions system such as the catalytic converters warranted for 150,000 miles. That's good news for the consumer who understands the details and takes proper care of their car. So what does that have to do with engine oil? Some of the additives that make the oil pass it's initial testing if not fully formulated can flash off and be picked up by the PCV system and end up passing through the exhaust. SAPS which is Sulfated Ash, Phosphorus, and Sulfur need to be controlled as they can degrade both O2 sensors and catalytic convertors when they make it into the exhaust stream. Lowering SAPS concentrations which means reducing useage of ZDP, and ZDDP for example in favor of Molybdenum, and Borate compounds can greatly enhance a motor oils ability to protect the engine, while reducing the vehicles lifetime contamination of important emissions components. ZDP however is much less expensive for the oil companies to use than those other alternatives.

    Overlooked in the article is that manufacture specific requirements are not new, Ford has had manufacturer specific requirements since 2004. To meet a GM or Ford approval, an oil has to be thinner than an API/ILSAC requirement at very low temperatures to ensure that it flows quickly to vital components. Meanwhile any oil that meets many of the European specifcations have to be much thicker at high temperatures than what API/ILSAC account for. To put this another way, it takes at least three different 5W30 oils to meet each of those groups of requirements, and in reality there are even more. This is where ACEA, and of course manufacturer specific requirements come into play. As far as the Magnuson Moss act goes, it requires the customer to use products that meet the specifications that the manufacturer requires in order to be protected under the warranty. However true value in vehicle ownership doesn't end when the vehicle arrives at the end of it's warranty. It is found in the years of quality useage that come after the payment book and warranty have both long disappeared. There are far too many articles that claim to have the consumers best interests at heart that fail to truly look at the big picture. The true cost of ownership falls dramatically with each passing year when a vehicle is properly maintained. Simply realizing that not having that $400-$600 a month payment for ten or more years could allow a consumer to put a lot of money into some type of a savings or other investment and that results in a huge lift in their personal financial situation. As an auto technician I coach my customers to adopt the following strategy. Once their car is paid off, they need to open a savings account and keep making that "car payment" to themselves. The only time they are to touch that money is if their present car requires a significant repair (which we do everything possible to avoid) or when the day comes that the need or desire to own a new car becomes unavoidable. Remember it's their money, they do whatever they want with it. We have customers who now keep their cars fifteen or more years, and get between 200K-300K miles on them and they have the cash in the bank to go buy a brand new model any day that they choose to. The best part is several will have a significant amount left over, and get the biggest kick out of the fact that their present car still serves their needs perfectly. So change your oil when it is called for, and be sure to use the O.E. specified product. It's not about getting into a situation about fighting who's at fault in a warranty situation, it's about reducing your costs for transporation which is something your local professional automotive technician practices everyday.
  • thecardoc3_2thecardoc3_2 Member Posts: 8
    Here is an example of advertising that is twisting the facts and only serving to confuse the issue instead of properly educate the consumer.

    http://www.amsoil.lube-direct.com/2011/04/dexos-1-amsoil-has-it/

    A couple of quick details expose the flaws. Chryslers spec mentioned MS6395N was the 2004 specification, and has been superceeded by 6395P, 6395Q and 6395R, with S ready to become the new standard. The dexos specification exceeds Chryslers specifications in a number of areas. Again as mentioned above to get GM approval, a 5W oil needs to be much thinner than an API 5W which Chrysler does accept. Any oil that meets Chryslers specification would actually be to thick to meet GM's.

    Another major problem with that article is that none of the comments made by technicians correctly placed in contradiction to the errors on that page were permitted to be posted by the moderator.

    One of the biggest attempts to mislead the readers is found where the comments about the FTC not permitting brands of oil to be required by the O.E. The writer purposely worded that as to suggest dexos is a brand being required by GM, in fact it's not a brand, dexos it is a specification hence the lowercase "d". Even a comment about that simple fact was "censored" by the moderator on that site. That's something that should cause consumers to question the sites motives. JHMO.
  • bobcat825bobcat825 Member Posts: 0
    I have been using American Made Synthetic Oil for 34 years,going 25,000 miles or one year between changes,with Oil Analysis !
    Have only had Superior results and longivity ,driving most all vehicles over 200,000 miles ,and a1966 Ford 850 Super Duty Bobtail Truck with a 534 cu. inch Engine that has 381,454 miles,
    and the heads have never been off. I have a 3-Stacker FRANTZ
    TOILET PAPER BY-PASS OIL FILTER,and change the 3 elements,
    and also the Full Flow Oil Filter at 15,000 miles,or according to Oil
    Analysis!
  • fordgmchryslerfordgmchrysler Member Posts: 1
    Very interesting reading what Thom Smith of Valvoline had to say about all this. I agree with him that if a manufacturer states you HAVE to use a certain brand of oil, especially if it is a car company brand of oil, you should see right through that. I do wish that somebody would tell us who it is that manufacturers each of the car maker's Oil. I've always been told that GM Goodwrench oil is Mobil Oil and that Ford Motorcraft was Texaco Havoline. It would be interesting to know for sure what brands the car manufacturers are using and if car companies routinely switch the brand of oil they offer. I was also surprised to read Smith said that Valvoline didn't think carrying the Dexos name on their bottles was worth it. Personally, I use AMALIE Motor Oil in everything I own. From transmission fluid to brake fluid to power steering fluid...nothing but AMALIE for me. Always have had great performance from Amalie.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,464
    FYI Valvoline changed their position on this and now have licensed products. http://www.centerforqa.com/gm/dexos1-brands
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