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AMSOIL celebrates its 47 years in business. It's interesting how some things have not changed at all during that time. Over thirty years ago, oil companies and vehicle manufacturers have increased their drain recommendations significantly. But despite the improvement in motor oils made during the past 30 years, and despite the fact that the same oils are used in Europe with much longer drain intervals, oil companies here in the U.S. are still promoting 3,000-mile drain intervals.
According to a feature article in the March issue of Lube's n Greases magazine, that represents the "unneeded production of 300 million to 400 million gallons of engine oil" every year! Who pays for all that unneeded motor oil? It's the motorists who change oil more often than necessary. And who profits from producing all this unneeded motor oil? The oil companies who continue to recommend frequent oil chages!
The article was written by David McFall, past president of the American Petrolium Institute (API) and Automotive Editor for Lubes 'n Greases magazine. He minces no words in questioning the motives of oil companies, asking why their oils can be used for 10,000 miles in European vehicles while being recommended for only 3,000 miles here in the United Stated. Most of us already know the answer to that question. The oil companies don't want to see their market cut by at least half by extending drain intervals. They'll stick to their 3,000-mile drain intervals as long as the American consumers will keep buying into it, at an estimated annual cost of $1.5 billion, according to McFall.
Oil specifications and drain recommendations in Europe are controlled by the vehicle manufacturers, with the oil companies having less influence than here in the U.S. Because of higher costs, Europeans are more careful about wasting energy. They are also very environmentally aware. They would not put up with the cost, waste, and environmental effects of changing their oil every 3,000 miles. They are very aware of the improved performance synthetic motor oils provide. To illustrate how the performance of synthetic oils are appreciated, take note of what follows.
Owners of Mercedes-Benz automobiles in the U.S. were recently awarded a $32-million settlement because they were not informed they should use synthetic motor oil. Mercedes utilized a system designed to help owners lower maintenance costs and reduce the adverse environmental impact of used motor oil. The system extends drain intervals to when the oil actually needs to be changed, rather than at a set predetermined intervals. They start with 10,000-mile drains and push them up to 20,000 miles, using synthetic motor oils!
The problem occured because these U.S. owners were told to use conventional motor oils, which could not stand up to those extended intervals. According to the suit, this promoted more engine wear than if they had been using the originally specified synthetic oil. Now if that isn't a testimonial as to the superior performance of synthetic motor oils, I don't know what is. Thirty-two million dollars is a tidy sum to pay for increasing engine wear, but the company did not dispute the fact that the drain intervals determined by their system were too long for conventional oils.
McFall's article singled out AMSOIL as the only oil company actually recommending extended drain intervals. He notes that the other oil companies either don't make drain recommendations or stick with their 3,000 mile recommendation. Consumers must refer to their owner's manuals, which almost always more miles between oil changes than 3,000 miles for normal operation, or they can listen to their car dealers or oil change specialists, who push frequent oil changes to keep their cash registers ringing.
Mercedes-Benz should be commended for specifying synthetic lubricants for their superior performance and for extending drains to minimize the adverse effects of used motor oil in the environment. As time goes on, there will be an increasing number of companies who will do the same. But that won't happen if the oil industry can help it. They are actively working to keep the status quo, promoting many more oil changes than necessary, wasting precious resources, and creating the need to dispose of more pollutants in form of used motor oil.
AMSOIL coined the term "extended drain intervals" back in the early days of the company. We were the pioneer in extending drains, producing synthetic lubricants that performed well beyond what anyone thought possible. Today, like in this article by McFall, we are recognized as the leaders in producing extended drain lubricants. Our success proves the world is ready for our products. There is no doubt they are needed more today than ever.
|A.J. "Al" Amatuzio
President and CEO, AMSOIL, INC.
We have the right oil and filters for almost all Mercedes-Benz cars out there. With AMSOIL oils, your Mercedes would never have these issues. AMSOIL has never had an oil-related failure in almost 4 decades and backs their oil (and your engine) by an iron-clad written guarantee. If your engine were to have a failure as the result using AMSOIL oils, AMSOIL would cover the cost of the repairs.
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