Round 1 BITOG Q & A

Pennzoil question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q&A about all things Pennzoil

Complete Protection & Debunking Myths

August 28, 2015

I feel cars that are stored inside a garage and are driven infrequently (including classic hot rods & antiques) rarely need an oil change and can go many years with oil left in the sump, especially with synthetic lubricants. The myth is “change your oil once a year, regardless of miles”. Your thoughts on this?

Yes, you should change your motor oil at least once a year even if the vehicle is in storage and rarely driven. If you drive the vehicle once and then allow the vehicle to sit for a year without an oil change, you are allowing the byproducts from combustion and acids to sit, agglomerate, and possibly break down engine materials. For more information on classic car storage, check out the Hagerty Insurance website.

Can you help us better understand how the selection of base stocks may impact an oil’s suitability for and impact upon direct injection engines? Often it has been noted that parameters such an NOACK and specific additive chemistries may impact valve deposits and other DI-related problems. Does a GTL lube, some of which have been shown to have very low NOACK values per the SOPUS PDSs offer superior benefit in DI engines, as compared to lubricants formulated with a bias towards use of PAO, POE or other basestocks? If so, why? Is it due to the attractive NOACK values, or are there other characteristics related to fuel dilution or other phenomena that play in?

Yes, direct injection engines often run hotter than port injection engines. Thus said, choosing base oil with excellent high temperature properties provides better protection and performance. Low volatility and good oxidation stability are two key high temperature properties found in high quality base oil. NOACK is an industry test that measures volatility. Low volatility means the oil is less likely to vaporize, or evaporate, at high heat. Good oxidation stability means the oil is less like to break down when exposed to oxygen and high heat, leading to fewer deposits. Formulating the motor oil with high quality detergents and dispersants also helps reduce deposits and keep byproducts from combustion from agglomerating to form sludge.

What does Complete Protection mean? Isn’t that what API licensing provides?

API (American Petroleum Institute) licensing does not mean the motor oil provides complete protection. For example, motor oil that has “API SA” printed on the back of the bottle is not suitable for use in engines manufactured after 1930. The latest industry motor oil specification is API SN/ILSAC GF-5 – however, this is only the minimum industry standard and there is a lot of room for differentiation. Also, some manufacturers make recommendations outside of the API system.

Pennzoil Synthetics provide complete engine protection without compromise. This means we are not compromising any area. Complete protection includes cleaner pistons, better fuel economy, horsepower protection, unsurpassed wear protection, and excellent performance in extreme temperatures.

Watch my Know Your Oil videos series to learn more: Go There

How does motor oil impact horsepower?

Horsepower is the measured power output of an engine. This is based on the mechanical design of an engine and using proper motor oil helps maintain horsepower. Engine deposits or using a viscosity grade that is too thick can decrease engine efficiency.

What temperatures are you referring to when referencing extreme temperature protection? Can an oil really protect at both ends of the extreme in one oil change?

Yes! Pennzoil Synthetics have excellent performance in extreme temperatures. Extreme temperature performance refers to both an extremely cold day, like -40°F, and extreme hot spots inside your engine – like the turbocharger shaft or piston rings, which can reach over 400°F. Average engine operating temperature is 212°F with the combustion temperatures up to 2,500°F.

Hybrid vehicles have a lot more start-stop conditions than a traditional engine. While many of the start events are likely with a good film of oil, ready pumpable lubricant, and warm engine, the nuances of cranking and the first fires at startup may have effect upon fuel dilution, cylinder wash-down, etc. What lubricants might be best suited for these kinds of operations, and why?

The best suited lubricant is the one that meets the manufacturer’s recommended viscosity grade and engine oil specification. Because hybrid vehicles endure frequent stop-and-go driving, I would recommend using full synthetic motor oil.

Would you consider Pennzoil Platinum to be a higher quality product than Mobil 1?

Pennzoil Platinum and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum outperform Mobil 1 products in several industry standard tests. For example, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum keeps pistons up to 25% cleaner than Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum keeps pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1, based on Sequence IIIG engine tests. See the proof here:

We need better access to Pennzoil Ultra Platinum

We’re always looking to get into more stores across North America so we suggest you ask your local auto body shop to request some Pennzoil Ultra Platinum from their regional Pennzoil distributor. In the meantime, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum can also be purchased online from Amazon here:

To start, great videos on YouTube! I am currently using a few final quarts of Royal Purple for my passenger vehicles (TL & Accord). In the last three weeks I have purchased 50 quarts (10 – 5 quart jugs) of Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 for the reasons you’ve outlined in your videos, such as Pennzoil Platinum’s ability to clean pistons, lubricate and just as important its ability to protect from engine wear.

Thank You!!

( Supplemental questions below ):

a. My questions are… How long is the shelf life for Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 if it is stored in my garage, knowing that it will take me 3-4 years to use this oil?

Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils can have a shelf-life of up to four years if stored properly.

b. What is your oil change interval recommendation (total miles per OCI)? Both cars are ran 50/50 highway and city driving and I live in California.

Always follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the correct oil change interval. I think both vehicles have an oil life indicator you can follow.

c. Last question…why Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology over Mobil 1, Castrol, Royal Purple or any other premium lubrication product?

In addition to being a first-of-its-kind motor oil made from natural gas, Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology delivers COMPLETE PROTECTION including:

1. Cleaner Pistons: Keeps pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standards (Based on ILSAC GF-5, Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30, and Ford, Chrysler and GM specifications. Does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum Euro products) Additionally, keep pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1 and up to 17% cleaner than Valvoline SynPower (Based on pistons from standard V6 engine in ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30. Does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum Euro products)

2. Better Fuel Economy: Drive on average an extra 550 miles per year vs. a dirty engine (Fuel economy measurements made using CAFE cycle under FTP75. Avg of 550 extra miles based on mixed city/highway miles and US avg of 13,476 miles driven per year with 4.1% better MPG vs dirty engine. Source, 2011. Follow OEM recommended oil drain intervals)

3. Horsepower Protection: Helps protect engines from loss of power

4. Unsurpassed Wear Protection: No other leading motor oil provides better protection form friction (Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30)

5. Excellent Performance in Extreme Temperatures: Provides faster low temperature oil flow and protects in extreme heat.

Could you address operators of GDI-Turbo vehicles regarding the effects of certain additives such as calcium and their impact on LSPI (low speed pre-ignition)? There’s much discussion and concern by operators of these vehicles that Pennzoil’s additive packages are predisposed to LSPI as compared to other brands.

Low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) is more a phenomenon of engine design – and as you mentioned, occurs more frequently in gasoline direct injection (GDI) turbocharged engines. It is really a phenomenon for prototype or experimental engines that are still in the Research & Development phase, and oils with high levels of calcium-based detergents can increase LSPI frequency. HOWEVER, by the time the engine is fully designed and released to the market, it must be compatible with the available motor oils in the marketplace. Thus said, there is no need for concern.

Can you share some aniline points?

The aniline point is the lowest temperature at which an oil product is completely miscible with aniline in a 1:1 volumetric ratio. Unfortunately, we cannot share data points for proprietary reasons.

It’s not clear to me or others whether or not Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle is a conventional or synthetic blend motor oil. Could you please confirm if it is conventional or synthetic blend?

a. Pennzoil High Mileage is a conventional motor oil that has been enhanced with a unique combination of special conditioning agents and additives to help stop leaks from seals and reduce the oil consumption that is typical of older, worn engines

b. However, Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage (our newest offering) is a full synthetic motor oil formulated with PurePlus Technology. PPHM is currently available in 5W-20 and 5W-30 viscosity grades and is designed to deliver less oil burn off and reduce leaks/oil consumption in older vehicles as compared to other high mileage motor oils.

I am interested in Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage oils. They do not seem to meet many certifications outside of SN at this time. Do you plan on certifying them for ACEA ratings (A1/A5)? Will this oil be assigned a GM Dexos 1 license

Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage is specifically formulated for engines over 75,000 miles. Because this motor oil is designed for high mileage vehicles that have often passed the manufacturer warranty period, it does not carry as many manufacturer specifications. (A few of these specifications require expensive licensing fees.) Rest assured, Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage still provides complete engine protection without compromise – in addition to helping to reduce leaks and oil consumption in older vehicles.

Most oil companies make high mileage 20W50 weights. Does Pennzoil ever plan on making a high mileage 20W50? Or even a synthetic 5/15/20W50?

The automotive industry has been recommending lower viscosity grade motor oils over the past few years, so you will start to see lower viscosity grades offered, as opposed to higher, even in high mileage motor oils. However, Pennzoil does offer Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle in SAE 10W-40 and Pennzoil GT Performance Racing in SAE 25W-50.

Gumout GDI Q&A June 2015

Gumout question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q & A about all things Gumout

1. Is there going to be a product that (not maybe or somewhat) takes care of the intake valve deposit issue that can be used without extensive engine disassembly?


Gumout is researching the solution to direct injection Intake Valve Deposits (IVD). Because fuel is not sprayed directly onto the valves as in a Port Fuel Injection (PFI) engine the delivery of a fuel system detergent to the deposits is more difficult. Our Gumout Multi-System Tune Up can be introduced to the fuel system via vacuum line and will clean valve deposits; however, we are conducting more robust third party scientific testing to determine a statistically proven level of cleaning.

2. Is there a product that takes care of the intake valve deposit problem that won’t void manufacturer warranties or dislodge particles that will damage the turbocharger? As Ford (for one) doesn’t seem to believe there’s any way to clean deposits without turbo damage absent removing the cylinder head, this seems a bit of a challenge. See above


3. Can the new GUMOUT GDI fuel system additive safely be used in non-DI engines?


All Gumout gasoline additives can be used in non-GDI engines, including those recommended for GDI.

4. Is there a Gumout product that will prevent intake valve deposits on GDI engines with regular use? See number 1


5. Are intake valve deposits are from oil?


Studies have shown that direct injection intake valve deposits contain ten times the mineral based components as port fuel injected engines. Analysis shows much of this material is from the oil. Additional work shows that the type of oil used in the crankcase closely correlates with the composition of the deposits, so yes oil is causing a large part of these deposits. The oil and other contaminants enter the intake manifold through the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) systems. From the intake manifold the oil mist moves past the valves into the combustion chamber. However, some of it sticks to the valves and to previous deposits building even more deposits. This happens on both PFI and GDI engines.

6. In regards to the delivery of fuel additives to the intake valves of a DI engine; what is Gumout’s opinion of a fine mist introduced via throttle body, at a steady rate while the motor is being idled? Better, worse, or no difference than induced via vacuum, i.e. brake booster?


This area is still under investigation, but early indications are the vacuum line is preferable when available; however, using the vacuum hose from the brake booster is not recommended. The best choice is locating a line that ties in directly behind the throttle body. Using the wrong vacuum source can lead to:
• Overheated catalytic converters
• Possible engine damage
• No cleaning of the intake manifold, and may clean only one intake runner and cylinder

7. What is the proposed mechanism for any cleaner additive to help maintain intake valve cleanliness?


Gumout additives maintain intake valve cleanliness with regular use by removing materials that act as precursors to deposits. This reduces deposit formation. Polyisobutylene Amine (PIBA) works well cleaning port fuel injectors and intake valves. However, Polyetheramine (PEA) is the optimal cleaning technology for the combustion chamber and the parts that a PIBA based product will clean. That’s why PIBA alone cannot clean the complete fuel system. Cleanliness is also maintained when Gumout is used to remove deposits before they can accumulate enough to cause drive-ability issues (the problems caused by the growth of deposits). Gumout products with PIBA or PEA can also remove deposits that have been allowed to develop, but we recommend using our fuel additives as part of your preventive maintenance program so you don’t develop fuel related problems in the first place.

8. If any cleaner survives the combustion process, how is it not an added hydrocarbon that affects the cat converter, and how is this not a violation of the emissions regulations and clean air act?


The cleaner found in our complete fuel system cleaners and multi system tune up is not a pure hydrocarbon. It contains nitrogen based polymer (PEA) that survives long enough to remove deposits and then burns cleanly without causing damage to catalytic converters. Some other materials used in our competitors’ products decompose before they can perform in an engine. Some may actually increase deposits.

The PEA and other materials in Gumout fuel additives are registered with the US EPA in compliance with federal regulations. While US EPA does not endorse or approve formula performance, they will not register formulas containing components that are not tested and previously approved or new materials that may harm catalytic converters.

9. Which Gumout products are specifically recommended for GDI? What characteristics of GDI do the recommended Gumout products help? Which Gumout product is best for GDI systems?


Gumout All-in-One, Regane Complete Fuel System Cleaners and Multi-System Tune-Up are all recommended to clean both the injectors in direct injection engines and the combustion chambers. Performance on intake valves is under investigation, but our multi-system tune up can be introduced to the fuel system via vacuum line. This method has been proven to provide clean valves and ports, but again we have testing in the works to provide a more comprehensive review of the efficacy of the product on GDI valves using this application method. Once those tests are complete we will publish those on our website and share with the BITOG community.

10. Can the Gumout All in One be used to store cars fuel where its in a garage 8 months a year?


All in One complete fuel system cleaner does not contain a fuel stabilizer in its formulation; for the best results, use Multi-System Tune-up continuously in a vehicle that doesn’t get driven regularly to help stabilize fuel. Multi-System Tune-Up will prevent gum and varnish formation during storage and provide additional cleaning. Use this product every 3,000-5,000 miles for regular cleaning and conditioning; but you can also use All-in-One Complete Fuel System cleaner every 3,000 miles for a more heavy duty cleaning due to a higher level of PEA in the formula. In addition All-in-One reduces friction for better fuel economy. This routine also works well for marine and any seasonal 2-or 4-cycle equipment. (It does not replace the oil added to 2-cycle fuel.)

11. Does Gumout have any plans for a relatively easy and not too expensive DIY one(or two) man process to clean or regularly maintain GDI intake valves. I’ve seen the aerosol spray can made by a competitor but that seems an unwieldy and uneven dispensing process to me. Another competitor has an straw-like attachment to the throttle body from the aerosol can that keeps the throttle body intake system intact/attached while the product is evenly dispensed over time. Not sure of that product’s effectiveness but a product/process like that would be preferable imo. I’d be interested in a readily available product similar to the latter.


Cleaning intake valves in gasoline direct injection engines is an active area of research and we are seeking to optimize our formulas and the cleaning process. See answer to question one for more details.

Chevron Q & A

Chevron question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q & A about all things Chevron

Does Chevron make the PAO base stocks for Royal Purple?


Chevron does not make PAOs but Chevron Phillips would. However, Chevron Phillips does not disclose who they sell their bases to, and thus, we wouldn’t know for sure either.

Do you have any plans of releasing your full synthetic 5W-40 in single quarts? (HAVOLINE)

a. Non-Euro 5W-40 is available in quarts, but only sold at participating installers, please check the site finder for local installers that carry Havoline.
b. Note: There are no retailers that are taking the Euro 5W-40 at this time; therefore, and although not product specific, Havoline ProDS Full Synthetic Euro SAE 5W-40 may be available for a motor oil service at select participating professional installers located on the site finder.

Havoline PRO DS Full Synthetic available in 5qt containers?

The 5 quart package of Havoline Conventional and Havoline High Mileage can be found on shelves of major national retailers – always best to check their websites first for your local store.  Havoline ProDS Full Synthetic in the 5 quart pack will start showing up at retail by the end of the third quarter.

Will it ever be sold at Walmart? Like the conventional. (Havoline)


Havoline Conventional and Havoline High Mileage Motor Oil is stocked at Wal-mart stores. Please check for participating sites.

Will we make a 5qt container of Synthetic ProDS available at Walmart?


We are in ongoing discussions with all major national retailers about stocking the Havoline product line. Also, input and demand pull from consumers definitely aids the retailers’ decision on which products and packages to stock.

Is Havoline available in 0W-20?


Havoline ProDS Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 is available for an oil change service at many professional installers across the U.S. Please go to the site finder to locate participating installers.

When do you plan on introducing your products into wider distribution? Many of us grow bored with wide availability of only of SOPUS, XOM, Ashland and BP’s Castrol brand. A little variety is always a good thing, and you could have the members here arguing about how your oil is better than (insert brand name here).


We are definitely in ongoing discussions with all major national retailers and professional installers across the U.S. about stocking the Havoline product line. Input and demand pull from consumers influences their decision making processes on which products and packages to stock.

Do you plan on bringing motorcycle oil meeting JASO MA/MA2 spec to the US? I noticed Havoline Super 4T is available in other markets.


We can tell you that we are in ongoing discussions with all major national retailers and professional installers across the U.S. about stocking the Havoline product line. Just so you know, input and demand pull from consumers influences their decision making processes on which products to stock.

Any plans to increase marketing and distribution in the Northeast? Advance Auto is the only place that Havoline can be purchased in my area. Chevron Supreme is nowhere to be found. Delo is sold readily.


Yes. We are in ongoing discussions with all major national retailers and professional installers across the U.S. about stocking the Havoline product line. Input and demand pull from Consumers influences their decision making processes on which products and packages to stock.

Wondering if you can explain why Chevron/Havoline oils are almost impossible to find in Eastern Canada – I’ve found 1 store in all of Ottawa, Ontario that sells them (Partssource), and even they have cut back their selection. I understand they are mainly’west coast’ oil; but I would expect you to chase market share all over the country.


We are in ongoing discussions with all major national retailers and professional installers across the U.S. about stocking the Havoline product line. Input and demand pull from Consumers influences their decision making processes on which products and packages to stock.

Will chevron ever package Havoline synthetic in 5qt jugs?


Yes, Havoline ProDS Full Synthetic will be packaged and sold in a 5 quart package. We are expanding distribution with major national retailers who authorize new products and pack sizes as part of optimizing their passenger car motor oil sets. Direct inquiries and demand pull from consumers to retailers and their stores can aid in their stocking decisions. From time to time it is best to check online to see what each individual store stocks in the way of brands and pack sizes, e.g. O’Reilly Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Walmart.

Gumout Q & A – April 2015

Gumout question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q & A about all things Gumout

1. Interested in GDI fuel system maintenance, from tank to high pressure pump to injectors and upper cylinder. Is there a product with DI in mind?


Our Complete Fuel System Cleaners (CFSCs), Regane, High Mileage Regane, All in One and Multi-system Tune-up all have Polyetheramine (PEA), which is the only known cleaning agent that can survive the harsh temperatures found in the combustion chamber. It can remove hard to remove carbon deposits that rob your engine of performance. So not only can it clean the piston tops, cylinder heads and cylinder walls, but it can also clean up deposits found on GDI injectors and keep them clean for up to 3,000 miles. The chemistry also cleans up deposits from fuel tank, pumps (including high pressure) and fuel lines.

2. I almost always use Gumout All in One but occasionally use the octane booster. Does the octane booster have PEA in it? The side of the bottle lists its dangers and lists Amines. I run both of your products in a 2012 Hyundai GDI with 0 ethanol fuel and pennzoil synthetics. Mileage is 118,112 and I still get 38mpg+


No, our Octane Booster doesn’t have PEA in it. In fact, it has only a small amount of injector detergent. Our Octane Booster’s main benefit is to boost octane rating and help stop knocking and pinging and restore lost performance

3. How does your product keep GDI (direct injection) intake systems clean when fuel doesn’t reach Intake Valves in a conventional PFI way?


Our Complete Fuel System Cleaners and Multi-System Tune-Up will clean direct injectors by using PEA simply by pouring the product into the gas tank. However, since the injector in a GDI system is no longer in the port, buildup can occur on intake valves and is a lot tougher to remove. To clean the valves and ports in a GDI system, we recommend using our Multi-System Tune-Up by introducing the product using the induction method. This requires the product to be slowly introduced to the intake system via a vacuum line. This provides a concentrated dose of product that will help remove valve and port deposits in GDI systems

4. How much PEA does your “All in ONE” product have? I understand you can’t give exact percentages. How about a small range then? “Like ALL IN ONE has between 50% and 60% PEA.”


Please understand that the percentages of PEA in our products are proprietary, but all of our Complete Fuel System Cleaners have the correct amount to clean up deposits in just one fill up. What differentiates them are the other conditioning additives in the formulations and the amount of gallons that can be treated.

5. Can Gumout provide more before and after photos/videos of their product in action? Words are great but pictures (especially videos) are even better.


Please visit and for relevant videos and pictures. However, keep in mind that Complete Fuel System Cleaners take time to remove deposits. They typically remove deposits by the time you have gone through a tank of gasoline. So, depending on your driving habits, this could be a week or even a month, so it’s virtually impossible for a video to show this cleaning action over this time frame. Before and after images and videos are the standard for showing the benefits of using the product. We continue to test our products and will provide more photos and results as we get them. You can visit and visit our Science pages for updates.

6. Can any product (including Gumout) “fix” old gasoline? At least one product claims it can. Or does “old” gas need to be tossed?


While we don’t know of any product that reliably restores degraded fuel, we do have chemistry that keeps fuel fresh in storage. We recommend about 1 ounce/gallon Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up to treat fuel for any seasonal or marine engine whenever it may need to be stored or when it may need the fuel system cleaned up. This works well in 2-cycle engines also but does not replace the oil mixed with the fuel.

7. Does Gumout all in One really cleans piston crown carbon deposits? How much percent for each treatment?


We have independent test results that consistently show All-in-One really does clean piston deposits. The percentage cleaned varies from vehicle to vehicle and even from piston to piston in the same engine. It depends on the engine, the fuel and the driving cycle, so we cannot give a percentage for a specific engine.

8. Are you aware of ChrisFix video on youtube about it?


You would need to be more specific about what “it” is you are referring to for us to comment.

9. How many octane points does your octane booster raise a tank of gasoline?


An octane point is a tenth of an octane number, so a ten-point increase raises the fuel octane about one octane number. When used as directed, Gumout Octane Booster typically raises fuel octane about ten points. The exact number depends on the octane response of the specific fuel used and the exact number of gallons treated. Also, using more product will increase octane but less than expected. If one bottle increases octane 10 points, two bottles will not increase 20 points

10. Do you have before and after images from a borescope?


Most of our data is quantified by weighing deposits or measuring their thickness. This is much more accurate. There are specific examples where boroscope pictures show improvement, but to the untrained eye, the pictures are not convincing and may be misleading.

11. Do your amines survive combustion and if so, are they effective in cleaning the EGR valve?


Our products that have PEA can survive the combustion chamber environment. It will clean the EGR valve if the formulations with PEA are introduced through the induction method that involves applying the product via the correct vacuum line. See the answer to question 21 for more details.

12. What is the mechanism by which additives keep a direct injection system clean? If they combust fully, how do they support cleaning of valves and other locations where DI engines are known to foul? If they survive combustion, how do they not cause excess HC emissions numbers and failure by the EPA?


Please review the previous answers for your first two questions. The PEA formula we use cleans injectors and intake valves as it flows past them before going to the combustion chamber where it survives long enough to clean those deposits. It is burned but burns cleanly unlike many old style oil based additives. These produce more char, leading to deposits of partially burned material. PEA is designed to burn cleanly without leaving ash or carbon behind. Emission reduction is the result of the cleaner engine performing better. During the cleaning process, emissions may not be immediately reduced. Emission testing should be run after the deposits are removed, not during deposit removal. The valve deposits in direct injection gasoline engines may not be removed by a fuel system cleaner added to fuel. To clean those deposits, we recommend the induction method where product is introduced through the vacuum intake. Severe deposits may require disassembly and mechanical cleaning.

13. Some of your additives containing PEA can be used in the oil as well as the gas. What purpose does PEA serve in the oil?


Assuming it cleans sludge and varnish in the crankcase, PEA is not specifically designed for use in the crankcase but still retains its detergent properties. There are other additives in the Gumout Multi-System formula that loosen sludge and varnish, particularly if used just before an oil change. Longer term anti-oxidants stabilize the oil reducing the oxidation that results in sludge build-up.

14. I have a vehicle known for oil consumption due to coking at the piston rings.Some people have had success using various cleaners or solvents to perform a “piston soak” on the vehicle. Is Gum Out “Expert” Multi System tune up appropriate for use in a piston soak? Will it provide any ring cleansing if used in the crankcase?


Gumout Expert Multi-System Tune-Up will provide a solvent soak, although the concentration recommended is at level that will not to provide this benefit. That is because the high concentration needed for a solvent soak will dilute the oil beyond the safe limits of engine operation. That is why we do not recommend this approach.

15. Will Gumout Multi System cleaner help with regards to cleaning engine varnish if added to motor oil?


Yes, and an additional effect is to prevent future varnish build up because the formula contains antioxidants that help prevent oil degradation.

16. CRC says % of PEA in their product, and considering they are your competitor, I feel like you also should specify the same info.


CRC has a very large portfolio of products. You will need to be more specific in order for us to answer your question.

17. I have used gumout carb spray and throttle body cleaner for as long as i can remember and always had good results. Although I had a number of cans that had spray issues over the years. I used to also use the gumout in the gas but i have switched to Techron not for any special reason.


If there isn’t any special reason, we’d love to have you return to Gumout. Hopefully the information provided on this forum and our website will provide you with enough information to make an educated decision on which product is right for you. The key thing is that you are doing the right thing by wanting to maintain your vehicle.

18. Is there a concern over using gumout products with PEA during the middle of oil change interval?


There is no concern. All our PEA products may be used at anytime during, before or after an oil change. They have been tested and show no ill effects to the motor oil.

19. Can gumout improve winter startup and do you have pictures and or videos to show the improvements using gumout with PEA?


Gumout Regane, All-in-One and Multi-System Tune-Up all clean the complete fuel system to make the vehicle easier to start and run more smoothly whatever the weather, but this is particularly important in the winter. The motor oil is also a major factor in Winter startup. Use the manufacturer-recommended oil viscosity for the winter and avoid heavier weight oil or oil thickening additives to let the engine easily turn over at start-up.

20. Will gumout with PEA clean egr,pcv, and other emissions sufficiently over time or over just one application bi monthly?


Gumout with PEA provides one tank clean-up, so benefits will start after just one tank. Bi-monthly application, or every three thousand miles, will reduce deposit buildup before problems develop and keep the engine running at peak efficiency. EGR and PCV are not directly fed by the fuel system. They vent the crankcase through the intake manifold and past the ports and valves. To clean these items, an induction procedure is done either as a fuel system service done by a professional or through the DIY method mentioned in the answer to the question below; however, Regane or All-in-One will clean ports and intake valves in a port fuel injected vehicle.

21. I use CRC intake valve cleaner for GDI, can your all in one or multi purpose bottle that resembles the stp and seafoam be used to directly to clean the throttle body and manifold if applied through spray mister and squirt bottle?


Yes, our Multi-System Tune-Up can clean valves and port in GDI engines as long as it is introduced to a vacuum line that leads to the intake system – never use the vacuum line that comes from the brake booster. It’s important that the product is introduced at slow rate to avoid vapor lock that can cause damage to the vehicle. When used correctly, our Multi-System Tune Up will provide maximum cleaning power to help remove the performance robbing build up in GDI systems – by pouring half in the tank and half via induction, it provides a powerful 1-2 punch.

22. Do Gumout products provide lubrication to the fuel system?


Our Regane High Mileage Fuel System Cleaner, All in One Complete Fuel System Cleaner and Multi-System Tune-Up all have friction modifiers to provide lubrication to the fuel system. All-in-One has a high level of friction modifier, while Regane High Mileage has a lower amount. Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up has different chemistry, so we cannot compare performance directly, but it also demonstrates friction reduction compared to untreated gasoline.

23. Do you products work well in small engines?


Yes, the ratio of product used would be different but will provide the same benefits. Please read the directions on the products to know what amount of product is the optimal amount for your small engine.

24. Gumout Professional Pro 2 Step cleaner is being sold at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The intake portion needs an applicator which is unavailable. Can the intake bottle be used in the gas tank. Will it benefit the vehicle to use it this way. Does the gas tank portion have any PEA in it?


This product was not intended to be sold to the general public due to the skill level and equipment needed to properly and safely use the product. Another concern is when product is sold to bargain outlets, not through our sales channels such as in this case, because the product age may be beyond the shelf life that we recommend. Typically we do not recommend using any of our products if they are older than 4 years old. Please call our hotline and provide the coding on the packaging, and they can determine the age of the product. If the product is still within the approved date range, the liquid intake cleaner can be used in the gas tank and it does have PEA in the formulation.

25. Why should I use gumout over other brands such as lucas, seafoam, royal purple etc?


There are many products and brands that claim to do a lot and some of them can back up their claims and others can’t. We at Gumout are being as transparent as we can about the ingredients we use and the certified tests conducted to prove that our products work. We recommend you search for similar information on these other products from the company’s websites and official documents. If they don’t provide this information, ask for it. If they aren’t using ASTM industry recognized testing methods, be concerned. If they won’t provide you with this certified test results, then our recommendation is to go with the brands that are willing to give you the information you need to make the right maintenance choice.

26. How well does Gumout work with ethanol in gas?


All Gumout products have been extensively tested with E10, the 10% ethanol fuel required for most areas of US. Performance is effective in this fuel and E10 was used for much of our testing program to support performance claims. If ethanol is a concern, particularly with marine engines, we specifically recommend treating the fuel with Gumout Multi-System Tune-Up to prevent damaging effects of oxidation and corrosion and to keep the fuel fresh during storage.

27. I am confused by how your fuel treatments are marketed. Regane Complete, Regane High Mileage, and All-In-One Complete seem to serve the same purpose. I never really know which one to choose since the only thing discerning them are their names and sizes. Why not simplify it to one formula? Do I get more detergents by buying the All-In-One/Regane High Mileage over Regane Complete? Is it possible to use too much or too often?


All 3 have PEA as the cleaning agent, High Mileage Regane has an additional friction modifier to lubricate upper cylinders, which is especially helpful for older vehicles that may have more wear and tear than newer vehicles. All in One has more PEA and friction modifier and treats more gallons than the other 2 products, so it provides the most benefits of the three items. We provide consumers with multiple product choices based on what their engines need, how many gallons they want to treat and the value they place for each product. Regarding how much to use, we recommend using one entire bottle before you fill up. Each of these three products will last up to 3,000 miles.

28. How is Gumout better than similar competitive products?


See answer to question 25 and visit our website and

29. Could you compare and contrast the product lineup differences between Canada and the United States for us? Up here, we customarily see Gumout REGANE Complete Fuel System Cleaner and the High Mileage version, and I’m under the assumption that these are two of your top products.


You are correct. These are two of our top products. Both are complete fuel system cleaners that clean port fuel injectors, intake valves, combustion chambers and direct injectors. In addition, High Mileage Regane also lubricates the piston ring/cylinder wall area to reduce internal engine friction, providing better fuel economy.

30. What gains can a consumer who purchases only Top Tier certified fuel expect by using a fuel system cleaning/lubing product at a regular interval, versus only using Top Tier certified fuel? As a follow up, if a consumer uses non Top Tier fuel, would you say that regularly using a fuel system additive would leave the fuel system in the same state as a consumer who only used Top Tier fuel without using additional additives?


Top Tier Fuel is recommended because it does a superior job of preventing engine deposits overall. However, it does not completely eliminate all deposits. Recent studies have shown that, even with top tier additive chemistry, fuel from some sources continues to build deposits, so an additional fuel system treatment will show benefits. If non-Top Tier fuel is run in the vehicle, then complete fuel system cleaners are usually needed to clean up the engine. The best results come from regular use to keep deposits at a low level before they reduce performance. This is not exactly the same as using Top Tier fuel consistently. Overall, the combination of Top Tier Fuel with the occasional Fuel System Treatment is ideal.

31. I would appreciate any before and after pictures you may have of cylinder combustion chambers/top ends. Especially showing change after a single treatment or multiple treatments with Gumout products. Before and after pics of various top ends using Top Tier Fuel(with descriptions of mileage and drivng type, severe stop and go vs extended highway miles) vs Top Tier+Gumout would be impressive and if convincing….would be the BEST marketing strategy you could possibly provide


In our laboratories, we use numerical data to quantify our results and determine how much improvement results from using Gumout additives. To us, the numbers are more important and clearly indicate the level of performance. However, pictures are excellent at communicating results, so we are investigating the addition of additional pictures.

32. PEA concentrations per bottle?


While we cannot discuss specific formula details, we can let you know that when you buy a bottle of Gumout Regane, Gumout Regane High Mileage or Gumout All-in-One Complete Fuel System Cleaners most of what is in the bottle is the additive package we use to deliver performance. One of the critical components is PEA, but other molecules are also used to make the formula even better than PEA alone. Each contains some added solvent to assure proper delivery and dilution, but Regane has more than 70% additive, Regane High Mileage has over 75% and All-in-One has about 80% by volume in the bottle.

33. Is there a difference between the “high mileage” and the “Complete” products both with Regane?


Our High mileage version of Regane has a dose of friction modifier added to lubricate upper cylinders. Both products have the same level of PEA cleaning agent.

34. The optimum method for application says it treats 50-70 litres of fuel. That is pablum for the general public. I really want to know if I add a full bottle to eg: 20L of fuel am I going to get the results I am looking for in cleaning my fuel pump, injectors etc vs 40L or more.


Add a full bottle to a full tank of fuel in any passenger car. 50-70 liters is a recommended treat rate and the minimal dilution level used to test performance claims on the label. A smaller tank will have a higher concentration, so cleaning will be faster but may occur over a shorter period of time depending on tank capacity and fuel economy. You will get the results you want. However, use when filling the tank, since the product is not a fuel and the engine needs the petrol (gasoline) to burn properly when running the vehicle.

35. I was looking at the Gumout website and it seems like there are a lot of products that say they will clean the combustion chamber but I’m wondering which one of those products does the best job of this particular task? That’s my biggest concern when using a fuel system treatment personally.


Our Complete Fuel System Cleaners and Multi-System Tune-Up all clean the combustion chamber effectively; however, the difference between the products are the addition of other additives that help condition the engine. All will have a high cleaning level. As an additive to pour into the tank, Gumout All-in-One treats the most fuel (35 gallons) and provides the most PEA, so it will have the highest treatment level if used in a smaller tank. Multi-System Tune-Up offers the most choices where to use and is an excellent fuel stabilizer, so it is the best choice for a broad range of applications.

36. I have been happy with the Gumout All-In-One cleaner I had been using, and felt even better about it after reading the Q&A regarding the PEA content. I have been looking for one simple, short, easy answer. Which product is the best/most effective to use as an in the tank fuel system cleaner? All-In One or Multi-System Tune Up?


Our Multi-System Tune-Up product has a few more benefits than All-in-One such as: it can stabilize fuel and oil, it can be used in diesel engines and can also be used in the crankcase. If you don’t need these additional benefits, then All-in-One is still the right choice, but if your vehicle can benefit from these additional benefits, then head down to your favorite store and pick up a bottle of Multi-System Tune-up.

37. Are the Expert Series the same as the above mentioned products, only marketed for Autozone? Or do they differ?


The Fuel system treatment is new to the Gumout family. It is the same formula as our fuel injector cleaner, but we’ve added an upper cylinder lubricant to provide wear and tear protection between the piston and cylinder wall. Expert Series Regane and All-in-One offer the same cleaning and conditioning benefits of their non-Expert Series counterparts. Also, within the Expert Series line, are two kits: Horsepower and Performance restoration. These are unique to the Expert Series line and offer specialized products to help get you the most out of every mile.

Gumout Q & A – June 2014

Gumout question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q & A about all things Gumout

It is my understanding that the products listed as “Fuel System Cleaners” contain the ingredient PEA, but do the lower tier cleaners such as the “Fuel Injector Cleaners” and “Fuel Additives” also contain some PEA?

Also did the formulation become less potent with the “All in one” cleaner sometime between 2010-2012. I saw an older stock bottle and it looked much darker and smelled more potent.

Gumout All in One Comparison

Is there any reason to choose the lower tier products such as “regane or regane high mileage” over the “all in one” other than cost?



Fuel additives without PEA often contain a different ingredient called PIBA that clean carburetors and indirect port injectors. At high concentrations it can clean intake valves, but it does not clean combustion chambers. You need PEA to clean all three areas, fuel injectors, intake valves and combustion chambers.

All-in-One color variations were due to variation in some raw materials used in certain batches. The color change did not affect product performance, but we adjusted our production specifications to use only materials of the same consistent color so that the product color does not change. However, there still may be some older product on the shelf that is darker than others – feel confident in using the product regardless of the color difference because the potency is the same.

Gumout All-in-One can be used in any gasoline engine at the recommended treat rate, or even somewhat more concentrated. Regane and Regane High Mileage are designed to treat smaller fuel tank sizes – 21 gallons vs. 35 for All in One. However, High Mileage Regane has a friction modifier to help restore lost MPG and reduce upper cylinder wear. All in one has a larger dose of this friction modifier as well as more PEA. All three products can be used at up to double the recommended treat rate for even stronger cleaning.

I am a Techron user, how does Gum Out All in One compare? Does it contain PEA in equal or higher concentration in comparison to Techron?



Chevron doesn’t share their formulation information but independent testing that we conducted does confirm presence of PEA in their fuel system cleaners (FSCs). The PEA levels in our formulations are proprietary information as well, but a good way to compare is to look at how many gallons each product treats. All in One 10 oz bottle treats 35 gallons which is supported by industry recognized ASTM testing; Techron FSC 20 oz treats 20 gallons, their 16 oz treats 16 gallons.

Chevron doesn’t publically state how they determine their treat rates, but one would assume they have conducted legitimate testing.
In addition All-in-One has a friction modifier to reduce internal engine friction for better fuel economy. This is an advantage that Techron does not have.

Direct injection is reality. We have heard that some cleaning agents can “survive” the combustion process and clean through PCV or other means. This doesn’t necessarily make sense given HC regulations and the effect it would have on catalytic converters, however given the parallel reality of deposits in DI engines, cleanliness and additives to support engine cleanliness are essential. Can you describe the chemistry, mechanism, and tests/validation used to develop DI-suitable additives? Which of your products is most suited for maintaining valve, intake and injector cleanliness in direct injection gasoline engines, and why? (JHZR2)


We recommend PEA to clean direct fuel injectors. In a GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine the injector tip is in the high-pressure high-temperature environment of the combustion chamber. Carburetor and indirect port injector detergents are generally not made to survive the combustion process adequately to clean in this environment. However, PEA will. Since the tip of the injector is in the same environment as the rest of the combustion chamber the deposit characteristics are similar. They tend to be harder and more carbonaceous than the softer (and easier to clean) varnish and deposits found in cooler areas of the engine.

These deposits reduce fuel economy, reduce power, cause rough idling, cause hesitation and/or surging and cause hard starts. They interfere with air and fuel flow within the engine. Combustion chamber deposits cause knock and ping or even carbon rap that may cause severe engine damage. Modern computers may compensate for these deposits to some extent, but the trade-off is a lack of power and performance.

PEA is a polymeric molecule that contains portions that are more polar (the heads) that attach to the deposit particles along with a fuel soluble hydrocarbon tail. The molecule can then pull the deposit particle from the surface into the bulk fuel droplet where it is further combusted and/or blown out with the exhaust.

PEA is good at cleaning intake valve deposits (IVD) in port fuel injected engines because the treated fuel is sprayed directly onto the intake valve. However, direct injectors spray directly into the combustion chamber missing the valves. In some engines there is enough misting onto the valves when they are open to provide some cleaning, but in many engines the spray never reaches the IVD. In general we recommend an induction cleaning to take care of these deposits. Induction cleaning can also remove deposits formed in the intake manifold area that result from the crankcase ventilation system or other fugitive emissions.

Product performance is supported through a series of industry recognized ASTM laboratory bench and engine tests such as D6201 Engine Test, D665B Rust Prevention Test, D525 fuel stability test, just to name a few.

Engines are run and disassembled and the deposits are actually measured before and after clean-up using the PEA detergent. The appearance is viewed and rated and deposits are weighed in some areas of the engine or thickness is measure in other areas. Engine test stands, chassis dynamometers and vehicle fleets are all used to evaluate performance.

There is a substantial amount of testing and validation behind all Gumout Products. For more information about our fuel additive line of products visit

The ‘All in One’ 10 oz bottle claims to be good for “up to 35 gallon gas tanks”.
If I used half a bottle in each of my cars (14 and 15 gallon gas tanks) would it be fully effective?

What is the PPM of PEA in this product?…in regular Regane?…. in High Mileage Regane?

Would it be more effective to add Regane before a long highway trip where the entire tank of gas is used or when the car will be used for several shorter trips where the PEA gets to ‘soak’ into the valves etc…?



Splitting a bottle of All-in-One as you suggest will be effective since you are close to the recommended treat rate. You can also use the entire bottle for increased efficacy.
The exact formula is a proprietary trade secret, please see our answer found above in the previous question. All three products do have PEA at a level that can clean the complete fuel system in one tank of gasoline.

Regane will show benefits whether it is added before a long trip (30+ miles at 60 MPH) or for shorter local trips. However, longer times are better because the vehicle runs at full operating temperature where the detergents are most effective.. On very short trips, the engine is not hot enough to support optimal combustion and allow the product to work its best. Overall we would favor a long highway trip at freeway speeds

Do any of your fuel additives contain anything to clean sulfur deposits from gas gauge sensors?



The damage to gas gauge sensors was the result of sulfur compounds causing silver corrosion. Silver corrosion was damaging fuel sending units and became a problem due to local refinery issues several years ago. The refinery issue was resolved and silver corrosion is not known to be an ongoing problem any longer. Unfortunately, once the corrosion has occurred, the only option is to replace the unit.

Gumout additives contain inhibitors that prevent corrosion on critical engine parts. However silver requires a separate inhibitor that is not part of our formulations since the refinery issue has been resolved and therefore not needed in our fuel additives.

I too would like to know which method of engine running would be more effective at cleaning everything. Steady highway rpm or city type driving.
It’s been debated here more than once and I can see benefits to both methods but I’m guessing the city type driving would be more beneficial because of the varying cylinder pressures and volume of airflow changing rather than just a steady rpm, unless those rpm are high enough that it creates velocity.

And please not some bull form answer that both will clean effectively blah blah blah.



See previous answer to this question above.

Could you just list the concentrations of PEA in your products?



See detailed answer in previous question. We don’t share this info as it is proprietary just as Chevron doesn’t share their formulation details.

Does gumout use anything that would be considered better than PEA in their products for cleaning?



We continually investigate detergent chemistry to ensure we are using the most up to date and effective additives. Currently PEA is the safest and most effective technology available for cleaning the entire fuel system.

Please list the amount PEA contained in the entire bottle rather than percentage. The concentration alone is not the correct way to measure what gets eventually added to my tank. When I dump a bottle of your FSC or a competitor’s all I want to know what is the final PEA amount in my tank and it does not matter if you had double the concentration but half the bottle size.

Tell us how much gm/ml/oz of PEA each of your bottle has.



See previous answer to this question. We don’t share this info as it is proprietary just as Chevron doesn’t share their formulation details.

Your top 3 fuel system cleaners, (Regane, Regane high mileage, and All on one).

Do these 3 products contain the same percentage of PEA?

Why isn’t the All in one product available in Canada?



All three of these products contain the proper amount of PEA to clean a full tank of fuel as listed on the package label. The larger bottle of All-in-One does contain more PEA than Regane of High Mileage Regane; see previous answer for more details or visit for further information.

Retailers in Canada may have chosen not to stock All-in-One. It is available through or other internet retailers.

Pennzoil Q & A

Pennzoil question and answers.

Find below a comprehensive Q&A about all things Pennzoil

Product Specific / Technical

1. What are the differences between Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology is a very high performing full synthetic motor oil. However, Pennzoil wanted to test the boundaries of technology even further so we introduced Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology, a product providing the best cleanliness and protection in the Pennzoil line-up of motor oils.

2. What differences in performance characteristics are there between Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology?

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus Technology is formulated to contain additional cleansing technology and additional friction modifiers to maintain lower friction between moving parts.

3. How does your 0W-30 or 40 compare in cold weather starts and cold weather protection?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology provide excellent performance in low temperatures thanks to the superior low temperature pumpability of PurePlus™ base oils. Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology SAE 0W-30 and 0W-40 will still pump in temperatures as low as -40°F!

4. Is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology considered to be a direct replacement for Pennzoil Ultra™ Full Synthetic motor oil?

Yes, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology will continue to phase out Pennzoil Ultra™ Full Synthetic motor oil over time.

5. As a user of Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40, where does that product fit among the new Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus™ Technology offerings?

Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 is an ACEA A3/B4 type oil and is suitable for vehicles where the motor oil type is required as an SAE 5W-40 grade. The new, comparable product is named Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 5W-40.

6. Is Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 being discontinued? Will there be a product called Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-40 Euro with PurePlus™ Technology?

Yes, Pennzoil Ultra Euro 5W-40 is discontinued. The new product is named Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 5W-40.

7. Where can we locate updated Technical Data Sheets for the Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus™ Technology line of motor oils?

The Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus™ Technology Technical Data Sheets can be found on and

8. How is the new “with PurePlus™ Technology” formula different from the older Platinum that is currently on sale?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are first-of-their kind synthetic motor oils blended with a pure, clear base oil made from natural gas. PurePlus™ base oil has fewer of the impurities found in crude oil, the start for many other traditional and synthetic motor oils. The difference is in the base oil, which makes up 75%-90% of a typical motor oil formulation. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils use 100% PurePlus™ base oil.

9. How do Pennzoil Platinum and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology match up against industry standards?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology keeps pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standards (Based on ILSAC GF-5, Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30; does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum Euro products), meanwhile Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology keeps pistons up to 65% cleaner than the toughest industry standards. (Based on ILSAC GF-5, Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30; does not apply to Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0W-40.)

10. How do Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology match up against industry competition?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology keep pistons cleaner than any other leading synthetic motor oil. (Based on pistons from standard V6 engine in ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30.) In fact, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ keeps pistons up to 25% cleaner than Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum® keeps pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1.

11. How will using Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology benefit newer engine designs with direct injection?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology provide engines Complete Protection without compromise. Complete Protection is defined as coverage on five key areas consumers deemed as most critical for motor oil performance: 1) engine cleanliness, 2) fuel economy, 3) conservation of horsepower, 4) wear protection, and 5) performance in extreme temperatures. These benefits make Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology excellent choices for advanced engines, including direct injection engines.

12. Is the additive package in your respective products diminished or bolstered with the re-formulation?

The benefits specific to piston cleanliness, fuel economy and wear protection are derived from the synergistic combination of Pennzoil high Performance Additive Chemistry and PurePlus™ base oil. This means that PurePlus™ Technology in effect helps additive technology work better providing consumers a harder working motor oil.

13. Does the additive package of the new motor oils deplete over time?

All additive packages deplete with use. As the additives act to perform their function they will be consumed, for example in neutralizing acids. This depletion is a good reason why checking the oil level and topping up are great practices. In recent years, there has been a tremendous amount of work to develop additive technology that lasts longer throughout the oil drain, and Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology have been designed to stay fresh for longer during the oil drain when compared to conventional motor oils.

14. Do additive package contents settle in the carrier GTL (Gas-To-Liquid) oil over time, requiring the bottle to be shaken to reblend the contents? By extension, do you recommend giving a bottle a shake to reblend the contents?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology can have a shelf-life of up to four years if stored properly and it is not necessary to shake the motor oil bottle before dispensing. Our formulations are carefully balanced to ensure that additives stay suspended within the motor oil. You can contact the Pennzoil helpline if you wish to identify the date of when your purchase was bottled.

15. Do these new oils already exceed the GF-6 standards coming?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology meet and exceed key industry standards and OEM specs, including API SN AND ILSAC GF-5 for passenger car motor oils and ACEA European oil sequences for service-fill oils. PurePlus™ base oils have been designed with the future in mind, and they deliver a strong platform to meet the future oil requirements for upcoming GF-6 standards.

16. Is Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology for normal 10k miles OCI and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus™ Technology for extended OCI up to 15k miles?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology are extremely robust formulations, but lubricant marketers do not set oil drain intervals. Drain interval recommendations are made by engine manufacturers.

17. Do both Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology use the regular form of molybdenum or do they use Infinium’s tri-nuclear moly? Does this depend on weight of oil?

The specific high-performance additive formulation used in the new Pennzoil Platinum® line of products is proprietary and that information cannot be shared.

18. Do any of these oils use the tri-nuc moly?

The specific high-performance additive formulation used in the new Pennzoil Platinum® line of products is proprietary and that information cannot be shared.

19. What is the VI (viscosity index) of the new Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology line of motor oils?

The VI ranges from 150 to 170 for 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30. For wide span viscosity grades e.g. 0W-40, 5W-50, the VI is close to 190.

20. What is the VI and viscosity (at 40 and 100 degrees C) for Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 0W-20?

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 0W-20 has KV40 46.4cst, KV100 8.8cst and VI 172.

21. Does Pennzoil believe there would be an advantage to using an oil with an EVEN higher VI and hence lower cold viscosity (compared to what Pennzoil Ultra™/Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™/Pennzoil Platinum® have) in 0W-20 weight?

New grades are being suggested for some emerging applications. Within the industry SAE grades such as 0W-16 are regularly discussed. These are highly specific grades necessary for highly specific applications. PurePlus™ base oil is a great platform from which we can fully formulate ultra-low viscosity oils like a 0W-16 and meet industry and manufacturer requirements.

22. Have you ever investigated the effects of MoS2 (molybdenum disulphide) added to your new oils?

No Pennzoil does not add MoS2 (a solid) to our motor oils.

23. Do Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology provide low-SAPS?

Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology have low phosphorus and sulphur levels within the levels specified for API SN. They also meet the low sulphated ash levels required for the various OEM specifications the products meet. In the Pennzoil® Euro portfolio we do have products that meet particular low SAPS levels required by some European OEM specifications, please check for more details about these products.

24. What are the purity levels, stability and overall viscosity performance of PurePlus™ base oils? Do they perform better than / equal to other Group III/III+ base oils available from other suppliers?

PurePlus™ base oils exceed the minimum standards for API Group III base oils. (There is no API Group III+ category.) PurePlus Base Oils enable formulations with lower volatility, better low temperature performance, better oxidation stability, and better piston cleanliness compared to traditional API Group III base oils refined from crude oil.

25. What is the shelf life (in years) of the new Pennzoil® motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology can have a shelf-life of up to four years if stored properly.

Viscosity Grades

1. What is the complete list of grades offered in the Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology line of motor oils?

a. Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology will be available in 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, 5W-50, and 10W-30.
b. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology will be available in 0W-20, 0W-40, 5W-20, 5W-30, and 10W-30.
c. Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic motor oil? with PurePlus™ Technology will be available in 0W-40, 5W-30, and 5W-40.
d. Pennzoil Platinum® Racing with PurePlus™ Technology will be available in 10W-60.

2. Will you offer 0W-30, 15W-50 and 20W-50?

Pennzoil is not offering 0W-30, 15W-50 or 20W-50 at this time.

3. Does the 5W-40 also continue as an Ultra Platinum™ offering?

Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology is available in 5W-40.

4. Are both the 0W-40 and 5W-40 available in several retail outlets instead of only one or two?

Both the 0W-40 and 5W-40 will be available at multiple retailers.

5. Can you comment on how your approach in formulating your new 5W-30 products compares to your competitor’s 5W-30 offerings, with respect to extreme low temperature performance?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology provide excellent performance in low temperatures thanks to the excellent low temperature pumpability of PurePlus Base Oils.

6. Is there any availability of xW-50 oils in either line for high performance applications?

Yes, Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology will be available in a 5W-50 viscosity grade.

7. Are Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology available in high-performance application grades?

Pennzoil Platinum® Racing Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology is available as an SAE 10W-60 and is suitable for many high-performance applications. Also, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 0W-40 is recommended by SRT for their engines and Pennzoil Platinum Euro Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus Technology 5W-40 is recommended by Ferrari and Maserati for their engines. Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 5W-50 is also suitable for many high performance applications.

8. Is there any plan to market Pennzoil Platinum® or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology as a high mileage oil drain interval oil?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are extremely robust formulations, but lubricant marketers do not set oil drain interval recommendations. Drain interval recommendations are made by engine manufacturers. A potential advantage of using a high quality synthetic is to take better care of your engine and reduce deposit formation, which over time may reduce power, performance, and fuel economy, rather than extending the drain interval.

9. Are there any products suitable for extended drain in excess of manufacturer recommendation once outside of warranty e.g. 15,000 mile performance guaranteed like one of your competitors?

Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are extremely robust formulations, but lubricant marketers do not set oil drain interval recommendations – these recommendations are made by engine manufacturers. So, if your engine manufacturer recommends 15,000 mile ODI, then we stand behind the 15,000 mile ODI. A potential advantage of using a high quality synthetic is to take better care of your engine and reduce deposit formation, which over time may reduce power, performance, and fuel economy –rather than extending the drain interval.

Licenses / Approvals

1. Which of these new products will have a Dexos license?

Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology carry dexos1 approval for SAE 0W-20, 5W-20, and 5W-30.

2. Which OEM certifications does the Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology line of motor oils carry?

Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology meet and exceed industry standards in addition to many OEM specifications, including BMW, Mercedes, Fiat, Porsche, Renault, VW, Ferrari, Maserati, GM, Nissan, Ford and Chrysler Brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram).

3. Do Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum ® Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology meet ACEA European engine oil requirements.

Yes they do: Pennzoil Platinum® 5W-30 Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology meets ACEA A1/B1 and A5/B5 requirements and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology meets A1/B1 and A5/B5 requirements, check the TDS for details of the claims for each SAE grade.

4. Does Pennzoil Platinum® or Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ with PurePlus™ Technology carry VW certification 507 for Common Rail TDI engines?

Pennzoil Platinum® Euro LX SAE 0W-30 is approved to meet the latest VW 507.00 specifications. Pennzoil Platinum® Euro LX SAE 0W-30 is due to launch in North America in the beginning of 2015.

GTL / Testing

1. When did Pennzoil begin using GTL base oil in Pennzoil Platinum®?

We began switching production facilities to use PurePlus™ base oil in our Pennzoil Platinum® line of motor oils—bulk, packaged and Eco-box—in 2013. Beginning February 1, 2014, Pennzoil Platinum® packaging indicated the use of this technology was 100%, and all production locations have switched.

2. When did Pennzoil 5W-40 Ultra Euro begin being manufactured with PurePlus™ Technology?

We began switching production facilities to use PurePlus™ Technology in our Pennzoil Platinum® motor oils—bulk, packaged and Eco-box—in 2013. Beginning February 1, 2014, Pennzoil Platinum packaging indicated the use of this technology was 100%, and all production locations have switched.

3. How is PurePlus™ Technology classified? Is PurePlus base oil considered to be Group III+, or Group IV, or some other group altogether?

PurePlus™ base oil is classified as an API Group III product. It is important to note there is no such category as an API Group III+ base oil, interested readers can download and check out a copy of API 1509 for the current official base oil definitions. PurePlus™ base oil is classified as API Group III base oil based on its molecular structure, but it exceeds the minimum requirements for API Group III base oil.

4. What characteristics of motor oils are important when considering them for use in modern direct injection turbocharged gasoline engines, and how do the Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils made with GTL base oils meet them?

To achieve fuel economy requirements and improve vehicle performance vehicle manufacturers have moved toward smaller turbocharged engines with direct injection. These smaller engines are worked harder to achieve a higher rated output, increasing both the pressure and the temperature in the combustion chambers. These engines provide a demanding environment for the motor oil. Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology keep critical engine parts clean and protected, and they have high resistance to oil degradation and low volatility which helps them to maintain the protection over the oil drain interval also resulting in less need for oil top-up.

5. How does the GTL base oil compare with PAO base oil in the various measures of performance?

While PurePlus™ base oil and PAO base oil differ in regard to viscosity, volatility and chemical composition; PurePlus base oil and PAO base oil are similar in their ability to enable top-of-the-line engine oils to perform at a very high level. The key difference between Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology and competitive PAO formulations rests with the additive chemistry that is paired with the PurePlus™ base oil. The synergy of PurePlus™ base oil and our best additive chemistry, in the Pennzoil line up of products, results in a fully synthetic motor.

6. Are there different grades of GTL base stocks?

Yes there are different grades of GTL base stocks. GTL base stocks come in 3 grades, denoted 3, 4 and 8. The 3, 4 and 8 base oil grades are produced at the Pearl plant in Qatar.

7. What type(s) of testing have you done with regard specifically to your products’ interaction with and ability to combat intake valve deposit formations in modern direct injection technology series of engines?

Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology have undergone many stringent lab tests, industry tests, and OEM tests in addition to millions of miles of field trials. The Complete Protection benefits of the line of Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology products make them an excellent choice for advanced engines, especially direct injection engines, because the motor oils help prevent deposits and perform extremely well at high temperatures. No other leading motor oil helps keep engines cleaner than Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology. (Based on pistons from standard V6 engine in ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30. Does not apply to Pennzoil Platinum® Euro and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ 0W-40. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ keeps pistons up to 25% cleaner than Mobil 1; and up to 35% cleaner than Valvoline® SynPower®. Pennzoil Platinum® keeps pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1; and up to 17% cleaner than Valvoline® SynPower®)

8. It is widely known that the use of GTL base oil can result in lubricant formulations with exceptionally low NOACK volatility. What are the benefits of low NOACK volatility with respect to motor oil??

Lower volatility means less oil consumption inside your engine. Low volatility is also a key factor in enabling an oil to stay fresher for longer throughout the oil drain. Oil loss through volatilization of light ends can cause contaminants, for example from blow-by gases, to concentrate in the oil. These contaminants can accelerate oil ageing and additive depletion. Low volatility helps to maintain viscosity control and is also helpful from protecting the oil from degradation caused by the very high temperatures that can be encountered in turbocharger bearings. Such degradation can cause the build-up of significant deposits in turbochargers.

9. If Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology both use GTL, why does Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ have such lower NOACK values?

Both Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology far exceed the industry requirements for NOACK. In order to address your NOACK values question, we would need more information from your testing. The use of PurePlus™ base oil enables Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus Technology with NOACK volatilties of 10% or lower.

10. Will Pennzoil® conventional motor oils be getting GTL base stocks as well?

At the moment PurePlus™ base oil will primarily be used in our Pennzoil Platinum® line of products. However, in the future other engine oils in our portfolio may contain a percentage of PurePlus™ base oil, if required for a specific formulation. Products in the remainder of the Pennzoil portfolio are continuing to use conventional base oils as their primary base oil.


1. Is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology available for purchase in Canada?

Yes, Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology are available in Canada.

2. Because not all locations are equal when it comes to Walmart, will you have any way of ensuring that all Walmart locations will stock the Pennzoil Platinum® line of motor oils?

We have made all grades of Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology available to all the retailers including Walmart. Please check with your local stores for availability.

Other Shell Products

1. Have GTL basestocks been blended into SOPUS products across the line?

PurePlus™ base oil is primarily used in our Pennzoil Platinum® line of products. However, in the future other engine oils in our portfolio may contain a percentage of PurePlus™ base oil, if required for a specific formulation. Products in the remainder of the Pennzoil portfolio will broadly continue to use conventional base oils as their primary base oil.

2. Is PurePlus™ base oil also used in Pennzoil Gold™ Synthetic Blend motor oil and Pennzoil® Conventional motor oil? If so, at what percentages (regarding ratio of conventional to synthetic)?

Pennzoil Platinum®, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™, Pennzoil Platinum® Racing and Pennzoil Platinum® Euro Full Synthetic are the only motor oils blended exclusively with PurePlus™ Base Oil at this time. Other products in our PCMO and HDEO portfolios are produced using some PurePlus™ base oil. In the future, we may elect to blend other premium products exclusively with these base oils, and would announce such changes at the appropriate time.

3. Will the PurePlus versions keep my pistons cleaner compared to Pennzoil Yellow Bottle?

Yes. No other leading motor oil keeps pistons cleaner than Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology. (Based on pistons from standard V6 engine in ASTM Sequence IIIG piston deposit test using SAE 5W-30.)

4. Is Pennzoil considering releasing a lineup of fully synthetic high mileage oils?

Pennzoil will continue to expand the Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology line of premium products, and we do believe there are unique benefits that PurePlus™ base oil would provide to high mileage motor oil.

5. Should users with higher mileage (or just older) vehicles have a shorter OCI the first time using Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology, due to its better cleaning capabilities (considering possible release of built up sludge that may not have been cleansed with previous oils)?

Typically, this is not necessary. However, this response is based on how clean the engine is. If the engine is dirty, we do recommend shortening the OCI to drain out the build up that was in the engine.

6. Does Pennzoil have any plans to produce a product for flat tappet high valve spring load application? i.e., Muscle Cars / Hot Rods…

There are not currently any plans to make a Pennzoil product for this application.

7. Have you considered making a high VI oil? If so or not do you think this is an important parameter to design an oil and why?

This is difficult to answer without context. By conventional standards Pennzoil Platinum® and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oils with PurePlus™ Technology have a high VI (viscosity index) already.

8. How will this affect the future of your dino oils?

Pennzoil is only using PurePlus™ base oil in our Pennzoil Platinum® line of premium motor oils. Conventional base oils will remain in other existing formulations that leverage this base.

9. Do Pennzoil products cause engine sludge?

a. No, in fact Pennzoil® motor oils are unsurpassed in their ability to prevent sludge and are even able to help clean up sludge that may have been left behind by lesser oils.
b. Every time your engine is running, by-products from combustion contaminate your engine oil. If the contaminants build up in the oil, they can settle and create sludge and deposits in the engine. Using low quality motor oil, neglecting to change your oil, and other maintenance issues can also lead to sludge forming in your engine.

10. Is there paraffin wax in Pennzoil products?

No, there is not paraffin wax in any Pennzoil products. However, every conventional oil (and most synthetics) on the market today, including Pennzoil, use “paraffinic” base stocks. This is not the same as adding paraffin wax to the oil. Paraffin wax is actually what candles are made of and this is removed in the refining process and sold to the candle makers.

Marketing / Pricing

1. How will this affect the pricing structure of all of your products?

PurePlus™ Base Oil is a Group III product and our finished lubricant products using PurePlus base oil will be competitively priced.

2. How does the PurePlus Technology impact production costs?

We cannot comment on specifics related to production, but it is comparable to traditional methods.

3. Is it your goal to provide a superior product at a competitive price?

Our goal is to offer a high quality synthetic motor oil at a competitive price. Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology uses high quality PurePlu™s Base Oil and high performance additives, offering complete protection for your engine, without compromise.

4. In regards to your marketing strategy, I respect and appreciate your desire to give your consumers many options – however, I fear that the two-tiered approach with Platinum and Ultra Platinum will force mass-market retailers, due to limited shelf space, to choose only Platinum – making your top-tier Ultra Platinum more difficult and expensive to obtain. As a discriminating consumer who wants the ‘best’ for his vehicles, I would like to know; what are you doing to encourage retailers to offer Ultra Platinum?

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil provides the best cleansing and performance in the Pennzoil family of motor oils and allows us to push the boundaries of our technology. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is distributed to a variety of retailers and installers across the country and if you are having difficulty finding the motor oil in your area, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-BEST-OIL or search a variety of online retailers.

5. Is Shell marketing the PurePlus™ base oil to independent blenders? (is it possible we will see this base show up in products blended by other manufacturers)

Shell has exclusive marketing rights to GTL base oil produced at the Pearl facility (PurePlus™ base oil), and we are primarily focused on using GTL base oils within our finished lubricants business. There are no plans to offer Shell GTL base oils for spot trading.

6. Why do your products typically cost 30% more at auto parts stores than Walmart?

We do not set the final pricing of our products in the marketplace, that is decided by the retailers and installers.

7. Are the SOPUS Products sold at Walmart exactly the same as the ones sold at AutoZone, O’Reilly, Advance Auto etc..?

Yes, all Pennzoil® products, either packaged or bulk, are formulated exactly the same, and are made in the same plants with the same performance benefits regardless of where they are sold.

8. Is the bulk stuff the same high quality stuff available in retail stores as quick oil change shops?

Yes, all packaged or bulk Pennzoil® products are formulated exactly the same, and are made in the same plants with the same performance benefits regardless of where they are sold. If you are interested in more information, the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have new guidelines that require oil change locations to provide information consumers need to make informed decisions about motor oil. The new guidelines and API’s recently published standard provide consumers with additional information about a bulk motor oil’s brand, viscosity, and performance level.

9. Are there any promotions/specials/coupons offered for the Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology line of motor oils?

Yes, we often provide our customers with an opportunity to save on Pennzoil® motor oil. Check out to see the latest list of Pennzoil promotions for the latest motor oil coupons, oil change coupons, plus other great motor oil deals and offers.

10. Are 5W-50, 15W-50 and 20W-50 available in the competitively priced Walmart 5 quart jugs?

At this time, we only offer Pennzoil conventional 20W-50 in 5 quart jugs. If you have additional inquiries, please contact 1-800-BEST-OIL to check on specific package/viscosity grade availability.

11. Is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum™ Full Synthetic motor oil with PurePlus™ Technology 0W-20 available in 5 qt. jugs?

We are not currently producing this product in this viscosity grade in 5 qt. jugs.

Friction Reducers and AW Additives

Oil Soluble Friction Reducers (FM’s) and Anti-Wear Additives (AW’s)
(with an emphasis on Friction Modifiers)
by MoleKule*

Oil soluble friction modifiers – once called friction reducers – have been used many years by the lubricant industry. Many products made use of friction reducers:
– Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF’s or those designed for smooth clutch engagement)
– Limited Slip Gear Oils for limited slip differentials and transaxles
– Multipurpose tractor fluids for wet brakes
– engine oils

There are also many other, lesser-known products, also containing friction modifiers in the form of animal fats, vegetable oils, sulpherized olefin coplymers, and esters.

Such products made use of friction modifiers as a way to meet performance requirements calling for smooth transitions from static to dynamic conditions and vice versa, as well as for reduced squawk, chatter, noise, frictional heat and start-up torque.

In the seventies, some gear oil additives were found to reduce frictional heat and gear operating temperatures under extreme load conditions while eliminating chatter in limited slip differentials. It was thought these same additives might be used in engine oils to accomplish the same function.

The ability to reduce friction and sometimes wear, over and above that provided by the base lubricant’s viscosity, has been called “oiliness” or “lubricity.” However, both of the latter terms are now considered obsolete. Early experimenters found that the ability of animal or vegetable fats and acids strengthened the tenacity of the oil films when incorporated in lubricating oils. These experimenters later found that the esters of vegetable or animal esters could be synthesized and produced from alcohols and acids of basic chemical compounds; what we call today as “Group V” lubricants. Their effectiveness was often rated in terms of “film strength,” an expression that still remains in use.

Much confusion has abounded in the relationship between Anti-Wear (AW) or Extreme Pressure properties, and Friction Modifiers (FM). Both friction modifiers and Anti-Wear compounds both operate in the Boundary lubrication regime. AW additives are among the type of compounds that provide good boundary lubrication. Such materials as ZDDP, sulfurized fats and esters, organometallic compounds (such as Molybdenum dithiophosphates, Molybdenum dithiocarbamates, Antimony dithiocarbamates) have shown their ability to build and maintain strong boundary lubrication films under severe load conditions and heat. However, with the exception of second-generation gear oils, the older first-generation AW additives had little FM capabilities.

The critical difference between AW/EP additive films and FM films is in their mechanical properties. AW/EP films are semiplastic deposits which are hard to shear off. Thus, under shearing conditions, their coefficient of friction is moderately to high. The exceptions are the organometallic compounds listed above. Friction modification films consist of orderly, close-packed arrays of multimolecular “whiskers,” loosely adhering to each other. The outer layers are sheared-off easily, allowing for low coefficient of friction. The phenomena can be described as a deck of plastic coated playing cards lying on the table and sliding off the top card easily.

Conversely, AW/EP films work by protecting the mating metal surfaces from asperities physically gouging the opposite surface. When a hydrodynamic film of oil is ruptured, this layer of AW/EP material protects the mating surfaces from catastrophic failure.

For some sense of scale, here are some further analogies:
1. The Coefficient of Friction (CF) of unlubricated surfaces is 0.5 and higher. In physical simulation, the process resembles the resistance of dragging an irregular rock over irregular rocky ground.
2. The CF for of friction of W/EP films is about 0.1 to 0.2. In simulation, it would resemble dragging a more or less flat stone over a flat rock.
3. The CF for a friction-modified film is about 0.01 to 0.02, compared to ice skating.
4. The CF of fully fluid films in hydrodynamic lubrication is about 0.001 to 0.006 or less. It can be compared to hydroplaning.

The preferred film is of course the hydrodynamic film. This is to followed by the friction-modified mode of operation, followed by an AW/EP regime. When high speeds or low loads are present, it is easy to maintain the hydrodynamic regime. When the speed falls, however, or the load rises above a critical point, the hydrodynamic regime breaks down and then it would be very desirable to be able to glide smoothly into a friction modification mode of operation. If no friction modification has been provided, the system defaults to a AW/EP regime. So friction modification and AW/EP is a logical method to widen the range of effectiveness of the lubricating film. Friction Modification depends much on the mechanism of contact (geometry) and molecular construction of the FM.

FM’s may be produced from a number of chemicals:
– long-chain carboxylic acids and their derivatives including salts,
– long-chain phosphoric or phosphonic acids and their derivatives
– long-chain amides, imides, and derivative
– specially prepared esters and esters of base oils.

Some of the acids used to make the salts or esters may be phenylstearic, stearic, oleic, heptanoic, benzoic, and sebacic.

The configuration of the molecule (molecular structure) of FM’s determines how many molecules are adsorbed on the surface. The slimmer molecules make stronger films because they allow closer packing. The base oil chain length also affects the strength of the adsorbed molecule. Different FM’s are required for different base oils, and the interaction of FM’s with other additives have to be investigated as well. The “concentration” of FM’s is important as well. But only so much concentration will prove effective. A concentration above a certain point may show no improvement, so cost/concentration/effectiveness has to be evaluated during tests.

Fuel economy formulations involving FM’s have to be selected on the following basis:
– FM properties
– dosage or treatment levels
– chemistry (chlorine, phosphorous, nitrogen, boron, ester type, etc)
– toxicity
– safety in handling
– oil solubility
– effect on metals, seals, and other engine materials
– possibility of synergism or antagonism
– acidity or alkalinity
– compatibility with other additives
– raw material availability and costs
– ease and cost of manufacturing
– patent coverage.

FM’s can be employed in different forms in an additive package for a specific formulation. It can be added by itself without any other function, or may be part of molecule in a detergent (such as a sulfonate) or as part of a Viscosity Improver or antioxidant.

Example of an FM/Detergent additive may be a long-chain calcium, magnesium, or sodium sulfonate, preferably one long chain of the benzene ring.

Since FM’s are surface-active materials, and as such, compete with other useful additives, care must be taken in their selection and concentration in any fully formulated lubricant.

Click for forum discussion

*Adapted from a paper by Papay, of the Ethyl Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri.

Used Oil Analysis: How to decide what is normal

Reviewing UOA Data

Used oil analyses (UOAs) are tools.  And like most tools, they can either be properly used or misused, depending upon the application, the user, the surrounding conditions, etc.=

There are already many good articles and publications in existence that tell us how to interpret the information we see in a UOA report; they speak to what elements and physical properties are indicative of certain components and conditions.  It is not the intent of this article to discuss or contradict that type of information.  Rather, it is the intent of this information to supplement those other articles.  Most of those articles fail to address one very important topic: statistical normalcy.  What is “normal” in a data set represents the typical average values and expected variation within that group.  In short, it’s a matter of how to view a series of UOAs and see how results can shape our view of a healthy or ailing piece of equipment and the viability of continued lube service.

Without going deep into statistical analysis theory and education, I’ll just present what is important and helpful in understanding the data we get from UOA resources, so that reasonable decisions can be made and erroneous conclusions can be avoided.  Many people have heard of the “Six-Sigma” approach using statistics, and other similar concepts.  These are applicable to the world of lubricants as much as any other topic.   I’ll apply these concepts to the interpretation of several series of UOAs, using real world examples to illustrate.

First, understand that statistical analysis can be applied in both small and large view-point formats.  Typically these are referred to as micro-analysis and macro-analysis.  I’ll differentiate the two concepts, with specific intent to address how these tools are useful in interpreting UOAs.  In either case, and with rare exception, protocol dictates that one needs 30 or more samples of data to establish reasonably reliable results; it can be done with slightly less, but the data is not nearly as reliable and mathematical problems arise.  Further, you cannot meld one methodology into the other for the sake of accumulating enough data; the quantities must be self-supporting.  You certainly might have one or more sub-sets of full micro-data in large macro-data populations, but you should not blend the two to achieve a minimum set.  In short, you cannot accumulate enough data simply by adding it from differing methodologies or duplicating it, to satisfy the minimum set requirement.

Micro analysis looks at one specific entity, and lets data develop as inputs affect it.  An example of this would be doing a series of UOAs on one engine, using a consistent brand/grade of lube, with reasonably consistent usage patterns.  As much as practical, all inputs (lube, fuel, filtration, UOA sample cycle, etc) are held constant (or with minimal change), so that we can see the natural development of information.  We do this to establish ranges and allow for any trends to develop.  Over time, this methodology can be used to decide which product or process excels over another for any single specific application.  It is very important to note that even when experiencing extremely consistent conditional and resource inputs, there is variation, even when the process is in control.   We need a great deal of data from this single source to well define what is average and normal; it takes much time, money and patience to get there.

Macro analysis looks at not one entity, but all those in a desired grouping, and models not the individual effects, but rather details or predicts the behavior (results) of the mass population reaction to changing conditions (multiple inputs).  Here, we can look at a large group of UOAs that represent a piece of equipment (engine, gearbox, differential, transmission, etc.) from different points of origin, and seek out what is “normal” across a broad base of applications.  This approach is frequently used; it is predominant in the development of many products, from medical trials, to common electronics, to appliances, to automobiles, to consumable items like toothpaste and drinking water.  The list is nearly endless as to how macro analysis can be applied.  And as long as the precepts and limitations are understood, proper conclusions can be made.  Macro analysis comes much quicker because multiple sources are accepted.  Caution must be given, however, to make sure that illogical conclusions are not drawn, based upon false presumptions, or in confusing correlation with causation.

Please note that for the sake of consistency, expediency, and readability, I often round values up or down to make them presentable for quick consumption.  Data can lose its human value at times when the minutia of numbers overwhelms the message the data is trying to convey.

All that in mind, now we’re on to the fun stuff …

Where the data comes from …

I have been collecting UOAs for many years from various sources on all kinds of equipment. I have also received a great amount of UOA data from Blackstone Laboratories. They were generous enough to cooperate in this endeavor, and Ryan Stark was particularly helpful in getting information needed to make several key examples. Do not worry; not one customer profile was compromised. I was only given raw data, and not any confidential personal information. Blackstone is very good at protecting client privacy, and this endeavor is no different. Additionally, I am able to add in some UOA data from other sources as well.

Let’s look at some examples of popular engines. I’ll use these to show how data is developed, and how care must be taken to not let data run amok. I’ll show how “universal averages” (the mean) should be used, and how “variance” (the standard deviation) affects the unrealized story. I’ll indicate what conclusions are fair, and which are illogical.

I am only going to discuss wear metals, as those are results and not inputs. We could apply these same principles of analysis to elemental inputs (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, boron, etc) or physical properties (flash point, viscosity, etc) but those are purposely manipulated by the lube makers. In fact, the very nature of macro analysis methodology takes into account the vast variability of these inputs. So, we’ll focus on the wear metals, because they are the “tellers of tales”; they let us know how much wear has occurred, and can allow us to have reasonable understanding of how much more might occur, should an OCI be extended. In short, manipulated physical fluid properties and additive-package criteria are inputs, whereas wear-data results are outputs.

Other things to note: my discussion and analysis here is predicated upon the presumption that lubricants represented in the data are not vastly or grotesquely different from the OEM specified parameters. While it is reasonable to expect that someone will utilize a different lube grade other than what is specified, the data presented does not likely represent wholly inappropriate lube selections such as using hypoid gear oil in the engine crankcase, or very old “CD” rated oil in a modern diesel, etc. Succinctly put, most UOAs represent lubes that are at (or near) proper fluid selection for the applications.

A quick key to show the terms used:

  • Avg = average numerical magnitude
  • HDEO = heavy duty engine oil (commonly accepted to be diesel rated lubricant)
  • MAX = largest magnitude seen in the data stream for that element
  • Normal = within acceptable or desirable statistical standard deviations
  • OCI = oil change interval
  • OLM = oil life monitor
  • Per 1k mile = ppm count averaged over a 1,000 mile exposure duration
  • PPM = parts per million
  • Std Dev = standard deviation; a sigma node; (Greek letter symbol “∑”)
  • UL = upper limit, using 3 times the sigma
  • UOA = used oil analysis

The wear elements are listed as seen in the periodic table of elements:

  • Al = aluminum
  • Cr = chromium
  • Cu = copper
  • Fe = iron
  • Pb = lead

(note:  all wear metal data is reported in ppm)

Micro-Analysis Example

I’m going to lay out one example of a micro-analysis engine UOA series. OCIs were done religiously (the goal was 5000 miles +/- 100 miles). This UOA series is the epitome of consistent inputs; the owner was very dedicated to the protocol of the testing parameters. This vehicle saw very common and typical use in its lifecycle and environment including weather, driving cycles, etc. This type series is, frankly, very rare. Very few people drive so far annually, and have the dedication and desire to stay the course, spend the money, and accept the monotony of such limited confines.

Ford 3.0L OHV gasoline V-6

One of Ford’s more prolific engines; it has been in production a very long time with minimal updates other than emissions related components.
(Notes: this is the “Vulcan” engine. UOAs were by a local company and not Blackstone. We must acknowledge there were moves in API service specifications during this series from SJ to SN.)

Oil Miles Vehicle Miles Al Cr Fe Cu Pb
5002 49997 3 1 14 4 3
4976 54973 4 1 13 7 4
4998 59971 3 2 18 6 2
5012 64983 3 1 11 3 6
5003 69986 4 1 15 4 5
5101 75087 5 1 15 3 2
4968 80055 2 1 16 2 6
4899 84954 3 2 18 8 8
5060 90014 4 1 17 5 6
4937 94951 5 1 13 6 3
5014 99965 3 1 15 6 5
5028 104993 3 1 11 3 3
4949 109942 5 1 18 6 7
4993 114935 3 1 15 2 2
5093 120028 4 2 15 5 5
4953 124981 2 2 16 5 4
5001 129982 4 1 14 6 3
5009 134991 3 1 15 2 5
5029 140020 6 1 12 4 2
4920 144940 4 1 17 5 4
4936 149876 3 1 13 4 2
5065 154941 2 3 14 5 6
4956 159897 6 1 13 6 3
4952 164849 3 1 12 8 2
4993 169842 5 1 12 2 5
4927 174769 2 2 14 7 5
5086 179855 4 2 13 5 5
5023 184878 4 1 15 2 3
5001 189879 3 1 18 5 4
5058 194937 3 1 13 3 2
5027 199964 3 2 15 4 4
5019 204983 5 1 13 3 4
4987 209970 6 3 12 4 3
5003 214973 2 1 16 3 5
4989 219962 6 1 15 5 3
4901 224863 5 1 18 2 2
4896 229759 3 1 12 5 6
5023 234782 2 2 18 2 4
4919 239701 4 1 13 4 2
5102 244803 3 2 14 3 3
5014 249817 5 1 11 6 4
5019 254836 2 3 12 2 4
5027 259863 6 2 13 3 5
4966 264829 2 1 14 3 4
4976 269805 5 1 12 3 7
5020 274825 2 1 18 4 3
5030 279855 6 1 15 2 5
4960 284815 3 2 13 6 4
Oil Miles Veh. Miles Al Cr Fe Cu Pb
4996 n/a Avg 3.7 1.4 14.4 4.2 4.0
52 n/a Std Dev 1.3 0.6 2.1 1.7 1.5
5151 n/a UL 7.6 3.2 20.7 9.3 8.6
5102 284815 Max 6.0 3.0 18.0 8.0 8.0
Ppm/1K 0.7 0.3 2.9 0.8 0.8

This is a good example of micro-analysis. The data created is consistent and can be used to make a solid lube decision for the stated operating conditions; there are no abnormalities revealed. The standard deviations are all well less than the means; this is as expected and desired in a controlled micro-data set.

This vehicle went from a steady diet of one popular brand-name synthetic oil with a premium filter to quality conventional oil using a typical shelf brand name filter. Can you find the data range shift indicating synthetics and high-end filtration were “better” in this application? Are you able to discover the mileage point where the change occurred and resulted in statistically significant wear-trend shifts? What the data shows is that the average wear metals shifted less than a point after that change. I’ll give you a hint: after the change, Al and Cr were both up while Fe, Cu and Pb were all down. However, all shifts were well within one standard deviation for each distinct metal. In short, the normal variability of lifecycle usage greatly overshadows the very small shift in wear. And, when two metals go slightly up and three come down, it could fairly be called a moot change; it was statistically insignificant in all criteria.

What we can surmise is that for this maintenance plan and operational pattern, there was no tangible benefit to using the high-end products. The high-end products did not offer a tangible advantage; conversely, the typical quality base-line products presented no additional risk of accelerated wear. We cannot conclude that this result would be true of all potential circumstances; only that it is true when applied to a 5k mile OCI with the given operating conditions. Significantly longer OCIs likely may have shown a statistical difference between the two lube/filter choices, but that was not part of the test protocol.

Macro-Analysis Examples

I’m going to lay out several examples of macro-analysis to illustrate how mass-market data can be used. Here we can see how large groups combine to make bulk data useable. I’ll do a detailed analysis on the first two examples, and then present summarizations for the following examples. The key concept to glean is how macro-analysis, when the data is properly managed, defines “normal” results. These UOA series were all from Blackstone.

Ford 4.6L “modular” gasoline V-8

These samples range over 5 years of UOAs, from August 2007 to August 2012. There are almost 550 UOAs here; plenty of data to find what is “normal” and not. The first data box exhibits all samples, where subsequent data boxes exhibit individual years by process date.

4.6L Ford Time Oil Time on Equipment Al Cr Fe Cu Pb Pb’
5 Years & 548 Samples 5516 94078 Average 3.3 0.9 14.6 4.8 2.8 1.2
5159 62211 Standard
2.4 0.6 9.7 4.7 27.4 2.8
20992 280710 UL 10.4 2.7 43.6 19.0 85.0 9.7
85372 487625 Max 42.0 4.0 88.0 46.0 602.0 34.0
Per 1k Miles .6 0.2 2.6 0.9 0.5 0.2
2007: 38 Samples 4492 79906 Average 2.7 0.6 10.2 4.9 0.4 0.4
2602 62244 Standard
1.0 0.6 5.9 5.6 0.7 0.7
12297 266637 UL 5.6 2.5 27.9 21.7 2.4 2.4
12926 300362 Max 5.0 2.0 27.0 27.0 3.0 3.0
Per 1k Miles 0.6 0.1 2.3 1.1 0.1 0.1
2008: 100 Samples 4687 89521 Average 2.9 0.8 14.0 4.3 9.5 1.5
2980 62861 Standard
1.1 0.6 10.3 4.9 63.3 4.3
13626 278103 UL 6.1 2.5 44.8 19.0 199.5 14.3
20000 452602 Max 6.0 4.0 68.0 40.0 602.0 28.0
Per 1k Miles 0.6 0.2 3.0 0.9 2.0 0.3
2009: 94 Samples 4931 87685 Average 2.8 0.7 12.7 4.1 1.3 1.3
3893 64726 Standard
1.3 0.6 8.5 3.6 2.4 2.4
16610 281861 UL 6.7 2.4 38.2 14.8 8.6 8.6
22541 487625 Max 9.0 2.0 65.0 21.0 17.0 17.0
Per 1k Miles 0.6 0.1 2.6 0.8 0.2 0.3
2010: 123 Samples 5320 96641 Average 3.4 0.9 14.6 5.4 1.5 1.1
3078 61329 Standard
3.8 0.7 8.8 6.0 3.4 1.6
14555 280628 UL 14.7 3.0 41.0 23.3 11.9 5.8
18186 280817 Max 42.0 4.0 49.0 46.0 34.0 9.0
Per 1k Miles 0.6 0.2 2.7 1.0 0.3 0.2
2011: 125 Samples 5720 96805 Average 3.9 0.9 15.9 5.0 1.5 1.5
3409 57271 Standard
2.4 0.6 10.4 3.7 3.4 3.4
15948 268620 UL 11.2 2.6 47.1 16.1 11.9 11.9
16400 359000 Max 23.0 3.0 88.0 31.0 34.0 34.0
Per 1k Miles 0.7 0.2 2.8 0.9 0.3 0.3
2012: 68 Samples 8157 109594 Average 3.7 1.0 18.1 5.1 1.6 0.6
11520 66474 Standard
1.8 0.7 10.6 4.5 8.3 1.4
42718 309017 UL 9.1 3.1 50.0 18.7 26.5 4.7
85372 351645 Max 12.0 4.0 57.0 31.0 68.0 9.0
Per 1k Miles 0.5 0.1 2.2 0.6 0.2 0.1

Note that there are two columns for Pb; one is the raw data and the other is the same data stream with just three data points taken out.  Why take out data?  It is because those three points were grossly skewing the data stream development.  Most of the Pb counts in all other samples were well below 35 ppm, but three samples had magnitude of 68 ppm, 204 ppm and 602 ppm.  When I reviewed the individual UOA details, those three suspect reports had no indication of reasonable explanation as to why the Pb was so very high; the OCI was not long, the other wear metals were not skewed high, etc.

While I can suspect that perhaps a bearing was damaged, or leaded fuel (or leaded fuel supplement) was used, I cannot know the root cause for sure.   Regardless, those three data points were affecting the “normalcy” of data.  So I created a “lead prime” (Pb’) column with those three data points taken out.  Since there are 548 total sample UOAs, and only three were removed (representing only one-half of one percent total population), there certainly is plenty of data left to use.  And look how greatly those three data points were skewing the results:

Avg Pb Std Dev
Full data set: 2.8 27.4
Revised data set: 1.2 2.8

See how the average Pb dropped more than 57%, and the standard deviation decreased by nearly a factor of ten!  Only 3 samples of 548 were responsible for such an overt act of skewing this data.  This is where math and common sense come together to make a reasonable conclusion that some intervention of the data is warranted and desirable.  By removing only 0.5% of the Pb data population, we shifted the range very significantly.  This indicates that those three samples were not “normal”, and the remaining 99.5% are so.  In macro data, when the standard deviation is some large magnitude of multiple larger than the mean, there is cause to believe there are abnormalities imbedded in the data stream.  When the deviation is smaller (perhaps around 150% larger or less) it indicates that the mass-market population is representing the variability of inputs as desired, and not being affected by spoilers.  There is no hard and fast rule; training and experience and knowledge of the data subject matter help define and delineate when and where to intervene.

To continue, I broke out the years (defined by UOA processing date) to discover if there were any significant changes over time; clearly there are not.  For example, look at Fe.  The average Fe wear rate, viewed on a “ppm / 1k mile” basis, is reasonably consistent, and varies by less than 1 ppm over 5 years of data.

But, let’s now look at the topic of Fe wear in detail; a great storyline exists here.  How is it affected by UOA duration in mass population total?  Run the oil longer, the Fe goes up, and very predictably.  In 2007, the overall population average UOA sample was taken at 4.5k miles, and the Fe average was 10.2 ppm.  Five years later, the average population UOA sample was taken at 8.1k miles, and the Fe average was at 18.1 ppm.  An 80% increase in mileage duration was mirrored in a resultant 80% increase in Fe.  That is a very predictable response curve; the wear is consistent.  But the data can be analyzed even further and deeper.

Here is where Fe wear gets really interesting.  What happens if we break down the data from mass population, and get into directed duration sub-groups?  I pulled out samples within the UOAs and found the average Fe wear was thus:

UOA avg. Duration 3K 5K 7K 10K
Fe ppm / 1k miles 3.2 2.5 2.5 2.3

It is in fact true to say that when you change oil frequently the UOA will exhibit a higher Fe wear metal count.  There are two reasonable explanations to this phenomenon of elevated wear metals shortly after an OCI; residual oil and tribo-chemical interaction.  When you change oil, no matter how much you “drip-drip-drip” the oil into the catch basin, there is always a moderate amount left in the engine.  Ryan Stark of Blackstone estimates up to 20% of the old oil remains, more or less, depending upon the unique traits of each piece of equipment.  So, when you begin your new OCI, you really are not starting at zero ppm.  Additionally, there is indication that wear is elevated after each OCI because of chemical reactions of fresh additive packages.  This claim is supported via an SAE study done by Ford and Conoco (ref #1) that surmised this very phenomenon, and additionally refers to a former study of the same conclusion predating it.

So, the reality is that we are seeing a combination of two phenomenon; one being the residual oil contribution and the other the chemical reactions.  The elevated readings towards the beginning of an OCI are typically (for most engines) less than one point, representing tenths of change.  I cannot deduce from this macro-data set what portion of wear is due to residual oil and what portion is due to chemical action, but to be honest it really does not matter, because it’s impossible to separate the two phenomena in real life, and they act together to produce a single result.  Wear metals are factually elevated after an OCI due to chemistry and artificially inflated by residual metals; we cannot elude this truth.

While the wear rate is not greatly escalated at the front end of the OCI, it certainly is not relieved (lessened) by the frequent OCI, either.  In short, changing your oil early does not reduce the wear rates, presuming you did not allow the sump load to become compromised in the previous load.  It’s a subtle but very important distinction.  When you have reasonably healthy oil, the wear rate slope is generally negatively flat (muted is a better term, as there is always some variance).  Only after the oil becomes compromised (overwhelmed) in some manner would you see a statistical shift in wear rates.  Hence, higher wear at the front of an OCI is plausible, but the claim of lesser wear with fresh oil is most certainly false.  The wear rate for Fe is reasonably constant, if all other things are in decent operational shape.  Those who change oil frequently at 3k miles are not helping their engine.  Those who leave it in for longer periods are not hurting the engine.  At this point, I will note an acknowledgment to the concerns outside of wear metals.  Oxidation, soot, coolant, fuel, etc can cause a need to OCI.  But, those things are also reasonably tracked in a UOA.  So, if your fluid health is good, and your wear metals are on track, there is no reason to OCI until something changes in a statistically significant manner.

As for the “UL” listing, that is the other part of the story.  The “UL” represents what would be deemed as the 3rd ∑ upper limit of normal distribution.  Looking at the typical variance of a wear metal, we can establish a standard multi-sigma node series limit that defines the “normalcy” for the broad market response.   Any time your results are within the 3rd Sigma, you can consider them “normal” (after abnormalities are negated).  This allows us to include all manner of variables such as brand and grade of oil, use factors, environmental factors, service factors, etc.  If your results are near one sigma or less, you are well within a normal response set.

These samples represent the group of the Ford 4.6L engine UOAs Blackstone received during that five-year time frame.  There are some repeat customers that submit samples from the same vehicle, but those are no more or less valid than singular UOAs from separate sources.  The samples represent not just grandma’s grocery-getter, but also many Triton truck engines, and some Police Interceptor engines, taxi service engines, high-performance Mustang engines, high-mileage traveling salesman engines, trailer towing engines, etc.  There is a large, vast world of inputs to this 4.6L engine data; people who run thin 5w-20 and those who run thick 5w-40.  People who use conventional lubes and those who use synthetics are included.   Those who live in the heat of the desert southwest and those in the cold of Canada are all in here.  Those who top-off sumps and those who do not are included.  Why mention all of this?  When the inputs are so greatly varied the data already includes the diversity of mass population contribution.  Or, more simply put, the wide range of inputs is already accounted for in the “normal” variance of the data results.  This is one benefit of macro-analysis.  Only if we saw a large variation in wear rates between sub-groups or massive ∑ magnitudes could we conclude that inputs had a large affect on the results.  With the 4.6L engine, this simply isn’t the case; wear is generally unaffected by operational conditions and OCI.   As much as practical, I took that mass population data and broke it into directed sub-groups for vehicle mileage, lube exposure, year of service, projected severity factor, etc. I purposely tried to find statistically significant delineation where some factor might distinguish itself as unique; I could not find one.  Hence, the conclusion to come to is that lube brand and grade, filtration selection, as well as various service factors and OCI durations, really don’t matter greatly in this example; the 4.6L engine really does not care what you use or how you drive it.

GM-Isuzu 6.6L Duramax diesel V-8

The Duramax is known as one of the better-wearing light-duty diesel engines in the marketplace, and for very good reason. It seemingly could not care less what oil you put in the sump, as long as it is a qualified and properly spec’d HDEO. GM does not publish metal condemnation limits for this engine that I am aware of. Here is how the data plays out:

Oil Miles Veh. Miles Al Cr Fe Cu Cu Prime Pb
7261.2 100398.8 Avg 2.7 0.3 16.3 16.0 3.4 2.1
4006.1 76147.9 Std Dev 1.2 0.5 10.5 53.0 4.3 2.5
19279.6 328842.6 UL 6.4 1.8 47.9 175.1 16.2 9.6
28417 843817 Max 8 1 75 484 34 29
Ppm / 1k miles 0.4 0.0 2.2 2.2 0.5 0.3

Of these 527 total samples, all were from analysis in 2012.  The samples also represented some fairly high-mileage vehicles.  There were 179 samples of the 527 that were over 100k miles in vehicle use; many were vehicles with over 250k miles.   Because of its lineage and typical light-duty truck market use, these engines are in service for a long time.

Again, we can see the need to manipulate data to remove abnormalities.  There were 41 samples with ultra-high Cu counts; many of them on a multiple magnitude of 100 or more.  There were many Cu readings over 200pm and 300ppm, and one as high as 484ppm.  So, I again created a separate column (Cu’ = copper prime) to root out the high-flyers.  While some would decry the removal of data, you can clearly see how these spikes can adversely affect what is deemed “normal”.  And, while 41 samples seem like a large amount of data to remove, they represent only 7.7% of the total population, and yet their removal resulted in almost a 79% drop in the “average” Cu magnitude.  It was the right thing to do.  It is important to note that this condition of spiked Cu has speculative causation; I’ll not get into that here.  It is also important to acknowledge that very often, these Cu spikes self-correct after a few OCI flushes.  After removing the high Cu samples, look at how the Cu average dropped from 16.0 ppm to 3.4 ppm (nearly an 80% downward shift) and the standard deviation for Cu reduced by more than a factor of 10x!

You can see why this is reputed to be a very good engine; it wears very well.  Interestingly, the standard deviation for UOA duration in these reports is 4k miles and the average is 7k miles.  If you run out an OCI to 11k miles, you’re “normal” within one standard deviation.  That is where the OLM often takes the owners in their maintenance journey.  The OLM in this vehicle is a “smart” OLM that monitors engine operational conditions, rather than being a “dumb” mile counter.  It is not uncommon to see the OLM indicate an OCI between 9-11k miles on this engine in many cases.  Clearly, the OLM is reasonably accurate and trustworthy.  Essentially, folks tend to OCI this engine too frequently, but enough of them push out the OCI to make the first ∑ right around where the OLM typically indicates an OCI is due.

And again, I wanted to know how oil lifecycle affected wear rates, so I looked at three sub-groups; 3.5k miles, 7.5k miles, 11.5k miles.  And, again, higher Fe wear rates are revealed towards the front of an OCI …

UOA average duration: 3.5K 7.5K 11.5K
Fe ppm / 1k Miles 3.0 2.3 2.0

In no way does that mean that an engine is grossly being harmed, but it directly contradicts the mantra that “more is better” (“more” indicating OCI frequency and “better” being less wear). What we are seeing is the reiteration of that “sweet spot” (similar to the Ford 4.6L example). Somewhere, the Fe wear rate will begin an ascent and probably become parabolic, but that point is way further down the road than most people think. However, because the samples become sparse at much longer UOA durations, there is insufficient data to determine where the Fe wear rate might begin to escalate. The wear rate is still coming down even approaching 12k miles, although at that small magnitude the variance is in play. What is clear is this; you can change your oil early, but it will not reduce your wear rate. You can put off your OCI for a long time (at least to 12k miles) and it still will not really affect your wear rate.

Next, allow me to illustrate how macro-analysis can be used to determine what is “normal” for separate entities. Consider the following …
Two Duramax equipped 2006 trucks, used in very similar circumstances for the same UOA duration. Both trucks were basically stock, both pulled heavy RVs into the mountains for roughly 6.5k miles, both see heat and cold patterns that are similar to each other and represent full seasonal swings. Essentially they are about as similar as one could expect for two vehicles that are not operated by the same person. There is one significant difference; one vehicle was run on premium synthetic 15w-40 oil HDEO and utilized bypass filtration, the other truck used conventional 10w-30 HDEO with a normal filter. Here are the exact results in regard to wear, along with the Universal Average and Standard Deviation from the data above:

Al Cr Fe Cu Pb
Truck A 2 1 15 4 1 Synthetic oil and bypass (ref 2)
Truck B 2 0 14 3 5 Conventional oil and filter (ref 3)
UA 2.7 .5 16.3 3.4 2.1
Std Dev 1.2 .5 10.5 4.3 2.5
UL (3 sigma) 6.4 1.8 47.9 16.2 9.6

Can we say that either truck did “better” than the other? No – not without true micro-analysis could we make such determination. But we can say that neither truck did better than the other, because they both were easily within 3-sigma deviation of “normal”. Iron is the greatest indicator of cumulative wear, and these samples were right at “average” levels, despite the towing. At face value, one might claim the synthetic did “better” because the Pb was lower in truck A and higher in truck “B”, but they are both well within the typical variance. Ironically, the Cr, Fe and Cu were actually higher in truck A with synthetic and bypass, but again, they were well within normal variation. It is completely expected to see wear metal counts “bounce” up and down from UOA to UOA. It is “normal” for metals to vary in mass populations and it is “normal” for metals to vary in individual units. But when you can see a single sample well within mass-population “normalcy”, you can deduce that it’s performing no better or worse than any other unit using any other fluid/filter combination.

What little variation occurred was the expected normal variation due any engine in this family. Two vastly different inputs (lubes and filters) did not result in any significant difference, under nearly identical operational conditions at the same duration exposure.
And so, we can fairly say this of these two examples: in these very similar operational circumstances and conditional limitations, there was no tangible benefit whatsoever to using the high-end products. The high-end products did not distinguish themselves by manifesting into statistically significant results.

Toyota 3.4L gasoline V-6

Here is some good data on the famous engine that’s been around a very long time. This data came from ten years and nearly 400 samples; there were no standout years to mention as they were all reasonably similar.

Here is the data:

Oil Miles Vehicle Miles Al Cr Fe Cu Pb
5818 106612 Average 2.2 0.1 6.4 4.5 3.0
2813 56776 Std Dev 1.0 0.2 3.6 4.5 3.9
14258 276940 UL 5.3 0.8 17.3 18.1 14.7
16000 310254 Ppm / 1K 0.4 0.0 1.1 0.8 0.5

The numbers speak to what a great engine this is.

Again, when broken into sub-groups based upon exposure duration:

UOA Average duration 2.0K 3.5K 7.0K 10K
Fe Ppm / 1K miles 2.6 1.3 1.1 .9

The “sweet spot” occurs a bit earlier on this engine than the other two engine examples, but it does indeed exist. Yet again, the residual oil and chemical reaction is affecting the wear rate up front. Once it settles, the “sweet spot” does reach out further than most would realize. I cannot state where the wear would begin to escalate; there are too few samples to get good analysis data resolution. At 10k miles, it’s still experiencing extremely low wear rates. To say this is a fantastic-wearing engine would be a gross understatement.

GM 5.7L OHV gasoline V-8

The good ol’ Chevy 350 reviewed here. All samples analyzed in 2012; more than 500 of them.

Oil Miles Vehicle Miles Al Cr Fe Fe’ Cu Cu’ Pb Pb’
3357 115790 Avg 4.1 1.1 22.8 16.0 8.8 4.6 9.1 5.1
2419 84193 Std Dev 2.7 1.1 24.1 11.5 18.2 4.7 11.7 4.2
10613 368368 UL 12.1 4.4 95.0 50.6 63.3 18.6 44.1 17.7
31000 550000 Max 32.0 12.0 314.0 49.0 177.0 24.0 200.0 15.0
Ppm / 1K 1.2 0.3 6.8 4.8 2.6 1.4 2.7 1.5
Samples removed 46 93 77
>50ppm >25ppm >15ppm

UOA at 3k miles ~ wear rate Fe at 6.8 ppm / 1k miles

UOA at 5k miles ~ wear rate Fe at 4.9 ppm / 1k miles

UOA at 7k miles or greater ~ (insufficient data)

To be blunt, this engine really does not wear as well as some other engines.  Of the 513 total samples, there were 216 of them that had wear-numbers high enough to skew data with high Fe, Cu and/or Pb.   Considering the low average UOA of 3.3k miles and std dev UOA of 2.5k miles, these engines do not exhibit impressive wear performance.  Of the 216 engines, only 12 of them had multiple wear-metal issues (as defined as two or three cautionary metal counts in the same UOA).  The rest were unique UOAs showing a single cautionary reading.  When 42% of the samples have high wear, it’s hard to say these are abnormalities; they are in fact, such a large portion of the population that we cannot discard them.  I processed the info to show you how the numbers skew the data, but it is not fair to remove 42% of a population; they belong in there.  This engine simply does not wear well.  Even after creating a “prime” revision column for Fe, Cu and Pb, see how high the average metals are per 1k miles.  Fe, in particular, is nearly 7 ppm / 1k miles!  Ironically, however, that does not keep this engine from running strong; it just wears heavily while doing so.  Again, we must return to the concept of “normal”; the data is telling us that it is expected of this engine family to shed metals at higher wear rates and with great variation.  Lube condemnation points definitely will come sooner with this engine.  It is a very well respected engine that has great power potential and a strong following; that cannot be denied.  But don’t let mythology belie the facts; these engines wear heavily.  One might be able to point to simple age and design factors.  The GM-350 is a very old engine design; if someone says “they don’t make ‘em like they used to …” you might want to stop and consider what that really means.  We can acknowledge that residual oil may be contributing to the wear rate at 3k miles, but it’s on a much larger scale than the other examples in this article for sure, and the wear stays higher throughout the data stream, compared to other engines.  In short, higher wear will leave more residual concentration, but when combined with yet more escalated wear, it just does not go away easily.  It’s a vicious circle of self-fulfilling prophesy.

Detroit Diesel 12.7L Series 60 diesel I-6

A stalwart of the on-highway heavy trucking and motor-coach industries, this Series 60 engine has been around since the late 1980s, and served in many various applications with various displacements. It is well respected for a very good reason; it lasts a long time with good power production. Here is the data from more than 511 UOAs from 2009 to 2012, a three year sampling:

Oil Miles Vehicle Miles Al Cr Fe Cu Pb
15812 601058 Average 3.0 1.5 26.5 2.2 5.3
9088 443782 Std Dev 2.7 0.9 14.0 6.1 8.9
43075 1932403 UL 11.1 4.1 68.6 20.5 32.0
82000 6465000 Max 29.0 5.0 108.0 128.0 173.0
Ppm / 1K 0.2 0.1 1.7 0.1 0.3

Instead of speaking to wear rates, I’m going to focus on condemnation limits. Detroit Diesel does indeed publish condemnation levels for the wear metal content of the UOAs (ref #4). They have no limit for Al and Cr, but they do limit Fe at 150 ppm, Cu at 30 ppm and Pb at 30 ppm. It is interesting to note that of 511 total samples, none were over the 150 ppm Fe limit. There were two samples of Cu over 30 ppm; one at 33 ppm and one at 128 ppm. There were four samples of Pb over 30 ppm. Two were only 31ppm but technically over the limit. One Pb was at 43 ppm and one at 173 ppm. There were only 6 unique samples of 511 that were over the established condemnation limits, and yet look how low the averages and rates are. Even at 16k mile OCIs, people change the oil in this engine far too often.

Additionally, one cannot exclude the contribution of sump capacity and how it affects the metal concentrations. Part of the reason the Series 60 does very well is because of a good lube system design with a large crankcase pan. That holds down the contamination per unit of measurement. That in turn allows for longer OCI durations; a goal of the over-the-road applications in order to maximize drive-time and reduce routine maintenance down-time.

Reasonable Conclusions

We can use mathematical resolution to view any type of data, to find normal performance, and root out statistical anomalies.

What we cannot conclude

Macro-analysis does not allow for any conclusion to be drawn as to what product(s) might be “better” or “worse” than any other in the grouping, as we can do with micro-analysis. It is so very common to see this happen, and yet it is so very wrong to do so. When any one sample is within one or two standard deviations of average, thereby defining itself as “normal”, we can only conclude that the events and products that lead to that unique data stream were also “normal”. Any variance is not due to one particular product or condition, but the natural variation of macro-inputs. Therefore, we cannot say that brand X was “better” than brand Y or brand Z because typical variation is in play.

What we can conclude

Only with micro-analysis, using long, well-detailed controlled studies, can we make specific determinations as to what might be “better” or “best” for an application.

However, using macro-analysis, we can state that if two separate samples are both within standard deviation, the separate conditions and products did not manifest into uniquely different results. When viewed within an engine family, if engine A is compared and contrasted to engine B, and those two engines used different lubes but resulted in similar wear metal counts and rates, then we can conclude that neither oil was “better” than the other. And when the results are within one standard deviation, the proof is conclusive that neither product had an advantage over the other. Essentially under these conditions, we cannot say that either choice is “better”, but we can say neither is “better”.

Knowing one’s Limitations

Standard deviation data is large or small, for all kinds of different equipment, depending upon your own definition of the words “large” and “small”. In some manner for frame of reference, when the standard deviation is more than 50% of the average magnitude, many consider this to be “large”; I would not disagree. But that does not preclude it from being “normal”, as defined by this concept: happening with great regularity and having no adverse successive effects. Ryan Stark of Blackstone will tell us that the greatest variable that affects wear is usage factor; the data here may well support that conclusion in some circumstances. But what is also clear, at least in all these examples, is that the variation of that usage factor is still “normal” and the standard deviations are large enough that most of us are “normal” in our use of equipment. And OCI durations (too short or long) can also affect wear rates as greatly as usage factors.

Unfortunately, you’ll never know how many abnormalities are present, nor if they have been pre-screened for you, because most UOA services do not perform this extra mathematical filtering. What you can take solace in is the fact that if your UOAs is near, or less than, “universal average” you’re probably in very good shape; you are, in essence, “normal”.

What is applicable to most of us…

I’ll throw out some generalizations here that are a result of the data I’ve collected from many thousands of UOAs from all kinds of equipment, from many different sources:

1)    The large diversity of use, environment, lube grade, etc is already accounted for in macro-analysis data sets

2)    The dedication needed for correct micro-analysis methodology is rare and goes unheeded by most people

3)    There is always a “best” combination of equipment, lube and filter, but it goes undiscovered by most people because they do not apply the correct methodology

4)    That “best” combination is only applicable to unique individual equipment and given set of limited operational circumstances

5)    There is a “sweet spot” where the equipment and lube perform better together

6)    That start of that “sweet spot” is unique to each piece of equipment, and lasts much longer than many people would suspect

7)    Wear rates will generally shrink as the oil is used, contrary to popular belief

8)    Changing oil frequently does not reduce wear in healthy engines with healthy oil

9)    Changing oil too soon is a waste of product, regardless of what brand/grade/base stock of lube you choose to utilize

10)  Condemnation of the lubricant should be based upon a multitude of criteria, and not with any one criteria taken out of context

11)  Condemnation is much further out than many would suspect; only if you were to over-run the “sweet spot” greatly would wear begin to escalate

12)  Condemnation levels are generally misunderstood, if acknowledged at all

13)  To realize the claimed benefit of any premium product, one must operate in a conditional set of circumstances that manifests into statistically distinguishable differences; the benefit must be tangible, otherwise the benefit does not exist


UOAs are great tools, but you must know how to properly manipulate the data and interpret the results. You must know not just the averages, but also if there are any abnormalities embedded in those averages and how large the standard deviation is. With all that in mind, you can then use the UOA as a tool in either micro or macro analysis, to see how well your equipment performs with respect to itself, and to others like it.

I hope this enables you to view your UOA data under a new light, allowing the ability to determine what is “normal” and what is “better” in proper context.

Acknowledgements and References

This article is the sole property of David E. Newton as published on “BITOG” with contribution from Ryan Stark of Blackstone.  All rights apply.



1)    SAE study;



4)    CIWMB; engine oil filter study, 2008, page 11