This article from Lubes 'n' Greases will give you an idea how companies like Mobil (and every other major brand) compromised to lower the base stock quality (dozens of degrees of group IIIs exist) only because Castrol was getting away with it. Market share was more important than best quality:
AMSOIL Compared to "The Others"
See "Valvoline Engine Guarantee Program" It's not really...
Cost Per 25,000 Miles
By extending oil drain intervals through its premium formulation, AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil saves drivers money. A value comparison shows AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil costs less than competing motor oils over 25,000 miles.
While competing motor oils must be changed up to five times over 25,000 miles, AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil is only changed once, saving both time and money.
Consult our AMSOIL Product Directory
Valvoline guarantees your Engine for up to 300,000 miles if Valvoline is used. Take a look..
Other companies, of course, have been reluctant to follow
our lead into extended drains. Why, from their perspective, should they?
More oil changes means more oil is sold, which means more money is made. It is not rocket science. Only Mobil, with its introduction of Mobil 1 in the mid 1970s, ventured into extended drain interval territory.
But that didn’t last long. Although the oil may have been up to the challenge, I suspect that the bean counters at Mobil were concerned about the bottom line and the company pulled back on its drain interval
recommendation. It was all about money and the corporate mind control in place.
While it is true that Mobil, now ExxonMobil, as well as some others, are finally offering a few extended drain lubricants, the 3,000-mile oil drain mindset still dominates the industry although the average customer has their oil changes 2.6 times per year.
Valvoline, for example, has reinforced that recently with its introduction of its Valvoline Engine Guarantee program. Essentially, this program
guarantees an engine for up to 300,000 miles if Valvoline motor oil is used. Impressive on the surface, but there is a little more to it than that. Valvoline attached some qualifiers. First and foremost, the Valvoline motor oil, along with the oil filter, must be changed every 3,000 miles throughout the duration of the program. Imagine that - most cars have suggested drain intervals of up to 12,000 miles and Valvoline wants to keep you at 3000 miles! Volatility mostly occurs at the start of the life of an oil so a 3000 mile oil change exponentially increases deposits, emissions and reduced exhaust component life.
Qualified vehicles must be registered prior to reaching 75,000 miles, Valvoline motor oil must be used for at least 18 months prior to registration and no vehicles older than 1990 models qualify. Diesel powered vehicles don’t qualify for the program, nor do vehicles used for racing, vehicles over 10,000 pounds or vehicles with modified
engines. That’s understandable.
Valvoline has further qualified the program contingent on the type of oil used. To gain the 300,000-mile coverage consumers must use one of Valvoline’s full synthetic products (for some reason these are not labeled as 100% Synthetic). Using a Valvoline synthetic blend carries the coverage to 225,000 miles and a Valvoline conventional oil carries it to 150,000 miles. (Is that all they think it's good for? Even at 3000 mile oil changes?)
To be sure, Valvoline has done its homework. Very few, if any, claims will ultimately be paid. On the low end, 150,000 miles is virtually no stretch for today’s engines. On the high end, very few motorists drive the same vehicle for 300,000 miles, and the guarantee is not transferable. There is no question that the profits are there for Valvoline.
Assuming a motorist drives 15,000 miles per year it would take 20 years, driving the same vehicle, to reach 300,000 miles. That’s 20 years at
five oil changes per year. That’s a lot of Valvoline motor oil sold. Well about 550 quarts for an average vehicle. Compare that to just 66 quarts of AMSOIL and improved enjoyment of the vehicle.
Clearly, the push behind the Valvoline program is profit, and a person can’t fault Valvoline for that. We are all in this business to make money. What you can fault Valvoline for, and all others who continue to support
3,000-mile oil change intervals, is their irresponsibility in regard to consumers and the environment.
To be sure, way too much money is being wasted on unnecessary oil changes, and way too much used oil is being generated.
In any case, AMSOIL will continue to do the right thing. We will maintain our effort to provide the absolute best, longest lasting lubricants we possibly can. If that means selling a consumer one oil change per year
as opposed to five, so be it. Your customers appreciate the value, and you can be proud of the service you provide.
This talk of extended drain intervals leads me to one final, related topic. We have had to make changes to suggestions on our diesel oils and how some current diesel applications are affecting our drain interval recommendations. Pay attention to the product data sheets and interval guides. Essentially, our research has identified trends that indicate fuel dilution issues in 2007 and newer on-highway Caterpillar C13 and C15 engines. It is apparent that engine design is the cause of the problem.
Fuel dilution reduces viscosity and may lead to increased wear. Unfortunately, there are no formulation modifications or methods of filtration that can counter these effects. Consequently, rather than jeopardize our reputation or the vehicles of our customers, AMSOIL has
deemed it prudent to adjust our drain interval recommendation in these applications.
Once again, with the consumer in mind, it was the right thing to do.