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re: Oil filter/Quickie oil changes

John said
"Oil companies make
oil in various quality levels, the ones they advertize and the ones they
sell to bulk consumers like these places, and the filters are of the
lowest price they can get on a contract. "

I'm sorry to say this John but you couldn't be farther from the truth.  I 
do not have a lot of experience working with Audi's (yet) but I do have 
experience in the oil/lubricants industry.  Standards for all common types 
of oil/lubricants are set by the API (American Petroleum Institute - 
www.api.org).  Granted they are voluntary standards but there is not a 
manufacturer that does not meet.  This standardization has gotten to the 
point that there is very little if any differentiation between the natural 
(not-synthetic) oil products produced by all of the companies.  All of the 
major manufacturer's know this. A 10W30 from Mobil is chemically almost 
exactly the same as one from Mobil. Now color could be different but the 
make-up, durability and viscosity of these oils are the same.  I worked for 
the second largest private oil distributor in the country, we handled all 
of the major brands (Texaco, Mobil, Exxon, Sunoco, Conoco, BP, Castrol, 
Shell ... etc).  Don't get me wrong the oil companies can tell the 
difference between there brands.  But one company cannot create a higher 
quality NATURAL oil that is "better" than another.  Synthetics and blended 
synthetics are another matter.

Now that does not mean that the oil at the quickie oil change place is 
perfect because something could have happened while in transport or when it 
is pumped into drums or how it is stored. That is the responsibility of the 
distributor and store owner.  Many franchises and distributors have lost 
their business or the right to carry brands because of poor storage or 
transport methods of the oil.  I know of 2 Pennzoil Jiffy Lubes in the 
Albany/Colonie New York area that lost the brand name because they did not 
properly store/handle the product.

In the past (1950's/1960's) there was significant problems with quality and 
standards but not any longer. If there is a problem, then either the oil is 
not API rated, it was not properly handled/stored or some slick private 
blender made it on the sly and is selling to a quickie oil place for a 
great mark-up (and illegally).

Oil filters are another discussion.  Incidentally, I no longer work in that 
industry I work for a consulting company in the utilities industry.

94 Audi 100 Non-Q (wife loves it but the airbag light is still on)
92 Rodeo (Mobil 1 bumper to bumper and 170k on the odo)
86 4000Q (now that's another story)