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Consumer Reports on Oil (kinda long)
Fellow Audians: for what it's worth, the following oil report appeared
in our Saturday paper.
Report Says Motor Oil is Motor Oil. Test by consumer watchdog reveal
only minor differences.
AP--New York--Premium Motor oil and fancy additives are nothing more
than slick sales Consumer Reports says. The consumer watchdog tested
20 types of motor oils under the most grueling conditions--in a fleet
of 75 NYC taxi cabs--for nearly two years. The results: there is
little difference among brands as long as the container carries the
starburst symbol--a standard set by the American Petroleum Institute
for additives needed to keep modern engines running. The study also
For normal service, changing a car's oil every 7,500 miles, or at the
automaker's suggested interval is sufficient. Although some mechanics
recommend oil changes every 3,000 miles, it only wastes money and adds
to the nation's oil disposal problems. Consumer Reports cautions,
however that no oil, synthetic or conventional, should be used for
more than 7,500 miles or the maximum interval recommended by the
Expensive synthetic oils worked no better than conventional motor oil
in the taxis, which drove 4.5 million miles in stop-and-go traffic.
But synthetic oils may be worthwhile for cars in extreme driving
Additives such as Slick 50, STP Engine Treatment and STP Oil Treatment
failed to show a significant reduction in friction and engine wear
compared with engines using the same oil without the additives.
Consumer Reports said additives are unnecessary as long as the oil
used meets the API standard
When using a quick-lube center, tell the mechanic what grade of oil
the owners manual recommends. Consumer Reports found that unless told,
the quick-lube shops failed to use the proper grade about half the
In addition to the tests in the Chevrolet Caprice taxicabs, the survey
analyzed the characteristics of each oil in determining its findings.
Motor oil should be thin enough to flow easily when the engine is cold
and remain thick enough to provide protection when the engine is warm.