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ExxonMobil Follows AMSOIL into Extended Drain Market

Motor oil technology has gradually progressed since the days of the earliest
automobiles. In those days, standard motor oil drain intervals were between 500
and 1000 miles, and motorists had to switch viscosity grades with the changing
of the seasons. The development of oil filtration and additive technology in the
1930s allowed drain intervals to increase to 2000 and later 3000 miles, while
the development of viscosity modifiers in the 1940s allowed the formulation of
multi-grade oils that could be used in both hot and cold temperatures.

When AMSOIL introduced the world’s first synthetic motor oil for internal
combustion engines in 1972, it set all new standards for quality. Its premium
synthetic base stocks were comprised of pure, uniform molecules not subject to
the shortcomings of conventional motor oil, such as volatility and shear. Based
on engine tests, drain intervals could be increased substantially, and AMSOIL
recommended 25,000 mile/one year drain intervals. AMSOIL continues to be the
leader in synthetic lubricant and extended drain technology, blending its oils
with top-of-the-line synthetic base stocks and premium additive packages that
provide optimum protection and performance and extended drain intervals.

ExxonMobil recently announced a new line of motor oils recommended for extended
drain intervals. It was only a matter of time before another company followed
the path forged by AMSOIL over 30 years ago. Some motorists may recall that
Mobil also followed AMSOIL into the synthetic motor oil business, introducing
its synthetic motor oil several years after AMSOIL. The technology for extended
oil drains is obviously available, but until now, the major oil companies have
had other agendas. Marc Graham, who is president of Pennzoil-Quaker State-owned
Jiffy Lube International, was quoted in a 2001 Lubricants World interview as
saying, “At [PQS] we use a number internally that if we [shortened the drain
interval] by 100 miles [for each car serviced], it would mean an additional $20
million in revenue for the company.” He also explained that “if we could move
our customers to get one more oil change per year, it’s worth $294 million for
the oil change alone and $441 million in revenue, when you include the ancillary
products and services customers typically buy along with the oil change.”

Mobil backed off 25,000 mile oil change intervals in 1974. Mobil briefly
recommended 25,000 mile oil drains in the 1970’s. It’s not difficult to figure
out who they were trying to compete with. AMSOIL was the only other company
offering synthetic motor oils and recommended 25,000 mile drain intervals.
However, it may be that because vehicle manufacturers weren’t yet comfortable
with extended drain intervals, Mobil retracted its extended drain
recommendations and simply recommended motorists follow the intervals specified
in their vehicle’s owners manual. Of course, traditional oil change
recommendations also allow Mobil and other motor oil companies to sell a lot
more oil. Everyone wins but the customer.

AMSOIL stands apart from the competition. AMSOIL has always formulated its
products to be the absolute best, continually researching ways to make its
already outstanding products even better. Other oil companies, however, are
beholden to shareholders, and one could speculate that their incentive is to
maximize profit. They formulate oils down to a price, rather than formulating
them to be the best they can be. Then, they price their products to maximize
profits. In addition, AMSOIL has 33 years of experience blending premium
extended drain synthetic oils. That’s 33 years worth of proven performance in
the field.

A close look at ExxonMobil’s new long drain motor oil line reveals that two are
petroleum based, one is a synthetic blend and only one, Mobil 1 Extended
Performance, is a full synthetic. The petroleum based products are recommended
for 5000 mile drains, the synthetic blend for 7500 mile drains and Extended
Performance for 15,000 mile drains. However, a look at the fine print reveals
that ExxonMobil is still recommending drivers follow the oil drain
recommendations listed in their owners manuals during the warranty period.
AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are recommended for 25,000 mile or one year drain
intervals in both new and older vehicles. The AMSOIL warranty stands behind this
recommendation.

AMSOIL has recommended 25,000 mile/one year drain intervals since 1972. AMSOIL
delivers the highest quality lubricants on the market. It’s the AMSOIL identity,
and it’s what customers expect. Al Amatuzio coined the phrase “extended drain
interval,” and from the beginning, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils have been
formulated for extended drain intervals.

Vehicle manufacturers are pushing for extended oil drain intervals. Vehicle
manufacturers in Europe have been recommending extended oil drains for years. In
fact, the average drain interval in Europe is 10,000 miles. Vehicle
manufacturers in the United States are definitely coming around to extended oil
drains as well. Most owners manuals from recent model vehicles recommend 5000 to
7500 mile oil drain intervals. In addition, oil life monitors have become
increasingly common on today’s vehicles, allowing and encouraging motorists to
increase drain intervals up to 12,000 miles, even when using conventional oil.
Vehicles equipped with an oil life monitor no longer recommend oil changes based
solely on mileage. The system measures engine operational data such as
temperature, revolutions and speed to determine when the oil is nearing the end
of its life.

The motor oil industry is faced with the extended oil drain interval issue. The
success of oil life monitors has posed a threat to motor oil companies who
insist oil must be changed every 3000 miles. It becomes increasingly difficult
to maintain this position when vehicle manufacturers are recommending
significantly longer intervals with the use of their oil monitoring systems.
This is no doubt one of the reasons ExxonMobil finally introduced a line of long
drain motor oils.

AMSOIL products are available for less. The suggested retail price of the top
oil in ExxonMobil’s new line, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, is $5.79 to $5.99 a
quart. That’s right in line with AMSOIL 5W-30 and 10W-30, which retail for $5.95
a quart. By registering as an AMSOIL Preferred Customer, customers pay only
$4.65 a quart, and even less when purchasing by the case.

 

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John Cardell
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702-472-9618

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