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Consumer Alert Issued For Motor Oils, Transmission Fluid

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July 8, 2019—The Petroleum Quality Institute of America issued a consumer alert about five transmission and motor oil products that could damage engines.

The products— four motor oils and a transmission fluid— were purchased in Illinois and Ohio and tested by the PQIA. Tests found that the products didn’t meet advertised specifications, contained abrasive materials and might have adverse effects on modern engines and transmissions.

One of the brands in the alert was Xpress Lube Pro motor oils at 5W-30 and 10W-40 grades.

In a video accompanying the consumer alert, PQIA President Thomas Glenn showed that something seemed wrong about the oils right away. He shook the bottle.

“It sounds more like water than it does oil,” Glenn said in the video. “In both cases, it sounds quite thin.”

Glenn said that their tests showed the viscosities of both grades to be much lower than advertised— 68 percent lower for the 10W-40 and 30 percent lower for the 5W-30, according to PQIA.

Another product in the advisory was Petrola 10-30, which is labeled as “premium” but contains some contaminants. The fine print on the bottle says that it’s not suitable for automobile engines made after 1930.

The PQIA also tested Lube 1 Oil 5W-30 and found that it didn’t meet viscosity specifications and was not comparable to an API SJ service category, as the bottle label suggested.

The transmission fluid tested was Rev360 ATF-A. While the label specifies use for vehicles that require a “type A” fluid, the PQIA notes that this specification isn’t suitable for vehicles made after 1957.

“Use of this product in nearly all automatic transmissions currently on the road will likely cause harm,” according to the PQIA alert.

Glenn said he wouldn't recommend using these products.

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