STEVE SWEDBERG has over 50 years of experience in the oil industry. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and graduate work in business administration. He also has extensive training in petroleum products technical service as well as total quality management. His work experience includes lubricants research and development with ARCO and UNOCAL, oil additive marketing at Edwin Cooper (now Afton) and Chevron Oronite and lubricants marketing with Pennzoil. He managed technical groups related to oil marketing, product quality and technical services.
Swedberg has also been involved with several industry organizations including STLE, NLGI, ASTM and, most notably, SAE, where he was Technical Committee 1 (Engine Oils) chairman from 1992 to 1996. While in that position, he was able to help influence industry direction as well as make many valuable industry contacts. Swedberg is currently consulting on lubricating products and additives and is a technical writer.
We’ve all been there: A customer pulls up to have his oil changed. The service writer looks and sees that the vehicle in question isn’t an American-made product and immediately starts thinking, “What oil does this one require?”
Motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) is an almost universal part of the modern automotive scene. When the temperature is over 100 F, or even when the temperature is 20 F (aids in defogging windows), your air conditioning system (AC) is vital to passenger comfort and safety. What changes could be coming? Surprisingly, the basic concept of AC was first noted by none other than Ben Franklin. In a recent piece from The Mobile Air Conditioning Society Blog it was reported that in the mid-1750s, Franklin was experimenting with using a vacuum to evaporate liquid ether and reported a significant
Do Customers Still Have to Use the OEM Recommended Oil? Customers are feeling frustrated and confused, especially with the prices of the synthetic oils that are being recommended. The question asked over and over is, “After the warranty, do I still have to use OEM recommendation?”
General Motors’ dexos brand of engine oil has been out since 2011. The question many have is why GM developed their own oil specification. Understanding how we got to dexos can shed some light on the future of OEM-specific oil specs. Here's what you need to know about GM's motor oil spec.
By now you may have heard about AmazonBasics, the new engine oil brand available on, you guessed it, Amazon. First introduced in late July and prominently featured on Amazon’s oil page, AmazonBasics is a synthetic engine oil with API SN Plus and GF-5 credentials.
The world of so-called “light duty” diesels is getting more complex, and Ford is now recommending API FA-4 motor oil in its newly introduced, smaller diesel engines, such as the f-150 with the 3.0L diesel engine.
Recently, Shell Oil created quite a stir when they published a report saying that the flagship product of one of their major competitors in the HDEO marketplace failed to meet a major engine test requirement of the latest API category.
We’ve all been taught that the single most important property of any lubricant is viscosity. Why is that? Since the four primary purposes of an engine oil are: 1. Lubricate, 2. Clean, 3. Cool and 4. Protect, it stands to reason that the proper viscosity will maximize lubricant performance in all four aspects. But what happens when the proper viscosity isn’t used?
About 50 years ago, the motor oil business was based on individual OEM requirements. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler had special tests they required in addition to what was then known as the MS tests. It made for additional complexity in supplying oil to dealers and do-it-yourselfers. That’s when API devised the forerunner to the current system, which sets a category based on what the OEMs and oil marketers can work out through discussions and test development.
With oil change intervals being recommended at anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 miles and the generally robust construction of modern vehicles, there's not much work to be done, and the resulting reduction in car count at any store creates some very special challenges.
Prior to 2000, about 80 percent of the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) market was covered by General Motors’ Dexron III, Ford’s Mercon or Chrysler’s ATF +4 standards and specifications. It was easy for an installer, mechanic or do-it-yourselfer to figure out which one to use for makeup or replacement fluid. Lubricant marketers only had to carry a couple of aftermarket fluids to meet a majority of the demands. Today, Dexron III/Mercon fluids are gone, replaced by Dexron VI and Mercon LV. In addition, they account for less than 50 percent of the aftermarket use. OEM-specific fluids with special requirements