New motor lube specifications to challenge consumers, says panel

03 December 2010 22:14  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recast with paragraphs 5-6]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Educating consumers about the correct motor oil to use in vehicle engines is becoming more difficult as specifications proliferate, lubricant blenders said on Friday.

Speaking at the annual ICIS Pan-American Base Oils Conference, a panel of three lubricant blenders and a representative of the American Petroleum Institute (API) discussed the advent of General Motors’s (GM) specifications for dexos, the lubricants to be used in its vehicles.

Until now, US blenders have relied on specifications devised by the API in collaboration with lubricant manufacturers and auto makers.

“The potential loser here is the consumer,” said Gary Rooney, senior vice-president of the blending company CAM2 International, referring to the extra costs involved in storage and logistics with a wider variety of lubricant grades. “Get ready to pay more for lubricants in the future.”

According to the GM dexos information center, the lubricant is a “high quality, robust oil that will contribute to longer drain intervals [meaning a customer can go longer between oil changes] as well as improved emissions performance, fuel efficiency and engine protection”.

GM said it was making the requirements global. “That's because the same quality oil needs to be available everywhere,” it said.

James Kudis, vice-president of Allegheny Petroleum Products, encouraged the API to continue working with vehicle manufacturers. “I hope we can bring some sanity back to classifications,” he said.

Harji Gill, of Pinnacle Oil, said his company had been given no specific details from GM on how it will educate the public about its dexos specifications.

The conference concluded on Friday.

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By: James Mills
+44 208 652 3214

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