Independent testing conducted by the Institute of Materials (IOM), shows that 16 percent of engine oils claiming to meet the American Petroleum Institute (API) “SM” specification, in actuality do not. The IOM is an independent testing body that purchases motor oils from the retail market and puts them through over 30 industry-standard tests. Since 1984, the IOM has been continually monitoring the performance, chemical and physical characteristics of motor oils sold on retail shelves throughout North America. From the September 2010 AMSOIL Hotwire dealer newsletter:
According to the Institute of Materials (IOM), testing shows that of the 250 off-the-shelf motor oils that claim to meet the API SM specification, 16 percent do not. According to Mary Herrmann, IOM general manager in Midland, Mich., 40 motor oils failed at least one of the specification limits.
“This shows the challenge for API,” said Herrmann. “They also gather samples from the marketplace and do testing, but we’re still seeing oils that are off-spec which carry the ILSAC and API marks on the labels.”
AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils meet or exceed minimum API SM specifications, and the company’s rigorous quality control program ensures each quart delivers superior protection and performance.
One can only speculate whether the products that failed the testing is due to quality control issues or if the offending manufacturers are fudging their formulations. We have heard of engine oils being out of their claimed viscosity range right out of the barrel, so this is not a complete surprise to us. Regardless, the consumer is being short-changed. As mentioned, AMSOIL’s robust formulations easily meet or exceed the minimal API specifications. As for quality control, AMSOIL boasts the ISO 9001:2008 certification under the scope: “Synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment directly associated with lubricant product.”