Oil is oil, or is it not?


#1

The service at the mom and pop gasoline station I’ve done business with for years is great. Recently they switched from BP to “Pure.” And for oil changes they’re using a brand of motor oil called “Coastal” which I’ve never heard of and can’t find out anything about it on the Net. My new Honda is about due for it’s first oil and filter change, but I’m leery of that Coastal brand motor oil. Pop says “oil is oil” and all of it is okay as long as it has that some kind of approved certified seal on it.



What do you guys think? Thanks ahead of time for your comments and opinions.


#2

If the oil has the correct API service rating (e.g. SL) and is of the correct viscosity (e.g. 5W-20) that is called for in your owner’s manual, you should be fine. This assumes that your car does not require a special synthetic oil that may not be available in the Coastal brand.

Some time back, Consumer Reports did an intensive study of different brands of oil. I think they used newly rebuilt Chevrolet V6 engines installed in a New York taxicab fleet. While there were some differences in the oils, Consumer Reports did not experience any engine failures related to the motor oil. One interesting note is that the motor oils under the same brand name seemed to have different characteristics depending on what part of the country the oil was purchased. My guess is that one refinery in one part of the country may produce oil under different brand labels.

I have an Oldmobile that I purchased new in 1978 with 240,000 miles. The head and pan have never been off the engine and I have used whatever oil that meets or exceeds the specifications in the owner’s manual that I can obtain at the best price. One time I purchased Citgo oil, and with the rebate, it was 0 cents a quart. This was quite a bargain. The car still doesn’t burn oil. Take a look at a jar of Coastal oil and see if you can see the name of the refinery. I purchased Wolf’s Head oil on sale and found that it was refined by Pennzoil

I’ve noted in my area that automobile dealers will switch the brands of oil they use in their service departments. It probably is based on cost.


#3

dealers use Bulk oil, basically whatever they can get for the cheapest price and one should be concerned about how the bulk oil is stored. Some are rusted barrels or tanks etc. Anyway, oil is not oil but if you change it every 3000 miles anything with the API donut will do. That is sort of a very minimal standard by the way, definitely not the gold seal so it is relatively meaningless for the most part but a basic indicator of sorts. many high end synthetics are not API certified due to the cost of getting that donut but exceed the API requirements. Anyway, I would purchase my own oil and filter and have your independent mechanic put it in, most independents will do that. Honestly do not know if coastal any good but you do not want recycled/re refined oil


#4

quote (by Anonymous):

dealers use Bulk oil, basically whatever they can get for the cheapest price and one should be concerned about how the bulk oil is stored. Some are rusted barrels or tanks etc…
Do you have a source for that statement Anonymous? Or should I just trust you on blind faith?

So I should use the cheapest oil and the cheapest filter in my new car and I’ll be saving, what, $25 per year. Yeah, right. That is about half the cost of a gas fill-up.


#5

Do you have a source for that statement Anonymous? Or should I just trust you on blind faith?

Blind faith in someone named Anonymous? :slight_smile:

Actually I can’t see them using rusty old barrows for storing oil. In fact the oil should come in a fresh barrow.

As noted, the real question is not what brand, but rather that the specifications set by the car's manufacturer is what is important. 

I can remember back in the 50's when the brand of oil could make a difference, but today the specifications are federally assured.

#6

Assuming it is the correct weight and meets the API rating requirements for your car (owners manual), pop’s oil will meet the minimum standards for your car. Sorta like any steak that has been approved by the FDA meets the minimum standards to be eaten, does that mean “steak is steak”?