I have been in the quick lube business for over 30 years. In this industry, many changes (no pun intended) have happened in that time.
When I started, 10w30 was the norm for gas vehicles, and 15w40 for diesels. 5w30 was in its infancy and re-education of consumers began. Through the years, the weight of the oil has changed several times. So has the oil’s quality and consistency.
I have often talked on what I call ‘Lubrication Education’ so I would like to start with the life-blood of my business: oil.
The most important part of any oil is its weight. In today’s vehicles the weight that manufacturer’s specify is marked on the oil cap or on a sticker under the hood or in the owner’s manual. This weight specification is not negotiable. Sometimes the manufacturer may give you a choice according to weather conditions, but usually it’s one weight in all conditions, end of story.
One of the biggest changes to the car industry is the use of synthetic oil in brand new vehicles. Today, whether the oil is conventional or synthetic the normal weights are 5w30, 5w20, 0w20 for gas engines, and 15w40, 5w40, 10w30 for diesel engines.
As you can guess, there is a price difference between conventional and synthetic oils so if you are paying for synthetic oil at conventional prices guess what? You aren’t getting synthetic oil.
If you are not convinced that using synthetic oil is right for you (unless your manufacturer gives you no choice) try using it once or twice in the winter time. It has made block heaters virtually obsolete. Plugging in your vehicle is not as necessary as years ago because these oils have a pour point in the -60° range. As a matter of fact, for every night you do not plug your vehicle in, you save approx. $1 on your electricity bill. So over the course of an oil change interval, you pretty much save the difference in price on your electricity bill.
The most important thing to remember is that the best oil for your car is CLEAN OIL. The cheapest and most beneficial maintenance is regular oil changes.
At the Lubrication Stations we hand out stamp card on which every seventh oil change is free*. Then we draw from the completed cards to send two customers per year on a gorgeous holiday.