ExxonMobil Follows AMSOIL into
Extended Drain Market
Motor oil technology has
gradually progressed since the days of the earliest automobiles. In
those days, standard motor oil drain intervals were between 500 and 1000
miles, and motorists had to switch viscosity grades with the changing of
the seasons. The development of oil filtration and additive technology
in the 1930s allowed drain intervals to increase to 2000 and later 3000
miles, while the development of viscosity modifiers in the 1940s allowed
the formulation of multi-grade oils that could be used in both hot and
According to AMSOIL Vice
President Alan Amatuzio, the introduction of ExxonMobil extended drain
oil is long overdue. "While AMSOIL INC. has certainly proven that
extended drain intervals provide valuable benefits," said Amatuzio, "the
fact that ExxonMobil is finally saying the same thing brings the message
to even more people. ExxonMobil's move is significant in that more
consumers will now recognize AMSOIL as the pioneer in extended drain
oils and will benefit from the advanced technology we introduced 33
announced a new line of motor oils recommended for extended drain
It was only a matter of time before another company followed the path
forged by AMSOIL over 30 years ago. Some motorists may recall that Mobil
also followed AMSOIL into the synthetic motor oil business, introducing
its synthetic motor oil several years after AMSOIL. The technology for
extended oil drains is obviously available, but until now, the major oil
companies have had other agendas. Marc Graham, who is president of
Pennzoil-Quaker State-owned Jiffy Lube International, was quoted in a
2001 Lubricants World interview as saying, “At [PQS] we use a number
internally that if we [shortened the drain interval] by 100 miles [for
each car serviced], it would mean an additional $20 million in revenue
for the company.” He also explained that “if we could move our customers
to get one more oil change per year, it’s worth $294 million for the oil
change alone and $441 million in revenue, when you include the ancillary
products and services customers typically buy along with the oil
Mobil backed off 25,000
mile oil change intervals in 1974.
Mobil briefly recommended 25,000 mile oil drains in the 1970’s. It’s not
difficult to figure out who they were trying to compete with. AMSOIL was
the only other company offering synthetic motor oils and recommended
25,000 mile drain intervals. However, it may be that because vehicle
manufacturers weren’t yet comfortable with extended drain intervals,
Mobil retracted its extended drain recommendations and simply
recommended motorists follow the intervals specified in their vehicle’s
owners manual. Of course, traditional oil change recommendations also
allow Mobil and other motor oil companies to sell a lot more oil.
Everyone wins but the customer.
AMSOIL stands apart from
AMSOIL has always formulated its products to be the absolute best,
continually researching ways to make its already outstanding products
even better. Other oil companies, however, are beholden to shareholders,
and one could speculate that their incentive is to maximize profit. They
formulate oils down to a price, rather than formulating them to be the
best they can be. Then, they price their products to maximize profits.
In addition, AMSOIL has 33 years of experience blending premium extended
drain synthetic oils. That’s 33 years worth of proven performance in the
A close look at ExxonMobil’s
new long drain motor oil line reveals that two are petroleum based, one
is a synthetic blend and only one, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, is a
full synthetic. The petroleum based products are recommended for 5000
mile drains, the synthetic blend for 7500 mile drains and Extended
Performance for 15,000 mile drains. However, a look at the fine print
reveals that ExxonMobil is still recommending drivers follow the oil
drain recommendations listed in their owners manuals during the warranty
period. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are recommended for 25,000 mile or
one year drain intervals in both new and older vehicles. The AMSOIL
warranty stands behind this recommendation.
AMSOIL has recommended
25,000 mile/one year drain intervals since 1972.
AMSOIL delivers the highest quality lubricants on the market. It’s the
AMSOIL identity, and it’s what customers expect. Al Amatuzio coined the
phrase “extended drain interval,” and from the beginning, AMSOIL
synthetic motor oils have been formulated for extended drain intervals.
Vehicle manufacturers are
pushing for extended oil drain intervals.
Vehicle manufacturers in Europe have been recommending extended oil
drains for years. In fact, the average drain interval in Europe is
10,000 miles. Vehicle manufacturers in the United States are definitely
coming around to extended oil drains as well. Most owners manuals from
recent model vehicles recommend 5000 to 7500 mile oil drain intervals.
In addition, oil life monitors have become increasingly common on
today’s vehicles, allowing and encouraging motorists to increase drain
intervals up to 12,000 miles, even when using conventional oil. Vehicles
equipped with an oil life monitor no longer recommend oil changes based
solely on mileage. The system measures engine operational data such as
temperature, revolutions and speed to determine when the oil is nearing
the end of its life.
The motor oil industry is
faced with the extended oil drain interval issue.
The success of oil life monitors has posed a threat to motor oil
companies who insist oil must be changed every 3000 miles. It becomes
increasingly difficult to maintain this position when vehicle
manufacturers are recommending significantly longer intervals with the
use of their oil monitoring systems. This is no doubt one of the reasons
ExxonMobil finally introduced a line of long drain motor oils.
AMSOIL products are
available for less.
The suggested retail price of the top oil in ExxonMobil’s new line,
Mobil 1 Extended Performance, is between $7.50 to $8.00 a quart in
K-Mart! That’s right in line with AMSOIL
which retail for $7.25 a quart. By registering as an AMSOIL Preferred
Customer, customers pay only $5.70 a quart, and even less when
purchasing by the case.