It should be noted that the sample of SMB 10W-30 PQIA examined is sold in 16-ounce bottles, and labeled as such. This is the first instance in the US where PQIA has observed passenger car motor oil bottles on store shelves with a content other than the traditional 32-ounce (1 quart) bottles.

This points to another good reason why consumers should always read the labels.

When observed as the only motor oil on the shelf (as at the dollar store where PQIA purchased the SMB sample), a consumer could inadvertently assume the product contains one quart since passenger car motor oil is most commonly sold in quart bottles at retail stores in the US.

Although it’s easy to see the difference between the two bottles when they sit side-by-side, it’s less so when looking only at pint bottles that are the same shape as the traditional quart bottles and there are is no reference to compare with quart bottles on the shelf. This was the case at the store PQIA visited.

Whereas downsizing of packaging in consumer products has been seen for a number of years in other product categories (i.e. soda, chips, toiletries), this is the first time PQIA has observed it in passenger car motor oils.


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