The PQIA recently stopped at a number of convenience stores in Youngstown Ohio, and to our disappointment we observed Mileage 365 motor oil at nearly all of the stores we visited. Mileage 365 is a product that PQIA has seen on store shelves in the past and found it to have deficiencies serious enough that the oil will likely cause harm to an engine. And the sample we obtained during our most recent visit to Youngstown was likewise deficient. The product lacks any meaningful level of additives to protect engines from wear, sludge, and corrosion. In addition, the levels of silicon, copper, aluminum, and iron in the product indicate it may contain used oil and abrasive material. Further, the low temperature viscosity of the product tested does not meet the requirements of an SAE 5W grade and this could cause engine starting issues in cold temperatures.
Consumer are advised not to put their engines at risk by using Mileage 365 Motor Oil!
In addition to the poor quality of the product in the bottle, the labels on the Mileage 365 Motor Oil fail to provide information on the company that manufactures and/or distributes it. This is a violation of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) and the Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulations. See Labeling – Responsible Party
So how can a motor oil that would likely cause harm to an engine and fail to comply with labeling laws still be found on store shelves, and what can be done to protect consumers from it?
The unfortunate reality is that although there are laws to protect consumers from defective and harmful products and assure proper labeling, the sheer number of consumer products and stores in the US makes it challenging for states to scrutinize all of them. Importantly, however, state authorities typically do take action when consumers in a state bring such issues to their attention. And in Ohio, this means contacting the auditor’s office in the county where such products are sold. PQIA has done so for this product and encourages others to do so as well.
Unlike many other states where the Department of Weights and Measures is centralized, in Ohio local jurisdictions are responsible for testing and inspecting all commercial weighing and measuring devices, and the state assists in the testing and inspecting of scales, meters and packaged consumer goods.
But, in addition to bringing such products to the attention of state and local authorities (State’s Weights and Measures), the first line of defense in helping to assure your vehicle’s engine is not damaged by use of substandard motor oil is to read the labels on the bottles before you buy. Make sure the labels show the viscosity grade and performance certifications specified in your owner’s manual, and identifies the manufacturer or distributor. And beware of misleading viscosity grades that are not preceded by the letters “SAE” or lack a “W” in multigrades, as seen with the Mileage 365 sample.
An important point to consider when shopping for motor oils is that harmful products sometimes sit side-by-side with motor oils that meet current specifications. And for those unfamiliar with specifications, they might assume that all motor oils on the shelves are similar and turn to price to make a buying decision. In the case of the Mileage 365 where we observed prices nearly half that of some other brands on the same shelf, buying on price could be a costly mistake.
So, before you look at the price on a bottle of motor oil, read the labels.
Other Mileage 365 samples previously tested by PQIA: