Motor oil not always up to standards

Anyone who has taken a look under the hood of a car knows what an integral role motor oil plays in the functioning of a vehicle. The liquid is essential for auto engines, and it is incredibly important for drivers to make sure they are using the oil properly - especially if they plan on braving the elements in an off-road vehicle in the near future. 

Motor oil falls short
The American Petroleum Institute recently conducted a comprehensive study that looked at the quality of motor oil. Research found that 1 in 5 samples of bulk motor oil purchased within the past five years do not meet performance standards, which can have a drastic effect on the vehicles it is used in. 

"API is concerned about the high levels of failure we are finding in our results," said Kevin Ferrick, manager of API's Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System. "API is sharing these audit findings with the public as part of its new 'Motor Oil Matters' program, which will help reduce the risk of consumers receiving oil that doesn't meet their cars' performance requirements." 

The organization took samples from more than 1,800 motor oils, with almost 20 percent failing to meet quality standards. These standards are in place to protect consumers and their vehicles, so the fact that so many drivers are heading out on highways and off-road routes with less-than-stellar materials in their automobiles is concerning. 

Importance of motor oil
There's a reason why so many experts cite changing motor oil at regular intervals as one of the keys to preventative maintenance. It is an essential part of the vehicle's engine, and filling the system with the right oil can go a long way toward preventing harmful build up of dirt and sludge.

Those who put off oil changes or use low-quality motor oil may have to replace an engine or undergo costly repairs sooner than expected. That kind of work is the last thing many fans of off-roading want, especially as the fall weather is ideal for recreational driving, so the only solution is to utilize the proper materials. 

"The Motor Oil Matters program reminds consumers about the importance of using quality motor oils in their cars and trucks," Ferrick continued. "The Motor Oil Matters program also calls on certified oil change locations to go the extra step to verify the quality of the oil on invoices and receipts."