What's in a label?

    How well do you understand the labels on the engine oils that you use? Most of us look up the type of oil we are supposed to use in our vehicle manual. The manual tells us which oil is best for our engine and that is the one we use. But how do we know that’s the right oil? Will it protect the engine best?

    Choosing the right oil for your engine is more complicated than simply following the manual instructions. You need to take into account the type of vehicle you drive, how you drive, in what conditions, and what kind of engine you have. Most of that information may not be in your manual. There are different oil formulations for almost every type of engine condition. Picking the right one starts with knowing how to read the label.

    There are two labels you need to pay attention to, the API Donut and the API Starburst. These certifications don’t just end up on any bottle of engine oil. The API certification process has gone through a variety of changes throughout the years. In 1911, the API was known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. They started an early system of classifying engine oil based on viscosity. The current system is a much more comprehensive and focuses on ensuring that developers properly produce, test, and label their products to provide the best quality for consumers. The two label certifications, the API donut and the API starburst label, are the standard in the industry.

     The API donut has two halves. The top half indicates the motor oil performance standard determined by API. This standard suggests the level of testing the oil has gone through, and what engine to use the oil in. The bottom half of the donut indicates if the oil has resource-conserving properties. In the center of the donut is the viscosity grade.
     The starburst label indicates if the oil meets the International Lubrication Specification Advisory Committee (ISLAC) standards. This group is made up of engine manufacturers, oil and additive companies, vehicle manufacturers, and industry trade associations. This testing is for the protection the oil provides to the engine, fuel economy and emissions.

    To earn these labels, manufacturers must apply for licensing. This process is complicated and expensive. Companies may spend millions of dollars to permit an oil. The product goes through rigorous testing, including elemental analysis, finished oil physical properties, additive and base oil information, engine test information, and product traceability code data. Manufacturers must provide samples of their product for testing at any time.

    To ensure that companies don’t change formulas after testing, the API also maintains an audit check program. They buy oils and test them against the license formulas that are on file. Every oil is tested for cranking, pumpability, volatility, gelation, foaming, filterability, flash point, and shear stability to earn certification. The results of the previous testing must match up. Minor differences in the formulas will have to be corrected by the manufacturer. If the problem is more significant than that, the company could lose their licensing, and be asked to remove the product from the marketplace. There are many oils out there that are fraudulently labelled. The API maintains a website with the details of offenders. Manufacturers that claim to be endorsed by the API are lying as producers are not allowed to use endorsement language when referring to the API.

    The oil classification process is continually evolving, with the development of new testing methods and engine technology. Categories that are no longer used are labelled as obsolete. There are three current API service categories: Gasoline, Diesel C, and Diesel F. Each category has different classifications to help consumers choose which oil is best for their needs.

    To help consumers, the API has developed a program called Motor Oil Matters or MOM. This program is designed to help consumers choose high-quality motor oil. Distributors and oil changes locations may apply for licensing to ensure that they meet API standards and follow the API chain of custody. They must also submit to an auditing process. This program protects consumers and helps to educate them on the importance of engine oil quality standards.

    As a fuel supplier, we make sure to keep updated on all the changes happening in the oil world. Closely monitoring the labeling and certification process of the API is part of our job. Choosing the right product is about more than following the manufacturer’s instructions. We take into account the condition of your engine, how you drive, where and when. All of these factors affect performance and we make sure to recommend the products that will keep your engine running well for years to come. If you have any questions about what products to use, please reach out. We are always here to help.

    About Us:

    If you need additional information, please know that the team at Greg’s Petro is here to help. As your lubricants supplier in Bakersfield, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clarita or Ventura, California areas, we are available to help answer any questions you might have. Visit us online or give us a call to learn more.

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    • Posted by jennh / Posted on 5 November / 0 Comments

      3 Keys to Running a Successful Quick Lube Business

      There are many things that go into running a quick lube business, but there are three key items you should focus on if you want to retain customers. The keys to success include having quality employees, efficiently managing costs of goods and location, and great customer service.

      On average, 2/3 of business comes from repeat customers. In today’s competitive marketplace, attracting new customers can be very difficult. It is often easier and less expensive to retain an existing customer than it is to attract a new one. Great customer service is one of the most important factors in retaining customers and is the main differentiating factor across quick lube businesses. There are many options for customers getting their oil changed, but not all places provide great customer service. Keep in mind, every employee at your facility impacts the customer’s experience.

      The goal is to have every customer leave with a satisfied experience. However, that is not always the case, so it is useful for your business to think not only of reviews from satisfied customers, but also from dissatisfied customers. Satisfied customers will most likely recommend products and services to family, friends and co-workers. A personal recommendation is one of the most effective forms of advertising and is the least expensive. On the other hand, dissatisfied customers will not return to purchase products or services in the future. They will also share their negative experience with their family, friends and co-works which can negatively impact sales revenues. As an employee at your facility, you influence the satisfaction level of every customer.

      Overall, great customer service reinforces your brand and builds trust. You may ask why brands are important? Brands are important because they are recognized, set customer expectations and differentiates you from competitors. By providing great customer service, you create the trust that is needed for your customers to return.

      Be sure to check back next month for our blog on how you can deliver great customer service!

      About Us:
      If you own or are thinking of opening a quick lube franchise or oil change facility, we offer the products and services necessary to make your business a success! Whether you're building from the ground up or rebranding your current store, our specialists can guide you through every step along the way.

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      • Posted by jennh / Posted on 24 October / 0 Comments

        Watch out for carbon buildup

        Congratulations, you’ve bought a brand-new car! You wanted safety, reliability and all the bells and whistles. Well, you got them, and your new car should last you for at least ten years, right? Maybe.

        Newer vehicles are safer, lighter, and more fuel-efficient. They come with the most innovative fuel technology to improve your mileage, and with proper maintenance, it should last you a long time. There is just one little problem that may decrease the life expectancy of your new car. That’s carbon buildup.

        Watch this great video that Valvoline put together. Professional driver Chris Forsberg and Valvoline team members used a camera to show people the carbon deposits that were forming in their newer cars. Most of the cars had low mileage, and none were older than 2012, yet once the camera got down in the engine, dark black deposits were everywhere. The inside of their engines looked like a chimney that hadn’t been cleaned in years. Many of the drivers were utterly shocked. They had no idea this was happening in their cars. They trusted that their new vehicles were built to last and didn’t realize that the technology in their engines was causing this problem.

        Carbon buildup occurs as the fuel burns in your car. Just like a log burning in a fire deposits soot and grime on the inside of a chimney, carbon deposits will begin to form in your new engine. This problem occurs mainly in more modern cars with engines from 2012 to the present. Why is this happening? Aren’t these cars supposed to last longer? The reason carbon build-up is occurring is a new engine technology, referred to as direct injection technology.

        Older gasoline engines relied on fuel injectors to spray fuel into the air intake manifold where the air and fuel would mix. This mixture then moved through the engine cylinders at timed intervals and to the spark plugs where it ignited and boomed. It was a highly inefficient process that resulted in poor mileage and wasted fuel. Newer vehicles have direct injection engines. In these engines the fuel is transferred directly to the combustion chamber, skipping the air intake manifold and cylinder changes. This process creates a ‘lean’ mixture of fuel and air, about 40 parts of air to 1 part of gasoline or 40:1. The leaner mixture of fuel/air to burns better and more efficiently. The combustion chamber uses higher levels of heat than in a traditional gasoline engine, so it burns fuel better, so you get more mileage per gallon and reduced fuel emissions.

        The carbon build-up problem occurs because of the high efficiency of the direct injection engine. High combustion pressure in a direct injection engine causes the build-up on intake values and other parts of the engine. The fuel and the detergents in it bypass the valve and don’t clean it off like in a traditional gas engine which compounds the problem.

        Carbon deposits look like soot and ash on your engine. The way to stop these deposits from forming is to use engine oils designed for modern direct injection engines. Valvoline Modern Engine Full Synthetic is designed to help prevent these formations. It provides extreme temperature protection, meets API SN plus classification to protect against LSPI or low-speed pre-ignition. Using top tier fuels is also a great way to make sure that your engine is protected. Premium gas has additives that help clean your engine, and it is more refined to protect your engine.

        Carbon buildups can prematurely destroy your engine. They can cause a loss in fuel economy, stalling, engine knocking and overheating. If your car is beginning to show these symptoms, you need to do more than switch to a better oil and premium fuel. You’ll need to get the deposits removed, and your engine cleaned. Here are a few ways you can remove carbon deposits:

         Book a regular engine cleaning with your mechanic. Make sure that they check for deposits and ask what methods they use to remove them. Some shops will remove the intake manifold and blast away the carbon or clean the engine with a solvent that removes the carbon.
         Chemical cleaning of the intake system can flush out any deposits
         Remove the cylinder head and perform a valve job, cleaning out any formations by hand

        Newer vehicles are designed to be more fuel-efficient and to run better, but that technology can come at a cost. Regular maintenance and using the proper fuel and additives is essential to keep your car running for years to come. That’s why we always recommend Valvoline products. They are some of the best in the business, for the latest engine technology. When you are ordering supplies, talk to our team about carbon deposits. We can recommend products, like Valvoline Modern Engine Fuel Synthetic oil for your engines.

        Don’t run your new vehicle into the ground by letting carbon build-up. Use the right fuels and oils, and schedule regular maintenance cleanings to get the most out of your car.

        • News
        • Posted by jennh / Posted on 21 October / 0 Comments

          How to maintain a competitive advantage

          There was a time, not too long ago, that larger size fleets had a stronger advantage over smaller ones. The latter just couldn’t compete at the same level. Yet, like most things, times have changed and so has the competitive advantage of large-sized fleets. Smaller fleets are starting to catch up and making it harder for larger fleets to maintain their competitive advantage.

          While this is good news for the smaller fleets, it can be a challenge for larger fleets as they look towards the future. This makes the market more competitive. Before this, larger fleets only had to worry about competing with other companies of similar size, but now they have to worry about fleets of all sizes.

          The numbers prove that smaller fleets continue to gain momentum, even when you look at the new driver hires. For example, “between 2012-2018, 322k joined fleets with fewer than 100 trucks, 225k joined fleets with fewer than 20 trucks and only 155k joined fleets with more than 500 power units.” Then, take a look at the number of registered carriers, “small fleets with 7-19 trucks” had a “40% increase” from 2012 to 2018. “Very small fleets with fewer than 7 trucks” had a “72% increase” over this time frame and owner-operated fleets had a “20% increase.” These numbers show that smaller fleets are having expansive growth, which means larger fleets need to take notice now.

          What is happening? Tools that used to be more available for larger fleets are now becoming available for these smaller-sized fleets. They are able to use resources that help them save money and miles. Tools like Truckstop.com can help them operate more efficiently. They also access technological innovations to help them find better routes. Also, other factors like the condition of the fleet enter the equation. “The active Class 8 population is getting younger.” It’s true. In 2010, the average truck age was about 6.70. In 2018, it was 6. And in 2019, it dropped a little below 6. In 2022, it’s projected to be about 5.50.

          With this increased competition, how are bigger commercial fleets supposed to keep up? Well, there are a number of ways to reduce costs overall and increase competitive advantage. Here’s the thing, by increasing your fuel economy you not only benefit the environment, but you can maximize cost savings. It’s a win-win overall for a company looking to stay competitive.

          There are several ways to achieve the goal of improved fuel economy. Of course, driving a little slower can provide you with more fuel efficiency. But, there are also another set of options to consider. To get started, here is a list of updates to consider from Chevron:
           Low-rolling resistance tires: Drive/trailer
           Low-rolling resistance tires: Steer
           Aerodynamic mud flaps
           Trailer tail
           Aerodynamic wheel covers
           Fuel-efficient engine lubricants’
           Trailer skirts

          These options can help you save on fuel economy. For example, you could benefit from a 3% increase in fuel economy on low rolling resistance tires: Driver/trailer, which equates to “$1,833 cost per % increase.” However, that’s a “$5,500 cost per truck per year.” Take a look at this list from Chevron to see more number estimates of how much each item could potentially cost and save you as you decide what options you might adopt.

          But, as you consider these options, you don’t want to miss an easy change that your company can adopt. This one relates to the type of engine oil used. Chevron recommends this move the most, because of its lower cost and simplicity for fleets. This can make a noticeable difference and it’s a simple change to adopt. Yet, so many company’s miss this obvious solution. Don’t be one of them. Get the most out of your fuel economy.

          This simple change can help you stay competitive in an industry that continues to show more competition. Small and medium fleet growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down, which is why it’s important to start adopting new solutions now to stay in the game.

          You don’t want to choose just any engine oil for your fleet. You want one that helps you get the most bang for your buck, one that works for you. Chevron offers Delo 400 ZFA SAE 10W-30 oil. Its purpose is to boost fuel economy. They’ve also “removed the need for two oils – along with all the risk – for mixed fleets.” If you want to learn more about making this switch, you can request Chevron’s “14 steps to switching your fleet to Delo 400 ZFA” article from their website.

          At Greg’s Petro, we are proud to supply advanced Chevron branded fuels and lubricants. Through Chevron, Greg’s Petroleum Service is a supplier of California reformulated gasoline and Ultra Low Sulfur diesel #2. Both of these are newer, cleaner burning fuels and meet American and more stringent Californian standards intended to improve air quality. It’s important to us to supply advanced petroleum products and for our customers to know they can rely on us. If you’re looking for commercial fuel delivery in the San Joaquin Valley area, please contact us. We’re here for you and your fuel needs.

          • News
          • Posted by jennh / Posted on 9 October / 0 Comments

            The Chevron Delo Traveling Technology Lab is headed to Greg’s Petro – October 10th!

            The Chevron Delo Traveling Technology Lab is headed to Greg's Petroleum Service for an exclusive event on October 10, 2019, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

            If your job duties include maintaining trucks and equipment, you’ll want to join us for a tour of the NEW Chevron Delo Advanced Technology Traveling Lab! It’s an 80-foot, rolling educational experience that will provide valuable information to help your bottom line.

            The Delo Advanced Technology Traveling Lab consists of nine interactive experiences, all working together to demonstrate the importance of engine oil for the longevity and reliability of vehicles and equipment. Inside the truck, attendees will have the opportunity to experience what the inside of an engine looks like through the virtual reality experience, formulate oil, test their coolant, select the best products for their vehicles, and take a closer look at the wear and tear of engine parts.

            In addition to the valuable knowledge you will gain, Chevron will also pay a cash rebate of up to $2.50 per gallon (up to $2,000) to any attendee who purchases qualifying products within 30 days after the event. You must RSVP ahead of time to qualify for the rebate!

            We will also be providing lunch for all those who tour the truck, and you will be given the chance to earn Delo and Greg’s Petroleum Service branded merchandise!

            It’s an event you won’t want to miss! Please RSVP today!

            • News
            • Posted by jennh / Posted on 23 September / 0 Comments