FAKE OILS with API Certification Marks

Article by: Dr Trisonic. Feb 2021.

I visited a reputable workshop recently and was astonished to know that there are many brands of motor oils with fake API certification marks displayed on the bottle packaging.

Ironically, the owner of the workshop was also clueless that these oils have not been approved by API and was using one particular “Japan Oil” on his Volkswagen Golf R which have no OEM credentials such as VW 502 00 / 505 00, BMW LL-01 or MB 229.5. FYI, Oil that carries an OEM approval has made it through number of tests that cover all the protective properties deemed vital by the manufacturer of the lubricated parts which allow you the certainty that you are offering the highest service level by using top-quality lubricants. 

As an engine oil formulator, there are many ways to spot those fraudulent oils.  One example is when a lubricant blender claimed that their motor oils are API SM 10W-40 with Resource Conserving.  Straight away, I know this is a false claim as API SM 10W-40 cannot claim Resource Conserving. 

Choosing the right engine oil is important, and it can mean the difference between years of smooth engine running or frequent engine problems.  I would like to take this opportunity to share with you a few tips on how to select a good motor oil for your cars

  1.  It is always important to refer to the vehicle owner’s manual to be sure you are using the proper oil.
  2. While many motor oils found in the market come with API license, to ensure that these engine oils are licensed with API, you should check for its brand under https://engineoil.api.org/Directory/EolcsSearch.  There are many motor oils in the marketplace that display the API engine oil certification mark but do not have API authorization, which may not deliver the quality and performance required of an approved oil.
  3. If your cars are European brand which requires different performance needs, it is important to use the engine oils that come with European claims like ACEA, BMW, VW, MB, etc.
  4. The current standard for gasoline engine oils is API SP. If the API Donut has an older designation such as SM or SL, it is designated for older engines. 

Finally, it is always important to choose a trusted engine oil with genuine API approval and European EELQMS certification, like TriSonic™ UltiMach GOLD 5W-40 and TriSonic™ UltiMach GOLD LEV 5W-30, to ensure optimal performance and engine longevity.