High-Mileage Oil for Old and New Cars?


ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties this month launched its entry in the high-mileage passenger car motor oil category with Drive Clean Plus, a product line that is also being marketed for new vehicles.

Separately, ExxonMobil announced the launch of an alliance with COT-Puritech to offer lubrication services to industrial customers.

Several other marketers have introduced high-mileage motor oils during the past few years, pitching them as specially formulated to protect aging seals and to reduce oil consumption. Valvoline created the category with the 2000 launch of MaxLife, which is marketedfor vehicles with more than 75,000 miles. The company has since credited the product for improving margins and boosting profits, and claimed last fall to have more than 80 percent of the market segment. Pennzoil, Quaker State and Castrol have also introduced high-mileage motor oils.

ExxonMobil bills the 10W-30 and 10W-40 versions of Drive Clean Plus as the first synthetic blend high-mileage oils, although it does not specify whether the line contains polyalphaolefin or premium mineral oil base stocks. Like other entrants in the field, ExxonMobil says its high-mileage oil cleans deposits and sludge, conditions seals, reduces oil consumption and protects engine parts.

In a pitch that perhaps undermines the notion that older cars need different things from motor oil, the company is marketing the 5W-30 grade of Drive Clean Plus specifically at new models. Many auto manufacturers now recommend 5W-30 or even 5W-20 oils in new cars.

The new services program, Integrated Lubrication Services, will perform a variety of activities, from initial fill during plant start-up to flushing of lube systems, from maintenance to fluid reclamation. Programs will involve COT-Puritech technicians working on-site and consulting with ExxonMobil engineers. COT-Puritech is a lube services provider based in Canton, Ohio.

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