Survey: Synthetics No Threat to Fast Lubes


Quick-lube operators wondering if it is prudent to push synthetic motor oils need not worry about losing money to drain intervals.

So said Castrol Consumer North America recently in reporting results of a two-year survey. The lubricant marketer found that motorists who use synthetic oils change their oil only slightly less often than those who dont, meaning that quick lubes should make more money off synthetics, even in the long run.

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The company based its findings on analysis of nearly 1 million transactions with more than 400,000 customers between 2001 and the first quarter of 2003. The information was gathered from quick-lubes that carry Castrol motor oils, mostly independently owned centers. Many also carry other motor oil brands.

According to a news release distributed earlier this month, the average drain interval for customers who use synthetic oils was only 800 miles longer than the average interval for customers who do not.

Castrol said the survey also refuted two other myths about customers who use synthetic oils: that they tend not to purchase additional products or services when having their oil changed; and that they tend to spend less on such products and services than customers who use conventional motor oils.

The survey found that 56 percent of customers who opt for synthetic oils also purchased other products or services and that they spend nearly twice as much on those items.

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