Labels on motor oil bottles provide consumers with important information to describe the product, specify its contents and use and, of course, build and leverage brand awareness. Because of this, you can be sure marketers spend many hours crafting the language and selecting the images on the limited real estate that labels offer. But there is one statement frequently seen on labels that makes you wonder if time forgot about it: Always consult your owners manual for specific recommendations. Although this may help to limit the manufacturers liability, does it really help consumers select oil?
Consulting your owners manual used to be a relatively easy process. If you had a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air,for example, you would pull a 33-page owners manual from the glove compartment and turn to page 16, where it would say, For maximum engine protection under all driving conditions, oils designated For Service MS or For Service DG are recommended. In addition, it included a simple chart to select the correct SAE viscosity grade under different temperature ranges and suggested the appropriate viscosity grade when multi-viscosity oils were used.