For Some, A Leading Warranty Is As Important As Leading Products
Michael Meuli | VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT
People want products that help them avoid wasting time and money – total solutions that solve problems.
In our industry, one way to offer customers the promise of saving time and aggravation is to back your products with a splashy engine guarantee. Most of them are intended to grab your attention with an eye- popping number of guaranteed miles or years.
For example, the Valvoline* engine guarantee offers up to 300,000 miles of engine coverage. Castrol* goes even further, guaranteeing your engine “forever.”
Many oil filter warranties are just as enticing on the surface. Mobil* warrants its Extended Performance Oil Filters for up to 20,000 miles, depending on the filter.
These guarantees and warranties make for great theater, but do they hold up once you read the fine print?
Say you want to take advantage of Valvoline’s 300,000 miles of guaranteed engine protection. Your vehicle cannot have more than 125,000 miles on the date of its first qualifying oil change, which must have taken place on or after April 1, 2010. You must change oil before every 4,000 miles “continuously and exclusively” using one of Valvoline’s full-synthetic oils, regardless what your owner’s manual says.
Valvoline does give you three exceptions if you go beyond 4,000 miles. Just don’t ever exceed 6,000 miles, or you lose coverage.
Can you keep track of that?
The Castrol plan looks better. Who doesn’t want engine protection guaranteed “forever?” Again, though, read the fine print. You have to use Castrol Edge Professional motor oil exclusively and the service must be performed by an “automotive service center, commercial fast oil change facility or auto dealer.” Castrol also wants you to change oil every 5,000 miles / six months, although you can extend that interval if your vehicle owner’s manual allows it. Coverage excludes vehicles with more than 100,000 miles. If your vehicle has more than 75,000 miles on it when you register for coverage, Castrol only pays 50 percent per claim, with a maximum of $2,500. That’s not much of a reimbursement when you consider the cost of an engine.
Let’s look at filters.
Mobil guarantees certain Extended Performance Oil Filters for 20,000 miles. We know from experience how impressive that is since our Ea® Oil Filters designated with product code EaO provide up to 25,000 miles / one year of service. But Mobil recommends that you follow the service guidelines in your owner’s manual when changing your filter despite the 20,000-mile interval printed on some of its Extended Life Oil Filters. So, if your owner’s manual calls for 5,000-mile oil and filter changes, your 20,000-mile Extended Performance Oil Filter essentially becomes a 5,000-mile filter.
Alternatively, let’s look at the AMSOIL Limited Warranty.
We pride ourselves on building extra protection into our products. In the same way, we build extra protection into our warranty.
• We don’t limit total vehicle mileage.
We stand behind our products no matter what the mileage on a properly maintained vehicle, whether it’s 300,000 miles, a million miles or forever.
• We don’t impose inconvenient service intervals.
I know for some it’s a joy, but for others, having to change oil every few thousand miles is a hassle. We guarantee our products for their full recommended service intervals, regardless of what it says in your owner’s manual. For example, if you use Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil and your driving conditions fall under our “severe” designation, that means we’ll back our product for 15,000 miles / one year / 700 hours no matter what it says in your owner’s manual.
• We don‘t force exclusive and continuous use of the same oil.
We (and your engine) would love it if you used Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil from your car’s first mile to its last. But we understand how life can disrupt our best laid plans. Maybe you want to switch to OE Synthetic Motor Oil. Maybe in a moment of weakness you use a different brand of oil that your brother-in-law had lying around his garage. As long as you follow the guidelines given in your owner’s manual while using a different brand of oil, we’ll continue to cover you once you resume use of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil.
The AMSOIL Limited Warranty offers peace of mind, reserve protection (in case you exceed the service intervals given in your owner’s manual) and flexibility to use whatever AMSOIL synthetic motor oil fits your maintenance schedule. Like our products, it’s ahead of the game.
This article is from the April 2018 issue of the AMSOIL Dealer Magazine.