AVENEL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Nineteen brands of motor oil have been banned in New Jersey.
The State Office of Weights and Measures said lab testing showed the viscosity on labels of the banned oil did not match the oil itself.
Viscosity is a measure of a liquid’s tendency to flow.
Officials said the use of a motor oil with viscosity levels that are either too high or too low for a vehicle’s engine specifications may result in the risk of engine failure.
“Many of these allegedly mislabeled motor oils are sold at cheap prices, thereby luring those consumers who can least afford the extra maintenance costs or early engine failure that may result from using the wrong type of motor oil,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement. “We are rightly removing these potentially harmful products from New Jersey’s marketplace, and will penalize retailers who continue to sell them.”
Mechanic Freddy Rivas told CBS2’s Sonia Rincon an oil with the wrong viscosity can slowly destroy your car with each oil change.
“You create a film, on the cylinder, and that creates a protective shield,” Rivas said. “But with these oils you lose that, so what happens is you’re grinding the piston up and down and you’re actually wearing out the engine.”
State Consumer Affairs Director Steve Lee said the now-banned products were usually found in gas stations, 99 cent stores, and mini marts, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
“We have no reason to believe that retailers knew that these products were mislabeled,” Lee said.
Lee told Rincon just reading the bottle on one of the brands could clue the consumer in that it’s wrong for his or her car.
“This motor oil is not suitable for use in most gasoline powered automotive engines built after 1930,” Lee said, reading the fine print on one bottle. “And I don’t know about you. I don’t know a lot of people who are driving cars that were built before 1930.”
Retailers were told to stop selling the products or face fines, Putney reported. Lee said they could face a fine of a $100 per bottle, which is a lot more than the products sell for– around $4.
Lee said the oil companies are the target.
“These manufacturers are essentially preying on people that can’t afford motor oil or want to pay as little as possible,” Lee said.
For the full list of banned products, click here.
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