New Jersey banned 19 brands of motor oil after laboratory tests revealed that the products' viscosity failed to match what was promised on their labels.
The banned oil includes such brands as Auto Club Motor Oil, Black Knight Motor Oil, MaxiGuard MG and Orbit Motor Oil. A list of the banned brands is posted on the State Office of Weights and Measures website.
Viscosity is a measure of a liquid’s tendency to flow. High viscosity fluids are considered "thick" and have slower flow rates, while low viscosity fluids are considered "thin" and have faster flow rates.
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, excess engine wear, and/or decreased fuel efficiency.
A petroleum industry tip prompted the state to test the suspect motor oils.
Retailers that continue to sell them will be subject to a civil penalty of at least $100 per package or container of the banned product – a penalty far in excess of the approximately $3 to $4 per quart bottle for which many of these products have been sold.
"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," said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.