Results of my request for data from Opti-Lube

tditom

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I know many folks here are using Opti-Lube products for lubricity improvement due to its performance in the Spicer Test. Some of us have had doubts about the results of the Spicer Test. While I applaud Arlen Spicer for spearheading that effort, personally I would have preferred results from fuel that already had a lubricity additive that was added at the distribution terminal, so it would be representative of what is available to us at the retail pump. Here are a couple of posts from other threads that articulate the issues some of us have with the way that test was conducted:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3308251&postcount=153
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3656566&postcount=15
I don't want to debate the methodology chosen for the Spicer Test here, so please refrain from that in this thread.

A few years ago I was able to obtain HFRR test data from Power Service on both Diesel Fuel Supplement and Diesel Kleen products. Power Service has their own test facility with an HFRR and claim they are using it to check thousands of fuel samples to ensure their product lives up to its claims. They are generally pretty conservative with their claims due to the variation of fuel across the country and different times of year, so this is what their site claims:
PS FAQ said:
What is Slickdiesel® Lubricator and what does it do for my engine?

Slickdiesel® Lubricator is a proprietary Power Service diesel fuel lubricity additive that is added to many of our products to increase the lubrication properties of diesel fuel. This increase in lubricity will increase the life of fuel pumps and injectors. The fuel pump manufacturers (Bosch, Delphi, Denso, Siemens and Stanadyne) consider fuel lubricity to be the most crucial property of diesel fuel as it relates to reduction of pump and injector wear. The Engine Manufacturer Association (EMA) has stated that, “Shortened life of engine components such as fuel injection pumps and unit injectors usually can be ascribed to a lack of fuel lubricity and hence is a concern to engine manufacturers.” Slickdiesel® Lubricator meets the new ASTM HFRR 520 Lubricity Specifications for the United States and the more stringent European Specification of 460 in most fuels.
Since Opti-Lube has such a strong following here, I wanted to see if they could provide any additional data besides the Spicer Test. So I sent them the following email on 6/26/2012 to the addresses available at the Opti-lube site:
-----Original Message-----
From: tom
To: steve <steve@opti-lube.com>; raina <raina@opti-lube.com>
Sent: Tue, Jun 26, 2012 4:09 pm
Subject: OptiLube Diesel fuel additive


Greetings-
I am a diesel fanatic and am a regular contributor on a few Internet forums for diesel vehicles. I have been concerned about lubricity levels in US Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel since it was introduced, and therefore have always used lubricity additive to ensure adequate protection for my pump and injectors. I also take every opportunity to advise diesel owners to do the same (there seem to be more and more of us all the time).

Since your additive is not available at retail outlets, and I have previously received data from another additive manufacturer that is widely available, I have chosen to use that manufacturer's additive. Since your product did so well in the dieselplace.com "Spicer Report", I am interested in using your product, but before I switch I'd like to see before and after wear scar data from your additive when used on retail diesel that already has a level of lubricity additive. This is different from the Spicer Report as those additives were tested on fuel from a distribution terminal BEFORE distributor lubricity additive was introduced to it. My reasoning is that since I would be using OptiLube on retail pump fuel, I want to know how much wear scar improvement I would receive in the real world and not in a lab study such as the Spicer Report.

Do you have such data and are you willing to share it? Would you be willing to put this data on your website so all potential customers could see it?

Thanks very much for your time and consideration!
Tom
After waiting over a month with no response, I sent a second email this past Wed. Since I got no response to that I decided to call them today.


One of the people I had emailed answered the phone and said he was waiting for the other person on the email to respond. He then spoke to that person and put me on speaker phone so all three of us were connected. Here is the gist of the conversation:
  1. She mistakenly thought the Spicer Test was done on retail fuel.
  2. They have no other HFRR data besides the Spicer Test available.
  3. She was not aware of when they would have any additional data.
  4. I suggested they have the testing done and share the data on their website. They agreed that this would be helpful but have no plans as to when they would do so.
The bottom line is that since they don't have data and seem to be riding on the results of a test that was performed on one sample of their product that was sent to Spicer with knowledge that it was going to be used in that test, I would not use their product.

I was really hoping to be able to share some hard data, but there is none :(
 

wensteph

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I use something else, but this is chemistry, not black magic. Certain chemical compounds increase lubricity in ULSD, use these compounds in your product and you will increase lubricity. Other posts have indicated that Opti-Lube gets their additive package from Lubrizol which is certainly a top tier chemical supplier.
If this is true then Opti-Lube is probably a quality product, but they offer no evidence it is best in class. In fact, it may be no better than the additive package that's in a quality branded D2.
 

kydsid

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Interesting. I am currently using OptiLube. Thanks for putting time into this. BTW, how much does HFRR testing cost?
 

Cogen Man

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I've used Opti-Lube XPD since the first tank. Too bad they wouldn't do some testing and share with the buying public. It could help their bottom line. Thank's for trying to get some info for us. Perhaps they will follow through as she stated and do the testing and post it on their website. I to found that they get their stuff from Lubrizol which was what steered me to using Opti-Lube.
 

Ol'Rattler

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They probably don't even realize it yet, but their lack of concern kinda put their product in the snake oil category...................
 

Bob_Fout

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I remember seeing a quote for around $300 from SwRI here in San Antonio.
I had an additive tested by HFRR some years ago, cost me $600... :eek: (two tests: pump fuel, then pump fuel with additive)
 
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jgeorge

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Thery're riding high from the results of 1 report- Why would they do more testing with the risk of a negative result? Or maybe they have and won't release the results as this is the case. Any company that sells a product would have to do testing to know that it does work and does what they claim. So--- draw your own conclusions.
 

NewLyme

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Thanks tditom for your efforts. I was using Power Service until I saw the Spicer Report. I then switched to Opti-lube. I called Opti-lube to find out the differences in their products. Since the Spicer Report stated the XPD had the best lubricating properties I wanted to know why. I explained to the rep all I was interested in were the lubricating properties, and what would be best for me to use. The rep told me I could get the same lubricating properties from the Summer Blend as XPD, all I had to do is double the dose. That means going from 1 oz per 20 gallons to 2 oz and that is what I've been doing. 1.5 oz in each tank. Does it work, I don't know? Does it hurt the Emission Systems, I don't know? The ONLY thing I know, is with my HPFP I can sleep at night knowing I tried something. I have been debating going back to Power Service. That is a very good point made about product testing. Once again Thank You for your efforts and post.
 

Treg12

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I'll share my thoughts on Opti-Lube...

I called them twice over the last four months to make a decision on an additive. For those of you that are skeptical of the sample sent for the Spicer test, I would have to agree.

Not sure if most of you realize that they are a SMALL company. The product is mixed by another company in Wisconsin, and then shipped back to Opti-Lube's shop in Utah.

The company was recently sold from one acquaintance to another. The new owner that I spoke with a couple of months ago knew VERY little about the product he was selling in my opinion. I am sure that since I spoke with him a couple of months ago he has learned more about the product, but at the time, he seemed VERY unknowledgeable about what he was selling.

I am sure Opti-Lube has some benefits, but I would not necessarily put too much into the Spicer Report given that they were the only product that was not bought off the shelf for the test. If you consider that the sample was sent from the owner's small shop in Utah, who really knows what was in the sample!

If you are going for peace of mind, why would you put a product into your car if you are not absolutely sure of what is in it? Also, I feel that since some other products are mass produced, there is likely a bit more consistency into what you are buying.

I am not trying to bring down Opti-Lube or trash their company. But to be fair, they have benefitted greatly from the Spicer Report, and I believe that the public should at least have information to make an informed decision.

At the end of the day, who really can say for sure if the additives work, or if they are necessary. For my own peace of mind, I finally settled on Stanadyne. The Performance Formula was the one used in the Spicer test. To bring it's lubricity value up, I am adding a couple of ounces of the Stanadyne Lubricity Formula to four ounces of the Performance Formula per tank (14 gals). By combining them, I get the benefit of a cetane boost, anti-gel, and higher lubricity....

Just one opinion.
 
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tditom

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I had an additive tested by HFRR some years ago, cost me $600... :eek: (two tests: pump fuel, then pump fuel with additive)
So around $300 per test?

What did you have tested and what were the results? Thanks in advance for sharing!
 

tditom

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I'll share my thoughts on Opti-Lube...

I called them twice over the last four months to make a decision on an additive. For those of you that are skeptical of the sample sent for the Spicer test, I would have to agree.

Not sure if most of you realize that they are a SMALL company. The product is mixed by another company in Wisconsin, and then shipped back to Opti-Lube's shop in Utah.

The company was recently sold from one acquaintance to another. The new owner that I spoke with a couple of months ago knew VERY little about the product he was selling in my opinion. I am sure that since I spoke with him a couple of months ago he has learned more about the product, but at the time, he seemed VERY unknowledgeable about what he was selling.

I am sure Opti-Lube has some benefits, but I would not necessarily put too much into the Spicer Report given that they were the only product that was not bought off the shelf for the test. If you consider that the sample was sent from the owner's small shop in Utah, who really knows what was in the sample!

If you are going for peace of mind, why would you put a product into your car if you are not absolutely sure of what is in it? Also, I feel that since some other products are mass produced, there is likely a bit more consistency into what you are buying.

....

Just one opinion.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

I'm curious about the part I bolded above. Another member shared this a few years back:
FowVay said:
...I called the company [Opti-Lube] and spoke to a super friendly lady. She got my shorted gallon jug in the mail that day. She said the company had 39 employees and that they actually do the blending of the product at the warehouse. I don't know what that says about quality control but I guess it could be good or bad.
I did NOT have a good feeling after reading that. Hopefully they are following strict procedures on mixing the high quality Lubrizol chemicals and have robust QC procedures in place. Maybe the warehouse the rep referred to was the one in Wisconsin that you were told about. Hopefully if anything the product quality has increased. We can't know until we have data.

Maybe Opti-Lube monitors these various forums and will take action. They would be well advised to pay for their own tests and be clear about the results. One can hope...
 

Bob_Fout

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So around $300 per test?

What did you have tested and what were the results? Thanks in advance for sharing!
Well...here's the sticky wicket. As part of the agreement to have the testing done, I cannot mention which lab did the test, and cannot mention the specific results, either.

All I can say is, as tested, Seafoam did not significantly change the HFRR wear scar of pump diesel. The pump fuel as tested (from the area the lab is located) was well below the 460 mu limit, too. YMMV.
 

tditom

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Well...here's the sticky wicket. As part of the agreement to have the testing done, I cannot mention which lab did the test, and cannot mention the specific results, either.

All I can say is, as tested, Seafoam did not significantly change the HFRR wear scar of pump diesel. The pump fuel as tested (from the area the lab is located) was well below the 460 mu limit, too. YMMV.
Thanks. Can you tell us which metropolitan area the sample fuel came from?
 

Bob_Fout

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Thanks. Can you tell us which metropolitan area the sample fuel came from?
Not sure. It would be easy to identify the lab then. The test was done sometime in 2011.
 

GTIDan

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Well...here's the sticky wicket. As part of the agreement to have the testing done, I cannot mention which lab did the test, and cannot mention the specific results, either.

All I can say is, as tested, Seafoam did not significantly change the HFRR wear scar of pump diesel. The pump fuel as tested (from the area the lab is located) was well below the 460 mu limit, too. YMMV.
Let's see here; you paid for the report but can't share the results..........'really', I mean really? Hmmmm :rolleyes:
 

Bob_Fout

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Let's see here; you paid for the report but can't share the results..........'really', I mean really? Hmmmm :rolleyes:
That was part of the agreement to have testing done. I can speak in generalities about the results.

NOTE: The testing wasn't for Opti-Lube, but another additive.
 
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Treg12

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Thanks for sharing your experience.

I'm curious about the part I bolded above. Another member shared this a few years back:

I did NOT have a good feeling after reading that. Hopefully they are following strict procedures on mixing the high quality Lubrizol chemicals and have robust QC procedures in place. Maybe the warehouse the rep referred to was the one in Wisconsin that you were told about. Hopefully if anything the product quality has increased. We can't know until we have data.

Maybe Opti-Lube monitors these various forums and will take action. They would be well advised to pay for their own tests and be clear about the results. One can hope...
I specifically remember the new Opti-Lube owner telling me that the product is mixed by a company in Wisconsin, then shipped to them in Utah. He also said they were considering mixing the product themselves in Utah, but also explained that they were a small operation. He openly gave me all of the info I have posted.

I really don't believe the new owner had a clue how many diesel owners are in the loop concerning the Spicer Report.

I just did a google on "Lubrizol".....bingo......

LUBRIZOL CORP
1060 TEEL CT
BARABOO, WI 53913-1069
 

tditom

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I specifically remember the new Opti-Lube owner telling me that the product is mixed by a company in Wisconsin, then shipped to them in Utah. He also said they were considering mixing the product themselves in Utah, but also explained that they were a small operation. He openly gave me all of the info I have posted.

I really don't believe the new owner had a clue how many diesel owners are in the loop concerning the Spicer Report.

I just did a google on "Lubrizol".....bingo......

LUBRIZOL CORP
1060 TEEL CT
BARABOO, WI 53913-1069
Odd that the name is the same, but I don't think that's the same company:
http://start.cortera.com/company/research/k8s3qzj5n/lubrizol-corp/

above link said:
COMPANY OVERVIEW

LUBRIZOL CORP is in the Fire, Marine, and Casualty Insurance industry in BARABOO, WI. This company currently has approximately 250,000 to 300,000 employees and annual sales of Over $1,000,000,000
I don't see any mention of Lubrizol being involved in the insurance industry on their corporate site.
 

40X40

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Yes, really!

Let's see here; you paid for the report but can't share the results..........'really', I mean really? Hmmmm :rolleyes:

If Bob says so, then you can count on it.

You can trust most of the old timers here to put the well being of the club way ahead of their own interests.

Bill
 

MPGonad

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once this thread has resolved itself based on its own momentum, maybe it wouldn't hurt to shoot the link over to opti-lube.

i'm i'll be filling up for the first time early next week, and i just received a gallon of their product. would be good information to have. thanks for all the legwork OP.
 

JSWTDI09

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I don't see any mention of Lubrizol being involved in the insurance industry on their corporate site.
...and that corporate website shows their addresses all in Ohio, not Wisconsin. There must be two different Lubrizol companies.

One more point to add - One of the biggest complaints about the Spicer Report and Opti-Lube XPD is that the XPD was not purchased "off-the-shelf" but rather supplied directly by the manufacturer. This is true, but what is also true is that this is still the way almost all Opti-Lube is acquired. Opti-Lube has very few distributors and even fewer retailers that sell it. Most users still get it directly from the company via mail order. Opti-Lube claims that their product's formula has not changed and that Arlen Spicer got the exact same product you can buy today. We really have no reason to doubt their word (but we also have no reason to believe it).

All I know for sure is that when I switched from Stanadyne Performance to Opti-Lube XPD, I could feel and hear the difference. My engine was quieter and smoother. That was all the proof I needed. I have added 6oz with every fill-up since.

Have Fun!

Don
 

tditom

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... Opti-Lube has very few distributors and even fewer retailers that sell it. Most users still get it directly from the company via mail order..
Just to be clear, I'm not aware of any brick and mortar retailers where you can buy their products. Its all on-line or via distributors.

Opti-Lube FAQ said:
Where can I purchase Opti-Lube products

We have Distributors in the USA and overseas, please call us to locate the nearest to you. We also ship online orders daily from our Utah warehouse. Our UPS shipping rates are very reasonable
 

Treg12

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I would think that if the results of the Spicer Report are true, and the Opti-Lube tested is the exact same formula as what you can buy today, Opti-Lube should jump on the opportunity to clear this up......I am sure his small business would make a huge gain in sales overnight. Through my conversation with the new owner, I was not confident in the product.

I'd like to believe the hype, but for now, I'll go with the bigger brand and hope for the best.
 

tdiatlast

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...and that corporate website shows their addresses all in Ohio, not Wisconsin. There must be two different Lubrizol companies.

One more point to add - One of the biggest complaints about the Spicer Report and Opti-Lube XPD is that the XPD was not purchased "off-the-shelf" but rather supplied directly by the manufacturer. This is true, but what is also true is that this is still the way almost all Opti-Lube is acquired. Opti-Lube has very few distributors and even fewer retailers that sell it. Most users still get it directly from the company via mail order. Opti-Lube claims that their product's formula has not changed and that Arlen Spicer got the exact same product you can buy today. We really have no reason to doubt their word (but we also have no reason to believe it).

All I know for sure is that when I switched from Stanadyne Performance to Opti-Lube XPD, I could feel and hear the difference. My engine was quieter and smoother. That was all the proof I needed. I have added 6oz with every fill-up since.

Have Fun!

Don
I'm with Don on this, as my experience was the same. I've also been following his constant advice to "Have Fun!"
 

gmcjetpilot

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There is no secret. Opti Lube XPD compounds are published and listed below, and they are all typical additives for adding: lubricity, anti foam, fuel stabilizers (dispersant, antioxidants, metal deactivators), biocides, demulsifiers, smoke suppressant and yes, cetane boost (which adds MPG) http://www.itow.org/fueladd.htm

The fact is the diesel fuel you buy already has an additive package in it. The question is it good enough and can it be better? Below is what is in Opti Lube XPD... Chemist have a field day. Warning a few of these compounds with enough exposure will kill you; keep it off your skin and don't sniff it. I figure for a buck and a quarter per tank, it is cheap insurance to boost my diesel fuels lube package a little; otherwise I'd get some B99 and throw it in to make B5, but alas the closest bio-diesel is two hours away round trip. So my decision to start using XPD is based on it can't hurt. My start of use coincides with an early fuel filter change at 50K (instead of going to 60K, a full 20,000 miles). Then I'll change the fuel filter again at 60K, looking for each time. My warranty expires at 64K.

(notes are my own)
Petroleum naphtha From 52 to 63 percent (cetane boost I believe)
Trimethylbenzene From 13 to 21 percent
2-Ethylhexyl nitrate From 6.6 to 13 percent (diesel fuel ignition enhancing and emission lowering additive)
1 ,2,4-Trimethylbenzene 6 12.percent
1 ,3,5-Trimethylbenzene From 3.3 to 6.6 percent
Propylene glycol ether From 3.6 to 6.6 percent (is made by different processes, it's also a bio-diesel byproduct)
Xylene 3 percent
Cumene 2 percent
Naphthalene 1.5% IARC Suspect Carcinogen NTP Carcinogen
Ethylbenzene 0.7% IARC Suspect Carcinogen
 
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Bob_Fout

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GMC,

2-ethylhexyl etc is cetane. Petro naptha is probably a carrier base, with some cleaning ability.
 
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