Monthly Archives: March 2019

Mobil 1 motor oil, “Intel Inside,” “Die-Hard car batteries,” “The man from Orkin….” What do these have in common?

Triumph of prolonged consistent marketing has convinced the public these names signify top tier quality and value and products superior to others that are not as well known.  But do they?  The failure rate of Intel PC processors in miniscule.  The failure rate of PC processors made by AMD is equally miniscule and they cost less.  Is there any objective reason to trust the “Man from Orkin” more than any other exterminator?  A friend of mine was incredulous when I told him it sounded like the battery in his car had failed.  “It can’t be the battery!  It’s a Die-hard!  That’s supposed to be a good battery!”  There are only two automotive battery manufacturers of any significance in the United States.  Globe-Union and Johnson Controls make batteries for Sears, Interstate, and most everybody else.  Some batteries come from overseas.  Don’s Automotive buys batteries from a distributor who does not deal in sufficient volume to have a trade name like “Die-Hard” molded into the case.  You need the volume of somebody like Sears for that.  “Die-Hard” and Interstate “Mega-tron” batteries fail young in Texas heat just like any other.

Mobil 1 is a high quality motor oil that is 100% synthetic and is certified to meet the newest and most rigorous American Petroleum Institute standards and those of ILSAC: The International Lubricant Standardization and Advisory Committee.   So are many other brands of motor oil, many of which you have never heard of.

If you have a headache will it be reduced sooner with Bayer aspirin as opposed to HEB house brand aspirin at 25% the cost?

It pays to be cynical when it comes to massive advertising campaigns.

Don’s Automotive keeps Mobil 1 engine oil for those that request it.  We don’t consider it a great value and use full synthetic oil of other brands in our own cars.  I recently went online and verified that “Pureguard” motor oil is certified to meet the most rigorous API and ILSAC standards.

If the rack & pinion steering gear in your Camry starts to leak we could replace it with a genuine Toyota branded “remanufactured” part.  Or we could use a Maval “remanufactured” steering gear with a two year warranty — Toyota’s warranty is one year — for a lower cost.  Guess who supp[lies Toyota and Lexus with “remanufactured” steering gears?