I decided to change oil on bowtie6 and headed to AutoZone with three jugs of used oil and responsibly disposed of the old stuff in their recycling tank. Since they let me do this, I try to keep business with them so I picked up an Ecotec compatible K&N oil filter and a 5 quart jug of Mobil1 5w-30 oil.
The fellow behind the counter scanned the goods and said the bill was almost $50. This didn’t make sense because the posted price for the oil was $29. He said that is the price with a Mobil1 oil filter; otherwise the price of the oil is $38. This is a scam because the Mobil1 filters are slightly double what the K&N filters go for. So at the end, the price is almost the same.
I told him I would pass on the oil; instead I just bought the K&N filter. This is when I asked him why the price discrepancy because I can buy the same jug of Mobil1 oil from Wal-Mart for $23.
His reply was very interesting…
Before he started answering my question, he informed me he was a previous manager at a Pep Boys and had also been in charge of an automotive department at a Wal-Mart before working at AutoZone. And, he gave me the “look”, as if to say what he was about to say was the inside dope on matters. Then, he proceeded to tell me that Exxon-Mobil makes two different qualities of oil. AutoZone gets the premium batches while Wal-Mart gets the scraps. Thus the difference in price between the two.
According to this fellow, the AutoZone Mobil1 oil gets certified as premium oil. He then informed me that the Mobil1 oil sold at Wal-Mart is of a lesser quality. In his words: “the Mobil1 sold at Wal-Mart is the bottom of the mixing vats and the size of the molecules is not up to par with the batches they sell at AutoZone”.
Hmmmm… Again, I did some Google searches on this subject and indeed it is a matter of debate. All I have to say is that given the law-suit friendly climate prevalent in our nation today, why would a huge company like Exxon-Mobil expose themselves to loss by making two qualities of oil branded under the same name?
Yet more food for thought: what about the Mobil1 sold at Costco? They don’t sell the jugs, instead they carry the six-packs. Yet the price is comparable to the Wal-Mart price. Reckon this has to do with volume of good sold and not necessarily quality?
What are your thoughts on this?
Like my Dad used to say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one”. 😉
Until next time…