Piston Slap: G.E.T. Outta Here

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC Commentator dastanley writes:

I saw an ad in a magazine for G Oil a biodegradable motor oil. Green Earth Technologies (GET) makes and sells this biodegradable motor oil from American sourced beef tallow (or so they claim). GET claims that the API has certified this oil with an “SM” rating. They also sell a full line of other automotive and lawn and garden products that they say are earth friendly.

Do you have any info on this? Is this the real thing or just beef tallow bullshit?

Sajeev answers:

Unlike some of our Best and Brightest, I am no expert on petroleum. But I’ll get the ball rolling, putting two and two together. First, GET’s oil meets or exceeds requirements of API SM, so it doesn’t completely suck. This sets the performance “floor” for an oil, a less than reassuring concept for any (non-leased) car powered by a remotely modern engine design.

More to the point, it’s a floor and not a ceiling: kinda like state-mandated standardized testing thresholds for high school students. So even if you make the grade, you’re probably not Ivy League material. For better or worse, of course.

And the OEM’s know it: Wikipedia notes that several automakers diverged from API’s low ball standards back in the early 1990s. Try VW’s high mileage service intervals on beef tallow-based oil: forget about sludging problems, the oil pan would be lined with metal shavings well before that!

Buyer beware: avoid a “green oil” until an OEM approves it for use in their cars. Not that I hate the environment, but protecting the “Federal Green” in your wallet is no laughing matter. Which is why I do what I do.

(Send your queries to mehta@ttac.com)

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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4 of 32 comments
  • BuzzDog BuzzDog on Dec 17, 2009

    This product appears to be the answer to a question that no one asked. After all, isn't practically all used motor oil reclaimed? (Notwithstanding the occasional neighbor who dumps it into the storm drain...)

  • DweezilSFV DweezilSFV on Dec 17, 2009

    I would use reclaimed, re-refined, used motor oil in my car before I ever used this. Sounds like organic snake oil to me. I have to agree with you Sajeev: until one of the manufacturers certifies that their cars are compatible with using it and all warranties remian if force, it will have to stay on the shelf with the Overhaul In A Can that comes with pellets you shoot into your spark plug holes to rebuild your engine. Not all that's green is gold......... How many years before the mercury on those curly cue eco friendly light bulbs starts leeching into the soil and water ? And in this case, the oil isn't compatible with vegan morality and philosophy much less OEM standards.

  • Commando Commando on Dec 17, 2009

    Doesn't anyone just buy a qt. of OIL anymore? Sheesh....

  • Andy D Andy D on Dec 17, 2009

    I put 350K miles on a car using the cheapest dino 20 W 50 I could find with an STP filter. I just changed the oil at 4k intervals. Oil is made to a minimum standard that is plenty good enough. The rest is advertising hype. If I could easily find re-refined oil , I would use it. The beef tallow based oil is prolly made by thermal depolymerization cracking. "Synthetic" oil is made from natural gas base stock. Hydro carbons is hydrocarbons regardless of their source.