Castrol replies to critics

Sir,

Dear, oh dear! I write a letter presenting, so I thought, a reasonably objective and balanced expression of my company's views on the subject of long-life oils, and I find myself accused by Mr. Tyssen-Heape of "beating a shining breastplate of self-righteousness." He really cannot be allowed to get away with this!

May I make it clear straight away that Castrol have not "launched" an oil of this type in Norway. The truth is that a total of 240 quart tins of a grade known as Castrolite E.D.I. was shipped to that country, some six months ago, made to a particular specification requested by one of our distributors there. There has been no publicity for this grade, nor will there be, and we have not claimed, nor will we claim, that this oil may be used for longer than the period specified by any car maker.

Mr. Tyssen-Heape asks what we would expect from an oil marked E.D.I. The initials originate from the United States where they are commonly used and, as he rightly says, stand for "Extended Drain Interval"—extended, that is, on the car makers' recommendations from every 1,000 or 2,000 miles to today's 5,000 or 6,000 miles. Castrolite and Castrol XL in the U.K. are already E.D.I. oils in this universally accepted sense. So far as we know, no company in America claims for its E.D.I. oil that it may be used for longer than any car maker recommends.

Mr. Tyssen-Heape also suggests that Castrolite is not a "normal multi-grade oil." Surely he must be aware that the S.A.E. definition of multigrade specifically includes oils within the 20W/30 group? 20W/30 is a sufficiently wide range to cope satisfactorily with the climatic conditions in this country. At the risk of being accused of re-assuming my breastplate of self-righteousness, dare I observe that we do not believe in asking the motorists to pay for something he does not need? As to the current trend to lubrication servicing every 30,000 miles; yes, we had noticed this. But this refers neither to oil changing nor to several other routine attentions which every car maker specifies at far more frequent intervals.

It would be quite impossible to deal adequately here with the subject of test data. It must suffice to say that any suggestion that information regarding Castrol is not available is quite untrue. Over the years, we have published a mass of technical data covering tests of every kind.

Finally, may I address a brief word to another of your correspondents, Mr. O. L. Uren, although I do not believe he really intends to change his brand of oil because of what I said. The phrase I used was "lubrication procedures" which was intended to refer, perhaps rather pompously, to the frequency of sump draining—not the choice of oil. Rootes do recommend one brand only, in this they are unique among British car manufacturers, but they approve the use of other reputable makes, including Castrol. Your Rapier is quite safe, Mr. Uren!

Laurence Sultan,
Group Public Relations Officer,
Castrol Limited.
London, N.W.1.