Dollar General Motor Oil Lawsuit

Across the United States there are stores called Dollar General that sell products for $1 or less. Their automotive shelf comprises of a few different weights of in house brand (DG) motor oil among other automotive products. A Houston Texas man just filed a lawsuit that his vehicle was damaged due to using the brand of motor oil sold by Dollar General, which he claims is unsuitable for today’s cars.

Dollar General (DG) sells three types of motor oils being: SAE 10W30, SAE 10W40 and SAE30.

Granted that very few cars on the road today can utilize any of these oils, but there is a disclaimer on the back of every bottle and shouldn’t people be expected to know what oil they are supposed to put in their vehicle. It’s in your owner’s manual and even printed on the oil cap of your car. If you put in the wrong oil, of course you could damage your car. Both the Dollar General SAE 10W30 and SAE 10W40 are detergent motor oils of the API service grade SF. SF according to API; grade SF is for vehicles 1979 thru 1988 and older. There have been six upgrades in oil since SF. The current API service grade is SN.

The Dollar General SAE30 is a non-detergent oil that has not been recommended in cars since the 1930 or 40s. There are some specialty uses for this non-detergent oil such as air compressors, power washers, and it is still used as break in oil for new engine rebuilds among other 3in1 type uses.

Keep in mind that almost every auto parts store sells an SAE30 non-detergent oil too. Valvoline SAE30 non-detergent oil at Walmart sells for $7.89. NAPA sells its private label (manufactured by Valvoline) SAE30 non-detergent for $4.29 and even claims on their website that it meets OE Warranty Requirements (which is incorrect).

Is it wrong for Dollar General to sell similar oil products as Auto Zone, Advance Auto, NAPA, and even Walmart that could also harm your engine should you decide to use it? What does Walmart state about their SAE30 non-detergent oil? “Non-detergent Oil SAE30 motor oil is for older automotive engines.” Basically identical to what Dollar General stated about their $1 oil and what is printed on each bottle.

In this litigious society, people are always looking for someone to pay for their ignorance or lack of vehicle maintenance. My vote goes with Dollar General in this case.