The World’s Source for Engine Oil Data

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the advantage to buying a regional database vs. a custom dataset?

At IOM we recognize that our customers may have different needs for engine oil data and that is why we designed our site to be flexible. In general, purchasing a regional dataset will provide the most data at the best value per oil. IOM recognizes that some customers may want only a few key oils from a region or only require data for a specific test, and that is why we built in the capability to conveniently create and purchase custom datasets.


Does IOM data ever expire?

No, it does not. Once a database or dataset is purchased, you will have access to the data through this website. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing your data please contact us, we will work with you to correct the problem.


Can I download purchased data to Excel or a .csv file? 

Yes, data may be downloaded to a .csv file and analyzed in Excel or other programs.


How do I give another person access to an IOM database or dataset? 

Each dataset may be assigned to one person after purchase but cannot be reassigned without special permission. The assignor will no longer have access to the data. To make the assignment click the pull-down menu next to your name and then Assign Data. Find the purchase to be assigned (the status is shown under the Transfer To column), if the dataset hasn’t been assigned, click the Assign button. Fill in the information on the pop-up screen and click Send Assignment Request. An email will automatically be sent to the person to which the assignment is made notifying them that data is pending their acceptance and providing instruction. Once the data is accepted, the status will change from Pending to Assigned.


Does IOM include bulk oil collections in the database?

No, the oils included in the IOM database are collected from the consumer marketplace.


What if the data purchased is not what was expected?

Customers are encouraged to review the Oil Tests Conducted page to ensure that the test information matches the needs of the user. The IOM data is generated by expert lubrication test labs. Time, formulation changes, blend location, storage, oil use in an engine, lab, operator, instruments, and the method itself all can contribute to variation in results. The team at IOM work hard to minimize these sources of variation through our work practices. Comparison of IOM data to data from non-IOM sources is discouraged and should only be attempted by an experienced professional with expertise in lubrication testing. Additional concerns can be discussed by contacting us.


Does IOM accept funding from engine oil marketers, formulators, or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)?

No, IOM is exclusively funded through subscriptions to the engine oil database. IOM is committed to being an unbiased source of engine oil information. Please see the Testing & Quality Assurance page for additional details. The selection of oils and viscosity grades collected is determined by IOM personnel and not by parties outside IOM.


I suspect a collected oil might be a counterfeit. How do I report it?

If you suspect an oil is a counterfeit, please contact us and provide us details on why you believe an oil that was collected might be counterfeit. IOM will not seek publicity via media channels.


How does it happen that IOM could collect a counterfeit product?

IOM collectors seek to purchase through the same channels that the consumer can buy oils: auto parts stores, superstores, dealerships, fuel stations, and truck stops. In the over thirty years that IOM's been collecting engine oils, collecting a counterfeit oil is a relatively rare event. While IOM dos not seek to collect or expose “bad” oils, it is possible that a look-alike counterfeit could be collected. Counterfeit consumer goods are everywhere and the market for engine oils is no exception.


Will IOM make a recommendation on what oil I should use?

No, IOM’s mission is to provide high quality unbiased information on engine oils, we do not make recommendations. The IOM database provides information on over 30 bench tests performed on oils collected from store shelves around the globe. Purchasing the engine oil data provides insight on the technical properties of each oil dataset purchased. Armed with this information, a customer can then determine and select the best engine oil for their driving situation.


Why is my credit card information being rejected at checkout?

There are a number of reasons why a credit card might be rejected. Please contact us and we will investigate the details.


What company information will show up on a purchaser’s Credit Card statement? 

Most customers will see "IOM Purchase" listed as the company on their credit card statement.  

Customers who purchase using an American Express Card may temporarily have “Stripe” listed as the company.  Stripe is the name of the credit card processing service that the Institute of Materials' website uses.  The company name will change to "IOM Purchase" in about 48 hours.


Which browsers are supported by the Institute of Materials' website?

The latest version of the following browsers is supported:

    Windows:  Chrome  /  Firefox  /  Opera  /  Internet Explorer (10+ with limited support for 9)

    Mac OS X:  Chrome  /  Firefox  /  Opera  /  Safari

    iOS:  Chrome  /  Safari

    Android:  Chrome  /  Firefox


Use the Contact Us page or call +1 (989) 496-2307 if you have a question that is not answered here.