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Mechanics Veto Extending Oil Changes

Mechanics Veto Extending Oil Changes 
Bucking New Trend

Lexington, Ky. (July 2006) - The nation's top mechanics are rejecting
the recommendation by some in the auto field that cars can go 5,000
miles or more before oil is changed.  
The nation's top mechanics, National Institute for Automotive Service
Excellence (ASE) certified Master Automobile technicians, weighed in on
this and other issues in a survey conducted by Valvoline, a leading
maker of premium motor oil and car care brands. Other issues in the
survey, fielded in April, include: 
*	Current state of the American auto industry
*	Controversial recommendation and trend toward longer intervals
between oil changes
*	Costs to car owners of delayed maintenance 

"Certified Master Automobile Technicians are the best of the best," said
ASE President Ron Weiner. "They are on the front lines of taking care of
today's vehicles and they have definite thoughts on how motorists can
participate in making their cars and trucks run better and last longer."

Oil Change Frequency

Mechanics view oil as the lifeblood of the car engine, with 84 percent
saying not getting a regular oil change can cause the most problems for
a vehicle, when compared to other maintenance issues. Sixty percent of
the ASE certified master technicians said the oil should be changed at
3,000 miles - the longtime, recommended standard.  Only 29 percent said
between 3,000-5,000 miles is okay.  Acceptability of 5,000 to 10,000
miles before an oil change is virtually non-existent at two percent. 

According to the survey, Valvoline remains the number one choice of ASE
Master Automobile Technicians for use in their own cars and trucks, and
is the brand of motor oil most recommended by them to customers, friends
and relatives. 
"The message from the top mechanics in the country comes out loud and
clear," said Valvoline Marketing Director Bryan Emrich. "Changing oil
with quality motor oil, like Valvoline, at regular intervals is the best
way to prevent damage to your car's engine and keep more money in your
Emrich said regular oil changes protect the engine and reduce sludge,
which can impact engine performance and avoid costly repairs.  

Alternative Fuels: Matter of When, Not If

 The technician's are divided in their opinion about when alternative
fuels will replace gasoline in most American automobiles, but they
universally believe it will happen, according to the survey.
"Clearly alternative fuels are on the minds of expert mechanics, just as
they are capturing public and major automaker's attention as gas prices
continue to rise and stay at higher than traditional levels," said
Asked when most cars will be fueled by alternative fuels, the ASE
mechanics predicted the following:  
*	14 percent within five years
*	26 percent in five to 10 years
*	31 percent  in 10 to 15 years
*	28 percent in more than 15 years

Only 1 percent said it would never happen. "Mechanics are the front line
of car care and good predictors of trends.  If they are right, it is a
matter of when, not if alternative fuels will be the norm, rather than
the exception," Emrich said.

Delayed Car Maintenance
While car owners know, intellectually and intuitively, that regular
maintenance is important to keeping their four-wheeled investment in
safe condition and working order, the reality is more and more Americans
are not listening to conventional and proven wisdom.   The vast majority
of mechanics - 87 percent - said they believe American car owners are
putting off routine maintenance, mostly for cost reasons.  Ironically,
they overwhelming said - at 97 percent - that delayed care will cost an
owner much more in the long run, as problems left unattended can
multiply and lead to other issues.  

The U.S. Auto Industry
	While the mechanics, at 65 percent, believe the American auto
product is better than ever, at the same time they believe, at 79
percent, that there is still a need to improve vehicle quality.  Fifty
percent believe there is consumer prejudice against U.S. automakers and
48 percent believe the demise of the American auto industry is "more
media hype than reality." 

About the Survey Respondents
The 300-plus ASE Certified Master Automobile Technicians surveyed were
certified for 14 years on average; more than one in four of those
surveyed had been certified for more than 20 years. Participants in the
survey are ASE Certified Master Automobile Technicians, currently
employed as an automotive technician on a full-time or part-time basis.

About ASE
Incorporated on June 12, 1972, the National Institute for Automotive
Service Excellence was established as a non-profit organization to help
improve the quality of automotive service and repair through the
voluntary testing and certification of automotive technicians and parts
specialists. Today, there are approximately 400,000 ASE- certified
professionals who work in dealerships, independent shops, service
stations, collision repair shops, auto parts stores, fleets, machine
shops, schools and colleges throughout the country. For more information
about ASE, visit the Web site at

About Valvoline
Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc. , has been serving
American motorists longer than any other motor oil company and is a
leading innovator and supplier of quality, high-performing automotive
and industrial products in more than 100 countries. Best known for its
lubricants, Valvoline also markets Eagle One(r) appearance products, Car
Brite(r) car restoration products, Zerex(r) antifreeze, SynPower(r)
performance products, Pyroil(r) automotive chemicals and MaxLife(r)
products created for higher-mileage engines. Valvoline also has a stake
in the growing quick-lube market with its Valvoline Instant Oil
Change(r) unit.

About Ashland
Ashland Inc. is a Fortune 500 chemical and transportation
construction company providing products, services and customer solutions
throughout the world. To learn more about Ashland, visit