Frequently Asked Questions

FORT DODGE- 2029 Quail Ave PH 515-573-4221:

From Hwy 20- take the 124 exit and go north on county road P 59 (Business 20) towards Fort Dodge. We are a little over 3 miles from Hwy 20 on the left. Watch for Western Xpress (a big trucking company) and we are the next driveway. Look for our sign on the building beside the road and turn into our yard. The office is in the large tan metal building.

From Hwy 169- get on Hwy 20 and go east, take the 124 exit and go north on county road P59 (also Business 20) towards Fort Dodge. We are a little over 3 miles from Hwy 20 on the left. Watch for Western Xpress ( a big trucking company) and we are the next driveway. Look for our sign on the building beside the road and turn left into our yard. The office is in the large tan metal building. Local phone- 515-573-4221

WEBSTER CITY- 411 Broadway  PH 515-832-4318:

From Hwy 20- take the 140 exit and go north towards Webster City. Stay on Superior Street until you come to Second Street.

Cars and pickups- take Second Street left (west) 5 blocks,  turn right (north) at Broadway (HyVee corner) and go north 1 block. We are on the left just before the railroad tracks.

Heavy trucks- go through the intersection with Second St until you come to the street marked 'truck route'. Stay on the truck route until you are back on Main Street Second street. Go right (west) on Second St, then turn right (north) at Broadway (HyVee corner) and go north 1 block. We are on the left just before the railroad tracks.

30 gallon drums are exempt from EPA SPCC reporting requirements  

Facilities subject to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations of the EPA are those that store oil in quantities greater than 1,320 gallons above ground. This provision applies to all containers with a capacity of 55 gallons or greater. The good news is that 30 gallon drums of oil don't count in the total gallons of product that you have to report. Doolittle Oil has many products available in. Call us today for of engine oil, hydraulic oil, transmission fluid and many other items- using 30 gallon drums may make the difference in whether you need to comply with EPA SPCC regulations for your farm or industrial facility!

Analysis of used oil can be a very useful tool. Most oil analysis is done on used engine oil to determine the condition of the oil and from that to determine, at least to some extent, the condition of the engine. Basic used oil analysis measures the viscosity of the oil, the presence of fuel,  the presence of coolant, and measures the amount of the various additives in the oil. There are several reasons to use oil analysis and several ways to use it.

One reason to use oil analysis is to determine optimum oil drain intervals. Using oil analysis can help zero in on the right drain interval so oil is changed before it is depleted and oil analysis can help determine if oil change intervals can be safely extended. Sampling an engine when it would normally be due for an oil change will show if the viscosity is still in grade, if there is fuel or coolant in the oil and if the additive package has depleted or is still effective. If the analysis report shows that things still look good at say 10,000 miles on a truck engine, the oil can be run further and re-sampled at 2,000 mile intervals and keep going so long as the labs keep showing the oil is still not de-graded, contanimated or depleted. In this way the optimum drain interval can safely be determined and not just a guess. For a fleet of identical trucks, this process can be conducted on a single truck and the resulting optimum drain interval can be established for the fleet.

Another reason to analyze oil is if there is a change in the normal operation of an engine. If the oil level 'grows' it is important to determine where the additional material is coming from. More than likely it is a bad fuel injector leaking unburned fuel into the oil or coolant from either a hole eaten through a liner or a deteriorated or broken o-ring seal on the liner, or a leaky head gasket. In any event, fuel or coolant in the oil is a serious condtion that analysis of the oil can identify. 

Doolittle Oil offers oil analysis through Analysits Inc. Analysits Inc is an independant lab not affliated with any oil or equipment company. They have no bias in reporting accurately the condtion of oil sent to them for analysis without regard to who made it or what brand of engine it came from. We think this is the best arrangement. I

information on oil analysis and Analysits Inc

Farmers are exempt from sales tax on ag diesel but we must charge sales tax on oil and grease and other supplies that farmers purchase. The Iowa Department of Revenue makes this clear. Here is what they say:  (see question # 9, section on 'parts and supplies')

Do farmers pay sales tax on the purchases they make?

Parts and supplies

"Replacement parts used in the operation of eligible farm machinery or equipment are exempt from sales tax. Oil filters, spark plugs, gas filters, and tires are examples of exempt replacement parts. Do not confuse replacement parts with supplies, most of which are taxable. Oil and grease used in the routine maintenance of a tractor, for example, are not considered parts; they are considered supplies. They are taxable".

Doolittle Oil offers free area-wide delivery of lubricants on our company trucks traveling routes on a two-week delivery schedule out of Fort Dodge, IA. To get your items on our truck, we need your order by noon on the day before the delivery. 

Week One Deliveries:

Monday- South-Callender, Farnhamville, Gowrie, Lohrville, Lake City, Auburn, Lake View, Odeboldt, Breda, Carroll, Panama, manning, Templeton, Coon Rapids, Grand Junction, Jefferson, Dayton, Burnside, Lehigh, Harcourt

Tuesday- SouthEast-Webster City, Kamrar, Ellsworth, Radcliffe, Hubbard, Eldora, Conrad, New Providence, Grndy Center, Marshalltown, State Center, Baxter, Colo, Zearing, Roland, Story City

Wednesday- NorthWest-Clare, Gilmore City, Pomeroy, Pocahontas, Mallard, Laurens, Emmetsburg, Ruthven, Spencer, Sheldon, Ocheydon, Spirit Lake, Milford, Estherville

Thursday- North-Humboldt, Rolfe, West Bend, Cylinder, Algona, Bancroft, LuVerne

Friday- South-Boone, Ames, Des Moines, Creston, Afton, Newton

Week 2 Deliveries

Monday-NorthEast-Rockwell, Clear Lake, Mason City, Rockford, Osage, New Hampton

Tuesday- East- Webster City, Blairsburg, Willimas, Alden, Iowa Falls, Ackely, Parkersburg, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Waverly, Allison, Hampton, Dows

Wednesday- West- Roelyn, Rockwell City, Lytton, Sac City, Schaller, Sioux City

Thursday- NorthWest- Clare, Gilmore City, Storm Lake, Manson, Local Deliveries

Friday- North- Badger, Vincent, Eagle Grove, Goldfield, Clarion, Belmond, Garner, Britt, Kanawha, Wesely, Corwith, Renwick

We get this question a lot. There is a perception that 'synthetic' always means better. We advise customers that there are applications where synthetics out-perform and out-last conventionals and really are the best and most cost-effective recommendation but there are also applications where it does not make sense to spend the extra money for a synthetic. The majority of synthetic oils we deal with are formulated with polyalphaolefin (or PAO for short) base oils. PAO's start life as conventional crude oil but by special refining and manufacturing processes are changed into base oils with molecules that are of uniform size and shape where as conventional base oils are comprised of molecules of great variety in size and shape. This uniformity makes the oil perform very predicitably at high and low temperatures and because the molecules are uniform, they stand shoulder to shoulder so tightly that oxygen molecules cannot easily attach and cause oxidation. Oxidation is one of the main reasons an oil 'wears out' and has to be changed. A consequence of this molecular consistancy is that because the synthetic base oil molecules form this inter-locked 'wall' (think of the Spartans with their shields in the movie 300) not only do they resist the attachement of oxygen (the enemy) but they can also can resist accepting additives (the good guys). Early synthetics were formulated with conventional addtives and solvency was an issue. After much research and development, a new generation of additives have been developed which synergize well with the synthetic base oils.

Synthetics really shine in gear cases which are typically sealed from dirt and water and not subjected to the contamination of combustion by-products, fuel and coolant that are present in an engine. However synthetic gear oils can become contaminated with wear metals from gears and bearings. Synthetic gear oils offer superior high and low temperature performance, extended life which is good for gear boxes that may not be easily accessed for service, and potential energy savings because of reduced fricition and easier pumpability within the system. Modern trucks uniformly use synthetic transmission and final drive oils. As horse-power and loads have increased at the same time as reduced oil capacity and increased use of fairings for streamlining which reduces air flow under the truck, trannys and final drives would cook and die under the stress without sythetics oils keeping them cool and lubricated.

So what about synthetic engine oils? My first question is "what problem are you trying to overcome by using a synthetic engine oil?" Sometimes, it boils down to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" meaning if you are doing well with a conventional engine oil, why spend more for a synthetic? One good reason to use a synthetic engine oil is cold weather starting. Synthetic engine oils crank easier and engines start easier and have oil circulating sooner thus preventing the wear that occurs in a cold dry start. Because of their capacity to reduce friction, synthetic engine oils may also offer increased fuel mileage. Synthetic engine oil may also be justified in engines in heavy duty service in hot weather. A synthetic engine oil resists viscosity degradation and stays in grade better at high temperatures.

How about for extending drain intervals??? My opinion is that using a synthetic engine oil to extend the drain interval is not a good idea. The conditions in an engine are faced by the oil are the same whether it is a synthetic or a conventional formulation. The combustion process produces soot, which along with unburned fuel, traces of coolant and wear metals which all end up in the oil. This needs to come out regularily before the oil is over-burdered with these contaminents and its lubricating qualities compromised. Unless you have a cold or hot issue- I generally recommend that you buy a good conventional engine oil and change it regularily and get rid of all those nasty contaminents before they cause damage. For what you would typically spend on a synthetic oil change, you could do two oil changes with a good conventional and have a cleaner engine. Exceptions- you have a new GM that requires dexos 1 qualified oils which are synthetics OR you have a 'toy' or 'investment' that you don't mind spending the extra bucks for and get peace of mind believing that you are using only the best in your baby. That's fine. I run SynGard Full Synthetic 5W-30 in my wife's Lexus- not to extend the drain but because I want that sucker to last for ever and if spending the extra bucks for the full synthetic might help it hold up better or if we happen to screw up and not get the oil changed on time, I'd rather in that case that it be on the full synthetic than a conventional. It's insurance and peace of mind. Call or come see me and we will fix you up with a synthetic but please don't buy a synthetic and try and run it forever. Even if that synthetic is the 'best' you still need to get the junk out of your engine regularily. The good news is that if you decide you want a full synthetic, at Doolittle oil our SynGard line offers some very good full synthetic engine oils at very good prices. If you need or just want a full synthetic engine oil come on down!

FYI- our XP PCMO's are synthetic blend products. You get some of the benefits of a synthetic but at conventional oil price.

Want to know more? Call us at 800-952-1118   or click here

Oil viscosity is measured several ways. The three main ones that we encounter in equipment manuals are SAE, ISO, and AGMA. People are most familiar with SAE which stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. Engine oil viscosity is always measured in terms of SAE. Next we have the ISO system which stands for International Standardization Organization. The ISO scale is commonly used to measure the viscosity of industrial oils. Last but not least AGMA stands for American Gear Manufacturers Association. It can be confusing when you have a gear case that the manual says requires SAE 90 gear lube and one oil distributor gives you a pail that says AGMA 5 and another gives you a pail marked ISO 220. In terms of viscosity only, this is 3 ways of describing the same thing. In terms of viscosity they are equivilant. The chart below bears this out. The second dotted line goes horizontaly through ISO 220, AGMA 5, SAE 50 (engine), and SAE 90 (gear). Understanding the relationship of the viscosity scales to one another is useful but the viscosity of an oil is only part of what makes an oil a proper lubricant for a particular application. Other factors include the type of base oil and the additives with which the lubricant is formulated. Use the following chart to better understand the relationship of the viscosity measurement scales only. Please call for help to select an appropriate lubricant for your application.


Need help? Call us 800-952-1118   0r click here

There is a lot of concern about the presence and quantity of zinc in engine oil. Zinc and phosphorus in the form of Zinc DialkylDithioPhosphate, or ZDDP for short, has been added as an anti-wear agent to engine oil for many years. It forms an inter-face between metal parts to help prevent wear. Incompatibility with the catalytic converter in the emmission control systems found in newer cars and trucks has made it necessary to significantly reduce the amount of ZDDP used in the engine oils intended for these vehicles. The new formulations are pretty good at protecting those engines designed to use them but what about older engines or high performance engines with heavily loaded valve springs that exert great pressure on the cam shaft lobes and followers? Fortunately there are still some high ZDDP oils available at Doolittle Oil for your high performance engine. We handle:

Brad-Penn 20W-50 'green' racing oil

Penz 25W-50 GT Racing Oil

Union 76 Lubricants High Performance 20W-50

and last but by no means least- our own Xtreme Universal 20W-50

Xtreme Universal 20W50 is certified API CI with a ZDDP content in the range of 1200 ppm zinc and 900 ppm phosphorus. (we can't tell you exactly or we'd have to kill you!. Just kidding.) This oil will emulsify with methanol so is suitable for methanol fueled engines. The name Xtreme Universal is lame and we know it. A name like 'Super High Performance Racing Oil 20W-50' would be more exciting but we have to be practical. We sell a lot of racing oil but we sell a lot more to other markets. The name Xtreme Universal 20W-50 works for more people so we went with that. The good news is that racers and gear heads can buy Xtreme Universal 20W-50 for a whole lot less than any other CI high ZDDP oil out there. Don't let the lame name and low price fool you. This is a superb high performance, high ZDDP formulation at a value price.

In 1975 Congress enacted the Magnuson-Moss Act to regulate consumer product warranties. An examination of the law reveals that manufacturers can issue specifications for oils used in their equipment to maintain warranty but they must allow consumers to use any oils that meet these specifications. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) can not refuse to honor a warranty for using non-OEM oils so long as the oils meet the OEM's specifications and are used in accordance with the OEM's required schedule of maintance. That is the law in broad strokes. You can Google Magnuson-Moss Act and read all about it for yourself. Another thing to keep in mind is that equipment manufcturers don't make their OEM branded lubricants themselves. They put their specs out for bid and make a deal with a lubricants manufacturer, ususally one of the major oil companies, to make it for them. Getting customers back to the parts counter for oil and grease is very profitable so dealers like to encourage the use of OEM lubricants. Sometimes they even hint that unless you use their oil, you may face warrany issues.

This is not true. Here at Doolittle Oil you can bring in your equipment manual and we will help you find alternatives to often costly OEM fluids. Not only will your OEM have to honor your warranty but all of our suppliers have issued their own guarantees on the performance of their products against oil related damage caused by their products used in a recommended application and in the recommended manor as well. The only way an OEM can specify using only their proprietary products and deny warranty for not using them is if they provide the required item at no charge to the customer. Sometimes OEM's specify products that we do not have a replacement for and in those cases, you may well need to use an OEM product. Examples are special transfer case oils that are of such limited use that our suppliers can not justify producing a product for the application.


Phillips 66 Lubricants warranty statement:



Shell Lubricants warranty statement

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), also known as automotive-grade urea, chemically reduces nitrogen oxide emissions produced by diesel engines. It’s the key ingredient in the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) process, which is one of the most effective means to reduce emissions to meet the new standards. During the SCR process, DEF is injected as a fine mist into the hot exhaust gases. The heat creates a reaction that turns the DEF into ammonia that when combined with a special catalytic converter breaks down nitrogen oxide into nitrogen gas and water vapor, two natural  components of the air we breathe. SCR-equipped trucks require a separate tank to hold DEF prior to mixing it with exhaust gases, and drivers must maintain DEF levels in their tanks.

For more information on DEF click here

CODE OF IOWA  214A.15  Gasoline receptacles.

A person shall not place gasoline or any other petroleum product for public use having a flash point below 100 degrees F. into any can, cask, barrel or other similar receptacle having a capacity in excess of one pint unless the same is painted bright red and is plainly marked with the word "gasoline" or with the warning "flammable--keep fire away" in contrasting letters of a height equal to at least one-tenth of the smallest dimension of such container. Gasoline or other petroleum products having a flash point below 100 degrees F. shall not be placed in bottles and plastic containers except those bottles and plastic containers which are approved by the state fire marshal and which are conspicuously posted with such approval. This section shall not apply to vehicle cargo or supply tanks nor to underground storage nor to storage tanks from which such liquids are withdrawn for manufacturing or agricultural purposes, or are loaded into vehicle cargo tanks, but all outlet faucets or valves from such excepted containers shall be suitably tagged to indicate the nature of the product to be withdrawn from such containers.

After using oil in an engine for a while, carbon builds up that helps seal the piston rings against the cylinder wall. When you change oils, the new oil might use a stronger/different detergent package. What one oil’s detergent package might allow to build up, another detergent sees as dirt and cleans it up disrupting the rings from sealing completely in the process. This is a worst case scenario but it does happen, and when it does you might experience an increase in oil consumption for an oil change or two until the engine 'gets used to' the new oil. We saw this happen a few times as the CI-4 Plus heavy duty engines oils were replaced with the CJ-4 oils. The older CI-4 Plus oils had a higher ash content which could build up in an engine over time. When the lower ash CJ-4 oil was introduced a 'clean up' operation started and disrupted the established carbon distribution in the ring lands and caused some engines to consume more oil than was normal for a couple oil changes. If an engine is in good shape and is holding it's oil with one brand of oil, it should stabilize pretty quickly if switched to an other oil. If on the other hand an engine is worn and using oil with one brand it is likely to continue consuming oil with a different oil.


When your engine builder recommends a different octane than is available, sometimes it is necessary to mix two different fuels to obtain the correct octane.  How do you know how much of each to use? 

Here is a link to a handy dandy 'octane calculator'

Another way to optimize octane is to use our GREEN TRAIL ACCELERATOR. This product comes in a 32oz can and allows you to raise octane up to 13 points. It is a cost effective way to get just the octane you need. Add to unleaded pump gas and you have a premium unleaded fuel for your street rod, boat, jet-sk, Harley, or Gold Wing. Add to ethanol blended pump gas and you have a premium oxygenated fuel for your dirt bike or 4-wheeler.



There are many oil additives and supplements available. Any parts house has a huge selection of them. They promise to extend mileage, improve oil pressure, reduce oil consumption, increase engine, transmission or gear life, make the oil more slippery or more sticky and even climb up an egg beater!

The oil companies spend millions of dollars in research and development of their products and believe me- if there was a way to make better oil products they would do it. The oils we sell are carefully formulated with a balanced additive system to give your equipment the utmost in protection and performance. Adding after market additives can in fact disrupt the carefully engineered synergy of the product and do more harm than good.

If you want better oil pressure or reduce oil consumptiom- buy a heavier viscosity oil. Most viscosity improving oil additives are just a goey mess that thickens and increases the viscosity of the oil. Bear in mind that while thicker oil may stay in an engine better, the thinner, lighter viscosity oils recommended by OEMs provide superior mileage and facilitate cold weather starting. If an engine consumes its recommended viscosity oil, it is a mechanical issue- usually bad seals or gaskets or worn piston rings or valve guides. Using thicker oil or an additive may reduce oil consumption as a short term solution but the mechanical problem will still exist and get worse. Get it fixed and use the right oil before you find yourself trying to start your vehicle some frosty morning next winter at -20 with additives that made the oil SAE 40 in the crankcase!

The popular 'egg beater' test for gear oils shows brand x quickly  'climbing' the blades implying that this is what would happen in your gear box. The truth is that this feature dissapprears pretty quickly as the gear oil is churned furiously in the heat and shear of a real life gear box- a much different situation than a few seconds cranked by hand with the egg beater.

Buy a good oil - it is just fine the way it is to do the job intended. Something too good to be true usually is. Save your money and skip the oil additives.

 We accept :


TerraCair ultrapure diesel exhaust fluid has a shelf life that is a function of average storage temperature and time. Between average storage temperatures of 68° F and 86° F, TerraCair has a shelf life of 12 - 48 months. Below 68° F, the shelf life of TerraCair is virtually unlimited. TerraCair will freeze at 12° F, but thaws quickly without deterioration. This data was developed by Terra's Technical Service and Product Development Lab.


We deliver our products on our company trucks traveling regular routes in north central Iowa. Look at the FAQ- WHAT IS YOUR DELIVERY SCHEDULE. If you are outside the area served by company delivery truck, or if you need an emergency shipment to get you out of a jam, we can ship to you via FedEx or Spee-Dee Delivery. Unless it is seriously our fault that you didn't get something you were supposed to get, we will ship pre-paid and charge you the costs incurred. For shipments within IOWA and the surrounding mid-western states we recommend Spee-Dee Delivery Service. They are very reliable and their fees are much lower than FedEx. If you prefer FedEx or you are outside Spee-Dee's service area, we will use FedEx. We do not use UPS.

OR you are always welcome to pick up your items at our locations in Fort Dodge or Webster City, IA. We try and accomodate will-call orders as soon as possible but we appreciate it if you call ahead and give us a heads up when you are coming and what you want to pick up. For directions and hours see FAQ- DIRECTIONS TO FACILITIES.


Phillips 66 Lubricants has a very good tool called the LUBE LOOKUP

 Here you can easily find the Phillillips 66 Lubricants recommended for your equipment.

Try it!