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Synthetics: The Auto Industry’s Best-Kept Secret
Muscle Mustangs and Fast
Have you ever heard the story about the light bulb that doesn’t burn out
or the razor that never dulls? Sure, these stories get exaggerated, but
sometimes there’s an element of truth to the rumors leaking out of a
manufacturers skunkworks. One particular rumor that sounds too good to
be true is “an
experimental motor oil that increases horsepower, practically stops
internal engine wear in its tracks and improves fuel efficiency.”
Well, synthetic motor oil is not a rumor. It’s been in use ever since
World War II (the Germans used it on the cold eastern front because
conventional oil wouldn’t flow in the arctic-like weather). Even though
it sounds too good to be true, synthetics do reduce engine wear, improve
gas mileage and increase horsepower. This is because synthetic oil
molecules are superior in a number of ways to mineral-based oils
Synthetic Oil is Superior to Mineral-Based Oil in Every Way:
Without getting too technical, suffice it to say that synthetics have a
higher resistance to heat than
mineral-based oils. Because synthetic oil is composed of molecules that
are uniform in weight and shape, its heat of vaporization is much higher
(more than 600 deg. F.) compared to conventional oil, which begins
evaporating at temps as low as 350 deg. F. This added stability at high
temperature means that your hard-working engine wont burn up as much
oil- and that means less sludge and fewer varnish deposits in the
is another attribute of synthetics. The uniform diameter of synthetic
oil polymers allows them to more easily slide over one another. The
resultant reduction in friction shows up as more horsepower and torque
and reduced internal engine wear.
Higher film/shear strength,
however is one of the major benefits of synthetics. Film strength is
what keeps oil molecules from being pushed away from each other under
pressure. In an area where two metal surfaces meet, the film of oil
between them prevents them from rubbing and wearing away at each other.
Synthetics do a better job of this than conventional mineral oils.
Synthetic oils does not shear as easily as petroleum oils and thus
maintains a higher film strength and as a result does a better job at
preventing wear, especially under extreme operating conditions.
Not All Synthetics Are Created Equal:
Please be aware that not all synthetics are created equal. There is wide
differences in quality and protection provided by the various
synthetics. Additionally, not all synthetics are 100% synthetic. Many
are partial synthetics marketed under the perception of full synthetics
to the unsuspecting consumer or even Group
hydrocracked oils such as Castrol Syntec, for example, which is a
hydroisomerized petroleum oil marketed under the disguise of a synthetic
(there is a full article on this in our Informative Articles section
detailing the recent battle between Castrol and Mobil). There are no
PAO (polyalphaolefin) synthetic molecules in Castrol Syntec, yet
because of legal finagling with the definition of synthesized motor
oils they can legally be called synthetic. Basically, they changed the
definition of a synthetic to fit the process of highly refining a
petroleum base oil, called hydrocracking and fought with Mobil and the
National Advertising Council to loosen the definition of a synthetic.
Film strength is important in another way-
cold start protection.
mineral-based oil will not remain as a boundary layer (a uniform thin
on metal surfaces when an engine is turned off. Mineral-based oil drains
off parts and out of passageways into the oil pan. Additionally,
mineral-based oils contain waxes and paraffins that come out of the
earth and solidify when it gets colder outside, therefore making it even
harder to pump the oil when cold. When you crank your vehicle the metal
surfaces (crankshaft, camshaft, lifters, connecting rod bearings, piston
pin bushings & bearings, piston, rings and cylinder walls) that require
lubrication are not fully lubricated in the time it takes for the oil
pump to pressurize the lubrication system and supply oil to the engine.
With Mineral-Based Oil Your Engine is Not Optimally Protected During One
of The Most Critical Times: Engine Start-Up:
Engine start-up lubrication is one of the most critical times for
lubrication. Small amounts of wear occurs every time you start your
engine with mineral-based oils. Over time, these small amounts of wear
add up to larger amounts and result in increase clearances, reduced oil
pressure, increase oil consumption and reduced life of your engine.
Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand, will stay on engine parts and
coat them uniformly because of its high film strength and greater heat
affinity (it adheres better to hot metal parts). Additionally,
synthetics prevent start-up engine wear and are pumped to critical
passageways, surfaces and bearings much faster than mineral-based oils.
With mineral-based oils your engine can possibly be running with no/low
oil pressure for a short period of time, depending on the severity of
cold weather, after cranking and starting the motor. With synthetics
after several hundred thousand miles you still will have a strong
running engine, instead of an engine with significantly increased
This has been proven by hundreds of millions of miles of customer usage
and countless laboratory and field tests.
As an extra benefit , some synthetics are designed for
longer drain intervals.
This offsets the added cost of synthetic oil.
AMSOIL has motor oils designed for 25,000 mile/1-year or 35,000
mile/1-year drain intervals
(or longer with by-pass filtration). There is no other oil company in
the world that can match AMSOIL’s extended drain interval capability or
Why Don’t Automakers Use Synthetics in Production Vehicles:
Okay. Synthetics are great. The real question is: Why doesn’t everybody
use them? Automakers don’t use synthetics in production vehicles (except
as where needed to prevent concerns during the warranty period) for at
least two reasons. Synthetic motor oil significantly reduces internal
engine, transmission and axle wear when compared to petroleum oil.
testing proves this fact. Reduced wear translates into increased
longevity of your vehicle which results in your being able to keep your
vehicle longer with less change of wear related concerns. Additionally,
it is our opinion, that if factory oil changes were specified as 25,000
mile/1-year, as AMSOIL offers, the petroleum oil companies would sell
approximately 8 times less oil than with the 3000 mile oil change. Sure,
they all offer a synthetic or semi-synthetic now, but it is only a small
percentage of total oil sales volume. By using AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
oil people can reduce the amount of oil they use by as much as 80%, not
to mention saving time and money in the process.
Many of the same oil companies that recommend 3000 mile oil changes in
also offer and recommend 12,000-18,000 mile oil changes in
and have been for many years and have plans for increasing that to
nearly 30,000 mile oil changes in the future. The technology is
yet AMSOIL is the only one to offer a superior extended drain synthetic
oil that far exceeds the performance specifications of any other type
and brand of oil and back it with their own warranty.
AMSOIL Offers Extended Drain Intervals and Superior Filtration:
AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants offers a 25,000 mile/1-year oil change, a
35,000 mile/1-year oil change with Super Duty Filtration (require
changing every 12,500 miles or 6-months, whichever comes first). Should
the consumer choose AMSOIL By-Pass Filtration, this will allow for
virtually no oil changes and filter down to 1 micron particle size with
85% efficiency. The average consumer spending excessive amounts of time
and money changing their oil every 3000 miles does not get the same
level of performance and protection as the AMSOIL customer that is
saving both time and money and getting maximum performance, protection
and extending the life of their engine and transmission (AMSOIL also
offers synthetic extended drain interval transmission fluid that will
virtually eliminate transmission wear and reduce operating temperatures
approximately 20-50 deg. F., depending on operating conditions)
Mineral Oil is Good for Initial Break-In:
Converting a vehicle to AMSOIL is fairly simple, but there are a few
things you need to be aware of. First, if you have a brand new vehicle
we recommend that you run a short cycle of petroleum oil on a gas engine
passenger car or light truck (typically up to your first scheduled oil
change) and approximately 5000 miles on a diesel engine in such as a
Ford Powerstroke, Dodge Cummins Turbo Diesel or Chevy Duramax Diesel
before installing AMSOIL. This doesn't mean that you can't install
AMSOIL sooner (there are even a few OEM's that install synthetics as a
factory fill) it simply means these are our recommendations based on our
extensive engineering studies and knowledge of this topic. Today's
modern engine manufacturing and materials technology is much more
sophisticated than in years past. Regular gas engine passenger car and
light truck engines do not require the extensive break in process many
people think they do. In addition, by the time you get your new vehicle
the engine has already been through a series of hot tests also run on
in-plant chassis rolls testers to check functionality of all systems and
then driven around the plant and railhead in order to get the vehicle to
the dealer, which also helps accelerate breaking in of the engine.
If You Think the Major Professional Race Teams Use The Oil Advertised On
Their Cars....Think Again
Major racing teams don’t appear to use synthetics, but things aren’t
always what they seem. The racing team’s sponsor might want you to
believe there’s a certain kind of motor oil in the car’s crankcase, but
every successful race team in the world uses synthetic lubricants
throughout the car and most of them use AMSOIL.
Your probably wondering how we know these facts. It's simple: we work in
the automotive industry on a daily basis and have involvement with
engineers from major racing teams.
Interestingly enough, the biggest reason that synthetic lubricants are
not in widespread use is because the would-be consumer does not know of
the benefits provided by synthetics. Also, they are not sure where to
go to ask or who to ask.
Asking your local parts counterman at the auto parts or the high school
kid at the quick-lube shop is not the answer, or even asking your local
auto dealer that sold you the car- remember, they are usually tied in
with a specific manufacturers brand or oil and the 3000 mile oil change.
You should seek out and acquire information from a Certified Lubrication
Specialist, lubrication engineer, automotive engineer or competent
mechanic that fully understands and can explain the benefits of
synthetics and the drawbacks of mineral-based oil to the consumer. But
beware, there are many mechanics out there that are so engrained in the
old way of thinking that they refuse to change their way of thinking or
even open up their minds to the fact that there are automotive
engineers, lubrication engineers and chemists that know a lot more about
motor oils, filtration, vehicles and synthetics than them. I call them
"old-school" type of mechanics and it is best to steer clear of those
Some People Will Never Change:
Also, even though people have known about synthetics for years,
consumers continue to be brand and price driven. The rationale continues
to be, “My grandpappy used brand V in his model T, so I won’t use
nothing else.” Or, “I been using brand Q in my IROC for years. If I
change brands now I’ll blow the motor.” Or, “ I ain’t payin’ no five
dollars a quart, no siree, Bob, I ain’t that stupid.” Or, “I ain’t using
none of that synthetic oil...that’s stuff’s made out of beans...I want
some real crude oil.” (this last statement was an actual statement from
a customer in a snowmobile store. He was having 2-cycle spark plug
fouling problems due to the mineral- based oil mixture he was using. The
store suggested he use a synthetic oil and 2 new spark plugs to
eliminate the fouling issue. He declined and purchased 2 boxes of spark
plugs and his usual crude oil mix. The following year he finally decided
to try AMSOIL 100:1 pre-mix synthetic oil and his spark plug fouling
problem were eliminated. He used 4 spark plugs for the entire snowmobile
season, vs. 2 boxes ( that's 24 spark plugs) he went through per season
with petroleum oil.
Synthetics Are Compatible With Mineral Based Oils, But Be Careful:
When switching to a synthetic motor oil, it is important to keep several
things in mind regarding oil consumption. Keep extra quarts of synthetic
handy. Although many synthetic oil manufacturers tout the compatibility
of their oils with mineral-based oils, adding mineral oil to synthetic
oil will drastically reduce the level of engine protection that was
initially designed into the synthetic oil as well as the mileage to your
next oil change. Also, as the mineral oil breaks down it will
contaminate the rest of the oil, leaving sludge and varnish deposits in
the engine (this is because mineral oil is made up of many chemically
dissimilar hydrocarbons, including waxes, all of which react differently
under different operating conditions). By adding a mineral oil to
synthetic oil you will also see a reduction in engine efficiency,
depending on how much, and when, the mineral-based oil was introduced.
There are many different companies that offer synthetics. because this
overview is intended to give readers a general idea of the benefits of
synthetic lubricants, we have not discussed the specific differences
between all the individual brands and their formulations. Keep in mind
that there are significant differences between brands of synthetics,
which will affect the performance and longevity of your engine,
transmission, axles, bearings and chassis components.
Please contact us with any questions or topics that are not explained in
this brief overview. email:
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is the undisputed leader in synthetics......
Since 1972, AMSOIL Synthetics have
proven to be the BEST. AMSOIL also
engineers and manufactures Super Duty Oil filters which have a 25,000
mile service life as well as specialized filtration systems for
commercial and fleet applications in cars and light, medium and heavy
trucks which can filter particles down to less than one micron (a
standard full flow oil filter can only filter to 20-25 microns with any
degree of efficiency) making oil changes virtually unnecessary and
virtually eliminating engine wear. These filters have been proven by
millions of miles of over-the road trucks, construction equipment and
AMSOIL saves you time and money.
The only 25,000 mile/one- year and
35,000/one- year motor oil in the world.
Exceeds the most stringent
performance specifications of all major U.S. and foreign automotive and
Provides up to two-times the wear
protection of other motor oils.
Increases the life of your vehicle.
Improves performance, fuel economy
Diesel oil and filtration products
designed to deliver 1,000,000 miles for over-the-road trucks before
Used by many national racing teams,
fleets, police departments, construction firms and trucking companies.
Enhanced Synthetic Oil is comprised of a
group of highly skilled team of Engineers and Lubrication and Filtration
Specialists. You too, can join our
group when you become an AMSOIL Dealer and take advantage of all that we
offer as you use products in your own vehicles or begin your own AMSOIL
business. You won't find a more knowledgeable and skilled group of
Dealers anywhere which is very important when you need support as you
build your business.
In addition, as a Dealer in our group you
will receive exclusive unlimited product, technical and business support
from the only group of Truck and Automotive Engineers and Lubrication
Specialists on the net.
We do not only run our business on the
internet. We also have numerous commercial, industrial, trucking,
excavating, construction, logging, police, racing and many more accounts
that we support and service on a regular basis. We have several fully
stocked warehouses and fully equipped shop facilities. This provides us
with excellent knowledge of the products, equipment and the business and
the ability to respond immediately to
any of your needs. We will use
this knowledge and experience to help you get started so you too can
achieve your goals.
We possess the skills, desire and knowledge
to answer questions, solve problems, improve efficiency, reduce
downtime, maintenance costs and increase the durability and life of all
of your vehicles.
Read what our
satisfied customers have to say about
us. Read through our website. Contact us with any questions. If you
decide to become an AMSOIL Dealer you will be joining, in our opinion,
the most skilled AMSOIL group there is. We will help you get started and
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We offer several options to receive information on AMSOIL. We welcome
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If you are serious about AMSOIL products and
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Dealer Group. We look forward to helping you learn about AMSOIL.
for a smaller, very general information package (which includes a
catalog and Dealer application) you can request information via any of
the links below.
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