Comparison of Motor Oils

Five posts above yours.

Shatto; if you had been following this forum for 6 months or so, you would have concluded that:

  1. Most of these problems were caused by not changing oil often enough, running low on oil, not putting the cap back on, not keeping the PCV system clean, worn valve guide seals, and mistakes made by quick lube places.

  2. The next set of problems stems from not changing the coolant often enough, not topping up the coolant, not responding immediatetely to head gasket leaks an other overheating porvblems.

  3. In addition to those main causes, I would say that if you had been old enough to observe tailpipes for the last 40 years you would have REMARKED HOW FEW CARS SMOKE THESE DAYS!!! In other words, all oils and engines have improved immensely over that time.

In other words, today’s cars, IF PROPERLY MAINTAINED, will go a very long time before they start using oil or smoking, as you say.

If you want to lay blame, it is the long maintenance intervals designed into today’s cars which resulted in the demise of true “service stations” which often kept car owners out of trouble. As a result some of today’s car owners often just drive until something goes wrong, and forget to check thir fluid levels.

By contrast we had a 1984 Chevy Impala in the family from 1983 till 2004. It was sold with 320,000 miles on the clock and it did not smoke because it had been properly maintained, mostly with cheap off the shelf dino oil.

As a member of the local branch Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), I would recommend that you get to present a TECHNICAL paper proving why Amsol is a superior oil. This is a very critical and knowledgeable audience (most of us are SAE members as well), and it’s easy to get laughed out of the room if you don’t have your facts straight.

Agreed. The cars I was referring to are usually five years old or even newer, and smoke constantly. It is possible that a car on the freeway recently got on and is still cold enough that the catalytic converter cannot burn off the smoke, but there are those that show the classic signs of valve wear and ring wear by smoking during acceleration and backing off on the gas.
As you said; proper maintenance.

The American Society for Testing and Materials is not a legitimate organization?

An additional source of problems could be leaking fuel injectors that put a very rich mixture in the engine and causes smoke. If the computer is working properly and someone gets on the freeway with a cold engine, it will not cause excessive smoke; the EPA test specifcally has a routine for that.

Whatever problems an engine has due to neglect or possible premature failure of a component (a warranty problem), your Amsol, nor any other oil, will not prevent or cure.

The ASTM is a very reputable organization and was largely responsible for tightening up the tests about 20 years ago when many oil suppliers (including Texaco)had products that did not stay within the viscosity grade. Consumer Reports did a test at that time that confirmed this; the same test a few years ago revealed that all the oils tested, regardless of price met the requirements.

I’m not suggesting Amsol is “snake oil”, I’m merely stating that, as mentioned above, the current oil testing and specs by SAE, API, ASTM are entirely adequate for today’s motor oils and spending extra money for oil is a waste of money for normal driving and nearly all cars.

shatto wrote -
“The American Society for Testing and Materials is not a legitimate organization?”

The brochure you linked stated that the tests were completed in accordance with ASTM procedures. It did not name a lab associated with ASTM that performed the tests.

If you didn’t know or you disliked the lab, would you reject the test results?

There is also the question of an oil manufacturer buying the equipment to test their product…Would their technicians and engineers doing the test, to any industry standard, be irrelevant because it was not an ‘independent’ lab?

“If you didn’t know or you disliked the lab, would you reject the test results?”

The lab is not named, so I don’t know who performed the tests, therefore the validity of their claims are suspect.

“There is also the question of an oil manufacturer buying the equipment to test their product…Would their technicians and engineers doing the test, to any industry standard, be irrelevant because it was not an ‘independent’ lab?”

Oil manufacturers can’t fake their results and falsely claim their product meets industry standards since they have to produce evidence to support their claims.

Companies like AMSOIL, that make claims that their product is superior to others, need to prove their product is superior. The results of the tests shown don’t mean anything if they can’t give documented examples of their product extending the life of an automobile’s engine.

623,000 miles on the original engine and transmission of my 98 Dakota satisfies me.

Reminds me of a branded aspirin commercial, Nothing is better than aspirin for… so buy brand a, but any brand of aspirin will do the same.

“623,000 miles on the original engine and transmission of my 98 Dakota satisfies me.”

Obviously, nothing else has failed on your Dakota either. Otherwise, it would never have gone that far.

If I were to accept your assertion that you’ve driven all those miles in your Dakota, I’d have to give much more credit to the Dakota than I would the oil you are using.

I have not, do not and will not sell Amsoil to anyone on this or any other site. Nor will I sponsor you.

Then what are you intentions for spamming questionable test results from amsoil’s own website? You have done the same on some Dodge Dakota forums, forums, a WRX forum, A Tundra forum, and several others. Your actions contradict what you say.

Watch your step folks, the BS is pretty deep.

Joe Guy, I think we are mixing up cause and effect. I’m sure shatto maintained his Dakota well and changed oil and filter religiously. That action, no matter what oil was used, results in long life without major breakdowns.

Shatto, please list EXACTLY what work was done on your original engine and transmission over its life so far.

Some examples from consumer products:

  1. I watched a diet commercial on TV. This diet works well (results vary!), but with it comes a booklet on the excercises you should do to make it more fun.

  2. I watched a commercial about an exercise machine that will make you slim (results vary!). With it, guess what, comes a booklet with a suggested diet to help you along.

  3. An outrageous commercial for a famous breakfast cereal starting with “K” show a gorgeous model in a white swimsuit eating the breakfast, which, it says is a “great source of CALCIUM!”. The calcium is all in the milk, not the cereal.

Anyway, you get the picture. I take a lot of taxis and talk to the drivers and often the owners as well. One of my last rides was in an old Cadillac, rear drive in a small town. This car had way over 800,000 miles on it without any internal engine work, and it DID NOT SMOKE. I asked the driver what he did for oil and he said the usual stuff at the local service station, but changed every 7000 miles, which is OK for a taxi.

About 25 years ago, Popular Mechanics did a survey of long life cars and their owners. They received a lot of responses, and at that time 700,000 miles, clocked by a Michigan salesman on his Mercedes diesel, was extraordinary, considering the quality of oils then. The only common thing the magazine found was that all owners were conscientious about maintenace and did not skip any and were conservative drivers, no hot rodders.

In 1984, Consumer Reports did a similar thing, and found similar results; the oil did not matter, but careful maintenance,and sensible driving were the key ingredients. They did correlate oil change frequency with repair incidence and found at that time the group with oil change intervals of 2000-3000 miles had much fewer engine repairs than those with the longer 3000-6000 interval. This reflects the quality of oils at that time. Today, 4-5000 miles would be an adequate interval.

CR did another survey a year or so back and the results were similar again.

Most of us don’t sell or have a vested intrested in said products.

“Shilling” runs afoul of the forum guidelines.

Used Amsoil By-Pass Filter, mounted in the only place with the room, under the bed behind the passenger.
Replaced the Amsoil full flow filter at 15,000 mile rated time and topped off with Amsoil 0-W30 oil. Replaced the by-pass filter based on laboratory oil analysis. Because the 3.9 V6 is rather dirty, I averaged changing all the oil and filters around 100,000 miles.
I used an Amsoil foam air filter (no longer made) and Amsoil Anti freeze.

Heads with burned out valves because of cracks in the seats. 350,000 miles.
Differential failed around 450,000 miles.
3 or 4 water pumps.
an alternator.
tension pully, it wears out at the pivot point.
camshaft with worn lobes around 470,000 miles.
lots and lots of brake pads.
radiator and heater core.
A/c pump around 500,000 miles.
Autolite copper plugs at 30,000 miles.

I sold the truck at 623,000 miles.

Consumer Reports:

The problem with their study is that they refused to acknowledge Amsoil and their extended change capabilities. They also ignored that Mobil 1 had, neatly printed on each bottle and can that it was good for 30,000 miles between changes.

In the 1960’s I had in my possession a letter from the head of Shell Oil stating that; if oil could be kept clean it could last forever.
Demands of today’s engines modify that statement quite a bit. There are many additives to cause the oil to do very specific things so it can do things your grandpa and his car couldn’t understand.

If a tester refuses to test to the strength of synthetic oil, it is pretty easy to conclude that there is little difference between oils.
It’s sort of like what the media does with the news; ask questions to average people in a way to get the answer the pollster wants, then they publish the bogus answers as if thy were fact and then they are off to the races, creating another crisis for us to worry about and politicians to fix, so we won’t have to worry our poor little heads about it.

Remember how the Amsoil report has been lambasted in this thread because someone questions it’s source.

Look at the advertising for oil.
First, realize that nobody advertised synthetic oil 35 years ago. Nobody sold synthetic oil then, except for aircraft and specialty racing oil.
Over the years things changed to where, today, every manufacturer competes to sell you synthetic oil. Why?
Hint: Amsoil, over 35 years has garnered a minuscule percentage of the total lubrication market, and big oil won’t allow that competition.

You are pimping Amsoil something fierce. Preach on Shamwow-guy of the automotive world.

do wonder, though, about those cars of fairly recent vintage that smoke like crazy.
Seriously, what causes that?

It is seldom the oil. Modern cars seldom smoke due to burning oil unless the converter is dead.

I understand that most of those cars that are smoking used Amsoil. :slight_smile:

The simple fact is that all oils that meet the specifications for the car manufacturer are good enough that a modern car is not going to get a damaged or worn engine due to the choice of oil. Very few of today’s cars make it to the point where the engine wears out. Accidents and other problems put them into the bone yard first.

You attack the messenger types bore me.

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Informed Voter

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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: O-Town FL, USA
Posts: 1,615

20.09 MPG(US)
42.58 MPG(US)

Over the years, Car Craft has tested many different types of engine components. A common theme underlying many of these tests is that bigger is not necessarily better, especially on the street. But just as many continue to believe in rad cams and giant carbs, traditional, thick, single-viscosity oils still have a strong following among car-crafting traditionalists.

Of course, high-viscosity oils don’t flow well at low temperatures. In the old days, guys living in cold climates put in a thinner oil for the winter with a “W” or cold temperature-viscosity rating. Although they poured better at low temperatures, straight-viscosity “W” oils, in turn, didn’t do a good job of protecting high-performance engines once they reached normal operating temperatures, so they weren’t recommended for sustained high-speed driving. The oil industry developed “all-season” multiviscosity oils to solve the problem, but some of the early products didn’t hold up under heavy-duty operating conditions, tainting the reputation of multiviscosity lubricants among many Car Crafters to this day.

Yet today’s modern oils are vastly improved over those of 20 years ago. For oils that meet the current “SJ” service designation, viscosity breakdown is no longer a significant problem, thanks to modern formulation technologies and viscosity enhancers. Auto manufacturers have also redesigned their engines for tighter clearances and instituted precision machining techniques that take advantage of thinner oil to deliver improved fuel economy through reduced friction.

Like the OEMs, racers have discovered that friction reductions plus precision tight clearances yield greater efficiency and more power. Racers also know that most engine wear occurs at start-up, so it’s critical that engine parts receive proper lubrication as soon as possible–hence the need for an initially thinner, so-called “winter” viscosity. Today, few racers run a single-viscosity motor oil except nitro-burners. According to 76 Lubricants, most NASCAR teams use the really thin stuff during qualifying, moving up to 20W-50 during the long race (although it’s rumored some teams may use the extreme cold-weather thin oils all the time, but don’t want to admit to their latest performance “trick”).

Synthetic oils, pioneered in the '70s by Mobil and now available from most major oil companies, take the all-season, multiviscosity approach to the outer limits. Unlike traditional mineral oils that are produced by distillation and further refining of existing crude oil stock, synthetic lubricants are made through chemical reactions. These new oils aren’t synthetic or artificial in the sense that they’re manufactured out of whole cloth–they still have the same natural ingredients found in “real” oil. But in a synthetic lubricant, these ingredients are recombined like a Lego set to yield synthesized-hydrocarbon molecular chains with desirable characteristics and uniformity not found in even the highest-quality traditional motor oils. Typically, the best synthetic oils use a combination of up to three different synthetic base fluids–polyalphaolefin (PAO), synthetic esters, and alkylated aromatics.

Because a synthetic oil’s molecules are much more consistent in size and shape, they are better able to withstand extreme engine temperatures. By contrast, the unstable molecules in conventional oil can easily vaporize or oxidize in extreme heat. Mobil 1 synthetic is said to be capable of protecting engines “at well over 400 degrees F”; in the real world, most racers have no problem running synthetics up to 290 degrees F under prolonged use, but they get really jumpy when a conventional exceeds 270 degrees F.

Because a synthetic oil is chemically produced, there are no contaminants in the oil. By contrast, conventional oils contain small amounts of sulfur, wax, and asphaltic material that can promote detonation as well as varnish and sludge buildup. With no wax, synthetics will flow at much lower temperatures than conventional oils. In fact, synthetic oils are now available with viscosity ratings as low as 0W-30, as in Mobil 1’s new Tri-Synthetic blend or Castrol Formula SLX. These oils flow more than seven times faster than a conventional 5W-30 motor oil during initial start-up, yet at normal operating temperatures act like a regular Grade 30 oil.

An 0W-30 synthetic oil is capable of pumping easily at -62 degrees F and flowing at even lower temperatures. Conventional oils are essentially frozen solid at that temperature, so there’s simply no conventional equivalent to this new grade. There are 5W-30 conventional and synthetic oils, but even here, the synthetic has a real-world advantage: Mobil 1’s 5W-30 will pump at -58-degrees F, compared to about -35-degrees F for a conventional oil.

But claims and talk are cheap, so Car Craft had Westech Performance run some of the new Mobil 1 0W-30 in Ford’s prototype 392 small-block stroker crate engine. The Mobil 1 was compared to the generic (and recommended for this engine) 20W-50 factory-fill conventional oil, as well as 10W-30 conventional oil. All tests began with the oil temperature stabilized at 210 degrees F. The engine ran from 3,300-6,200 rpm, and several runs were made for each oil to ensure repeatability.

In terms of peak numbers, we found that the engine gained nearly 7 hp with the thinner conventional oil, and was up nearly 10 hp with the synthetic. No peak torque gains were observed by changing from 20W-50 to 10W-30 conventional; however, the synthetic was up 15 lb-ft of torque at the peak. Looking at average numbers helps explain where the gains occurred–both the thinner conventional and synthetic oils broadened the torque and power bands overall, but the thin Mobil 1 showed the greatest improvement under 4,700 rpm, indicating that the thinner oil provides less initial drag for the engine to overcome.

However, thinner oil also translates to lower oil pressure: The 0W-30 oil developed 10 psi less than the baseline 20W-50. Only 46 psi was on tap at 6,200 rpm–kind of shaky as most gearheads like to see at least 10 psi per 1,000 rpm. Still, the engine ran OK, and the bearings looked fine on teardown, seemingly verifying synthetic manufacturers’ claims that their products’ greater shear strength more than makes up for lower viscosity. Is 10 hp and 15 lb-ft worth paying two to four times more for a quart of oil? Or the potential for extended engine life? You be the judge.

"I don’t want to spend my whole life asking, what if i had given everything, instead of going through the motions."
Matthew West

I don’t expect you to understand my conservative view. If you’ve never served in the military, played teamsports, or worked a vocation requiring co-dependance among employees, you CAN’T understand! We DO affirm people, but we also hold them accountable!

Your sig(?) is a misnomer. If you’ve spent any time on this forum at all, you would know that my views are more conservative than most. I would’ve liked to have joined the military, however a medical conditional disqualified me from that. I did however join the C.A.P. for a few years. I also played football and wrestled in high school, and my for my job I basically correct other people’s mistakes 90% of the time.

Anyway, I am holding you accountable. Please read the CTC Discussion Rules. Pay special attention to paragraph 8, sentence 2. Granted, there is often some leeway permitted by your posts are nothing but blatant promotion.

I sincerely apologize.

I believed I was passing on information that might be useful.

Since I do not sell any product or service, of any kind, nor do I receive compensation for mentioning anybody’s product or service, of any kind, I shall now depart this thread.

Sorry I missed out on this game of “Smear the Shill.” What a tool!