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Amsoil - Synthetic Oil Myths

Old 27-May-2006, 11:46 AM
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Amsoil - Synthetic Oil Myths

Synthetic lubricants are fuel efficient, extended life lubricants manufactured from select basestocks and special purpose additives. In contrast to petroleum oils which are pumped from the earth and refined, synthetics are custom-designed in the laboratory, with each phase of their molecular construction programmed to produce, in effect, the ideal lubricant.

In responding to the objections most commonly raised against synthetics it is important to establish the parameters of the debate. When speaking of synthetic motor oils, this article is defending the synthetic lubricants which have been formulated to meet the performance standards set by the American Petroleum Institute (API). (The first such synthetic motor oil to meet these industry-accepted tests for defining engine oil properties and performance characteristics was AMSOIL 100% Synthetic 10W-40 in 1972.)

Many people with questions about synthetics haven't known where to turn to get correct information. Is it super oil or snake oil? Some enthusiasts will swear that synthetics are capable of raising your specialty car from the dead. On the other hand, the next fellow asserts that synthetics will send your beloved car to an early grave. Where's the truth in all this?

In an effort to set the record straight, we've assembled here ten of the more persistent myths about synthetic motor oils to see how they stack up against the facts.

Myth #1: Synthetic motor oils damage seals.

Untrue. It would be foolhardy for lubricant manufacturers to build a product that is incompatible with seals. The composition of seals presents problems that both petroleum oils and synthetics must overcome. Made from elastomers, seals are inherently difficult to standardize.

Ultimately it is the additive mix in oil that counts. Additives to control seal swell, shrinkage and hardening are required, whether it be a synthetic or petroleum product that is being produced.

Myth #2: Synthetics are too thin to stay in the engine.

Untrue. In order for a lubricant to be classified in any SAE grade (10W-30, 10W-40, etc.) it has to meet certain guidelines with regard to viscosity ("thickness").

For example, it makes no difference whether it's 10W-40 petroleum or 10W-40 synthetic, at -25 degrees centigrade (-13F) and 100 degrees centigrade (212 degrees F) the oil has to maintain a standardized viscosity or it can't be rated a 10W-40.

Myth #3: Synthetics cause cars to use more oil.

Untrue. Synthetic motor oils are intended for use in mechanically sound engines, that is, engines that don't leak. In such engines, oil consumption will actually be reduced. First, because of the lower volatility of synlubes. Second, because of the better sealing characteristics between piston rings and cylinder walls. And finally, because of the superior oxidation stability (i.e. resistance of synthetics against reacting with oxygen at high temperatures.)

Myth #4: Synthetic lubricants are not compatible with petroleum.

Untrue. The synthesized hydrocarbons, polyalphaolefins, diesters and other materials that form the base stocks of high-quality name brand synthetics are fully compatible with petroleum oils. In the old days, some companies used untested ingredients that were not compatible, causing quality synlubes to suffer a bum rap. Fortunately, those days are long gone.

Compatibility is something to keep in mind, however, whether using petroleum oils or synthetics. It is usually best to use the same oil for topping off that you have been running in the engine. That is, it is preferable to not mix your oils, even if it is Valvoline or Quaker State you are using. The reason is this: the functions of additives blended for specific characteristics can be offset when oils with different additive packages are put together. For optimal performance, it is better to use the same oil throughout.

Myth #5: Synthetic lubricants are not readily available.

Untrue. This may have been the case two decades ago when AMSOIL and Mobil 1 were the only real choices, but today nearly every major oil company has added a synthetic product to their lines. This in itself is a testament to the value synthetics offer.

Myth #6: Synthetic lubricants produce sludge.

Untrue. In point of fact, synthetic motor oils are more sludge resistant than their petroleum counterparts, resisting the effects of high temperature and oxidation. In the presence of high temperatures, two things happen. First, an oil's lighter ingredients boil off, making the oil thicker. Second, many of the complex chemicals found naturally in petroleum basestocks begin to react with each other, forming sludges, gums and varnishes. One result is a loss of fluidity at low temperatures, slowing the timely flow of oil to the engine for vital component protection. Further negative effects of thickened oil include the restriction of oil flow into critical areas, greater wear and loss of fuel economy.

Because of their higher flash points, and their ability to withstand evaporation loss and oxidation, synthetics are much more resistant to sludge development.

Two other causes of sludge -- ingested dirt and water dilution -- can be a problem in any kind of oil, whether petroleum or synthetic. These are problems with the air filtration system and the cooling system respectively, not the oil.

Myth #7: Synthetics can't be used with catalytic converters or oxygen sensors.

Untrue. There is no difference between synthetic and petroleum oils in regards to these components. Both synthetic and petroleum motor oils are similar compounds and neither is damaging to catalytic converters or oxygen sensors.

Myth#8: Synthetics void warranties.

Untrue. No major manufacturer of automobiles specifically bans the use of synthetic lubricants. In point of fact, increasing numbers of high performance cars are arriving on showroom floors with synthetic motor oils as factory fill.

New vehicle warranties are based upon the use of oils meeting specific API Service Classifications (for example, SG/CE). Synthetic lubricants which meet current API Service requirements are perfectly suited for use in any vehicle without affecting the validity of the new car warranty. In point of fact, in the twenty-five years that AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants have been used in extended service situations, over billions of miles of actual driving, these oils have not been faulted once for voiding an automaker's warranty.

Myth #9: Synthetics last forever.

Untrue. Although some experts feel that synthetic basestocks themselves can be used forever, it is well known that eventually the additives will falter and cause the oil to require changing. Moisture, fuel dilution and acids (the by-products of combustion) tend to use up additives in an oil, allowing degradation to occur.

However, by "topping off", additives can be replenished. Through good filtration and periodic oil analysis, synthetic engine oils protect an engine for lengths of time far beyond the capability of non-synthetics.

Myth #10: Synthetics are too expensive.

Untrue. Tests and experience have proven that synthetics can greatly extend drain intervals, provide better fuel economy, reduce engine wear and enable vehicles to operate with greater reliability. All these elements combine to make synthetic engine oils more economical than conventional non-synthetics.

In Europe, synthetics have enjoyed increasing acceptance as car buyers look first to performance and long term value rather than initial price. As more sophisticated technology places greater demands on today's motor oils, we will no doubt see an increasing re-evaluation of oil buying habits in this country as well.

CONCLUSIONS
Since their inception, manufacturers of synthetic motor oils have sought to educate the public about the facts regarding synthetics, and the need for consumers to make their lubrication purchasing decisions based on quality rather than price. As was the case with microwave ovens or electric lights, a highly technological improvement must often overcome a fair amount of public skepticism and consumer inertia before it is embraced by the general population.

But the word is getting out as a growing number of motorists worldwide experience the benefits of synthetic lubrication. The wave of the future, in auto lubes, is well under way.

Cheers

Cam
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Old 27-May-2006, 03:21 PM
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So you say.......

Call most engine builders up and they will tell you differently.
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Old 27-May-2006, 03:57 PM
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So I say?

The words of my posting are the published statements from a company that has more than 30 years experience in the development and manufacture of synthetic lubricants, backed by the experience of hundreds of thousands of very satisfied customers.

But as you say, to each his own ... and that's what makes the world go 'round.

Cheers

Cam
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Old 27-May-2006, 11:04 PM
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good posting.
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Old 28-May-2006, 12:01 AM
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I made the switch to synthetic at 24,000 km and never looked back. Car now has 150,000 km and hasn't ever consumed oil (well not enough to add between oil changes), anybody who knows the Prelude, it's notorious for consumption problems. I'm still even running 5w30.
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Old 30-May-2006, 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by 1sloweg
So you say.......

Call most engine builders up and they will tell you differently.
Call a real engine engine builder and you'll be sadly mistaken...

Besides, why would all new vehicles but factory filled with synthetic, and all published power outputs are with synthetics?

Do a little more research, you'll find that synthetics are pretty close to regualr motor oil just have tight tolerences in carbon chain length compared to regular oil. Allowing more consistancy throughout the oil. This allows for better efficiency overall. Also they usually have highly engineered additives dissolved/impregnated into the oil to aid in engine operation.

Do you NEED synthetic oil, hell no. But if you care about all the little things like a 1-3% increase in pumping efficiency, better heat reactivity, reduced buildup of hydrocarbons over the longhaul, etc etc etc (pretty much what is stated above) then run syn or a semi syn blend.

Why do ppl hate synthetic oil to begin with, it's dyno proven. Lab proven. It's obviously better....some ppl just need something to hate I guess...
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Old 30-May-2006, 09:12 AM
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Good read.
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Old 30-May-2006, 09:29 AM
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Just a little follow up.. I just switched from using regular petroleum based oil to Amsoil Synthetic yesterday. My initial results were good. My engine and exhaust noise has become significantly quieter throughout the powerband. As well my car shifts and feels smoother, Vtec is engaging smoothly and it sounds much more refined now.

The biggest difference and most important so far has been the reduced engine noise. Lately my car has been getting so loud that I purchased a WS2 sport exhaust to quite it down. Needless to say, my car has now become audibly tolerable. And that's without my old exhaust still on.

So a thumbs up for synthetics and Amsoil! I can't say for sure that AMSOIL is so much better then any other brand since this is my first brand of synthetic, but we will see how things go over the next month.


Also read the feedback forum on our Amsoil Dealer he's a good guy and reliable seller!
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Old 31-May-2006, 12:45 AM
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amsoil sythentic no doubt are good stuff....
the oil change interval does last way longer and that is i check my oil color each week and plus even i vtec time to time, the oil level is still right on... doesn't really burn or consume that much oil as people said

good oil without a doubt, but to be the best is still a question as we can keep a debate go on and on and forever =)
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Old 31-May-2006, 11:11 AM
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Hey T-Dot what oil intervals are you on right now? I bought the oil with the higher drain interval but, wasn't sure yet if I wanted to stick to that regemen.
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Old 31-May-2006, 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by Moe_Mentum
Hey T-Dot what oil intervals are you on right now? I bought the oil with the higher drain interval but, wasn't sure yet if I wanted to stick to that regemen.
I'd like to hear as well what intervals Amsoil users ARE using. My driving is mostly very short trips, with almost no hiway, so I always consider the severe service mileage my limit. Say, 15,000 miles, instead of 25,000 miles.

Some of my customers change it twice a year, regardless of mileage.

I think, it's human nature to need to build trust in a product that has a service life so much longer that we are accustomed to. The folks that will go for the full service life, are usually folks that swear by Amsoil, and have used it in everything from the car to lawnmower to weedeater to motorcycle to snowmobile, etc for many years. New users are usually a bit shy at first, especially if they're just getting off the dino juice.

Cheers


Cam
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Old 31-May-2006, 01:36 PM
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^^^^^ My thoughts exactly.. I am tempted to do 2 times a year, but I am still waiting to see if I can get feedback from other members who have had success using the longer drain intervals
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Old 31-May-2006, 08:30 PM
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now that i think about it... i drove my previous engine for like 2 yrs the same way... and a few weeks after i switched to synthetic oil i friend the piston rings... coincidence? probably... hahaha... this just made me think about it.
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Old 31-May-2006, 10:55 PM
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Originally posted by Moe_Mentum
Hey T-Dot what oil intervals are you on right now? I bought the oil with the higher drain interval but, wasn't sure yet if I wanted to stick to that regemen.
i never really follow the interval stated on the bottle, because the intervals depends on your driving habit... consider i'm a vtec lover, not yet a vtec *****, time to time i rev my car high for some fun... i was able to come almost close to 10000km... so twice a year with amsoil is possible (btw, i'm not using the top of the line one of AMSOIL)

one more thing, i've tried quaker state and it didn't even come close to 6000 for full synthetic, it wasn't much better than regular quaker state (which came to 4000).

my friend is using mobil1 synthetic... 7000km he did his oil change and the oil was black haha...

i hope my info helps
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Old 01-Jun-2006, 11:45 AM
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Check out my post here ....
http://www.torontocivics.com/tccforu...&highlight=oil

According the his tests, a quality synthetic is providing better protection at 10,000 miles, than a dino oil fresh out of the bottle. Gives you a good insight into extended drain intervals.

Cheeers

Cam
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Old 01-Jun-2006, 06:11 PM
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did a nice "spirited" drive up north on some twisties this past weekend. checked my oil after and it was still sparkling clean

mind you this is only after 1500km of regular driving but i change my oil usually at 5000km... im pretty sure my regular oil would have been dark.

i might push it to 7-8000km this time... what do u think? im running motul 8100 5w30
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Old 01-Jun-2006, 08:33 PM
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i say give it a try for 7000-8000km and give a nice report haha...

i would rank amosil on top of mobil1 and quaker state based on results i've experienced...

let see where motul stands along with those 3

i'm actually trying out an oil known as ELF right now... they are one of the world leading oils.....

i'll see how it goes after 8000km of spirited driving haha
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Old 01-Jun-2006, 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by 1sloweg
So you say.......

Call most engine builders up and they will tell you differently.
My buddy that's been building & racing drag cars for well over 15yrs will tell you different.

He only use Mobil 1 or Amsoil.

BTW: I use Mobil 1 in my push mower. I have about 8L 5w30 left over from my SiR days. It's not worth it for me to sell it & I needed oil for my mower.

Now I just have to find Mobil 1 in 5w20.
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Old 03-Jun-2006, 08:27 PM
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i drink oil twice anually
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