Synthetic OIL

Discussion in 'SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech' started by LT.SAVAGE, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. I'll concede that Amsoil fairs measurable better than Mobil 1 in laboratory tests, but the differences are minimal at best. You're trying to make it sound like there would be a significant difference in the engine wear experienced between a motor run on Mobil 1 and a motor run on Amsoil when the actual test numbers are within .2 of each other (4 ball wear test).

    This info comes from a former member here on Stangnet who is a certified tribologist. His comments are identified as "RR".
    The Big Oil Post

    These tests were commisioned by Amsoil, but since they use standardized ASTM protocols, they could easily be verified, and any deception challenged. Based on my experiences with the products from all these companies, and the results of similar but less comprehensive tests posted elsewhere, these do not look doctored or suspect. But as I did not oversee them, I cannot and will not be accountable for any discrepancies, real or imagined. This was a lot of work to type, and I strived to get them right.

    Test 1: Thin Film Oxygen Uptake:
    Measures the oxidation stability of an oil.
    The induction time (break point) in minutes is measured. The test uses standard amounts of fuel dilution, soluble metals, and water to offer a real-world applicability.

    Results for this test(all units in minutes):
    Amsoil: >500 (no break)
    Mobil1: 397
    Pennzoil Purebase: 242
    Castrol Syntec: 221
    Valvoline: 219
    Vavoline SynPower: 211
    Mobil Drive Clean: 209
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 192
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 159
    Quaker State Synthetic: 159
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 132

    Test 2: High Temperature/High Shear (HT/HS)
    Measures a lube's performance under severe heat and shear (mechanical stress) as would be found in the journal bearings under heavy load. The units displayed are viscosity based, using the centipose unit (cP). The minimum spec for a 30w is 2.9 cP.

    Results for this test (all units in cP):
    Amsoil: 3.51
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 3.37
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 3.35
    Vavoline SynPower: 3.30
    Mobil1: 3.30
    Valvoline: 3.30
    Mobil Drive Clean: 3.28
    Pennzoil Purebase: 3.16
    Quaker State Synthetic: 3.15
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 3.14
    Castrol Syntec: 3.13

    Test 3: NOACK Volatility.
    Measures the evaporative loss of lubricants in high temperature conditions. The higher the number, the thicker the lubricant will become. API SL and GF-3 specs allow for a 15% evaporation limit. In this test, obviously, lower is better. Syns almost always have an advantage due to their monomolecularity.

    Results for this test (% weight loss):
    Amsoil: 4.86
    Vavoline SynPower: 7.03
    Castrol Syntec: 7.77
    Quaker State Synthetic: 7.80
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 8.15
    Mobil1: 8.92
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 8.93
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 10.63
    Mobil Drive Clean: 10.83
    Pennzoil Purebase: 10.93
    Valvoline: 12.18

    Test 4: Pour Point
    This test reveals the lowest temperature at which a lubricant will flow when cooled under test conditions. The lower, the better the product will perform in getting from the oil pan to the upper oil galleys, and in providing oil pressure quickly. Synoils generally are the best, because they are free of wax crystals, but today's mineral oils are better refined to remove wax impurities, and use advanced pour point depressant additives to help offset the synoils' intrinsically better properties.

    Results for this test (all units in degrees Centigrade):
    Amsoil: -48
    Mobil1: -46
    Vavoline SynPower: -46
    Castrol Syntec: -43
    Pennzoil Synthetic: -40
    Quaker State Synthetic: -40
    Pennzoil Purebase: -37
    Valvoline: -37
    Mobil Drive Clean: -37
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: -37
    Quaker State Peak Performance: -34

    Test 5: Total Base Number (TBN)
    TBN displays the lubricant's reserve alkalinity, and is, of course, the opposite of TAN (total acid number). A high TBN will help resist the formation of acids from sulfur and other sources. It is also a good indicator of reserve resistance to oxidation. The higher the number, the superior ability to suspend contaminants and the greater the ability to provide long-drain intervals
    Results for this test (all units in mg KOH/g):
    Amsoil: 12.34
    Vavoline SynPower: 11.38
    Castrol Syntec: 10.39
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 9.73
    Mobil1: 8.57
    Valvoline: 7.88
    Quaker State Synthetic: 7.82
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 7.74
    Mobil Drive Clean: 7.71
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 7.55
    Pennzoil Purebase: 7.40

    RR's comments: I was very impressed with all the oils, as the mineral oils have significantly improved, consistent with previous comments about how mineral oils are closing in, and that the GF-3 spec has resulted in very good performing products. Mobil1's showing is the best i have seen for that product, which usually was in the 5-6 range previously. It certainly also supports my previous comments that the 3K oil change "necessity" is out of place with current technology. Like an enema for a dead man, while it may not help to do a 3K change, it wouldn't hurt I guess.

    Test 6: Cold Crank Sumulator
    This one determines the apparent viscosity of the oils at low temperatures and high shear rates, simulating the dreaded cold start. It has direct applicability to engine cranking, the lower the number the better in terms of stress on the battery, starter, etc. A 10w is tested at -25degF and must show a vis <7000 cP to pass.

    Results for this test (all units cP at -25degC):
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 3538
    Amsoil: 3590
    Mobil1: 3967
    Quaker State Synthetic: 4142
    Vavoline SynPower: 4541
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 4620
    Castrol Syntec: 4783
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 5804
    Pennzoil Purebase: 5936
    Mobil Drive Clean: 6448
    Valvoline: 6458

    RR Comments: If you live and drive your car in very cold climates, the advantage of the synoils is obvious. Keep in mind that the NOACK performance figures here as well, as this tests hows the performance of fresh oil - after a few thousand miles, the oils with higher volatility will likely have thickened, unless there has been high dilution from fuel, such as can occur if excessive startup idling warmups are employed.

    Test 7: Four Ball Wear
    This one is a good indicator of the wear protection of a lubricant, although in the real-world it is should be factored in with the TBN of the oil. Three metal balls are clamped together, and a rotating 4th one is pressed against them in sliding contact. A scar is produced, since at some point the film strength (resistance to being squeezed out) of the oil will be exceeded. The scar is then measured, and the smaller the average wear scar, the better. This test is affected by both the base stock of the oil, and its additive package.

    Results for this test (all units in inches):
    Amsoil: 0.40
    Castrol Syntec: 0.45
    Vavoline SynPower: 0.55
    Quaker State Synthetic: 0.55
    Mobil Drive Clean: 0.55
    Pennzoil Synthetic: 0.60
    Mobil1: 0.60
    Valvoline: 0.60
    Castrol GTX Drive Hard: 0.60
    Quaker State Peak Performance: 0.60
    Pennzoil Purebase: 0.65

    RR Comments: Amsoil and Castrol Syntec are the clear frontrunners, indicating excellent chemistry and use of anti-wear additives. Once again, the high performance of the mineral oils against the 2nd tier synoils is notable, although one cannot dismiss the superiroity of the synoils across the board.

    However, it is also admirable how well many of the mass-produced mineral oils fared. If you do frequent oil changes, they are very worth considering. The gap between synoil and the hydro-isomerized GIII mineral oils has significantly narrowed, especially when the GF-3 spec was implemented.


    Final comments:
    I think that except for one of the lubes, there was a wide discrepancy of performance for the others - one might be good here, not so good there. As in life, consistency of performance is what sets apart the great from the good.
    As Voltaire said, "The best is the enemy of the good". Perfectly good performance can be found in any of these products, and a thinking owner would factor his/her driving styles, operating conditions (environmental), maintenance schedule (intervals between changes), cost constraints, buy vs lease, and expected length of ownership into making a choice.

    Now, what about the other top synoils? Well, they were not tested here, but certainly the industry giants were. Based on tests I have run or seen from sources I trust in the industry, Red Line, NEO, Motul, and others would likely score in the top quartile of these tests. The tests and UOA's I have seen for Royal Purple have never shown it to be other than mid-tier, competitive with the synoil or GIII mineral oils from the major companies.

    For the RP supporters... The main reason I don't use RP and I steer others away from it is due to its use of "Moly" (Molybdenum Disulfide). RP is one of only a handful of marketers using Moly in their oil. Moly is a solid, specifically banned by Cummins, due to excessive valve train wear.

  2. U.M., thanks for linking that up. I'm not saying Amsoil is "other worldy" in terms of superior protection, but as the test results above show, it came in first in all the testings, which shows how good it is in all around performance, not just in one area such as wear scar protection.

    If you become a preferred customer with Amsoil (which isn't much compared to how much you save on their products) you can get stuff for a good amount cheaper than retail sale. That, and there tends to be private dealers of Amsoil in most parts of the country. I know a direct dealer who lives about 7 miles from where I am right now, and I get all my stuff from him at dealers cost.

    The main two things I like is not only the added protection, but the fact that I only have to change the oil once a year, AND Amsoil is 100 percent USA made. No foreign petroleum. :flag:
  3. The MM act will not be useful in a case where an engine seizes, and I did not say that amsoil would cause it. But if a customer has an engine seize due to any reason and they mention that they ave only changed the oil once a year, you can guarantee that they will use it agaist them to void the warantee work, for not following reular maintence intervals. I agree tha amsoil is probably the best out there. I'm not debating that. And I too have seen the engines with a quarter inch of sludge baked onto the walls of crank cases on dino oil cars.

    Suppose shortly after your yearly oil change, you are driving along, and one of your plugs decides not to fire or an injector sticks open. You are cruising at a medium speed with little load on the engine, so you don't notice the miss. A few seconds later miss corrects itself and goes unnoticed. You have now contaminated the oil with fuel, but only slightly. It will still lubricate, but starts to break down sooner. If I were in that same situation, you are going to run that oil 2 to 3 times longer than I would.

    Like I've said numerous times in this post, unless you are doing an oil analysis regularly, then you don't know for sure you oil is not contaminated after a year. It may not be, but you don't know. You can't argue that. I'm not saying don't use amsoil, just don't wait a year between an oil change. It takes 15 mintues to do an oil change. This debate simply breaks down like this. If I'm wrong and people follow my advice, they've spend and extra 30 mintues out of their year, and a little extra money. If you are wrong, they may have significantly reduced their engine life.
  4. I figured I would give everyone a link to the Motor oil that I'm using:

    Its good for up to 25,000 miles in standard service with the EAO technology oil filter, but 15,000 miles under servere duty with the EAO technology oil filter.

    Here is a link to their Series 2000 0w-30 race motor oil. It can be used in our Mustangs, and it does have a longer service life than the motor oil that I'm currently using, but it is a bit more expensive. If you're a person who does harsh driving, race a lot, or simply want the best you can buy, this would be the best for our types of Mustangs. It's rated to be good for up to 35,000 miles in standard driving conditions when used with the Amsoil EAO oil filter, and up to 17,500 in severe conditions with the EAO oil filter:

    Here is also a link to Amsoils line of EAO technology filters:

    The EaO filters are good to 25,000 miles in normal service, or 15,000 miles in severe service conditions.

    Finally, here is a link also to the regular Heavy Duty (SDF) line of filters:

    The SDF filters are good for up to 12,500 miles in normal conditions. The severe service rating isn't given in that link above, but I'm going to guess it's probably 7,500 miles intervals, or something close to it. The SDF filters are namely a synthetic alternative to regular oil filters, and are cheaper than the EAO filters. Personally, I'de rather spend the little extra dollars, and get the EAO filter, as the filter is what keeps the oil clean more so than the detergents in the oil. For this very reason, Amsoil is phasing out the SDF filters in favor of the EAO technology fitlers.

    You can make the comparisons between their oils and filters, and see the differences for yourself. Naturally, the EA filters and series 2000 oils are a tad more expensive than their regular stuff, but can be purchased for a bit cheaper once someone becomes a preferred customer. That, and they are rated to endure, and last longer.

    I agree with Jstreets comment above about oil contamination. Indeed, sometimes oil can become contaminated when certain parts of the motor fail to due their job correctly. As you noticed in the above drain interval numbers I gave, you can see there is a huge difference between service miles under normal driving conditions, and severe service conditions.

    Personally, I use the Amsoil High performance 5w-30 oil, but with a EA technology (Not SDF) series filter. The reason for this is I feel that oil life is cut short namely due to contamination and dirt. The better the filter you have, the longer the oil will last. Not only that, but the better filtration you have, the less particles you have flowing in your oil, which means less wear and tear on the motor in the long run. It's part of the reason as to why I also have a oil filter magnet on my oil filter. I use this to help catch, and hold any metal shavings in the filter so it doesn't by some slip or chance get redistributed back into the oil. Does the magnet really work ? I don't know, but it's better to be safe than sorry. I also don't drive my car but around 7,000 miles per year, so I'm not as worried about my oil becomming overly contaminated or the filter becomming clogged.
  5. It has been nice debating this subject and I am refreshed to find almost everyone being adult about this issue. We all have differences of opinion and no forum will ever change them. It does however provide me with view points that I may not have concidered before.
    I wish everyone well and will continue to monitor but don't think I have any more info to add to this thread.

  6. DUH !! i know he dosnt use 5/30 im just sayin i use castrol gtx cause thats one of his sponsers take your head out of your A$$!! GEE! now can you explaint the theory of relitivity to us all???:bang:
  7. triple post FTL :notnice:

    I like to use a cheap synthetic blend like a Motorcraft 5w-20 and change it every 3000-4000 miles. Call me old school but I'd feel paranoid when driving more than 4k on the same motor oil.
  8. thanks:nice:
  9. agreed

    i've got full synthetic in may car right now (see my previous post) and i'll go maybe 5k before i change it. waste of money? maybe but it helps me sleep at night

    i also like the post saying how adult and civilized this thread is, then i see the following post:rlaugh:
  10. i thought it was funny too:D
  11. I just put in Royal Purple (I figured I'd try it on a lark). Seems okay. Yeah, it's another synthoil...BFD. One thing that kind of bugs me, though, is how light it is on the dipstick. I can hardly get a read on my oil level. If they're gonna dye the stuff...they need to make it darker.
  12. I've used Royal Purple for a few years now, and I'm not going back to Mobile 1.
    When it comes on sale, my father and I split a few cases. It's a bunch of green at the time, but it's good for a long time...I've never had to top up any of my engines and in my ranger, I did see a fuel savings difference. With my mustang, I would'nt know because the day I brought it home I changed the oil.
    As far as all these stats...I can't be bothered, I'm happy with the big P.
  13. They better provide the oil through out the entire warrenty period free of charge or else they can't 'require' any specific brand. So saith da law.

    Oh yeah, one other thing.... multi-viscosity oil does not get thicker as it heats up. It just doesn't thin out like a single-viscosity oil does. So saith da oil-ologists.
  14. they do. BMW provides free service, everything but gas and tires throughout the 5yr/50k warrenty period. oil changes, brakes, clutches, everything is free.