What are Synthetic Lubricants?
Synthetic oil consists of chemical compounds which were not originally present in crude oil (petroleum) but were artificially made (synthesized) from other compounds. Manufacturers are able to create “tailor-made” molecules which are of uniform size and shape and can slide together much easier, hence creating less friction. Although in use in the aerospace industry for some years prior, synthetic oil first became commercially available when AMSOIL introduced the world’s first synthetic motor oil to exceed API automobile service requirements in 1972.
What Are The Advantages of Synthetic Oil?
- They offer superior wear protection so that engines last longer
- They improve fuel economy so that vehicles get better mileage out of every tank of gas
- Measurably better low and high temperature viscosity performance
- Due to their low pour points and cold weather pumpability, they make winter starts much easier
- By reducing friction they help engines run cooler
- By reducing deposits engines run cleaner and perform more efficiently
- Due to lower volatility they reduce oil consumption
- Because they resist oxidation and breakdown, they reduce varnish and sludge which keeps valves and rings from sticking
- More efficient combustion and reduced internal friction causes reduced exhaust emissions
When combined with extended drain intervals synthetics also provide these advantages:
- Save money. The overall life-cycle costs are less than petroleum products even though the upfront cost is higher.
- Save time. Eliminate at least 3 oil change appointments from your calendar – and for many people, time is money.
- Reduce waste. Not only is there less waste oil to deal with there are also fewer oil filters and empty oil bottles to dispose of.
About Conventional Oils
Conventional petroleum oils are refined from crude oil which is pumped from the earth. The refining process is not able to remove many of the impurities inherent in crude oil. These impurities detract from the lubricating ability of the oil and contribute to deposit, sludge and varnish formation. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are constructed in the laboratory and contain no impurities. The basestock of conventional lubricants generally contain molecules of all shapes and sizes, positioned in every direction. Because of this lack of molecular uniformity, conventional lubricants cannot compete with synthetics in terms of friction reduction. Conventional lubricants also contain wax components that tend to congeal in cold temperatures.
AMSOIL has been producing synthetic lubricants for automotive applications longer than anyone else and they are now one of the largest independent makers of synthetic oil on the planet. Simply put, pound for pound there is not a better line up of synthetic lubricants, air and oil filtration and car care products anywhere. Check out the application guide for your vehicle to find an unparalleled line of products for automotive, recreational and industrial applications.
Are AMSOIL Motor Oils More Expensive?
AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are more expensive than most petroleum oils, but comparing AMSOIL and other motor oils is like comparing apples with oranges. AMSOIL motor oils exceed performance characteristics of conventional motor oils by such a wide margin that they are really a different class of product. AMSOIL is a premium product that rightfully commands a premium price. That being said, AMSOIL synthetics are priced very closely to most brand name synthetics.
If you have walked through any motor oil section lately you will note that there is no such thing as inexpensive motor oil anymore. Conventional motor oils have never been priced closer to AMSOIL products. As has always been the case, in terms of value and quality, the over-priced conventional products in the store don’t compare. AMSOIL products are an even greater value when you have an AMSOIL Preferred Customer Account.
Better for the Environment
By safely extending drain intervals AMSOIL synthetic lubricants dramatically cut the amount of oil consumed and emissions produced. This is not a new fad that AMSOIL is following. Extended drains have been a core principle of the company since 1972 when the first can of oil was sold.
In addition to the extended drain intervals AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are specially designed to protect engine components which extend the life of the engine and reduce the need for repairs. They are also thermally stable with a strong resistance to high temperature volatility (burn-off). This prevents sludge deposits and allows engine internals to stay clean. The result is clean operation, reduced oil consumption, lower emissions and optimum fuel economy.
The advanced “lubricity” (slipperiness) of AMSOIL synthetic lubricants has also been proven to increase fuel economy. The resulting improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction of emission levels contributes to the conservation of natural resources and protection of the environment.
Store Brand Synthetic Oils
While most are relatively competent products many brand-name synthetic motor oils contain additive packages that are no more robust than conventional oils. This is the reason why most store brand synthetics do not recommend drain intervals beyond 5000-km’s. Their high prices do not reflect the same benefits that AMSOIL products provide.
Extended Drain Intervals
The premium AMSOIL Signature Series products have “24,000-km or 1-year” severe service drain intervals and this tends to immediately put some people off the product thinking it is an exaggerated statement. While these intervals have been met and even exceeded (backed up with oil analysis) I do not recommend installing these products – slamming the hood and forgetting about your oil for a full year. If you intend to push the “one year” products out to 12 months it is recommend to monitor the situation with oil analysis and I can certainly help you with this. Remember there are caveats on the product labels suggesting that “Severe Service” operation will reduce the drain interval. What constitutes “Severe Service” operation are things like frequent short trips, excessive idling, frequent towing, frequent operation under very dusty conditions, etc.
Don’t feel that because you are buying a “1-year/24,000-km” oil that you HAVE to run it that far to get value from the product. What we tell people is that if you are currently running a 5000-km/3-month oil change interval and if your vehicle is mechanically sound you can safely double or triple your current interval. This saves time and money and you can still sleep at night. If you would like real convenience and savings consider installing a By-Pass Oil Filtration unit. These systems clean your oil 15 to 25 times greater than a standard oil filters and allow you to extend your drain intervals indefinitely with oil analysis dictating when your oil should be changed. If you are logging big miles this takes all guess work out of when to change your oil and can save scores of oil changes over the life of your vehicle. Consider the savings in terms of time, money and waste oil.
If you are intending to use the 6-month/16,000-km XL line of motor oils and your vehicle is mechanically sound you will have no problem reaching either milestone. Despite our misgivings about lengthy service intervals on product labels credit must be given to AMSOIL. While everyone else is telling their customers to dump their oil early and often AMSOIL is telling their customers to push their motor oils to the limit and to put them to the test with lab analysis.
If you wish to stick with your manufacturer’s drain interval but would still like to have the performance and protection of AMSOIL products the value-priced OE Series of Synthetic Motor Oils is designed with you in mind.
Which AMSOIL product line should I use?
AMSOIL has recently tiered it’s product line offerings to encourage people interested in Synthetics to try AMSOIL products without the high price tag – but at a reduced drain interval.
The product line that interests you should be based on the drain interval you plan to use. Drain intervals can be influenced by manufacturer warranties, inconvenience of oil changes, environmental concerns and overall maintenance costs. If you have any questions about which product line interests you please contact me for assistance.