AMSOIL Applauded for Extended Drain Technology
The following articles from third parties will help you understand why we have aligned ourselves with AMSOIL and how Mr. Amatuzio's company finds its niche in products which offer full disclosure and give the customer the highest level of quality offered in the catagory they intended to buy.
AMSOIL founder A.J. Amatuzio coined the phrase "extended drain intervals" back in 1972 with the introduction of AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil, formulated for 25,000-mile/one-year drain intervals. Not only was AMSOIL motor oil the first synthetic oil to pass American Petroleum Institute (API) service requirements, AMSOIL INC. was the only motor oil company promoting oil drains beyond 3,000 miles.
Today, motorists are still bombarded with propaganda from the major oil companies promoting 3,000-mile oil changes. However, the industry is slowly but surely coming around. Vehicle manufacturers typically suggest 5,000- to 7,500-mile intervals in their owners manuals, and many manufacturers have also started incorporating oil life monitors into their vehicles, allowing motorists to safely extend drain intervals by monitoring oil life and alerting drivers when the oil needs changing. Competing oil companies have also begun marketing their own synthetics, some claiming service lives extending beyond 3,000 miles.
Lubes-n-Greases Automotive Editor David McFall, once with the American Petroleum Institute recently tackled the issue of extended drain intervals in his March column, criticizing the standard 3,000-mile oil change and referring to the American motor oil market as "shackled."
"In Europe the average engine oil drain interval for current gasoline-fueled cars is about 10,000 miles," explains McFall. "In the United States, indicates the Automotive Oil Change Association, the average drain interval followed by most drivers is somewhat less than 5,000 miles - one-half of Europe's."
"Every year in the United States, this too short drain interval results in the unneeded production of 300 million to 400 million gallons of engine oil; excess consumer expenditures of around $1.5 billion; and tens of millions of unnecessary oil changes."
Not only are these unnecessary oil changes an expense to consumers, explains McFall, but they have an environmental cost as well. "The added environmental cost of having an average 5,000-mile oil drain interval (instead of 10,000 miles, as in Europe) may be nearly 100 million gallons of engine oil being dumped, untreated, into the U.S. environment annually."
McFall's examination of Mobil 1, Shell and AMSOIL demonstrates the differences among companies who are shackled to the current system and one who isn't.
According to an ExxonMobil spokesperson, "Car owners should follow the oil change intervals specified by the manufacturer. We believe it is inappropriate to recommend drain intervals that may conflict with those set forth by the car manufacturer's specifications." (As of June 2005 after Mobil 1's new product introductions they still stand by these statements.)
"Here, in a nutshell," says McFall, "is this observer's take on ExxonMobil's and the oil industry's 'owner's manual' position: It is designed solely to increase motor oil sales." He backs it up by mentioning that Mobil 1 SuperSyn motor oil claims to meet European ACEA A5 and B5-02 specifications, two specifications intended to extend oil drain intervals. "If the oil can be used in Europe for extended drain intervals, why doesn't ExxonMobil notify U.S. consumers of that capability?" asks McFall.
Although Shell Oil Products, owner of Pennzoil-Quaker State, has broken through the shackles enough to offer an API unlicensed oil specially formulated for higher mileage engines, they make no mention of a recommended drain interval, preferring instead to avoid the issue and keep consumers in the dark.
McFall marvels at the success of the independent motor oil company that offers drain intervals up to 11 times longer than the standard interval offered by conventional oils, saying, "Purists can sniff that AMSOIL's data isn't derived from a controlled field study, but the sheer mountain of vehicle miles over three decades, and the absence of any confirmed performance, wear or maintenance issues, speaks volumes."
McFall sums up his column by highlighting the true value of AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil, stating the cost may be "two to three times higher than most retail conventional oils but if you can securely count on a 15,000 to 25,000-mile drain interval, it's a flat-out bargain, not to mention providing a clear environmental bonus."
So, what is it that allows AMSOIL motor oils to be used for extended drain intervals, while other oils must be changed significantly sooner? First, the synthetic base stocks with which AMSOIL motor oils are formulated are worlds apart in quality compared with conventional base stocks. The synthetic molecules are uniform in size and shape, resisting the vaporization that boils off the smaller molecules of conventional motor oils and leaves behind a thicker, higher viscosity oil that compromises engine protection. AMSOIL motor oils surpass even the most stringent European volatility standards, providing superior protection for extended drain intervals.
Second, AMSOIL spares no expense when it comes to additives, selecting the most robust additive packages on the market. These additives keep AMSOIL motor oils shear stable, resist the degrading effects of varnish and sludge, keep engine components clean and deposit-free, conditions and restores seals and effectively resist rust, corrosion and foaming.
By using only the highest quality synthetic base stocks and additives available, AMSOIL motor oils are capable of extended drain intervals, all while maintaining performance, providing long-term wear protection and fuel economy, keeping engines clean and deposit-free, providing cold weather starts and protecting against rust and corrosion.
A short note from Al Amatuzio - Founder of AMSOIL (May 2005)
The other day I was reviewing the April Action News and the new G-100 product catalog included in it. The products featured in this issue were our two new motorcycle oils. Anyone reading about these outstanding new oils couldn’t help be impressed by how they totally blew the competition away in head-to-head performance tests.
Once again, AMSOIL outperforms the competition and puts test results that prove it right there for everyone to see. It’s also interesting that the very bike manufacturer that said not to use synthetic motor oils in their engines now sells and recommends a synthetic motor oil with their label on it.
They don’t make it, but they profit from it so now it’s OK to use. That’s very similar to how the other oil companies and automakers badmouthed synthetic motor oils until they began marketing their own synthetic oils.
Are their oils as good as AMSOIL? Not when you look at the tests! AMSOIL has a long history of making lubricants that are the very best. And the way we have shown they are the best is by testing them against the competition and publishing the results in our sales literature or right on the product labels.
I don’t know of any other oil company that does this like we do. But then, I don’t know of any other oil company that makes products as good as we do, so they don’t really have as much to toot their horn about as we do.
Synthetics - Origin of the Species - by Steve Swedburg
PDF Copy - Posted February 2014
Synthetics have been the hot topic in motor oils lately. The question is why all the buzz now, since they’ve been part of the motor oil marketplace for almost 50
years. I thought it would be interesting to look back at their origins and talk
about what’s driving their growth.
While stories about the use of non-petroleum products for motor oils go back a long way (castor oil for example), the development of modern synthetic lubricants is a direct result of World War II. Nazi Germany was unable to get petroleum based oils and was forced to develop synthetics. According to one old reference book (The Waverly Handbook of 1949), these German synthetics were “polyethylene” formed from ethylene produced from coal and biobased sources.
After the war and with the advent of high speed, high altitude aircraft, hydraulic oils needed to be able to operate over a wide temperature range. Minus 40 degrees F was set as a target for the hydraulic oil to remain fluid on the low temperature
side, and they also needed to have adequate viscosity when the temperature climbed to around 150 C (302 F).
In addition there was a need for engine oils to lubricate and protect jet engines. Products qualified for this use had to meet the military’s MIL-L-7808 specification, and the preferred oil at the time was a diester, created by chemically
reacting fatty acids and fatty alcohols.
There followed a number of industrial applications such as hydraulic oil, circulating oil, refrigeration oil, gear oil and grease which were synthetic based. All
of these had the common need for products that could handle extreme temperatures or were in relatively inaccessible locations which demanded long operational life.
The first synthetic automotive engine oil was introduced by Superior, Wis.-
based Amsoil Inc. in 1972. It met then-current performance levels for engine oil and was based on polyalphaolefin
base stock, with some ester blended in to assure additive solubility and seal compatibility.
Shortly thereafter Mobil Corp. introduced Mobil 1 which was similar in makeup. From that point forward a number of smaller oil marketers also introduced synthetic automotive engine oils, but Mobil 1 still claims the number one spot worldwide. The strongest selling points for synthetic engine oils were their long-life potential and their low temperature performance.
That made them an easy sell in the Northern-tier U.S. states since it’s tough to start a car at minus-40 first thing on a winter morning. Some marketers also promised consumers they’d be able to go much longer between drains;12,000 to 15,000 miles between oil changes was being touted as the new normal for synthetics. The major oil marketers
(such as Pennzoil, where I was working back then) responded that synthetics were way too expensive for normal use, and to be profitable, a once-yearly oil drain would have to cost four times as much as conventional 3,000-mile/three month drain intervals. That was likely to be unpalatable to most consumers. Mostly, big oil viewed it as a specialty product that would never capture a large share of the market — a novelty.
By the 1980s, the impact of synthetic automotive engine oils on the market was still pretty minimal. Customers buying synthetics usually had one or more of the following reasons for the purchase.
1) They had to have the best oil. One market research firm, which studied motorists’ buying habits for items ranging from wheel rims to driving gloves, estimated that about 5 percent of buyers had to have the very best — cost was no object.
Synthetic cost the most, ergo, it was the best one could buy.
2) They were technology enthusiasts and felt that “space-age” products were the right choice.
3) They wanted to go for the longest oil drains possible, and they felt that oils allowing 12,000- to 15,000- mile change intervals must be superior.
The OEMs liked synthetics because of the fact that they were lower in viscosity, showed good deposit control and oxidative stability, and offered fuel economy benefits versus conventional oils. Unfortunately,
automakers couldn’t use synthetics for their engines’ fuel economy certification programs; the oils failed the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency requirement that oils used to calculate fuel economy must be competitively priced and widely available.
Ramping Up Throughout the 1980s synthetic engine oils remained a minor but highly profitable player in the overall market. There were small attempts to capture new customers with “semi-synthetic” oils that used a mix of conventional and synthetic base oils, particularly in Europe. Some of the early fuel economy oils were blends of this type.
But so long as the cost differential between conventional and synthetic base oils remained at about five to one, there was no way that synthetics could make any great inroads into the mainstream market.
Things really got going in the 1990s with the introduction of the American Petroleum Institute’s Document 1509, the Engine Oil Licensing & Certification System. One of the innovations included in API 1509 was a classification system for base oils, which now were divided into “groups.”
Starting in 1991 and continuing for the next two years, a big debate went
on in API’s Lubricants Committee and in SAE International about how to
define a synthetic.
Everyone agreed that PAO was a definite as well as the various esters (mono, di- and tri-). The problem was the emergence of what came to be known as API Group III base stocks. These were very highly refined mineral oils with a viscosity index that approached that of PAO (which are often 140 V.I. or better). Group IIIs boasted high purity, light to waterwhite color and very little in the way of sulfur or unsaturates, just like PAOs — but they cost far less. Having put so much marketing effort into their products, the folks who made PAO and other synthetics naturally didn’t want to see Group III base stocks invading their turf.
They argued that only “man-made” molecules should be called synthetics, not natural ones created by refiners. On the other side, Group III refines (led by Shell and BP) claimed that their products could be made either by severe refining processes (like catalytic cracking, hydroisomerization and catalytic dewaxing), or by polymerization processes — which would qualify them as “man made,” i.e., synthesized
Finally in 1995, in an effort to head off any controversy SAE deleted “synthetic” as a definition in its Information Report J357, which describes the physical and chemical properties of engine oils. And API decided that the word “synthetic” would not appear in API 1509 either.
API had by then created the Group III niche to allow for highly refined oils to be included in API 1509’s base oil categories; polyalphaolefins got their own niche, Group IV. (See Appendix E, “API Base Oil Interchangeability
Guidelines for Passenger Car Motor Oils and Diesel Engine Oils).
Rubbing Along Things continued to rub along, with occasional mutterings
and uprisings at industry meetings, until 1998. Then Mobil, stung by
advertising claims made by Castrol, asserted that Castrol Syntec Motor Oil was not really synthetic because it no longer contained PAO. Until December 1997, Mobil charged, PAOs had been 70 to 80 percent of Syntec’s formulation and esters another 7 percent; now Syntec used only
hydro-isomerized mineral oil. (How did Mobil know that no PAO was being
It analyzed Syntec after Castrol stopped buying PAO from Mobil Chemical, as it had since 1992.) The two motor oil giants brought their donnybrook
to the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division. And in March 1999, NAD decided that synthetic motor oils could reasonably be made from Group III base stocks, not just PAO and esters! (For details, Google “Castrol Mobil NAD decision on synthetics” to see how it all went down.)
Now the marketing flood gates were open! In short order a number of oil companies introduced their own synthetics and syn- thetic blends to the marketplace, as Group III base stocks became increasingly available and competitive. Using classic market segmentation strategies
— good, better, best — most oil marketers were happy to position two
more tiers of engine oils, synthetic and partial synthetic, alongside their conventional product on merchandisers’ shelves. SKUs flourished!
Synthetic sales began to grow in volume and OEMs now had the opening to use synthetic formulations for fuel-economy certification. The growth of Group III also made possible the development of lower viscosity engine oils. At the time of the NAD decision SAE 5W-30, 10W-30 and even 10W-40 still dominated the market. With engine oil volatility limits becoming
more stringent, the use of more specialized base oils became the norm rather than the exception.
A look at the NPRA U.S. Lubricating Oil Sales Report (the best data available at the time but now discontinued) confirms how rapidly the shift progressed. Table 1 shows viscosity demand in 1999, the year of NAD’s decision, and again just seven years later.
The trend to lighter grades didn’t stop after 2006, as seen in Table 2,
which shows data from National Oil & Lube News’ annual survey of quick lube operators. Looking at the same three viscosity grades, the NOLN survey shows steady erosion for SAE 10W-30 and 5W-30, and gains for SAE 5W-20. Finally, Infineum USA also has monitored the spread of SAE 5W-20. Virtually nonexistent in 2000, it’s now 23 percent of the PCMO market and will top 40 percent by 2020, the additive maker says. Close
behind will be SAE 0W-XX grades, with another 20 percent of the market by 2020, Infineum predicts.
The critical point is that you cannot make SAE 5W-20 or 0W-XX without using synthetic base stock. And these two grades will be more than 60 percent of the PCMO market before the decade ends. Foot on the Accelerator Meanwhile the march of category upgrades goes on. From 1999 to now, we’ve gone from API SJ to API SN and from GF-1 to GF-5 with GF-6 hovering in the wings ready to make its commercial debut in 2017. In each case, volatility limits got more restrictive and fuel economy more demanding.
The result is lower and lower viscosity; a natural for synthetics. To cap it off, drain intervals are going up. The longstanding 3,000-mile/three-month recommendation is dying out in favor of yearly intervals, or whenever a vehicle’s oil life system says it’s time. That places a heavier burden on the oil to remain fluid and to retain its protective properties.
The market for synthetics has grown since 1999, to say the least, and in recent years NOLN has tracked the difference in sales of synthetic vs. conventional oils. In 2005 synthetics were not even mentioned in NOLN’s surveys; by 2008 they represented 10 percent of quick-lube motor oil sales and semisynthetics an additional 6 percent.
NOLN’s 2013 report pegged full synthetics at 13 percent of quick-lube
volumes, while synthetic blends were 20 percent. So what are the takeaways from all of this? While synthetics have now established a firm position in the market, Group III base oils are the real volume driver here because they are more cost effective than PAOs (Group IV) or other synthetics (Group V).
The need for improvements in fuel economy and engine durability will continue to push viscosities lower. Witness the recent introduction of the
SAE 0W-16 grade. Smaller displacement, higher compression, direct fuel
injection, turbocharged designs will put even more stress on the oil.
Couple that with longer drain intervals or, as an associate of mine who
is the former lubricants guru with a major OEM calls it, “reducing customer
requirements for maintenance” — and you have a burden on the oil that will push every product towards Group III type base oils with added doses of Group IV and Group V to reach volatility and performance targets.
I would say that synthetics are now an integral part of the business of
engine oils, and will be with us for a long, long time — as long as we have
the internal combustion engine.
See this recent article from Lubes 'n' Greases (August 05) Called Anything but Conventional"
Amsoil Dealer of Las Vegas NV - Nick Moody
AMSOIL Dealer Opportunities in 2014 provide you with the ultimate home business opportunity with 41 years of continuous growth to back it up. These products ARE IN DEMAND! We will help you stay on course but you can become totally financially independent if you put in the effort, Call me or one of my dealers and we would love to discuss it with you.
AMSOIL manufacturers Synthetic Motor Oils. They are exclusively distributed by Independent Dealers - People like you and me. AMSOIL's Signature Series oils are not refined from petroleum oils like our competitors exotics but are synthetically engineered from pure base materials so that only the desired qualities are present in the oil. At AMSOIL, it's not about beating the other guy, it's about simply being the best which is the result of several processes in place in the home office and the plant.
Join us every May for AMSOIL University and go home ready to tell the old boss good-bye. We can even help you open your very own Amsoil Retail Store!
AMSOIL's highest demands are in both the diesel and powersports sector. We urge you to print out our Dealer Sign-up Form or even better - call the dealer listed above and then read more in our Dealer Opportunities section. We have a team of dealers close to you so call and we will forward their information.
Industry is pointing consumers our way from every direction:
- AMSOIL is becoming a household name. Customers are expecting to find it locally.
- Vehicle manufacturers are installing synthetic oil into new vehicles on the production line.
- Cars & Trucks made before 1995 need oils with more anti-wear additives and detergents.
- Drivers discovering top quality synthetic do indeed increase fuel mileage.
- New lubricant trends demanded by industry are developed well before the engine and transmission technologies hit the marketplace. This allows AMSOIL to further develop their product even further while the competition arrives late testing their product after the requirement goes live.
- New emission systems demand oils, which can take more heat and leave fewer deposits. Currently diesel engine changes have created problems which demand more stable base stocks. We have them and you save more fuel to boot!
- OEM Automatic Transmission Fluids are limited to light duty use. AMSOIL ATF and Low Viscosity Trans Fluid cuts temperature significantly and delivers more power to the wheels. Our transmission fluids continue to be well ahead of the industry because of AMSOIL's relationship with suppliers.
- They are demanding better lubrication qualities from the oil to improve fuel economy.
- Commercial vehicles Require synthetics in transmission and drivetrain parts to retain extended warranties. (And better power transfer).
- Environmentally we can not go on disposing of the millions of gallons of oil each year that is the bi-product of 3,000 mile oil change intervals - Imagine if everyone changed their oil at say 7,500 miles instead. The used oil disposal problem would be cut by 50%. Yes 50%, not just 1 or 2% - Now consider the impact of a 25,000 and beyond oil change interval.
- OEM fill and recommended product now from several lines such as Eric Buell Motorcycles.
- AMSOIL is MADE in USA.
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