Amsoil- the Good & Bad

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Nov 16, 2002
Amsoil seems to be taken a beating lately. I think it's time for this post being we already have one for Mobil 1 and Redline.

Here is what I think Amsoil could do to help alleviate the criticisms. I still think for the most part, they are well respected so this is aimed at the small % that considers them Amway.

1. Lower the drain recommendations to 15k or one year, which ever comes first. If they want to go further then 15k, mandate oil analysis somehow. Recommending 25k or 35k is not in the best interest of Amsoil or the user. Your still getting your money's worth and Amsoil's main competitor, M1, won't do that.

2. Higher an outside marketing firm that knows how to market the product correctly. It seems it's all being done in house and some if it is really lame. Redline, an oil that I think is not as good as Amsoil or Mobil 1 for DAILY drivers, does a better job. Their website is more polished IMO. Redline also agressively seems to go after the racing crowd and has their logo all over the place. It works.

3. I think they should rename or re-classify certain oils. Maybe keep the XL line but lower the cost, a lot! Go after the tuner market by with S2k like M1R and make another 0w-30,not a 35k mile oil.
Keep the 5w/10w-30 for 15k mile drains.

4. Train the dealers better bc what floats around the web on most Amsoil websites is absolutely absurd sometimes. These are people that no NOTHING about oil many times and really can mislead people. Pablo,Tooslick and msparks are a different breed and are NOTHING like this.

Amsoil makes excellent oils. They use quality additives and basestocks and have been successful but I think if they toned down the BS a bit and were a bit more realistic, they'd be more respected. Vitamins got to go along with some of the other stuff they sell. Is it really necessary?

I think M1/Amsoil are the two of the best synthetics on the market. Amsoil will always have to strive to be better then M1, which is an excellent oil and it's main competitor. They have the advantage of not being fully API, so they can use this to their advantage by talking about why the API is not such a good thing (lower ZDDP etc.) Very little is every mentioned about that bc the public's perception and car warranties etc. And Amsoil has gone 25k miles under the right conditions, problem is most people never have the "right" conditions to allow an oil to go that far. They have great oils, but I think things could be done better IMO.


[ June 10, 2004, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
I agree with alot of what you said. The biggest thing that they need to change is the marketing and some of the crazy stuff some dealers put on their websites.

When I was deciding which oil I wanted to use, all I ever got at first was to stay away from amsoil and how wild their claims were. That got me intrigued, why did people hate this oil. Of course I am a bit wierd and like to learn as much about something I am going to use as possible
and that is why I am on this website.

Unfortunately it also turns alot of people off!!! BITOG has some great amsoil dealers who show what it should be like. Unfortunately one bad experience and the majority of people will never use that product.

I really liked the fact that amsoil is the only oil, I think, that promotes extended drains. That was a big selling point, although I approached it realistically and do analysis.
I agree with what you are saying, buster. I remember before I found this web site I would type in something I wanted to learn about motor oils and a ton of Amsoil web sites would come up!

I have said it before in posts and I will say it again-boasting about 25,000 or 35,000 mile oil changes is flat out silly. 15,000 mile oil changes would pay for the cost of the oil!

I think Amsoil must be a good oil, otherwise people would have had problems with the long drain periods.

But Mobil 1 is probably in the same league as Amsoil and Mobil 1 is available locally.
To be a Redline dealer one must have a retail outlet before they will sign you up.

To be an Amsoil dealer just send in the $30. Anyone can do it. AJ refuses to go with large retail chains, no more then 10 stores is permitted as he does not wish to destroy the loyalty of the dealer network. You will never see Amsoil in Autozone or Advance Auto, Pep Boys, etc.

I concur with the 15,000 mile interval.

I agree lower the XL series a whole lot.
I replied in another post pretty much the same thing. I like Amsoil and will continue to use it. However, I do not subscribe to their 25000 mile suggestions and claims. I think they are a good company, I like their products, I like their website and I like their sponsorships in motorsports. That's why I buy their products, not because they say I can wait 25000 miles to change my oil and save 40 bucks a year. I've also noticed that they are on the "buy American" kick lately and try to sell by convincing people to lessen our dependance on foreign oil. Whatever!
You know what's funny there is a Carquest autoparts across from the base entrance that sells amsoil. I thought exactly what spector said about not using retail outlets.

Originally posted by flynavydiesel:
You know what's funny there is a Carquest autoparts across from the base entrance that sells amsoil. I thought exactly what spector said about not using retail outlets.

They also sell it at Pro-Am racing off of Richmond in Houston, TX which is a retail outlet.'s nowhere near the size of PepBoys, Advanced Auto Parts, etc. and their prices reflect that.
My Local Napa sells Amsoil.

You have to have a vechile with a fair amount of fuel dilution to even consider Amsoils 25,000 mile OCI. Todays vechile do not have enough dilution to keep the oil in grade for that long. You also have some solvency issues as well with that long of a drain interval!

[ June 10, 2004, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
I agree that the oil sells itself so why hype it up as the best ever made. It is one of the best anyway.If you use their oil, Tranny fluid, PS fluid you will have made a dramitic improvment to your car or truck.If you buy their discount card for $10 buy the stuff by the gallons as I did I think I paid $4.33 a QT. That was their 5/30 or 10/30 best seller. The 0/30 is for drive as hard as you want.So I think they make great Stuff for any applacation.
OK, a few unsolicted comments realtive to Buster's post:

1. AMSOIL does not make a flat 25,000 or 35,000 mile drain recommendation for all oils, all engines, and all conditions. For turbos, the recommendation is up to 2 or 3 times the auto manufacturer's drain recommendation. For diesels, the same, depending on the oil and the application. If the extended drain interval caused any severe problems, it probably would have shown up by now after over 30 years.

2. How would you recommend they market the product? Back in the mid-70s, the OEMs certainly didn't even want to discuss the existence of synthetic oil. Mobil spent millions of corporate dollars and about a generation to build a market for Mobil 1. If they had to charge the synthetic division/branch/whatever for all the costs, it would have ceased to exist. AMSOIL over all those years was able to generate enough cash (yes, that nasty word profits) to pay all their bills, pay all their dealers, increase the production capabilities, increase the product line, and continue to exist. This having been successful to the point that, at least within the industry if not on this board, they are recognized as the quality leader in synthetics and a force to be dealt with, why consider a change now? They have managed to double sales in the past 3 years, and that isn't bad.

3. Sure, they could probably make a cheaper oil by using lesser quality base stocks and/or additive packages. But that would, at least in my opinion, be a strong negative. Mercedes could probably make a car that would be of the same quality and able to be priced like a Yugo--but it wouldn't do much for company reputation.

4. Yep, it would be nice if the company could force all the dealers to become smarter, more knowledgeable, more polite, etc. Every dealer is an inependent, though subject to certain rules spelled out by the company and agreed to by the dealers. If a dealer wants to become better informed, there is a ton of literature, training aids, training packages, and the yearly training in Superior. Most "dealers" are doing this part time, hoping to make a few (or for some, many) bucks on the side. Not many are going to, or should, quit their day job to become synthetic oil moguls. Is there some over-enthusiasm out there in real life and on the internet?? You betcha. But there are a lot more like Pablo, TooSlick and Michael Sparks than you imagine.
And most of them know a lot more about lubrication and lubricants than the average auto/truck tech. And they sure know a whole lot more than the average desk order taker at the auto parts store. Face it--if AMSOIL were in Autozone, or Pep Boys, the sales would be relatively modest, since most customers purchase based on cost per quart, not cost per mile/hour.
(On-the-shelf sales have dramatically increased over the past 10 years, as folks hear about the product, but it was slow moving at first).
Secondly, most people never, ever set foot in an auto parts store. And if they never go into an auto parts store, how do they find out about good oil? Well, they aren't going to log on here. Maybe the service station owner will tell them, or their neighbor. Not very likely the quicklube shop, but that's a possibility.

As a final comment, there are 2 things wrong with selling AMSOIL:
1. The products last so long that one has to continually find new customers.
2. The products work so well that most people think the AMSOIL dealer is blowing smoke when he/she talks about them.

Originally posted by flynavydiesel:

I really liked the fact that amsoil is the only oil, I think, that promotes extended drains. That was a big selling point, although I approached it realistically and do analysis.

Try the only oil that promotes oil analysis, bypass filtration, improved fuel economy, and extended drains.

Kind of funny an oil company that wants you to use less of their product not more

Maybe that is why I'm an Amsoil dealer. Helping customers and solving problems while reducing waste make sense to me
I have been noticing Amsoil popping up everywhere latley up here in Canada. From the big multi-chain Canadian Tire (like Walmart), to smaller chains like Peavey Mart. My wife even took her car in to one of those 10 minute oil change places (Great Canadian Oil Change) when we were on vacation, and noticed they had Amsoil on their shelves to.

Guess they must not have the same rules applying to Canada as they do in the US regarding wher Amsoil can be sold.
The same rules apply in Canada that apply in the US.
The Canadian Tire deal went through before the rule was put in. Individual stores in large chains can set up their own accounts, but the large chain itself cannot. Independently owned members of a franchise can open AMSOIL accounts.

How would you recommend they market the product?

Exactly what I said above.

**** you paint such a rosy picture.

25k or one year, which ever is first. For those that want to maintain the optimum efficiency of their engine, I don't think they should blindly go into an extended drain without oil analysis. I believe the average mileage per year now is 15,000. Wouldn't do it.

Second, for $30, anyone can sell it. It's a strength and weakness. I've met a local direct jobber and what came out of his mouth was some of the most ridiculous information I've heard about oils. I believe they could tighten up the training a bit. Again, this is aimed at helping Amsoil with the "Amway" bunch so that they can realize that Amsoil does make fine oils. It's a small bunch I believe and over all I think Amsoil has a positive reputation but as we've seen on here quite a few have issues with the way the product is marketed.

[ June 11, 2004, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
Well the problem may be that Amsoil is such a good product that people don't believe what is actual facts. I mean come on, most every day drivers are always going to go with the average dino and change it by the Jiffy lube rule. When these same people see on paper the better numbers and results amsoil has they have a hard time believing the facts. That is why amsoil has a up hill battle. They have to market agressively to get the facts out. Holy smokes Mobil one has commericals that say your engine could last up to 400,000 miles with modest wear. Even Amsoil makes no claims like that. Talk about in your face marketing now mobil one is the official oil of nascar.

I think if they toned down the BS a bit and were a bit more realistic, they'd be more respected. Vitamins got to go along with some of the other stuff they sell. Is it really necessary?

I don't agree and this will not happen. Here is some excerps from June newsletter, apparently not everbody shares your opions.


Our Retail Program is designed for the small retailer. That’s our market. That doesn’t preclude having one store out of many being a Retail Account. We have many accounts that are one retail outlet of a much larger chain. Most of those are franchises, which make them, in essence, small retailers.
What got me on the subject of writing about the 12-store rule was something that happened here recently demonstrating our commitment to protecting our Dealers is real. AMSOIL Director of Sales, Peter Haines, took a call from the purchasing agent of a large retail chain with over 2,500 stores. Peter was told that this
chain wanted to put AMSOIL products into all their stores but they didn’t want to deal with any “middlemen.” Peter explained that AMSOIL does not sell its products through large retailers, but through its Dealers and small Retail On-the-Shelf Accounts. The purchasing
agent asked Peter what his title was and Peter told him.
The man was flabbergasted, “You’re the Director of Sales and you’re telling me you won’t sell us product? You must be out of your mind!”
Peter assured him he was perfectly sane, but as a
large retail chain, his company did not qualify as an AMSOIL Retail Account. The man couldn’t believe he was being turned down and told Peter to think it over and call him the next day.
As soon as he finished the call, Peter went to AMSOIL General Manager, Dean Alexander, for assurance that he had done the right thing. It goes against a salespersons’
grain to turn down sales, and Peter knew he had
just turned down a multi-million-dollar sale. Dean told Peter that he had indeed done the right thing. The 12-store rule was there to protect the Dealers and AMSOIL was going to live by it. Both Dean and my son, Alan, know how I feel about supporting our Dealers, and
they would never do anything that might hurt them. It was shortly after that incident that another retail chain called and again spoke to Peter Haines about putting our products into their stores. Again, Peter told them they did not qualify under our rules of marketing,
and again they were stunned to be turned down. Peter did mention to me that both of these purchasing executives were very impressed that we would go to such lengths to protect our Dealers’ interests.

[ June 11, 2004, 06:38 PM: Message edited by: Mike ]
I think Amsoil market approach is far different from Mobil as Mobil's name in the mass market..botton line it cost $$$ and Mobil has it.

It's hard to change the average car owner that the 3K OCI is way to go to keep their vehicle in top shape. The average car owners are not as educated about synthetic oil and extended OCI.

I think Mobil strategy in their market approach is to try not to conflict the 3K OCI belief and Amsoil strategy of a 25K OCI is pushing the average car owner in believing such a claim.

Amsoil is a quality synthetic oil and made for extended OCI. Those that use Amsoil and know of synthetic oil will agree that Amsoil does produce quality products.

I think Amsoil needs to redirect their market strategy for the mass public on synthetic oil that the 3K OCI with dino oil can be extended using synthetic oil and Amsoil synthetic was made for that purpose.

It's hard to change an old habit of 3K OCI...I thing Mobil took that approach in selling their synthetic oil and made the public be aware of a better product in sythetic oil. Mobil's market strategy is one step ahead of Amsoil but Amsoil is in no way an inferior product.
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