API Comparative Motor Oil Testing ..

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Aug 2, 2002
If you go to the Amsoil website and click on "What's New", there is an interesting brochure, "G-1971" that compares a bunch of synthetic and petroleum oils using standard API test methods....It includes new test data for both "ATM" and the 10w-30, Supersyn, along with Valvoline Synpower, Castrol Syntec and the Pennzoil/QS synthetics .... Interestingly enough, some of the Group III based oils perform extremely well, which is no surprise to me....
Why is Amsoil using Mobil's TBN as the old number they tested? It's not 8.7. Mobil's TBN is anywhere from 11 to 12. I think they should change that number. [ December 11, 2003, 07:38 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
It's great information, but they don't list who conducted the tests. I like Amsoil and Mobil1, but if any company offered me any comparison of their products that wasn't done by an independent lab or testing facility, I have to question the validity of the tests. Whew! used up all my $10 words for the day. [Big Grin] Steve in -20C Edmonton, Alberta. [Canada]
>>>It's great information, but they don't list who conducted the tests. Well, I wouldn't be too concerned. If there is something there that isn't correct, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one being gored will be screaming bloody murder!!!! The first time AMSOIL published NOACK volatility tests, the worst case published was Mr Goodwrench oil. The lube folks at GM went ballistic. They called Lubrizol to see if they had seen what Al had published. Lubrizol said they had, and that their lab tests showed the same results. Within a week or two, GM had a new oil supplier!
1) Thin film oxygen uptake is interesting. 2) HT/HS is good, but the graph is possibly misleading...I think it should start from zero to give more realistic comparisons of the various oils. 3) Volatility is interesting, but is necessary for Amsoil's extended drain interval and high phosphorus level without the phosphorus carrying over into the catcon. The other oils' volatility is OK given their intended usage. 4) Pour point...who cares about a difference between -48 and -46?...or even -40? 5) TBN...As Bob often said, it's not the TBN you start with that really counts, it's the TBN retention after several hundred hours or several thousand miles that really counts. 6) CCS...interesting, but again, no big difference among several. 7) 4-ball...exactly how does this apply to wear inside an engine? No other oil maker that I can find does 4-ball tests on engine oil. Ken
Look, this is Amsoils site, so of course their product tested out very well ...Amsoil purchased a TFOUT machine last year, along with a new "nickolet" ICP machine, so I suspect all these tests were done inhouse in their lab, which was doubled in size recently The key is to look at trends, and not get all upset if oil A beat oil M: * PAO based oils are much more resisitant to oxidation - that's why they are more suitable for extended drains. Redline is not shown here, but would have tested out well on the TFOUT * PAO's are going to have the best low temp properties, although a properly additized Group III can come very close. How well the GP III maintains those properties is anyones guess. *High Temp Evaporation is a function of both the basestock and additive chemistry and thin basestocks simply evaporate more. Mobil is clearly using some thin stocks *Physical/chemical properties of oil - including the TBN - vary significantly from batch to batch and variations of +/- 10% are not unheard of. Spec sheets aren't chiseled on Stone Tablets and should be used as very general guides when comparing oils. Mobil has tweaked their SS formulations since they were released. The TBN listed here for any of these oils is only representative of particular batch runs and not an average TBN you can expect. *GP III oils with superior additive chemistries can perform as well as PAO based oils for "normal" drain intervals. Some OTS oils like Valvoline and Castrol are using excellent add packs and are worthy of strong consideration. You shouldn't feel locked into buying you know what [Wink] *Wear protection under boundary lubrication conditions - the Four Ball Test - is almost entirely a function of the additive chemistry and NOT the type of base oil used * Some folks think Amsoil is simply rebadged Mobil 1 - nothing could be further from the truth * You can't make a $6.25/qt oil for $4.25/qt, no matter how big your corporation is and even if ou make your own basestocks. Large corporations have high overheads and this more than raw materials costs determines the price of finished goods Tooslick www.lubedealer.com/Dixie_Synthetics
I think Ken2 nailed it pretty good. Amsoil HAS to use some of these irrelevant tests bc the reality is there oil isn't that much different then Mobil 1. [Wink] Redline tested there oil awhile back and at 15k miles it was better then Amsoil S2k new. Go figure. So who knows what to believe.
I would agree with Ken that many of these tests are only relevant if you are running extended drain intervals, and that's entirely the point that Amsoil was trying to make.... If you don't intend to run drain intervals of at least 7500 miles and/or drive very hard, I'd strongly suggest using a significantly cheaper oil like Mobil 1 or Valvoline synpower. You don't need a TFOUT test score of 500+ hours in that case and you are paying for more oil than is necessary. It would be like buying Michelins and changing them every 15,000 miles - it just makes no sense at all to me. Tooslick Dixie Synthetics
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