Group III synthetics questions

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Tooslick posted this on another forum and it really struck me that it's not really discussed. We all know that Group III basestocks are considered synthetics. But the question is: "Is a group III closer to a group III or a Group IV in respect to performance and cost"? Let try to take something like Chevron that has a group II as their primary motoroil basestock and their synthetic version is still only a Group III. As compared to something like Mobil 1 or Amsoil that is PAO/Ester based.
 
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For longer drains, Group III aren't that ideal. You also get better performance with a PAO based oil in terms of stability and cold/hot temp performance. Group III IMO are a huge waste of money. Castrol Syntec and even Amsoil XL 7500 are not worth the cost because better oils in the same price range exist, Amsoil ATM/ASL/Mobil 1. In my opinion your better off with a group II with a strong additive package such as Pennzoil or Chevron. My friend ran Amsoil XL7500 in his Mustang, bc of the warranty [Roll Eyes] , and never had any problems. He only put 15k miles on the car though. What he was paying for the oil though was outrageous considering what he was getting.
 

MolaKule

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Actually, it has been discussed here before, but here is a summary. Group III, in my view, is closer to group II+ than PAO, from both a chemistry and stability viewpoint. Group III disadvantages: 1. oil has low solvency, 2. has to have a modified additive package (making the formulation more costly), 3. Is produced currently in only 0 to 20 weight viscosities, 4. Is sold at costs near group IV oils. (One of my sticking points). Advantage: 1. does have better thermal stability than Groups I to II+, but not as good as PAO's or esters. 2. Is probably good for 0W20's to 5W20 weights with proper add package and the addition of PAO's and or esters. A technical paper some time ago showed that a good 0W20 to 5W20 oil can be formulated with Group III and loads of moly and other AW/EP protection adds. [ September 26, 2003, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 

Al

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quote:
Originally posted by msparks: "Is a group III closer to a group III or a Group IV in respect to performance and cost"? .
Did you mean to say??: "Is a group III closer to a group II or a Group IV in respect to performance and cost"?
 
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Do you mean the base oil itself or the finished blended product? On the raw base oil end, ChevronTexaco has some technical reports that conclude that Group III is much closer to Group IV than Group II. I don't know what the relative prices of the base oils are for a price/performance analysis. As far as finished lubes are concerned, prices are all over the place. Group III's like Rotella T Synth, SuperTech and Coastal sell for about 2X the price of Group II's like Chevron Delo and Supreme. Pennzoil, Valvoline, etc Group III's retail for the same as Mobil 1, about 3X the price of the Group II's. Move up to Amsoil or Royal Purple and the premium for PAO is much more. We try and try, but how to we truly measure performance? Which properties are most important to each of us? I am about to do a group II vs III experiment that will satisfy my curiosity but might not answer your question. I have been running Delo 15W-40 and changing it every six months, about 5000 miles. I plan on running Syntec 10W-40 for one year in the same car and do UOA. The cost, including filters is a wash, not counting my labor. If the oil does not hold up, I have an answer of no. If it does hold up and I get some other benefit like reduced fuel or oil usage or lower wear metals, the answer is yes. I do not plan on running Group IV or V, because I cannot bring myself to go beyond a year and the price difference would require that.
 
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Jimbo; I don't think the Delo 400 15W40/10W40 syntech would be an apples to apples base-lube comparison. How about Delo 400 15W40 /Delo 400 5W40 for a group II+/III comparison, then a Delo 5W40 to either a Mobil Delvac 5W40 or Exxon XD-3 0W40 for the PAO/group III comparison. I would not be so quick as some others to blame the oil companies for the high retail price of G3 "synthetic engine oils. Its a big cookie jar, with a lot of sticky fingers in it.
 
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First Jimbo no one advocates longer then a year for an OCI that sells oil! Sure some oil filter companys might but not blenders or refiners. Second Syntec (group III) cost more then Mobil-1 wich is a group IV oil! Third why dont you drain after 6 months and see if the oil is holding up by doing a UOA and comparing the two? A year with a group III is really going to put undue abuse on your engine. A group III should not be pushed much past 7500 max!!! The above is just my opinon but please exercise some caution!
 

msparks

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quote:
Originally posted by MolaKule: Actually, it has been discussed here before, but here is a summary. Group III, in my view, is closer to group II+ than PAO, from both a chemistry and stability viewpoint.
That is what I'm looking for. It seems you get a slight better peformance but at twice the price. Doesn't make sense.
 
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Bellingham, WA
quote:
Originally posted by buster: Castrol Syntec and even Amsoil XL 7500 are not worth the cost because better oils in the same price range exist,
What is wrong with Amsoil XL, is it not a real synthetic oil???? CRW [Patriot]
 

Patman

Staff member
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quote:
Originally posted by Christopher R. Wise:
quote:
Originally posted by buster: Castrol Syntec and even Amsoil XL 7500 are not worth the cost because better oils in the same price range exist,
What is wrong with Amsoil XL, is it not a real synthetic oil???? CRW [Patriot]

It used to be, but last year (or earlier this year) they reformulated it and now use a group 3 base.
 
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Amsoil XL is a big waste of money and their is no other way to look at it. It's a group III with a very basic additive package. Your better off buying Pennzoil and running to 5k then using Amsoil XL line.
 
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Ephraim
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: -*-*-*-*- I ran some for 6000 miles/6 months and the TBN was still 6.5, so it had plenty of life left. Ted
Ted, don't guage the oil by the TBN alone. You wouldn't want to commit to a woman based on how well she looks in a dress, but if you got to know her well, that's another matter. Never limit your decision to only one thing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: First Jimbo no one advocates longer then a year for an OCI that sells oil! Sure some oil filter companys might but not blenders or refiners. Second Syntec (group III) cost more then Mobil-1 wich is a group IV oil! Third why dont you drain after 6 months and see if the oil is holding up by doing a UOA and comparing the two? A year with a group III is really going to put undue abuse on your engine. A group III should not be pushed much past 7500 max!!! The above is just my opinon but please exercise some caution!
Syntec was much less expensive than Mobil One. I would not pay more than $4 a quart for any oil for the reason that it could not be cost effective compared to Delo without going over a year. I will probably pull a sample for UOA at six months, for sure no longer than 7500 miles. The BMW's service computer typically signals for an oil change at 10,000 miles on the older cars, and that is the dino oil calibration.
 
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Buster, Most folks using synthetics still change them every 5000-7500 miles. The XL-7500 works very well for these sort of drain intervals and compares very favorably to other Group III synthetics sold at quick lubes. I ran some for 6000 miles/6 months and the TBN was still 6.5, so it had plenty of life left. Ted [ September 27, 2003, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: TooSlick ]
 
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True the specs are not bad, but I'm becomming more and more convinced that specs are not a good measure to judge an oil by, nor are benchmark tets. [ September 27, 2003, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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Buster, I really only sell the XL-7500 in the 5w-20 grade specifically for Honda/Acura/Ford applications. If folks want 5w-30/10w-30/10w-40, the PAO based Amsoil formulations are better values. In particular the additive packages in the PAO based Amsoil products are much more robust with 12.0-12.5 TBNs and higher levels of ZDDP. The PAO based 0w-30/5w-30/10w-30 are also thick enough to meet the ACEA A3/B3 specs. Ted
 
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Location
Bellingham, WA
quote:
Originally posted by Patman:
quote:
Originally posted by Christopher R. Wise:
quote:
Originally posted by buster: Castrol Syntec and even Amsoil XL 7500 are not worth the cost because better oils in the same price range exist,
What is wrong with Amsoil XL, is it not a real synthetic oil???? CRW [Patriot]

It used to be, but last year (or earlier this year) they reformulated it and now use a group 3 base.

OH I see, the old Castrol switch-a-ru CRW
 

Patman

Staff member
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But instead of being sneaky and not telling anyone, Amsoil did the right thing by announcing it beforehand. Although everyone remembers that slick Al once mentioned he'd NEVER sell a group 3 oil. So much for that promise. [Roll Eyes]
 

msparks

Thread starter
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quote:
Originally posted by buster: Amsoil XL is a big waste of money and their is no other way to look at it. It's a group III with a very basic additive package.
Thats just not true. It has a higher tbn than most other group III syn. Also I would venture a guess that the Add package is probably superior to the others as well. This is a case of jumping on the band wagon to compete on a price base in the quick lube market. Most of the other synthetic with the exception of Mobil 1 ARE GROUP III. FYI if you want a good value in a group III syn. Shell Rotella can be had for $12.88 in Some Walmarts. This is a great price. In my walmart they jacked the price to $18.xx a gallon. Amsoil XL7500 is a great way to introduce customers to extended drains, while keeping their warranty valid. Also allows a dealer to build the customer up so that they can then go with even a better based oil, like ASL/ATM. I sell most of my XL7500 to quick-lubes and some Ford/Honda folks that need the 5w20 vis.
 
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