Group III vs PAO - Which is the way to go ...?

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5,785
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Dixie
Group III stock are generally dismissed out of hand on this board. I think part of that has to do with the Castrol ruling and part with the fact that Group III stock are less expensive to make. What I'd like to know from folks badmouthing Group III oils - is what is specifically different in Group III and PAO stocks in terms of physical/chemical properties to support these opinions. Do you really have any factual information that would indicate Group III stocks are significantly inferior to PAO's? I'd also like to know if you have ever compared a Group III based oil to a PAO synthetic using oil analysis under the same conditions. A simple Yes or No will suffice. I'd like to ask that Molekule/Terry/Drstressor/Ken2, et al, sit this one out and just hear from average consumers. Tooslick
 

Jim

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
It would seem to me that Castrol would have had to show in court that the performance was similar or they wouldn’t have won. Maybe they just had a more expensive lawyer.
 
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Boston, MA
quote:
Originally posted by Jim: It would seem to me that Castrol would have had to show in court that the performance was similar or they wouldn't have won. Maybe they just had a more expensive lawyer.
IMO, I don't think Castrol had to show that the performance was similar, only that it was man made. It's my understanding that it was not a court trial, only a BBB thing about advertising. PS I don't badmouth Group III oils because I don’t know all the details. [ October 16, 2003, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: MikeySoft ]
 
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: I'd also like to know if you have ever compared a Group III based oil to a PAO synthetic using oil analysis under the same conditions.
I had a recent UOA going from a group III to PAO. Was not an exact comparison as I went 5k on group III and 10K on PAO. Looking at result I don't know if the 5k results with PAO would have been much different http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000880
 
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It's not that clear cut. In general, PAO's are just slightly better in all categories than Group III's. Both are WAY better than Group I or II. And then it's up to the relative addative packages to make up for the difference.
 
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SC
TS, it is true that most people who would say they'd prefer a PAO based oil over a Group III have never tested and/or used both in their engines to actually compare the results. This doesn't mean that their preference is in and of itself invalid. By way of analogy, the debate between PAO and Group III is something like deciding between buying a "real" diamond and a cubic zirconia. If you asked your typical person on the street which should be purchased as an engagement ring, the answer would invariably be "the diamond, of course." Never mind that a cubic zirconia is nothing more than a man-made diamond, which is virtually chemically identical to a "real" diamond. Both are made from carbon that has been compressed under millions of pounds per square inch. One is just the result of a "natural" process that took millions of years; the other is "synthetic" and done by man. In this case the "synthetic" is the least preferred method. In this example, the two products from which to choose are a lot closer to being equals than in fact Group III and PAO, and yet the preference for one over the other is just as strong (maybe even more so). Give your fiancee a big cubic zirconia, and unless an expert looks at it she's likely to never know the difference. (Of course, if she ever found out, you'd need the number for a good divorce attorney.) Give your average consumer a Group III based "synthetic" motor oil, and unless someone tells them the difference, they'll likely never know. And even if told, they wouldn't care. But the folks that frequent this forum aren't "average" consumers when it comes to oil. We're more like the fiancee who wants the "genuine" diamond even though if faced with both we'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between them.
 
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TS, the company you work for has told me that they put there priority into HIGH quality PAO base stocks and that their addtive packages are very basic. Jim V from Amsoil told me that additive packages are the "weak" link in an oil and that they rely on the quality of the base oil. I look at it like building a house with a well constructed frame, but a weak foundation. This goes entirely against what others such as Bob have said in that a good III oil with a strong additive package can be a better or as good of lubricant. Amsoil is in the business for extended drains and PAO's hold up better from what I've been told. I have no experience or data to support this. Sorry. [Frown] [ October 16, 2003, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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Joplin
This is a timely and interesting topic for me. I've also wondered which would be a better oil - showing less wear, better performance in the 5-7K mile drain interval. 1. One of the many Group III synthetic's that are being sold now, or 2. A "better" synthetic blend that contains 20-30% PAO. By better I mean those that have the higher amounts of PAO like Phillips Trop Artic and Schaffers, etc. Any thoughts on this..?
 
I would like to remind everybody that Amsoil has both a Group III & a PAO based oil on the market. While they maintain (under the right conditions) that the PAO based oils can go as long as 1 year / 35,000 miles (for the top of the line engine oil), the Group III based oil is only reccomended fro 6 months / 7,500 miles. Is this because the Group III based oil line is API certified & therefore has a different additive package or because the Group III base stock, while being better than a Group I or II, just doesn't hold up as well as the IV & V.
 
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I'll be the first to admit that I simply don't know enough about the chemical differences to have a preference based on factual data. I was buying a "premium" mail order synth for a while and the only real reason I stopped was because of the expense and the fact that I have no desire to exceed the 5,000 mile drain interval as specified in my vehicles normal maitenance schedule. If I wanted to do 10,000 mile drains I would have most likely stayed with that brand. IMO, group III is way too expensive for what it is relative to some group II/II+ oils. In fact, I feel PAO stuff is also way too expensive. If group III oils were in the $2.00 - $2.50 / qt. range I might consider switching to one. If PAOs were in the $3.00 range I would consider them. But if I'm draining every 5K miles I see no real benefit for the added expense of $4.00 group III or $5-6.00 PAO oils. I don't think I've ever "bashed" a group III as I simply don't know enough to do so based on anything other than my wallet. This is coming from as regular a "Joe consumer" as you can get. Mikep
 
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Falls Church VA
>>>TS, the company you work for has told me that they put there priority into HIGH quality PAO base stocks and that their addtive packages are very basic. Buster, think there may be a misperception here. Last I knew, TS isn't on the AMSOIL payroll. From what I've learned over the past 25+ years, the AMSOIL additive package tends to be very much on th pricey side, according to the Lubrizol reps. A few years back, one commented that the AMSOIL packages were the most expensive that Lubrizol produced.
 
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CORRECTION : TS is not on the Amsoil payroll. I meant the company that makes the oil he sells. Dick, I was told by Jim V specifically and I have the quote somewhere around here on BITOG. He said they use a baseic additive package. Now what makes an additive package basic?? When looking at Amsoil I notice high ZDDP and thats about it. No Moly, boron or high calcium as other oils. So, not really sure. Whatever they use, it works. They might use more esters or something... [ October 16, 2003, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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4,478
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Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: ...Never mind that a cubic zirconia is nothing more than a man-made diamond, which is virtually chemically identical to a "real" diamond...
Hoo-Ha! Cubic Zirconium is the crystalline form of zirconium, a soft, grayish, metallic element. Diamonds are the crystalline form of carbon, an entirely different and non-metallic element. While cubic zirconia are sufficiently hard to be useful industrially, diamonds are harder yet. Cubic zirconia are close enough in appearance to gem quality diamonds to be useful as artificial approximations. My better half wears a cubic zirconium in her engagement ring while the real McCoy rests serenely in a safe deposit box at the bank. She would quite willingly give up the worn sparkler in a mugging. You were confusing cubic zirconia with synthetic diamonds made in the lab. GE was first to demonstrate that gem quality diamonds could be synthesized with sufficient heat and pressure. It's remained a lab curiosity since it's much cheaper to mine them. GE does supply lesser quality industrial diamonds to industry, though. [ October 16, 2003, 08:45 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jim: When they do engine testing to get the API seal they should publish the numbers so we could see just how well the oil worked. Did it barely make it or did it pass some tests with no trouble at all. The pass and fail business makes it had to figure out just how good an oil is.
Hehehe, your worried about oil? When was the last time you asked for a doctor's scores prior to letting him examine you? What do you call a doctor that just barely passed med school? ......... Doctor. Kinda scary, huh?
 
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Fort Smith, AR
For me the difference is results. Here is the UOA I experienced running Valvoline Synpower against Mobil 1 under very similar circumstances and mileage. http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000790 When you consider that for the last 2 years I've been able to find M1 for a cheaper price than Valvoline, it's a no brainer. [Duh!] Would I get the same relative differences with other G3's vs other PAO's? Who knows. [I dont know] I've got one that works for my engine and I'm sticking with it for now. Lifes too short to waste time trying to find the "holly grail" of oil.
 
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8,937
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SC
quote:
Originally posted by Ray H:
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: ...Never mind that a cubic zirconia is nothing more than a man-made diamond, which is virtually chemically identical to a "real" diamond...
Hoo-Ha! Cubic Zirconium is the crystalline form of zirconium, a soft, grayish, metallic element. Diamonds are the crystalline form of carbon, an entirely different and non-metallic element. While cubic zirconia are sufficiently hard to be useful industrially, diamonds are harder yet. Cubic zirconia are close enough in appearance to gem quality diamonds to be useful as artificial approximations. My better half wears a cubic zirconium in her engagement ring while the real McCoy rests serenely in a safe deposit box at the bank. She would quite willingly give up the worn sparkler in a mugging. You were confusing cubic zirconia with synthetic diamonds made in the lab. GE was first to demonstrate that gem quality diamonds could be synthesized with sufficient heat and pressure. It's remained a lab curiosity since it's much cheaper to mine them. GE does supply lesser quality industrial diamonds to industry, though.

That's what I get for listening to a "certified gemologist" explain what a cubic zirconia is. I thought it sounded a little too good to be true.
 

GSV

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696
Location
Utah
quote:
Do you really have any factual information that would indicate Group III stocks are significantly inferior to PAO's? I'd also like to know if you have ever compared a Group III based oil to a PAO synthetic using oil analysis under the same conditions. A simple Yes or No will suffice.
I will answer each question seperately. For evidence that PAOs are better than Group III base stocks I would point you toward a paper on the Chevron site by Thomas F. Glenn ( and AFAIK all Chevron synths are Group III derived) http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/BaseOils/pdf/0701c.pdf To summarize the points made in the article: Group IIIs are cheaper per gallon than PAO for blenders (2 to 3 dollars/gallon at the time the paper was written). Mr. Glenn predicted that PAOs would make a comeback against Group IIIs as oil requirements became stricter. {ie, economy, longer drain intervals, auto makers requirements) He also said the cold weather performance of PAO has a significant advantage over Group IIIs. I guess the Clintonian response would be to quibble over the definition of "significant". My beef with Group IIIs oils comes from the marketing of such formulations. I think they would be a bargain at $2.50 - 3.00 a quart. At $4.00+ a quart I'll buy PAO or better. Regarding UOAs with Group III oil I purchased 5 quarts of Chevron Supreme Synthetic 10w-30 yesterday and I promise I will have a UOA done with this oil in the spring or early summer of next year. The vehicle is a Nissan Frontier with the KA24DE engine. There are several UOAs pulled from these engines on this site so baselines for conventional and PAO oils have already been established. The engine is also reputed to thrash oils pretty well so a 5000 mile interval is about all I dare run. stay tuned [Cheers!] [Patriot]
 
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34,383
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Thanks for the link GSV. [Cheers!] I think it's pretty simple in that for extended drains, PAO's are the way to go. M1 and Amsoil both feel this way. For shorter drains, III's are fine. Intervals are going up from what I see and I'd feel better with a PAO then grp III. I'm sure Mobil is glad Amsoil exists as they are reported to be the number 1 buyer of PAO from them.
 

GSV

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Utah
I hope that does not violate the link policy but if it is removed people can find the paper easily enough by the description. [Cheers!] [Patriot]
 

Jim

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
When they do engine testing to get the API seal they should publish the numbers so we could see just how well the oil worked. Did it barely make it or did it pass some tests with no trouble at all. The pass and fail business makes it had to figure out just how good an oil is.
 
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