M1 Question

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To the forum... All the answers you will get are speculation because no one really knows for sure. All we know is that XOM claims that their M1 oil contains high performance fluids including PAO's. What base stock and how much PAO it contains is a bit of a mystery. Ask Doug Hilliary about his real world experiences with M1 and the amazing results he has seen in the engines he has torn down after many miles on only M1. Oils today are much different that even a few years ago. Pennzoil Platinum for example contains base stocks of II+ but it performs better than some Group III / IV oils out there from some of the UOA's posted. No 1 oil is best for all situations. I think you should find the best oil you feel comfortable running, that doesn't break the bank and that returns good results in your UOA's and overall engine performance/durability and go with that. For me Amsoil is the choice with Pennzoil Platinum as a close second then Mobil-1. But this is just my opinion and from what I have seen in my experiences with my driving habits and my engine. Yours will likely be different. I know... Complicated answer to a simple question!
 
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M1 definitely contains PAO, but not 100% (don't know of any 100% PAO oils these days from major oil companies). The best guess is that M1 contains about 40-50% PAO/Ester stock depending on the viscosity, etc. This is based somewhat on Japan MSDS which requires disclosure of mineral oil contents (including Group III hydrocracked mineral oil). Neither Japan nor US MSDS requires disclosure of PAO/Ester. There were stories in the media about extreme shortages of M1 last fall when one of the the worlds largest PAO plants in Beaumont TX (owned by ExxonMobil) was shut down by Hurricane Ike, mostly due to flooding. You can google the stories.
 

j454

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Thanks guys, I'm just trying to figure out if M1 is different now compared to the way it was prior to the lawsuit with Castrol when they "Castrol" first got away with calling group III oil "Full Synthetic" I assume that this is why this group III "synthetic" oil is compatable with dino oil?? This leads to another question; are group V oils compatable with dino oils too. Or how about group V & group IV and so on etc.? And back in the day it was a concern not to mix synthetic oil and dino oil? What has changed? Thanks
 
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There is no legal definition of the word synthetic. You can make a good case that Grp III's are synthetic based on the process that makes it a group III. Catalytic dewaxing. The way it was put to me by a lube engineer was that chemicals/base oils have improved significantly over the years. There are a lot of complex components that go into making oils and formulations progress with time using newer technology. Newer base oils are surpassing older base oils.
 
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 Originally Posted By: j454
Thanks guys, I'm just trying to figure out if M1 is different now compared to the way it was prior to the lawsuit with Castrol when they "Castrol" first got away with calling group III oil "Full Synthetic"
It was never a lawsuit. It was a marketing association “ruling”.
 Originally Posted By: j454
I assume that this is why this group III "synthetic" oil is compatable (sic) with dino oil??
This ruling really had nothing to do with oil compatibility. All base oils in use can be mixed together. Are all combinations ideal? No…..but from a chemical point of view they can be mixed.
 Originally Posted By: j454
This leads to another question; are group V oils compatable (sic) with dino oils too. Or how about group V & group IV and so on etc.? And back in the day it was a concern not to mix synthetic oil and dino oil? What has changed?
Nothing has changed other than the rumor mill and an increased knowledge level. Mixing oils has way more to do with the additive package than the base oil. The main problem is not “additive clash”, rather a possible loss of additive synergism in a well formulated/designed oil.
 

j454

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Thanks again for you all clearing things up for me. As for me assuming that the group III oils being compatable with dino. I did not think the ruling outcome is what now allowed the two to be mixed. I thought that maybe since a group III oil came from the same crude as regular dino oil, I thought that had a lot to do with synthetic oil "group III" now being safe to mix with regular dino. But thanks for clearing me up on that.
 
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 Originally Posted By: j454
Thanks guys, I'm just trying to figure out if M1 is different now compared to the way it was prior to the lawsuit with Castrol when they "Castrol" first got away with calling group III oil "Full Synthetic" I assume that this is why this group III "synthetic" oil is compatible with dino oil?? This leads to another question; are group V oils compatible with dino oils too. Or how about group V & group IV and so on etc.? And back in the day it was a concern not to mix synthetic oil and dino oil? What has changed? Thanks
Yes, M1 is different now than before the "Castrol" thing, and it does now contain some Group III base stock. Part of reason for that was no doubt to reduce costs and remain competitive, but probably Mobil became more aware that Group III base stock could be added to PAO/Ester stock to make a very high quality oil. AFAIK, and according to most oil companies that I know of, there is no "general" problem in mixing conventional, Group III, or Group IV/V oils together, and most additive packages end up doing just that to some degree. At one time there was a concern about switching from conventional oil to PAO based oils because it caused leaks (seal shrinkage), but that problem has been corrected in modern oils.
 
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 Originally Posted By: buster
A combination of high performance synthetic fluids from Grp III through V.
Buster has it right. M1 is a blend of the different base oils. I've said this before, but in Dec. 08 I called M1 tech and and ask them that question about the oil group. His reply was that M1 oils were Group 4. How that works out as most all oils today are blends of different groups, I haven't a clue.
 

j454

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I called Mobil also, very recently. Anyway the man said he was not allowed to tell me straight out what it was. But between the questions I asked about this and the way he answered them, he did say that if I can read between the lines, I have my answer. I did not expect that to be said or I'd been more prepaired in my questions and noted the responces I received. So how do I read this conversation?? It's hard to say, but for the most part I was lead to believe that their oil was not changed due to this ruling with Castrol and is as fully synthetic as it has always been. Do I believe that right now to be a true statement? Well I would not bet on it. I told him if their "Mobil 1" was a true synthetic, they should somehow market it as such rather than use a term "fully synthetic" which can also be a group III oil. He did not say anything else to agree or disagree.
 
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 Originally Posted By: buster
There is no legal definition of the word synthetic. You can make a good case that Grp III's are synthetic based on the process that makes it a group III. Catalytic dewaxing.
ConocoPhillips now defines Group II as "synthetic".
 
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 Originally Posted By: j454
I called Mobil also, very recently. Anyway the man said he was not allowed to tell me straight out what it was. But between the questions I asked about this and the way he answered them, he did say that if I can read between the lines, I have my answer. I did not expect that to be said or I'd been more prepaired in my questions and noted the responces I received. So how do I read this conversation?? It's hard to say, but for the most part I was lead to believe that their oil was not changed due to this ruling with Castrol and is as fully synthetic as it has always been. Do I believe that right now to be a true statement? Well I would not bet on it. I told him if their "Mobil 1" was a true synthetic, they should somehow market it as such rather than use a term "fully synthetic" which can also be a group III oil. He did not say anything else to agree or disagree.
The people who answer the customer support phones are pretty low level employees. The problem with "fully synthetic" is that it now includes hydrocracked mineral oil (Group III). We do know that Mobil changed from Tri-Synthetic to SuperSyn names of their M1 oils, so something changed. If you look at the M1 FAQ, they dodge the 100% question, but do claim it has PAO. We also know that M1 has substantial PAO content since there was serious supply disruption when the ExxonMobil PAO plant was damaged by Hurricane Ike. Most people think that M1 has about 40-50% PAO based on looking at Japan MSDS depending on viscosity grade. In the Japan MSDS the mineral oil Group III content must be listed, but not PAO. Maybe it is a bit lower, or a bit higher--don't know. But the only other motor oil from a major oil company that has anywhere near that much PAO is Castrol Edge (most people think that GC also has a fair amount of PAO).
 

j454

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 Originally Posted By: Mark888
 Originally Posted By: j454
I called Mobil also, very recently. Anyway the man said he was not allowed to tell me straight out what it was. But between the questions I asked about this and the way he answered them, he did say that if I can read between the lines, I have my answer. I did not expect that to be said or I'd been more prepaired in my questions and noted the responces I received. So how do I read this conversation?? It's hard to say, but for the most part I was lead to believe that their oil was not changed due to this ruling with Castrol and is as fully synthetic as it has always been. Do I believe that right now to be a true statement? Well I would not bet on it. I told him if their "Mobil 1" was a true synthetic, they should somehow market it as such rather than use a term "fully synthetic" which can also be a group III oil. He did not say anything else to agree or disagree.
The people who answer the customer support phones are pretty low level employees. The problem with "fully synthetic" is that it now includes hydrocracked mineral oil (Group III). We do know that Mobil changed from Tri-Synthetic to SuperSyn names of their M1 oils, so something changed. If you look at the M1 FAQ, they dodge the 100% question, but do claim it has PAO. We also know that M1 has substantial PAO content since there was serious supply disruption when the ExxonMobil PAO plant was damaged by Hurricane Ike. Most people think that M1 has about 40-50% PAO based on looking at Japan MSDS depending on viscosity grade. In the Japan MSDS the mineral oil Group III content must be listed, but not PAO. Maybe it is a bit lower, or a bit higher--don't know. But the only other motor oil from a major oil company that has anywhere near that much PAO is Castrol Edge (most people think that GC also has a fair amount of PAO).
Thanks and I kind of go along with what you are saying. It makes the most sense of all I've read on the subject so far.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Mark888
But the only other motor oil from a major oil company that has anywhere near that much PAO is Castrol Edge (most people think that GC also has a fair amount of PAO).
I've seen you mention Castrol Edge having a lot of PAO several times now. Where does that info come from? Their msds sheets on the US Edge site show 90-95% highly refined base oil for the 5w-30 and 80-85% for the 10w-30. That doesn't leave much room for any PAO. (As a side note, I know they aren't a major oil company, but Brad Penn actually puts PAO content on their msds sheets. Their 0w-30 is listed as 50-60%.)
 
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 Originally Posted By: Canawler
I've seen you mention Castrol Edge having a lot of PAO several times now. Where does that info come from? Their msds sheets on the US Edge site show 90-95% highly refined base oil for the 5w-30 and 80-85% for the 10w-30. That doesn't leave much room for any PAO. (As a side note, I know they aren't a major oil company, but Brad Penn actually puts PAO content on their msds sheets. Their 0w-30 is listed as 50-60%.)
Nice research. I don't really know. But even if it is 10-15% that is a lot more than other synthetic motor oils from major oil companies, except for probably M1, but we don't know about M1 for sure either. I will admit that 10-15% is less than I expected if the term "Base Oils - highly refined" actually excludes Group IV/V. Part of speculation about Castrol Syntec was based on the fact that it is guaranteed for 15,000 mile OCI, costs quite a bit more than M1 in 5-quart jugs, and that Castrol Edge in EU supposedly has PAO. Maybe Castrol charges so much just because they have a lot of balls (and need to pay for all the commercials). I noticed that the Penn-Grade 0W-30 has a lot of PAO, but the other viscosities have much lower amounts. I also noticed that 0W-30 has very low pour point of -54C but flash point of only 196 C (M1 is about 230 C). Typical of the boutique oils, I don't find much (actually nothing) in the way of certifications on their website (unless I missed something). Looks like it is at least partly because of the high levels Zinc and Phosphorus in the Penn-Grade.
 
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