Why is Redline the only Polyolester oil?

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Nov 16, 2002
You would think that being Mobil makes most of the grp IV and V basestocks being used by most oil blenders that Mobil would be using similar chemistry to Redline for racing. Mobil is found in NASCAR/F1 and if Redline's approach was so great, why wouldn't Mobil be using this formulation in these racing circles? Or are they? [I dont know] Cost is obviously a factor in OTC oils but for NASCAR, wouldn't they formulate them more on the "ester" side rather then PAO? I just find it hard to believe that what Mobil/Pennzoil and others are using in Professional race teams is inferior to Redline's highly touted Polyolester basestock approach. I also find it hard to believe that smaller blenders have ability to make oils as great when the larger oil companies like EM develop, produce and employ the best chemists around. [ March 21, 2004, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
Not Invented Here syndrome.
Are you applying that criticism to Redline or to Mobil? Each uses a different base stock, so one could just as readily accuss Redline of NIH for not using Mobil's formulation as you can the other way around. Unless you have a basis for your claim such as having been privy to internal discussions at Mobil or Redline then you have nothing to base it on. Opinions with no foundation really don't mean much, do they? John
It's pretty common in the corporate world. They don't want to be a "me too" company. Not saying one is better than the other but if it makes you feel better, then you can decide.
I'm not trying to critcize either one, I'm trying to understand why Redline seems to be in a league of their own in terms of formulation, although I think Synergyn is similar. It's probably that many special racing blends from Pennzoil/Mobil/Texaco etc. are mostly ester based. Redline is probably the most respected racing oil in the world. The most obvious answer I could think of is that Mobil's big seller is PAO base stocks so pushing them as the best is more of a business decision. [ March 21, 2004, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
Mobil does manufacture and market POE base oils, just not to the automotive field. I use Mobil POE oils, as well as ICI POE oils in refrigeration where they are usually the only approved oil to use with modern refrigerants such as R134A, R404A, etc. One thing we have to be extremely careful of when using these oils is that they are incredibly hygroscopic, then they break down and become highly acidic. Basically, once a tin is opened and exposed to the atmosphere (and it is always a tin, plastics are far too permeable !), any unused portion should be disposed of. Even though automotive POE's aren't dehydrated at manufacture like refrigeration lubricants, wouldn't they exhibit similar characteristics, or are they somehow made more 'stable' ? Could this have some bearing on why no one else will use these bases except Redline ? [I dont know] Rick.
Both Mobil and Redline use polyester oils with their PAO's, as does Amsoil and others. Trimethylpropane (TMP) esters and pentaerithyritol esters (PE, DiPE) are two most used polyol esters. The butylate and adipate esters are the most used di-esters. IN mobil's case, they use the timethylene (TME) tri-esters, but they are still polyol esters. There are over 300 ester types that are useable in IC combustion engines. [ March 21, 2004, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
Motul also makes PE based engine oils. Although base stocks are important, they are only part of what makes a lube a great lube. Red Line has used their "exclusitivity" for a long time, and I have used it with great success. But I have also used Amsoil as well. Additive technology is clearly as important as base stock, perhaps more so. in the old days of mineral oil pretty much being it, the mineral content of Pennnsylvania crude made it desireable because it refined cleanly (in layman's terms). That of course is not a big issue anymore. I look more toward additive componentry and UOA's now. I have been analyzing Lubrication Engineers' 8130 10w30 engine oil, and although it is "only" a min/syn blend, it has displayed outstanding wear rates in UOSA's, and in my early phases of etsting, has excellent additivew componentry, and an exceptionally clean base stock. My point therefore is that rather than consider one facet of an oil's performance, consider all of them. And esters can have a problem with water if something goes wrong, or in marine applications. RL and other PE mfr's likely have additives to deal with it, but my bet is that cost and the bottom line have been the reasons not many syns are polyol-ester based.
There are over 300 ester types that are useable in IC combustion engines.
WOW ! I was always under the impression there were only two or three types, di-esters, POE's, and whatever those 'complex esters' of Motuls' were, which sound like POE's now. thankyou MolaKule. you've removed a little of my ignorance. Rick.
a lot of companies use Esters, even Mobil use ester in their formulations, as MolaKule stated, and it has been claimed up to 26% of D1 is ester. However, in my (lack of) knowledge they were dibasic esters, such as used by Motul, Neo, Silkolene/Fuchs, Caltex/Texaco, Castrol, etc, with the POE's used by Redline a somewhat different, exotic animal. It seems I was mistaken. Rick.
Originally posted by tdi-rick: with the POE's used by Redline a somewhat different, exotic animal. Rick.
Do you mean that every time I use a quart of Redline, I kill a kitten ?
Do you mean that every time I use a quart of Redline, I kill a kitten ?
well, have you ever seen a "not tested on animals" sticker on the bottle...............? thought not. [Big Grin] Rick.
I believe the Redline street oils are approx 25%-35% polyol-ester and 65%-75% PAO .... The true, ester based synthetics like Motul use the less expensive, lower viscosity, di-basic acid esters, ie diesters. Amsoil also used diesters from 1972 until about 1980, when they went to the blended PAO/Ester basestocks. PAO basestocks can use the same additive chemistries developed for petroleum oils, they are more stable in the presence of moisture and their effect on seals is more benign. The advanced PAO's have higher VI's than do almost all esters and their low temp properties are noticably better. PE's are generally used in small amounts to balance out seal swell characteristics, function as a carrier for oil additives and provide some additional solvency ....
Originally posted by buster: I also find it hard to believe that smaller blenders have ability to make oils as great when the larger oil companies like EM develop, produce and employ the best chemists around.
Marketing and accountants determine what the chemists can make. Also, don't assume that those companies with the most money higher the most creative people.
buster, I think that question was asked before and the reply from Mobil was that PAO's were better for automotive applications than esters that are more suited for aeronautical/airplane applications because of their non-internal combustion nature.
buster, Hey, I just thought I'd drop my $.02 on this (instead of lurking... [Smile] ). I really don't think that it makes any difference what type of synthetic oil is used in racing. Let's face it. The oil gets changed at least every 500 miles, they typically have larger oil reservoirs, and an oil cooler, so its not like it really gets exercized. The torture test for oils is on the street, in stop and go traffic, on hot days, day in, day out, over thousands of miles in vehicles that are cost minimized in ways that most of us probably wish they were not (minimal oil, filter, cooling, etc.). Just enough to keep them lasting at least as long as their warranty without failing. Anyway, I know it seems kind of counter intuitive, but it makes sense. Because of this, I would be highly surprised if there were an engine oil related failure in any serious racer's vehicle. Scott
might be off topic, but I thought I remember Redline stating that their oils were derived from vegetable oil or something like that, going back a few years. Is this still the case or is this totally off base ? J.
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