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Why Motor Oil Deteriorates
It is common knowledge that,
at some point, engine oil must be changed. It's something
that is preached relentlessly to vehicle owners by vehicle
manufacturers, quick lubes and oil companies. But consumers
are widely unaware of what exactly makes oil changes necessary.
Many factors contribute to a
motor oil's demise, but it is essentially the accumulation
of contaminants in the oil and chemical changes in the oil
itself that make a motor oil unfit for further service. With
time, it is inevitable that the oil will be contaminated by
dirt or sludge, or succumb to the extreme pressures or temperatures
found inside an engine. AMSOIL Motor Oils are formulated with
the industry's most advanced synthetic base stocks and additive
packages to combat the forces that deteriorate conventional
Today's engines are running hotter than ever. More horsepower,
turbo chargers and aerodynamic styling have created extremely
hot environments that receive less cooling from outside air.
High heat leads to oil oxidation, deposits and thickening
in conventional oils. Because they are made from impure, irregular
molecules, conventional motor oils are more susceptible to
the effects of heat. The small, light molecules in conventional
oil tend to evaporate as the oil is heated, leaving large,
heavy molecules behind and leading to oil consumption and
an increase in the oil's viscosity. If those large, heavy
molecules are chemically unstable, they may also break-down
and form deposits on component surfaces, further inhibiting
the release of heat into the oil stream.
Even in relatively mild temperatures,
oxygen works to break down some of the chemicals in conventional
lubricants. The extreme heat in engines actually promotes
oxidation. When conventional oil contaminants break down,
they coat components with varnish, deposits and sludge and
leave the lubricant thick, hard to pump and with very poor
heat transfer ability.
Cold temperatures cause oil to thicken. Conventional lubricants
contain paraffins which cause them to thicken in cold temperatures
as the paraffin gels. At startup, this can leave working parts
unprotected for as long as five minutes while the oil warms
to a temperature that allows it to flow.
Dust and dirt from the air enter the engine through faulty
air cleaners, some oil fill caps and crankcase ventilation
systems. Normal engine wear produces small metal particles
that are picked up and circulated by the oil. The abrasive
particles of road dust and dirt increase the rate of wear
and generate larger metal particles. Those particles are equally
abrasive and the rate of wear accelerates with a snowball
effect. While filtration removes most of these contaminants,
some remain and are left to circulate with the oil.
Combustion produces several byproducts that also act as contaminants.
Water and acids lead to sludge, rust and corrosion. Soot and
carbon create sludge and varnish and can clog filters. Unburned
fuel in liquid form is deposited on cylinder walls where it
leaks past the rings into the crankcase. Sludge deposits collect
on oil pump screens, limiting the flow of oil to vital engine
parts and resulting in rapid and destructive wear. When oil
becomes contaminated, its viscosity changes. With soot, dirt,
oxidation or sludge, viscosity increases; with fuel dilution
Engines create a great deal of internal pressure. Extreme
pressure can result in boundary lubrication which breaks the
oil film between moving parts. Movement inside the engine
agitates the fluid, trapping air and forming bubbles or foam.
Because air is compressible, the ability of the fluid film
to prevent contact is reduced. and because the mixed air contains
oxygen, it promotes oil oxidation.
Careful research and experimentation led lubricant manufacturers
to specific chemicals that combat various problems faced by
motor oils. These chemical additives are added to base oils
as a package. Typical additive packages can include rust and
corrosion inhibitors, detergents, dispersants, antifoaming
agents, oxidation inhibitors, extreme pressure additives and
viscosity index improvers. Each additive is designed to aid
the base oil in the protection of components, but additives
have their limitations.
While these additives are created
to perform specific tasks, they are also subjected to the
same extreme environment experienced by the base oil, and
each additive is affected by different variables in different
ways. For example, viscosity index improvers are used to reduce
the thinning effects caused by operation at elevated temperatures.
They are the key components that allow for the production
of multigrade oils. However, the long molecules in viscosity
index improvers are subject to shearing in service, which
reduces their ability to minimize fluid viscosity loss. Permanent
shearing of viscosity index improvers can result in piston
ring sticking due to deposit formation, increased oil consumption
and accelerated equipment wear.
High quality additives perform
best and last longer when paired with high quality synthetic
IT'S ALL IN THE MOLECULES
Conventional lubricants are made from refined petroleum, a
naturally occurring and impure substance. The variety and
non-uniform size and shape of the molecules that make up conventional
oils lend themselves to contamination. They cannot withstand
extreme heat or cold, and they burn off and sucumb to oxidation,
leading to the development of deposits and component wear.
AMSOIL SYNTHETIC MOTOR
OILS ARE SUPERIOR
AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils provide extended equipment life,
reduced maintenance costs, better performance, improved fuel
economy and extended drain intervals through the use of high-quality
synthetic base stocks and superior additive packages.
Because they are derived from
pure chemicals, synthetic lubricants contain no unnecessary
molecules. Their smooth lubricating molecules slip easily
across one another, improving the lubricants ability to reduce
friction, which in turn improves wear control, heat control
and fuel efficiency. In addition, uniformly sized synthetic
lubricant molecules resist thinning in heat and thickening
in cold, decreasing the need for viscosity index improvers
and increasing the lubricants ability to maintain its viscosity.
Because AMSOIL synthetic lubricants
contain only strong, uniform molecules, they are much more
resistant to thermal and oxidative breakdown. AMSOIL synthetics
are virtually impervious to breakdown at normal operating
temperatures and can be used in higher temperatures than conventional
oils without breaking down. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils keep
components free of varnish, deposits and sludge.
EXTENDED DRAIN INTERVALS
Not only do AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils provide protection
that is superior to conventional oils, but they remain fit
for service many times longer as well. Heat and oxidation
are the main enemies of lubricant base stocks. The excellent
resistance of synthetic lubricants to thermal and oxidative
breakdown allows them to be safely used for much longer drain
intervals than conventional lubricants. Their uniform and
smooth molecular structure allows AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils
to operate with less friction and better heat control than
THE CHOICE IS CLEAR
When AMSOIL motor oil was introduced in 1972 it was ahead
of its time. Today, engine designers have goals of increased
fuel economy, reduced exhaust emissions, more performance
out of smaller engines and greater durability, increasing
the demands placed on motor oils and requiring continuous
upgrades. AMSOIL remains at the forefront of the engine oil
market by continuing to provide oils that are ahead of their
time. No other motor oil is guaranteed for 25,000 miles or
one year in normal service, and no other motor oil can match
the performance and protection provided by AMSOIL Synthetic
More AMSOIL Performance Tests |
What is the NOACK Volatility
Volatization is a term used to describe
what happens to a fluid as it is heated to the point it begins
to "boil off." Upon reaching a certain temperature,
oil will begin to lose some of its lighter weight molecules
as they "boil off" and leave heavier weight molecules
behind. Not only does this cause higher oil consumption, this
process can also cause increased viscosity making the oil
more difficult to circulate through the lubrication system.
Quality Takes Priority at AMSOIL
The AMSOIL chemical
laboratory plays an important role in the daily operations
at AMSOIL headquarters. The lab fulfills tech service requests,
performs competitor testing and comparisons, and works on
the research and development of products at AMSOIL. One of
the most important jobs at the lab is quality control. AMSOIL
is known for formulating high-quality products and the AMSOIL
chemists ensure that everything coming in and going out meets
AMSOIL standards. How do they do it? (read
Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals
on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that
effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy,
saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's
dependence on foreign oil.
INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause
mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when
AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the
company's recommendations and instructions."
synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test
specifications, offering protection far greater than competing
motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil
manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring
to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers
consumers unprecedented protection and economics.
More than 20 years
ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison
tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil
tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed,
and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies
paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company
made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what
AMSOIL had said all along.
NOACK Volatility Test
Volatility Test determines the evaporation loss
of lubricants in high temperature service. The more
motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become,
contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy
and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. AMSOIL
Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization
better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption
AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified
received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management
System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is
the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements
of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality
standard throughout the world for quality management systems.
ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide
setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and
is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization
providing a framework for system development that focuses
on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement.
AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope:
synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment
directly associated with lubricant product.
certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient
companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products
and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the
high level of quality the company always demanded.
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