Synthetic Oil Beats Conventional in AAA Test

Synthetic Oil Beats Conventional in AAA Test

My mother took the Culligan Man to task not long ago. Not the flesh-and-blood Culligan Man, but the actor on TV.

It happened when I was visiting my folks during lunch. I have lunch at my parent’s house here in Superior, Wis., every Wednesday. It gives them a chance to have someone fix their computer or, at least in one instance, help unclog the laundry sink drain. And it gives me a chance to chow down on something other than leftovers.

A Culligan Water Systems ad on TV showed a young mother and her child. Suddenly, ominous music played as the mother drew tap water from her faucet. A voice-over warned of potential impurities lurking in our water…and what they could mean to our family.

The voice-over, now much more chipper, then announced that Culligan was offering free water-quality testing. Here was our chance to protect our families…to save the children.

My mother scoffed. “Yeah, and then they’ll just say your water is bad and try and sell you something.”

Let’s get this third-party started

My mom’s attitude is something we’ve run into at AMSOIL a time or two. We’ve published test results showing the superiority of synthetic lubricants compared to conventional lubricants for years. Not just AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, but other synthetic oils as well. I told you about some of those tests. In a nutshell, synthetics offer improved wear protection, engine cleanliness, cold-flow and resistance to viscosity loss than conventional oils. That translates into a longer-lasting, higher-performing engine.

But our test results don’t convince some people. Skeptics demand proof from an objective third party. Anything else is thinly disguised marketing meant to sell you something. Kind of like my mother with the water-quality test.

The American Automobile Association (AAA), a reputable, third-party organization, recently published an in-depth report that reaffirms what we’ve been saying for more than 45 years: synthetics outperform conventional oil. In conducting its test, AAA sought to determine if it’s worth paying more for synthetic oil over conventional oil.

The answer is a resounding “yes.”

Here’s what John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, said:

Oil protects critical engine components from damage and AAA found that synthetic engine oils performed an average of 47 percent better than conventional oils in a variety of industry-standard tests. With its superior resistance to deterioration, AAA’s findings indicate that synthetic oil is particularly beneficial to newer vehicles with turbo-charged engines and for vehicles that frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic, tow heavy loads or operate in extreme hot or cold conditions.

AAA Testing

AAA’s research included eight industry-standard ASTM tests focusing on shear stability, deposit formation, volatility, cold-temperature pumpability, oxidation resistance and oxidation-induced rheological changes. Each test was performed on five synthetic and five conventional oils. Unfortunately, they don’t reveal which oils they tested.

Here’s a look at some of the results.

Extreme-heat resistance

The NOACK 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. The lower the number, the better the resistance to vaporization.

As you can see, the synthetic oils (the green bars) demonstrated lower volatility than the conventional oils (the blue bars). That translates into a cleaner, better-running engine for you.

Deposit resistance

The Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test (ASTM D6335) determines the deposit-resisting properties of lubricants in high-temperature service. Motor oils can form deposits when exposed to increased heat, reducing efficiency and contributing to poor overall performance. The lower the number, the better the resistance to deposit formation.

Here, two of the conventional oils failed to limit deposits below the minimum standard to meet the ILSAC GF-5 specification, while all the synthetic oils remained under the threshold.

For years we’ve been saying synthetic oils outperform conventional oils. The AAA report offers yet another example of just how much better synthetics are for your vehicles.

Even my mother can’t scoff at that.

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Fight Carbon Buildup In Your 2 Cycle Equipment

For the Professional Lawn Care Business or homeowner, a good 2 stroke oil is essential to prolong the life of your equipment and to keep them running smooth.

Anyone who’s owned or operated a two-stroke string trimmer, chainsaw, blower or other piece of equipment has been there before. You repeatedly pull the starter cord and adjust the choke, but it’s still hard to start. And, when it finally fires up, it runs rough and threatens to quit. Hard-starting, rough-running equipment is not only frustrating, it lacks the power to work as efficiently as you want.

What causes hard-starting equipment?

Saber PistonsHeavy carbon deposits in the exhaust port and on the spark arrestor screen are often to blame. Here’s how it works.

Internal combustion engines require a steady supply of air to run properly and produce maximum power. The engine draws air through the intake and burns it, along with the fuel/oil, in the combustion chamber. The moving piston expels the exhaust gases through the exhaust port and spark arrestor screen on the muffler. In a properly running engine, this happens thousands of times a minute and goes unnoticed by the operator.

Two-stroke oils with poor detergency properties, however, can allow carbon deposits to build-up in the exhaust port and on the spark arrestor screen. Carbon chokes off airflow, which causes the engine to slowly lose power and run poorly. Soon, it becomes hard to start or fails to run altogether unless you clean the exhaust port (which requires removing the muffler) and spark arrestor screen. Most operators don’t want to waste time cleaning deposits, especially busy professional landscapers who need to complete jobs quickly and efficiently.


AMSOIL SABER Professional fights carbon

AMSOIL SABER Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil is proven to solve this problem. It features excellent detergency to fight power-robbing carbon deposits and keep exhaust ports and spark arrestor screens clean for easy starting and maximum power.

As the images show, SABER Professional mixed at 100:1 nearly prevented deposits, while ECHO* Power Blend* XTended Life* Universal 2-Stroke Oil mixed at 50:1 resulted in heavy deposits and considerable airflow loss. In fact, heavy deposits on the screen from the string trimmer using ECHO Power Blend  (see image) prevented the trimmer from starting, requiring the screen to be replaced.

Saber TestSpend less for better performance

See the full test results in the ECHO 100:1 String Trimmer Technical Study. Results prove that SABER Professional mixed at 100:1 fights carbon deposits better than ECHO Power Blend at 50:1 while also delivering outstanding wear protection. By using a 100:1 mix ratio, SABER Professional provides the added benefit of cutting oil costs by 50 percent or more compared to using a 50:1 mix ratio.

Experience the SABER’s edge and ensure your two-stroke equipment starts easily and runs strong. 

Note: Test results shown here describe and represent properties of oils that were acquired in November, 2016. Results do not apply to any subsequent reformulations of such oils or to new oils introduced after completion of testing. All oils were available to consumers at the time of purchase. Testing was completed in January 2017.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

  • Convenience of one mix ratio for all equipment
  • Cuts costs by 50% or more
  • Clean, protected power
Buy Now
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Good Advice for your Aging Auto

As the U.S. economy continues to battle tough headwinds, many drivers are keeping their cars longer. The average age of a passenger vehicle in the U.S. has increased to about 11 years, according to researchers R.L. Polk. (It was only nine years back in 2000.)

I’m in that aging-car crowd. I own two 12-year-old vehicles, one with 168,000 miles on its odometer, the other with just under 100,000. My 9-year-old car has suffered through 170,000 miles and two teenagers. My “new” car is a 2007 with 72,000 miles on it. My son drives an 18-year-old vehicle with more than 200,000 on its intermittently operating odometer.


Here are some of the things I do to help keep these vehicles alive:

Love Thy Cooling System

Hoses that carry engine coolant live a hard life. They’re forced to transport high-pressure fluids that can exceed a rubber-scorching 240 F. Meanwhile, the water pump gets no respect—no respect at all—even though the engine would die without it in minutes. In retaliation, these components conspire to fail on aging cars at the worst possible times and places—extremely hot or cold days in areas with poor cell coverage are among their favorites.

If you don’t know when your old vehicle’s coolant hoses were last replaced, now would be a good time to do it. Don’t forget heater hoses, which carry hot coolant into the passenger compartment. As for water pumps, they often warn of their impending death by emitting an odor reminiscent of pancake syrup or by piddling green fluid on the garage floor. If you’re already undertaking significant work on the engine in an older car, go ahead and replace the water pump while things are disassembled.

Trust me. I learned this one the hard way. We didn’t have the water pump in an old car changed, and my daughter took the car to college in North Carolina. She called and said it smelled like breakfast at Waffle House, and she wanted me to drive 7 hours round trip to take it to the dealer because she wasn’t confident around service writers and mechanics. I convinced her to share with them that she was the daughter of a Nascar driver. (True: I ran one Nascar Southwest Tour Series race.) At that point, she would become the intimidator and not the intimidated.

Brake Time

Keeping the braking system youthful will help your vehicle live long and prosper. If you inherited or purchased an older car, bleed the brakes. With a helpful friend, the right tools, and a repair manual, brake bleeding is no harder than an oil change.

If the brake fluid flows a clear, amber color, the system likely has been recently rebuilt and well-maintained. If the fluid spurts out dark black and is filled with bits of rubber and rust, a complete brake overhaul is your first priority.

Brake jobs are to DIY mechanics what blue-square runs are to a snow skier: Not too challenging for those with intermediate skills. When I was wrenching my own race car, I bled the brakes after every on-track session. That did two things: removed the overheated fluid from the calipers and made sure nothing was seriously wrong with the brakes.

To keep your brake system young, flush (completely replace) the brake fluid every two years. And, like we said about the cooling system, if you’re already dissembling the brakes for major repairs, check on the smaller pieces while you’re in there. If your car is more than seven years old, replace the rubber brake lines when major brake work is required. If the rotors or brake drums must be removed, check the wheel bearings.

Black Gold

When you remove the engine oil-drain plug of an old car, you hope to discover a not-too-dark amber fluid. If the fluid that flows from your crankcase is jet black and contains bits of silvery flakes, you’ve got problems. A worse sign is if the oil struggles out like curdled milk. Even worse is if the oil contains big chunks of metal, which happened to me once after the confluence of my racing and engine-building skills. Hey, I was sticking my neck out; I made the engine stick its out, too. And it died.

When faced with such a situation, I try this high-colonic procedure: Drain the oil, replace the oil filter, fill the crankcase with synthetic oil (which acts like a solvent for sludge), and drive the car 50 or 100 miles. Repeat until the oil runs almost as clear as new. If you find little progress after three changes or suspect the previous owner was negligent on oil changes, consider having a professional mechanic remove and clean the oil pan.

Don’t DIY Everything

Cars are just like people. As they age, they require more attention from specialists, especially in the regions most critical to their ongoing survival.

So periodically have an independent repair shop check critical steering and suspension components. Very experienced DIYers can do this work themselves, but even experts might choose to farm it out to someone who does this work every day just for the added peace of mind. When I repacked the front wheel bearings on my race car, it hurt my lap time—I couldn’t concentrate on keeping my right foot to the floor while wondering if I’d done the job correctly.

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Protection for Indian Scout and Victory Motorcycles

New AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil expands the AMSOIL V-twin motorcycle oil product line. It is recommended for the popular Indian* Scout* and all Victory* motorcycles.

Fights heat and wear

Like the rest of the AMSOIL V-twin line, 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil is designed to resist extreme heat and deliver excellent wear protection. Summer riding can cause engine temperatures to skyrocket, especially in slow-moving rally or parade traffic. AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil’s outstanding heat resistance helps bikers ride with confidence in the most extreme conditions.

Why is extreme heat so bad for motorcycles?

High heat causes the pistons to expand, potentially leading to catastrophic scuffing and cylinder wear. It also hastens oil breakdown – the rate of oxidation doubles for every 18°F increase in temperature. Oil that has oxidized leads to performance-robbing deposits.

In V-twins, especially air-cooled models, the oil plays a vital role in carrying away heat and dissipating it into the atmosphere via the oil pan or oil cooler. AMSOIL Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil withstands intense heat, helping your bike last longer and run better.

Helps ease shifting

Riders also like to use an oil that helps deliver smooth shifts. Here again, AMSOIL 15W-60 Synthetic V-Twin Motorcycle Oil delivers. Its wet-clutch-compatible formulation contains no friction modifiers and promotes smooth shifts, helping riders avoid killing the engine.

Find AMSOIL Products for my Motorcycle

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for use in the applications shown.

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New Brake Fluid and Cleaner

New DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid (BFLV), DOMINATOR® DOT 4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid (BFR) and Brake & Parts Cleaner (BPC) help boost the performance, safety and reliability of brake systems.

AMSOIL DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid, AMSOIL DOMINATOR DOT 4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid and AMSOIL Brake & Parts Cleaner will launch April 3. These new products are precisely tailored to the needs of auto enthusiasts and dedicated racers. DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid meets the highest DOT standards (5.1) and is the perfect choice for high-performance passenger-car, light-truck and powersports applications. DOMINATOR DOT 4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid features the ultra-high boiling point required during extreme racing conditions. Brake & Parts Cleaner supplies auto enthusiasts and mechanics with a professional strength, dedicated brake and parts cleaner.

AMSOIL DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake FLuid

  • Maximum ABS and traction-control performance: Low-viscosity, specially designed fluid provides improved cold-weather performance and excellent ABS and traction control responsiveness.
  • Firm brake pedal feel: Maintains low compressibility in severe operating conditions, resulting in consistent brake pedal feel.
  • Helps extend the life of essential components like calipers, wheel cylinders, seals, lines, master cylinders and ABS control valves.


AMSOIL DOMINATOR® DOT 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid

  • Provides vapor lock protection through high boiling points.
  • Resists brake fade common in racing applications for a confident brake feel all the way to the finish line.
  • Nitrogen blanket added to avoid moisture absorption and prevent contamination during manufacturing and storage, ensuring top-quality fluid upon purchase.



AMSOIL DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid is engineered for use in passenger cars and light trucks. It is a DOT 5.1 product, exceeding the specifications of DOT 3 and DOT 4. Additionally, its 5.1 formula provides excellent protection against water contamination. Rather than offer multiple products, we created one formula that performs best in all three applications.

DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid is also the primary recommendation for powersports applications. However, if a customer consistently pushes his or her brakes to the limit in racing (or similar applications), DOMINATOR DOT 4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid is recommended.

Refer to the owner’s manual regarding the proper change interval for your brake fluid and to determine the correct DOT classification. Change AMSOIL DOT 3 & 4 Synthetic Brake Fluid twice a year for maximum performance. Change AMSOIL DOMINATOR DOT 4 Synthetic Racing Brake Fluid once a year for maximum performance.

AMSOIL Brake & Parts Cleaner

New Brake & Parts Cleaner is a professional-strength product that quickly and effectively removes oil, grease, brake fluid and other contaminants from brake parts and other automotive components. It cleans brake parts with no major disassembly and leaves no residue, helping eliminate brake squeal and chatter.

  • Quickly removes grease and oil
  • Leaves no residue
  • Dries quickly
  • Chlorinated, non-flammable formula
  • VOC-free



  • Brake Parts
  • Brake Pads
  • Calipers
  • Drums and More


Brake & Parts Cleaner (BPC) vs. Heavy-Duty Degreaser (ADG)

Brake & Parts Cleaner and Heavy-Duty Degreaser are both excellent cleaning and degreasing products. If working with painted, plastic or rubber surfaces, we recommend choosing Heavy-Duty Degreaser.

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Oil For Your Turbocharger

Turbochargers Create Conditions Best Suited for Synthetic Motor Oil

Turbochargers Create Conditions for AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil

The industry trend toward smaller engines that deliver increased power and fuel efficiency has been well documented. The AMSOIL Newsstand contains several articles about the key technologies that enable today’s advanced engines – turbochargers, gasoline direct injection (GDI) and variable valve timing (VVT). These articles have mainly addressed how these technologies affect motor oil.

In short, they’re brutal on oil. It’s one of the reasons more automakers are installing synthetics at the factory.

Fuel dilution can be a problem

To summarize, GDI technology locates the fuel injectors directly in the cylinder (hence the name), as opposed to the manifold. This arrangement allows for greater control over injection, allowing engineers to fine-tune engines for greater efficiency and power. A side-effect of this process, however, is fuel contaminating the oil. As fuel is sprayed into the combustion chamber, it can wash past the rings and down the cylinder walls, into the oil sump. Ford* has seen the issue frequently enough to release a technical service bulletin (14-0040) titled “Fuel Odor From Engine Oil and/or Engine Oil Level Overfull” to address F-150 trucks equipped with the 3.5L Ecoboost* engine. Fuel dilution varies by engine type and driving conditions, with some vehicles showing no issues.

There are two main side-effects of fuel in the oil. First, fuel thins the oil, sometimes reducing the viscosity below the specified grade. If not accounted for in the design of the engine, this can affect wear rates and have an effect on systems that use the oil to function, like VVT.

Second, significant fuel contamination increases the rate of oil degradation. For these reasons, oil analysis labs typically condemn oil samples when the fuel content is greater than 5 percent.

Low-quality oils no match for turbos

Many GDI engines are turbocharged (TGDI). Turbos push more air into the combustion chamber, and tuning for efficiency can improve fuel economy, especially when combined with other technologies, such as direct injection. Operating at up to 150,000 rpm on exhaust gases that can exceed 1,000°F, turbos create extreme conditions that can cause low-quality oils to quickly break down, creating deposits and shortening the life of the oil. By 2020, industry experts predict nearly every new vehicle sold will come equipped with GDI technology, and the vast majority will be turbocharged.

Many motorists – and even more in the future – probably see only the tremendous benefits of improved power and fuel economy from their TGDI vehicles. Most don’t realize the toll modern engines take on motor oil.

Like most vehicle manufacturers, AMSOIL has long recommended different service intervals based on “normal” or “severe” driving conditions. Turbocharged vehicles are automatically included in the severe service category due to the extreme heat they generate. To ensure customers have the information they need to properly maintain their vehicles, a notice will soon be added to the AMSOIL Product Guides at that reminds owners of turbocharged vehicles to follow the severe-service recommendation. That means customers using Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil in TGDI engines can extend drain intervals up to 15,000 miles/700 hours/12 months, whichever comes first, and should only extend oil changes beyond that with the guidance of oil analysis.

AMSOIL synthetic motor oil delivers superior protection

As proven in numerous tests, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils deliver outstanding protection for these challenging engines. For example, the TEOST Test (see graph) determines an oil’s tendency to form deposits at high temperatures and is a good indicator of turbocharger protection. In the test, Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil minimized deposits and easily surpassed API SN requirements. In the extreme heat of the Sequence IIIG Test, Signature Series scored 86 percent better for piston deposits than required by API SN, even after doubling the length of the test.

As modern engines become more advanced and tougher on oil, AMSOIL is committed to formulating synthetic lubricants that help you get the most out of your vehicle.

TEOST (ASTM D 6335) Test Chart

Note: These test results describe and represent properties of oils that were acquired November-December 2012. Results do not apply to any subsequent reformulations of such oils or to new oils introduced after completion of testing. All oils were available to consumers at the time of purchase. Testing was completed February 2013 by an independent, third-party lab. Formulations were coded to eliminate bias, and samples were tested in random order. An appropriate number of trials of each oil were run to produce results at the 95 percent confidence level when compared to AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil.


*All trademarked names are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use.

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New Euro Oil

For our Euro crowd, Amsoil has introduced a new 5W-40 oil for gas and DIESEL.  Yep, 1 oil 2 different engines.  AMSOIL European Car Formula 5W-40 Full-SAPS Synthetic motor Oil is specially formulated for the lubrication needs of European gasoline and    diesel cars and light trucks. Its full sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulfur (SAPS) formulation provides excellent protection and performance for a wide range of vehicles.

What could be better than that? 

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Drive Smart to Save Gas

lets face it….you should know must of this stuff.


With the cost of gas going up each week….or hour depending on your location…..people are looking for ways to get a few more miles out of a gallon of gas.  Aside from attaching a sail to the top of you car you only have a few options at your disposal.

Lighter car = More Miles
Do you keep a toolbox in your truck? If you’re not a racecar mechanic…why do you do that?  Are you driving around with a couple bags of baseball and soccer equipment?  Get all the unnecessary junk out of your car.  It will also get rid of that funky odor you’ve smelled. Some brave people even remove the spare tire.  Do this if you have AAA and the spirit of an adventurer.  I have run flat tires and no spare…..bad luck follows me so you and I both know what can happen.

Remember to be aerodynamic
Are you the goober driving down the road in the middle of summer with a ski rack on the top of your car?  People make fun of you and it creates resistance, which hurts your mpg. Stay sleek and streamlined.

Go Go Juice
There are some experts that will tell you that you should use only premium gas.  This is costly and goes against the whole “save money” concept we’re talking about.  If you have a turbo charged engine, sure, pour some high octane in the tank.  If you’re re-living your high school years over and have a car with a carburetor, use the regular grade.  Cars made within the past 20 years have some serious electronics that monitor everything in them. You don’t want to make them mad.  Mid grade will suffice. A little side not that some don’t know about.  Some (not all) gas stations mix the regular and premium grade to make the mid grade.  It’s like when your mom would get Flavor-Aid and mix with Kool-Aid.

You are not a NASCAR driver and the interstate is not a track
I believe this should be self-explanatory.  If your office is 20 miles from home and you drive 80 mph, you get there in 15 minutes.  But, if you drive the same 20 miles at 65 mph you get there 3 ½ minutes later.  Way to go Richard Petty, you risked your life and everyone else’s for a little bit of time.  Oh, and you drained more gas which costs you more money…. add that to the ticket you will eventually get and you’re dropping the bucks like a super star.

Air is important
Of course I know we breathe it, but your tires require a supply of it also.  Properly inflated tires keep you moving smoothly. Smooth moving reduces resistance.  I think you know where I’m going with this.  Check tire pressure every third fill up.

Don’t forget the air filter.
Do you drive down a dirt road or in the backwoods through some rough areas?  Let that filter get clogged up and you’ll see a dramatic drop in the MPG.  Ever leave a car parked for a long period of time?  Make sure a mouse hasn’t turned it into a small condo.

Coast to the light, not through it
If nobody is behind you and there’s a red light ahead, take your foot of the gas and just coast to the light.  No need to run up to it and break like you’re a stuntman in a movie. Save your breaks and some gas.

Idling car is the devils playground
Running back into the house to use the bathroom or look for that movie you need to return to Redbox?  You know you’ll stand there and look at new releases and waste time.  Well, be smart and turn the engine off.  You’re not going anywhere and you should only crank the engine when going somewhere.  Watching your car idle in your driveway is like throwing coins in a fountain….you get nothing out of it and it’s stupid.

Just for kicks why don’t you keep track of you mileage at your normal driving style for a week.  Then fill the tank up and try these little tips.  You will not be surprised at the results….cause I told you they would work.

Remember –
Drive with respect to your fellow travelers, pay attention and be smart behind the wheel.

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