Jason Fowler

In Praise of Amsoil

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This month will mark the 2nd time I have changed the oil in my car in 2 years and it has never run better. Right now the engine runs smooth and quiet, but it was not always like that. Most notably, before switching to Amsoil whenever I started up my car I would get a horrific startup noise. It almost sounded like my car was a diesel, but it was not. My car was like this for about 15K miles until I switched to Amsoil. Startups became a lot quicker and more responsive, while this noise was slowly but surely being suppressed. Within 2000 miles after the change the startup racket I had to endure for so long was gone and has never been heard again.

Amsoil is a company with a lot of pride and support in their products. Their original 10W-30 is warranted for 1 year or 25K miles while their Series 2000 0W-30 is warranted up to 35K miles. For intervals even longer than that on the same oil, Amsoil offers a service called Oil Analyzers that provides an objective look at the condition the oil is in.

Overall I have been nothing but pleased and impressed by the quality of their products.

Amsoil Website

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This month will mark the 2nd time I have changed the oil in my car in 2 years and it has never run better.  Right now the engine runs smooth and quiet, but it was not always like that.  Most notably, before switching to Amsoil whenever I started up my car I would get a horrific startup noise.  It almost sounded like my car was a diesel, but it was not.  My car was like this for about 15K miles until I switched to Amsoil.  Startups became a lot quicker and more responsive, while this noise was slowly but surely being suppressed.  Within 2000 miles after the change the startup racket I had to endure for so long was gone and has never been heard again.

Do you have any idea as to the cause of the original problem with the car? Also, what is it about the synthetic oil that might have fixed the problem?

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Do you have any idea as to the cause of the original problem with the car? Also,  what is it about the synthetic oil that might have fixed the problem?

I don't think it was a problem with the car, particularly because the engine was rebuilt some short period of time before it came into my hands. I think it was a lubrication problem. Considering it only occured during startup and let up as it continued to run, that would indicate poor cold cranking performance of the oil*. So I tried to look up some data on the original oil I was using, Mobil 1 10w-30. (which is a composite of esters, PAOs, and petroleum) The data on the oil is missing the relevant information, which is the cold crank simulator score. Strange, considering it is a required test for certified multi-grade oils.

So I looked elsewhere. There is some literature produced by an API member, Michael Kaufman, called The Motor Oil Bible. At the end of this there is a comprehensive table of data on various different brands and grades of oils. The score Mobil has is tied for the highest among the list. Since the score is in terms of viscosity at a particular temperature, a score on the lower end is more desirable. The author earlier notes that the temperature during the test greatly changes the results making comparisons difficult at times, but luckily Amsoil's and Mobil's are at the same temp.

*Or a poor engine design/assembly, but if that were the case it would still be occuring. Also, I am not by any means an expert on engines.. the problem was possibly the lifters not getting lubricated properly.

Here is the link for The Motor Oil Bible. The book is in electronic .pdf form but requires a free registration to obtain it. Be aware there is some religious "preaching" at the beginning of the book that used to not be there when it required payment to view it. Fortunately it can be bypassed. The particular oils I used after switching to Amsoil are 10w-30 and currently 0w-30.

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I've run Amsoil in my 'Bird and it's good stuff. It is spoken of highly by the oil gurus on LS1tech.com (they rate it in the top 2-3 oils for the LS1/LS6/LS2), and I've gotten pretty good at telling the fact from fiction and judging who's an expert when it comes to engineers. (now if only I could do it with nutritionists/bodybuilders!)

So it is one of the good brands for your 'vette, Stephen. :P (...or your future 'vette?)

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I don't think it was a problem with the car, particularly because the engine was rebuilt some short period of time before it came into my hands.  I think it was a lubrication problem.  Considering it only occured during startup and let up as it continued to run, that would indicate poor cold cranking performance of the oil*.  So I tried to look up some data on the original oil I was using, Mobil 1 10w-30. (which is a composite of esters, PAOs, and petroleum)  The data on the oil is missing the relevant information, which is the cold crank simulator score.  Strange, considering it is a required test for certified multi-grade oils.

I'm surprised that the problems you described were attributable to the oil that you used. What make of car is it? I use a synthetic oil in my corvette, Mobil 1. But I pay no attention to the computer that tells when to change the oil based on my driving; I change the oil regularly at 3000 miles even though it is synthetic.

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So it is one of the good brands for your 'vette, Stephen. :P  (...or your future 'vette?)

I'm still driving my red c5 convertible. I ordered the c6 (when was it?) something like last October, and I am still waiting. First they delayed the convertible by almost two months. Then the convertible only came through with a manual top, not the power top I ordered. Then just when my order was coming up, the factory canceled all production of millenium yellow, the color I chose. Then I had to wait to see the actual replacement colors, and when they finally released the color I went ahead with velocity yellow (which I actually like better than the original yellow). Then, if that was not enough, I then find out that the first production run of velocity yellow will not be till sometime in June! So now I am starting to think, should I wait an additional few months and get the 2006 model in September? A 2006 c6. Has a nice ring to it. ;) I have not yet decided if I should wait.

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A 2006 c6. Has a nice ring to it.  ;) I have not yet decided if I should wait.

I guess that would depend on what updates they have planned. Hmmm, that does have a bit of a ring to it, though, doesn't it? :P

But yeah, the other top brands of oil are Mobil 1, royal purple, and the German Castrol, and the LS series tends to favor heavier weights.

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I'm surprised that the problems you described were attributable to the oil that you used. What make of car is it? I use a synthetic oil in my corvette, Mobil 1. But I pay no attention to the computer that tells when to change the oil based on my driving; I change the oil regularly at 3000 miles even though it is synthetic.

It is a 1991 Buick Century. Before I start in with anything else I'd like to say that Mobil 1 is a good oil.(I believe Corvettes come from the factory with Mobil 1) Unfortunately it carries a premium price tag but is not designed for extended drain intervals... well until just recently. So for someone like me who goes to school and is just starting out in the job market, I don't have the kind of money or the time for those frequent changes.

As far as attributing it to my particular problems: it may well be that the issue is more complex and relates to the design of the engine AND the qualities of the oil.

I am very fortunate to live in an area where a brilliant auto mechanic/technician named Larry Perry works and has his own 2 hour radio show on Saturdays 3-5PM EST on 580 WDBO. He is a certified Master Mechanic who owns a shop called the Magic Mechanic. I was first introduced to Amsoil through this man. He has made some outstanding claims about their products including Amsoil motor oils virtually friction free an engine, that it seeks out heat, and that several hundred thousand miles of service can be achieved if routine maintenance is kept.

Amsoil has worked great for me as it is designed for long term use and protection. The one thing I love and is a testament to the durability of it is that I never have to add oil to my car over the course of a year. The only time I ever put oil into my car is either when I change the filter, every 6 months, or when I drain the old oil. With this procedure my car is running better now at 120K miles than it was at 80K. Now I just have to worry about the other parts of my car. :P

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