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Synthetic Oil Beats Conventional in AAA Test
John BakerJohn Baker|Jul 06, 2017 11:07 AM
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 this blog post. 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’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.
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.
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.
AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke® Synthetic Small Engine Oil (ASE) is a robust formulation designed for hot-temperature, severe-service operation of small engines where routine maintenance is often difficult or infrequent. Formulated with premium synthetic base oils that exceed both 10W-30 multi-grade and SAE 30 straight-grade viscosity requirements, it provides outstanding protection in temperature extremes, while helping improve productivity and reduce maintenance costs.
Specially formulated for pre-mix, air-cooled applications, AMSOIL SABER® Professional Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil (ATP) withstands high heat and stress to protect engines against wear and harmful deposits. It can be mixed at conventional mix ratios (32:1, 40:1, 50:1) or the SABER Ratio™ (80:1, 100:1), which offers an uncompromising combination of convenience, savings and protection. SABER eliminates the need for mixing different ratios for different equipment. When used at the SABER Ratio, smoke is virtually undetectable.
AMSOIL Premium Synthetic Diesel Oil (DEO, DME) is the premium choice for diesel- and gasoline-powered transport vehicles. Formulated with the latest additive and synthetic base oil technology, it exceeds the higher performance demands of modern engines, withstanding the stress of heat, soot and acids to help prevent deposits, wear and corrosion over extended drain intervals.
AMSOIL Quickshot® (AQS) is a premium fuel additive formulated to thoroughly clean and restore peak performance in small-engine fuel systems. It also stabilizes fuel between uses and during short-term storage periods. Its revolutionary technology focuses on three major fuel-related issues plaguing small engines: ethanol, water and dirty pump gas.
Ideal for chainsaws, the tacky formula of AMSOIL Semi-Synthetic Bar and Chain Oil (ABC) clings to metal surfaces better than other oils. It delivers excellent lubrication and protection, while antiwear additives extend the life of bar and chain applications.