Is anybody really using amsol oils for the engine and tranny? do these synth oils really last as long as they state? 25,000 miles between changes? any notice in mileage gain? Is it worth the extra expanse?
Opinion loaded post. My 2 cents: Worth every penny when speaking of heat and towing (synthetics have a very high heat tolerance). Unless you are very knowledgeable in testing your oil and filtering you will need to change it close to the engine recommendations.
Hi I use Amsoil and have gotten a milage increase and the added protection from heat and wear. I change my filter every 12000 miles and do a oil sample at that time and then a complete drain at 25000 miles, last truck had 350000 on same engine I think it works. also in tranny and rear end.
In order to get the most out of your motor oil, extend engine life, increase engine power and torque, reduce your maintenance costs, and save the world, use good quality synthetic oils (oil, transmission, and differential), install a bypass oil filter, test the oil by laboratory oil analysis (LOA) and/or portable oil analyzer (POA), and only change the oil when it is necessary (and it may never be necessary). Why? – The long discussion below summarizes my research/opinion.
Here are two web sites, which may help Rv’ers decide on whether or not to switch to synthetic motor oil and which oil may best suit your needs. The first is http://www.trawlerworld.com/c_qu_2000_12_4.htm; I really like this site and capnwil’s information and test results. The other www.motoroilbible.com I am less enthusiastic about, because the author (Kaufman) also sells Amsoil. The information Kaufman provides in his book is very good and as far as I can tell the oil information is reliable. There is always the chance he is biased by his relation with Amsoil. I purchased the book and received a discount voucher that anyone can use for $2.00 off the $9.00 book purchase. Use voucher #312681000, and no, I do not receive remuneration from Kaufman nor do I have any affiliation with any oil product company.
Motor oil lubrication is a complicated issue. While oil technically does not wear out, pollutants from combustion, internal wear, and other sources may contaminate it. The contaminates foul the oil and cause additional engine wear. Which in turn causes more engine wear. Because the full flow oil filter that came with your vehicle filters out particles larger than 20 microns or so, the real culprits to engine wear are the little guys in the 5 to 20 micron size. The full flow filter cannot touch these particles, the only way to eliminate them is to flush and refill the system with fresh oil every 3,000 miles.
The problem with the 3,000 mile flush and refill system is 1. It is expensive – you dump perfectly good but contaminated oil. 2. It damages the environment. 3. It increases our dependence on neat guys like Sadam Husein, the Russians, and the Arab Sheiks. 4. It’s a darn messy job - changing the oil and filter. 5. The oil almost always has contaminates in the deadly 5 to 20 micron range, even immediately after the oil change. There must be a better way.
In my humble opinion capnwil hit on the solution, the bypass oil filter, and oil testing. What is a bypass oil filter? It is an auxiliary oil filter, which filters a small amount of oil at a time but filters it to between 1 and 5 microns. In essence, the filter will make the oil as clean if not cleaner than it was when new. As my son would say, “cool”. In this state the oil will last many thousands of miles and under the right circumstances, indefinitely (yes I do mean 25,000, 50,000 or even 100,000 miles).
How can you tell if the oil is still good? Good question. Just looking at it won’t give you the necessary information. All motor oil looks worn out after just a few hundred miles. This is because contaminates smaller than 1 micron cause visible color changes. But remember, these particles are not the reason for premature engine wear and failure. The only way to determine whether the oil needs to be changed is by oil testing by laboratory oil analysis (LOA) and/or portable oil analyzer (POA).
Capnwil’s testing shows that bypass filtration and oil testing is the key to engine life and oil longevity. Please read his report!!! He also found that bypass filtration and synthetic oil were a real winner indicating that synthetic oil and bypass filtration should result in far less engine wear and lower long term costs than the 3,000 flush and fill system. But this system can only be cost effective if the bypass filter system and synthetic oil costs are reasonable and if the potential engine life payback is reasonable.
Of all the bypass systems I have seen, the Oilguard bypass system is one of the best values (www.oilguardfilters.com) at about $120 for the full installation kit and $10 filters and $8.00 for each mail in oil test (after the first free test). Amsoil has a slick two-filter system that replaces your original filter with an oil sending mount and two remotely mounted filters, one full flow and one bypass for about $200 (http://www.amsoil.com/products/bf.html, the corporate site is: www.amsoil.com), filters cost $26.00 and testing costs $20 each. The Frantz filter system is $165 from www.wefilterit.com and maybe cheaper elsewhere; the filters are toilet paper rolls so the filter cost is minimal. A search for “bypass oil filters” will undoubtedly find others. I am partial to the Oilguard system generally; the Amsoil appears to win on ease of installation, and the Frantz wins on filter cost.
Why wouldn’t you make the change? If your rig is older, the possibility of oil leaks is something to consider. Also, if you don’t plan to keep your rig for many years, you will never recoup the costs or the engine life benefits.
Some earlier posts have questioned why the auto manufactures don’t go directly to synthetic oil with longer change intervals. Frankly, there are lots of reasons. The average American owns a car for just a few years. The engine, even with the cheapest of oils will outlast the warranty. Synthetics are far more costly and would have the result of depressing the dealer profit at oil change and/or causing more people to go to non-dealer vendors for the oil change.
Some other posts have questioned why fleet managers tend not to use synthetics. Really it’s the same answers as above, although the primary answer is $$$. Synthetics are expensive. Where the change is occurring is in long haul trucking, industrial, and marine settings. Why? Space – they tend to have lots of room for bypass filtration. They also tend to run their engines for long periods of time, weeks, not days, and days, not hours.
Lastly, some have questioned whether synthetic is actually better than mineral based oil. Even a quick poll on this site will establish that synthetics, when used in the engine and transmission, result in a 10 to 20 degree temperature reduction and a 5 to 10 percent fuel mileage increase. The reason for this is the synthetic has a greater ability to lubricate and protect the engine from metal to metal contact. As such, the engine runs better, transfers more power to the wheels, and looses less power to heat friction and wear.
Here are my unvarnished thoughts: Use a bypass filter to super filter the oil. Use synthetics if your engine qualifies (age, leakage issues). Test your oil for contaminates. Change your oil only when necessary. Cheat Sadam Husein, the Russians, and the Arab Sheiks out of as much $$$ as possible.
I hope this was helpful.
1983 Sportscoach III (the Ski Haus - snow and water), 454 c.u., turbo 400, Thorley 303y, K&N filters, Air Lift air springs (w/ auto inflator), Mor-Ryde tag axle, front & rear receiver hitches with Thule ski rack and storage pod on rear receiver (I am proud of this design, ask if you want info or plans).
I take some issue with some of this, although I swear by Mobil-1.
Consumer Reports ran a bunch of Taxis 100,000 miles comparing syns against regular oils, found no real difference. Bummer.
Mere filtration is not the whole story. Molecular breakdown ( mechanical shear and contamination by liquids ) are two big factors also. In aircraft use, clinging to surfaces during in active periods was a big point in favor of syns. As was the smaller size of the molecules which film between close tolerances better.
When I had my TT, I started using Mobil 1 in my Suburban. Everyone said it would make no difference that it was just a waste of money. Well I couldn't tell any difference in fuel mileage and I didn't have it long enough to say about engine wear but I did notice that the opererating temperature of the engine dropped nearly 20 degree's. So from that point of vue I felt it was worth the cost. Still deciding on what I am going to use in the motorhome.
Sorry Maddog. You have given a very detailed discussion of one of the factors that dictate oii life. However, wear can either come from erosion from fine particles suspended in the oil or corrosion from contaminants dissolved in the oil. Acids generated by the combustion process will stay in the oil and will not be removed by any mechanical fitration mechanism. So depending on a filter to make the oil better than new, ignores the problems with "baddies" dissolved in the oil.
2000 Pace Arrow 34R
1998 Cavalier Toad
Remco Pump/Blue Ox Tow Bar
I sell and use Amsoil 5w30 in my v10. Runs cooler, I don't know about mileage. In the bearing pressure test it ran the best temps against all the most popular synthetic oils.
Click on my website or go directly to amsoil.com for information.
I run Amsoil 15w40 in my Powerstoke and Amsoil 5w30 in my V-10
Both trucks have an Oilguard By-Pass filter system.
I change the full flow filter on both at 5,000 miles and oil and both filters at 10,000 miles
Lab tests performed by Blackstone at 5 and 10K miles.
My 2 cents. I like Amsoil but I'm not really wild about the way it's marketed. So I may go back to Mobil 1.
As for the tranny. Amsoil claims you can run their fluid 3 times longer than conventional fluid. There's no way I would do that. I say run the better synthetic fluid in your trans, enjoy cooler temps but change it out every 30K. The fluid is cheap compared to what a new trans would cost.
As for extending the drains on the engine. Don't try it without a by-pass filter. Dirty oil is bad no matter rather its dino or synthetic. I've done the math and I figure with my program I can run better (and cleaner) synthetic oil and it won't cost anymore than dino oil. As for running it to 30, 50 or 100K miles. I guess I just don't have the guts. (or see the need) Even with oil analysts.
On edit: On thing I like about extending the drains a little. In a couple of weeks I'll leave Louisiana with the 5er and make a loop through South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Colo. No doubt I will exceed 5,000 miles. And I won't be worried about trying to change the oil on the road.
*This Message was edited on 06-Jun-02 07:07 AM by Mr. Gadget*