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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you have a concern or question that you would like to have answered or otherwise addressed, please EMAIL us so we can familiarize you with our products and also include your inquiry with our other listings of Frequently Asked Questions. We are in the process of building this feature, so we need topics for entries here. If you have questions, chances are good others will be interested in learning also, so please do contribute.

  • Will AMSOIL Motor Oils void the warranty of a new vehicle?
  • What is the "AMSOIL Product Warranty"?
  • What is the Four Ball Wear Test? How good a predictor of engine wear is it?
  • Should I use oil additives with AMSOIL?
  • Will my oil pressure or idle rpm change when I switch to AMSOIL?
  • What is the NOACK Volatility Test?
  • I don't understand how an oil can CLEAN (or keep clean) a diesel engine if you don't change it regularly. Also, the main oil companies claim that synthetic oil left in too long will cause "deposits" in the upper cylinder or "rings" area.

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    Will AMSOIL Motor Oils void the warranty of a new vehicle?

    Absolutely not! Manufacturers’ warranties are based upon the use of oils meeting specific API Service Classifications, for example, SJ/CF. (AMSOIL lubricants meet the current API Service requirements and, thus, are perfectly suited for use in any new vehicle without affecting the validity of the new vehicle warranty.) Read this explanation of the Magnusson-Moss Act concerning new vehicle warranties.

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    What is the "AMSOIL Product Warranty"?

    Simply stated:

    AMSOIL, Inc. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when AMSOIL Inc. products are use in full compliance with the company's recommendations and instructions.

    Read the entire warranty here.

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    What is the Four Ball Wear Test? How good a predictor of engine wear is it?

    The Four Ball Wear Test puts one rotating ball against three fixed balls under specific conditions of pressure, temperature, revolutions per minute and duration. The test may be used to evaluate the friction- and wear-control ability of liquid lubricants or greases in sliding contact. The Four Ball Wear Test is a good laboratory tool for developing oils with good engine wear control.

    The results appearing on the AMSOIL Series 2000 20W-50 Racing Oil (TRO), Series 2000 0W-30 Motor Oil (TSO), and Series 3000 5W-30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil (HDD) bottles were from testing done by a well known independent lab. Such a facility would not jeopardize its reputation by misrepresenting test results just because AMSOIL was paying for the tests to be performed.

    AMSOIL ran literally thousands of tests in our own lab before we sent the product for testing. The independent lab's results correlate very well with our own.

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    Should I use oil additives with AMSOIL?

    No. AMSOIL is a solo act. Everything your engine needs for lubrication and protection is in the oil. Additives can upset the oil's precise chemistry, or worse, interact with the oil in unpreductable and harmful ways. Save your money ... and your engine. Skip the addivites.

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    Will my oil pressure or idle rpm change when I switch to AMSOIL?

    They might. AMSOIL is a better friction reducer than conventional oils and friction directly affects oil pressure and idle speed. Less friction in the engine will lead to lower oil pressure and more rpms at idle. Since synthetic oil doesn't have to "push" as hard to overcome friction as conventional oil does, the oil pressure drops. The engine still has adequate oil circulation, but like the heart of a person whose blood pressure is lowered through medication, the engine doesn't have to work as hard for the end result.

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    What is the NOACK Volatility Test?

    Volatility, measured by the principal European test called NOACK, is the amount of oil lost (the light molecules) over time at a given temperature and pressure. It has a direct impact on high temperature engine oil effectiveness -- especially on viscosity, emissions and oil consumption. Today's oils have a NOACK volatility limit of 22 percent. Volatility losses for the coming ILSAC GF-3 oils -- due on store shelves just after the turn of the century -- could quite possibly be limited to 15 percent for all grades.

    When an oil suffers from high volatility, and the lighter molecules evaporate, the oil thickens gradually getting out of "spec" and adversely effecting the performance of the lubricant and placing the engine at risk.

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    I have driven diesels for as long as I've been driving. I am still hesitant in using AMSOIL mainly because I don't understand how an oil can CLEAN (or keep clean) a diesel engine if you don't change it regularly. Also, the main oil companies claim that synthetic oil left in too long will cause "deposits" in the upper cylinder or "rings" area.

    The answer here is a lengthy one, so settle in. Actually, your question is the one most often asked, in one form or another, about all both diesel and gasoline engines. It is the one that we, as AMSOIL dealers, must answer as the public in general has been so engrained with the concept that changing oil often is good and necessary, and changing even more often is better. Think about it. . . If everyone were to simply double their oil change interval from 3,000 miles to just 6,000 miles, the amount of oil sold would be cut in half. Lubricating oil, in essence, is a by-product of producing gasoline. From a barrel of crude oil, gasoline (and other fuels) is refined as the main product (there being no substitute, at least not yet) and everything else from lubricating oils down to the thickest of asphalts is a byproduct that must be gotten rid of. Therefore, the oil companies preach and advertise changing oil more and more.

    The fact is that when you look at synthetic oils, they do not deteriorate like fossil-based oils do. Their molecular structure, being formulated to be tighter and to have specific properties lasts longer and does the job better (unlike petroleum oil refining which simply separates out the base constituents into the different product categories). Although AMSOIL came out with the first API approved 100% synthetic oil back in 1972, every major oil company is now pushing a synthetic oil, probably seeing the writing on the wall!!! They don't necessarily push it hard, as they still have a main business to support, but they must be part of the pack to get the experience and marketing position for the future. You may be aware of the API SJ (ILSAC GF-2) category of oils that just came out late this past summer. The next generation of oils, GF-3, is expected to have such a level of performance requirements that the oil will have to be at the very least a blend of petroleum and synthetics to meet these requirements. This gives you a picture of why the oil companies are posturing as they are.

    As for extended drains, even our diesel oil is only recommended initially as a 15,000 mile/1 year oil drain for most diesels. Some diesels, however, such as the Volvo VE D12, have a recommended change interval by the manufacturer of 25,000 miles. Mack, Cummins and others are likewise designing engines for extended drains as the truck fleets demand it! Our oil meets these manufacturer's requirements and can be used for these extended drains as the manufacturers build in better filtration.

    Filtration is of the utmost importance to achieve more of a drain interval, coupled with oil analysis. Oil analysis determines the condition of the oil, and if you can determine that the oil, whether it is after 15,000 miles, 50,000 miles, or 100,000 miles, still meets the manufacturer's specifications for oil to be used in a particular engine, why change it???

    Most oil filters filter only to 25 microns (one micron=.000039"). The finest tolerances in a typical engine is in the 5 micron range. AMSOIL's by-pass filters filter 98% efficient - one pass - at 3 microns. They will filter down to less than one micron, but at a much less efficiency rating. As a result, you are capturing dirt that will not only cause wear, but also keeping dirt out of the oil stream where it works to deteriorate the oil's additives. Changing the by-pass filters once per year (or every-other full flow filter change) typically keeps them working in top condition (but even if they get fully stuffed up, you aren't hurting the engine as you would still have the full flow filters). In addition, the AMSOIL by-pass filters hold water, which is a by-product of the combustion process. Water, mixed with other combustion by-products form acids and help deteriorate oils and additives.

    As you stated, the oil cleans the engine, but the oil also acts as a conveyor of the dirt and other contaminants (metals, water, etc.) to the filter. If the filter can not remove the contaminants, or does not have the capacity (gets stuffed up and the by-pass valve clicks open and dirt is continuously circulated) then you have problems. But if the dirt is conveyed and held out of harms way, then the oil can do its principal job (lubrication) longer and the engine will last longer (less dirt in tolerances, smoother operation and better performance).

    But oil analysis is the key to extending drains past the base 15,000 miles/one year period. With oil analysis, I've seen people go over 200,000 miles without an oil change. You change full flow filters and by-pass filters, and the make-up oil sweetens the additives and helps keep the oil in spec. The oil remains within the manufacturers specification, proved by the analysis, and no warranties are effected. The oil analysis is actually better than a stack of receipts from cases and cases of oil!

    As for the deposits, this is a typical oil company reference to synthetic oils where other oil manufacturers utilize the same additive packages as in their regular petroleum oil which is formulated for shorter oil change intervals. Once the additives have deteriorated and/or the oil filters have clogged, the circulation of dirt and acids cause the build-up around the rings, ring seal is compromised, and oil getting by the rings carbons up the upper cylinder area.

    It is a fairly complicated process, and much of it just requires you to think about how the world is and who is telling you what. Most mechanics who preach 3000-mile/3 month oil changes were preached to by the oil supplier and the same television ads you read with the "pay me now or pay me later" lines. The only real way you will be convinced that you have been fleeced is the same way I convinced myself that big oil has been leading us down the primrose path, and that is by just trying AMSOIL. AMSOIL sells oil analysis kits and when you see how easy the engine starts in cold weather, and how the amount of wear is reduced (do an analysis on the oil you have in there now at 3,000 miles, then try AMSOIL and do one at 3,000 miles, or more, and see the difference) you will be convinced of the benefits.

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