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Three Primary Factors Are Normally
Responsible For Oil Failure
Becomes Too Thin, Too Thick Or Too Acidic Has Exceeded Its
When motor oil
exceeds its useful life or is affected by a mechanical defect,
it most commonly becomes too thin to separate metal parts,
too thick to pump or too acidic for continued use.
When oil becomes
too thin, it fails to provide the required oil film thickness
to separate metal surfaces. Different engine designs require
different starting oil thickness, or viscosity. Viscosity
at 100°C is one of the most highlighted oil properties
and is a good indicator of adequate oil film thickness in
an engine at operating temperature.
A number of things
can cause motor oil to become too thin to protect engine parts.
Excessive mechanical shear can thin oil to the point of causing
issues with engine protection. As motor oil cycles through
the engine, it is exposed to shear stress in the engine's
upper end, piston walls and bearings that reduces its shear
strength. Continuous exposure to these conditions causes oil
built with inferior shear stability to thin excessively, leaving
critical engine parts susceptible to metal-to-metal contact.
of the oil sump is another major cause of excessively thin
motor oil. Both gasoline and diesel fuel are thinner than
motor oil and, when mixed, the oil's viscosity, film thickness
and ability to separate parts are significantly reduced. While
a small amount of fuel dilution is relatively common and does
not have a material impact on oil life, excessive fuel dilution
in mechanically compromised equipment is much more harmful.
When it comes to
oil, although it may seem like "the thicker, the better,"
oil that is too thick is just as detrimental as oil that is
too thin. Excessively thick oil is a commonly discussed mode
of oil failure.
When oil becomes
too thick to flow to engine parts, these areas are starved
of oil, resulting in metal-to-metal contact that can lead
to catastrophic engine damage. The precursor to sludge is
oil that has become much thicker than its original design.
The cause is a complex chemical reaction involving heat, combustion
by-products and oxygen combining to create a chemical attack
on the oil molecules. The resulting chemical reaction creates
a much thicker substance that does not flow or protect as
well as the original oil. When the reaction continues, sludge
begins to form in areas of higher localized temperature and
low flow. While some varnish is normal, sludge is a sign of
excessively degraded oil that needs to be replaced. In order
to inhibit sludge and varnish, the oil must resist attack
by oxidation forces. Synthetic base oils have a much higher
level of saturated molecules that inherently resist this constant
bombardment. Additionally, antioxidants are added to either
reduce the formation of free-radical oxidation precursors
or soak up these precursors once they form.
of oil thickening, primarily affecting diesel oils,
is excessive soot-loading in mechanically unsound engines.
Diesel oil is designed to handle some soot contamination,
but when the soot overloads the available dispersants in the
oil, the oil thickens. The agglomerated soot particles reach
a critical size and cause excessive wear commonly seen in diesel
Acids are a normal
by-product of burning fossil fuels. Different fuel types,
engines and combustion conditions create varying levels of
acid formation. These acids, transferred via blow-by gases,
are carried away to the motor oil. Motor oil is designed with
a detergent that neutralizes these acids before they accumulate
and cause engine damage. The detergent level is measured with
a test called Total Base Number (TBN). This measure of alkalinity
drops over the life of the oil and reaches a critical level
when the oil can no longer consume the acids created by combustion.
When TBN reaches a critical level, acids build up quickly
and attack the surfaces most susceptible, including yellow
metals and lead-lined bearings. Without correction, this condition
quickly worsens and results in excessive chemical wear. Although
less common, this failure mode can cause significant damage
if left uncorrected.
motor oils are formulated to provide superior overall protection.
They resist mechanical shear and viscosity increase due to
oxidation while combatting harmful acids to help you maximize
the performance and life of your engine. Published, AMSOIL
AMSOIL Signature Series
Synthetic Motor Oil
AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic
Motor Oils are formulated to meet the latest API SN Resource
Conserving and ILSAC GF-5 industry specifications. AMSOIL
Signature Series Oils include 0W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30 and 10W-30
and represent the very best motor oils AMSOIL has to offer,
allowing motorists to take advantage of maximum extended
drain intervals. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor
Oils are recommended for drain intervals of up to 25,000
miles/one year, whichever comes first (15,000 miles/one
year in severe service conditions).
here for more information
Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals
on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that
effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy,
saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's
dependence on foreign oil.
The Presidents Desk
Synthetic Diesel Oil Articles and Testimonials
INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause
mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when
AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the
company's recommendations and instructions."
synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test
specifications, offering protection far greater than competing
motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil
manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring
to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers
consumers unprecedented protection and economics.
More than 20 years
ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison
tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil
tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed,
and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies
paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company
made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what
AMSOIL had said all along.
NOACK Volatility Test
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. AMSOIL
Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization
better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor
Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption
AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified
received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management
System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is
the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements
of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality
standard throughout the world for quality management systems.
ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide
setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and
is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization
providing a framework for system development that focuses
on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement.
AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope:
synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment
directly associated with lubricant product.
certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient
companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products
and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the
high level of quality the company always demanded.
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