Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing AMSOIL Products
Becoming an AMSOIL Dealer
Synthetic Oil Basics and Switching From Petroleum to Synthetic
Automatic transmission fluids offer a perfect example. Some transmissions require lubricants that contain specific frictional characteristics to reduce, or eliminate, clutch slippage, while other transmissions may require different frictional requirements. Mixing fluids recommended for different performance specifications may lead to a host of problems, including erratic shifting and transmission failure.
In some applications, mixing lubricants may not lead to equipment failure, but it will reduce performance. For example, if AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil is installed in a vehicle, and its owner adds AMSOIL OE Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil to top off the engine if Signature Series isn’t available, the vehicle will continue to operate perfectly; Signature Series and OE Synthetic Motor Oil share a similar chemistry, and formulations of the same viscosity can be safely mixed. However, mixing lubricants will shorten Signature Series' life expectancy and reduce its performance benefits. AMSOIL does not support extended drain intervals where oils have been mixed.
To minimize the risk of performance- and warranty-related issues due to improper mixing, AMSOIL does not recommend mixing AMSOIL synthetic lubricants.
The oil refining process separates the various types of molecules in the oil by weight, resulting in a concentrated batch suitable for manufacturing products such as gasoline, LPG, kerosene or lubricant base oils. The chemical composition of conventional motor oil can vary substantially depending on the raw crude oil refining process.
While petroleum base oils are refined, synthetic base oils are manufactured and can achieve a higher performance level. Synthetic oil is chemically engineered for a certain molecular composition with a tailored and uniform structure. Such fine-tuned control over the final molecular composition of synthetic oils is the key to their superior performance properties. Designing molecular structures in a planned and orderly fashion results in molecules, and end-products, that are far more stable than their refined petroleum counterparts.
Additives help lubricants stand up to extreme operating environments. Even the best base oil would not be able to protect as well against the effects of heat, shearing forces, chemical and water dilution, corrosion and wear particles. In short, additives make good base oils even better. They give good base oils the performance benefits consumers have come to expect, such as multi-grade performance, extended drain intervals and extreme-pressure performance.
Anti-wear Agents chemically react to form a film barrier that prevent metal-to-metal contact and wear.
Antioxidants reduce the tendency for oil to react with oxygen and reduce sludge buildup.
Dispersants help suspend and disperse contaminants in the oil to keep engine surfaces free of sludge and deposits. They fight the build-up of corrosive acids and are most efficient at controlling low-temperature deposits.
Detergents help suspend and disperse contaminants in the oil to keep engine surfaces free of sludge and deposits. They are most efficient at controlling high-temperature deposits.
Extreme-Pressure Additives coat metal surfaces to help prevent close-contact components from seizing under extreme pressure. They are activated by high temperatures and high loads to react with the metal’s surface to form a sacrificial wear layer on components.
Foam Inhibitors reduce the surface tension of air bubbles and causes them to collapse.
Friction Modifiers can be used to give oil more 'slippery' characteristics. In engine oils, friction modifiers are used to increase the oil’s lubricity for the purpose of reducing friction and improving fuel economy.
Pour Point Depressants give high-viscosity oils good low-temperature properties. Pour point depressant polymers inhibit the formation of crystals to minimize low-temperature viscosity increase.
Rust & Corrosion Inhibitors form a protective barrier over component surfaces to seal out water and contaminants. While most rust and corrosion inhibitors work by forming a physical barrier, some rust inhibitors function by neutralizing acids.
Viscosity Index (VI) Improvers are long-chain polymers that help control the viscosity of multi-grade engine oils. They expand and contract as temperatures vary. High temperatures cause VI improvers to expand and reduce oil thinning; low temperatures cause VI improvers to contract and have little impact on oil viscosity.
Many AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are specially formulated for extended drain intervals, providing maximum protection longer than other oils. Check the product data sheet for specific recommendations.
AMSOIL defines normal service as personal vehicles frequently traveling greater than 10 miles (16 km) at a time and not operating under severe service.
AMSOIL defines severe service for gasoline engines as conditions that include commercial or fleet vehicles; excessive idling; or frequent towing, hauling, plowing or driving in dusty conditions.
AMSOIL defines severe service for diesel engines as extensive engine idling, daily short-trip driving less than 10 miles (16km) or frequent dusty-condition driving.
See the AMSOIL Product Recommendation and Drain Interval Chart for additional information.
Motor Oil: Gasoline Auto and Light Truck
Motor Oil: Heavy Duty & Off-Road Diesel
Motor Oil: Powersports and Small Engine
Motor Oil: Motorcycles
Synthetic Synchromesh Transmission Fluid is recommended for use up to 50,000 miles, or longer (up to 150,000 miles) as indicated in the owner’s manual. Synthetic Manual Transmission and Transaxle Gear Lube is engineered to last two times longer than conventional petroleum GL-4 gear oils. Following equipment manufacturer drain intervals for synthetic oils is recommended. Check the AMSOIL Online Product Application Guide for specific recommendations.
AMSOIL Torque-Drive® Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid is engineered to meet the Mercon specification and is not recommended for Mercon V applications.
The beta ratio test measures a filter’s efficiency for removing particles of a certain size by comparing the amount of contaminant particles before and after filtration. The number of particles after filtration is divided by the number before filtration. The resulting number is the beta ratio. AMSOIL filters have a minimum beta ratio of 75, meaning they are capable of removing 98.7% of contaminant particles of a stated size.
Fuel Additives: Gasoline
Ethanol in fuel has a tendency to absorb water and separate from the gasoline. It then sinks to the bottom of the gas tank, where it quickly degrades and creates gum, varnish and other insoluble debris that can plug fuel flow passages and negatively affect engine performance. When this ethanol/water mixture is pulled into the engine, it creates a lean-burn situation that increases combustion chamber temperatures and can lead to engine damage. AMSOIL Quickshot is proven to successfully fight ethanol problems and improve operation.
Fuel Additives: Diesel
Vehicle Warranty and AMSOIL
Because cold-temperature storage can be detrimental to the performance of some AMSOIL products, AMSOIL offers the following storage recommendations:
Lubricants: Store at temperatures at least 10°F above the lubricant's pour point.
Greases: Store in a dry environment at temperatures above freezing (32°F).
Gasoline Additives, Engine and Transmission Flush: No adverse issues with cold-temperature storage.
Diesel Injector Clean, Diesel Cetane Boost, Diesel Recovery: No adverse issues with cold-temperature storage.
Diesel Cold Flow, Diesel All-In-One: Store at temperatures above 0°F.
Brake Fluids: Do not store at temperatures below -40°F for longer than two weeks.
Heavy Duty Metal Protector, Metal Protector, Power Foam, Fogging Oil, Chain Lube, Brake and Parts Cleaner, Firearm Cleaner, Silicone Spray, Spray Grease, Heavy-Duty Degreaser: No adverse issues with cold-temperature storage as long as products are allowed to warm to room temperature before use.
Miracle Wash®: Store at temperatures above freezing (32°F).
Antifreeze and Engine Coolant: Will not freeze. No adverse issues with cold-temperature storage.
Coolant Boost: Store above 32°F.
Slip Lock®: No adverse issues with cold-temperature storage. If product separates, heat to room temperature and shake well before use.
ISO 9001:2008 is the most widely used quality standard throughout the world for quality management systems. It is based on the eight quality management principles: customer focus; leadership; involvement of people; process approach; system approach to management; continual improvement and fact-based decision making; and mutually beneficial supplier relationships. When fully adopted, these principles have been proven to enhance organizational performance in providing quality products and services to customers. For customers and potential industry partners, ISO 9001:2008 certification provides assurance that AMSOIL has systems in place to ensure consistent product quality on every production run.
ISO 14001:2004 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system. It does not state requirements for environmental performance, but maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. ISO 14001:2004 certification indicates that AMSOIL takes environmental stewardship seriously and takes deliberate steps to minimizing the company’s environmental impact.
Because its Quality Management and Environmental Management Systems are registered to ISO standards, AMSOIL Dealers and customers can be assured that AMSOIL not only manufacturers high-quality products, but that the company is also actively monitoring and reducing its environmental impact.
For those reluctant to extended oil intervals, oil analysis provides evidence that AMSOIL motor oils have exception performance and protection capabilities in extended service.
There is also something called viscosity grade read-across. Fortunately, this applies to both petroleum and synthetic base stocks, although the better cold-temperature performance of synthetics makes it more difficult to achieve in some situations. The read-across guidelines ensure that if a manufacturer properly formulates the lubricant for which all of the API tests have been performed, then the manufacturer may use that same basic formula to make more grades (i.e. 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, etc.) of the same motor oil.
Finally, there is a rule for substitutions in the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) code of practice that allows a small degree of flexibility for all formulas. It allows a company to make changes to certain components in the formula with limited testing and paperwork requirements, provided that the additives are at the same or higher concentration.
AMSOIL then uses a combination of synthetic base stocks with known performance characteristics as replacements for the petroleum base stocks to optimize performance in areas of lubricity, volatility, viscosity index, oxidation and nitration resistance, pour point, flash point, deposit control, soot handling, emissions and many other areas as well. AMSOIL also uses a high-quality V.I. improver with outstanding viscosity and cleanliness properties. This replaces the inexpensive, low-quality V.I. improver used in standard API-licensed petroleum formulas. AMSOIL does laboratory bench tests and runs field tests to verify the superiority of the synthetic formula. AMSOIL continues to monitor the performance of the oil through close scrutiny of tens of thousands of oil analysis tests per year across a wide variety of vehicles all around North America and the world. AMSOIL INC. has been collecting used synthetic oil samples from passenger cars since 1982. No other oil company has such a vast database of the performance of synthetic lubricants over extended drain intervals. AMSOIL products and formulations outperform API-licensed oils because they are engineered for top performance from the very beginning.