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Why Buy Signature Series? Nothing Comes Close

Why Buy Signature Series?

There are many big names out there. A lot of new start-ups claiming to be the Holy Grail in engine oil. But in short, AMSOIL remains on top for one reason – the founder AJ Amatuzio wanted to provide a product where the customer can be certain he (or she) is getting what is expected.  Nothing is scaled down to improve profit margins. (There are no share holders) Simply the best and that process involves earning the highest respect from suppliers for the privilege of developing the finest finished lubricants.

Setting Standards For You to Measure From

Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil is not only the best oil we have ever made, it’s better than any competitive oil we have tested. Advanced engine technology and the normal demands of everyday life generate extreme conditions that can challenge motor oil and engine life. Signature Series delivers the ultimate protection against everyday extremes like towing and extended idling. Don’t just take our word for it; read on for proof.

Do you drive in hot temperatures?

In testing, kept pistons clean and held oil thickening to only 6 percent, a minimal amount compared to the proposed specification limit of 150 percent4. 50 percent more detergents5 to help keep oil passages clean and promote oil circulation. Provides 90 percent better protection against sludge6.

Do you have long commutes?

30 percent more acid-neutralizing power8 than Mobil 1*, and 36 percent more than Royal Purple*, helping engines stay cleaner, longer. Reserve protection, so you can go up to 25,000 miles, 700 hours of operation or one year between oil changes, whichever comes first.

Does your vehicle have a turbocharger?

72 percent better turbocharger protection than required2 by the GM dexos1® Gen 2 specification. Achieved 100 percent protection against low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI)3.

Do you tow or haul?

75 percent more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear7.

Do you drive in cold temperatures?

66 percent better cold-temperature performance for easier starting, better fuel economy, improved oil flow and reduced wear.

Do you want extra engine protection?

Far superior wear protection compared to the competition – kept bearings looking like new after 100,000-mile test1.


1Testing conducted in an independent lab using AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil and a leading synthetic-blend 5W-30 motor oil in Ford F-150 trucks with 3.5L twin-turbo engines. 2Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the GM turbo coking test. 3Based on zero LSPI events in five consecutive tests of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 Motor Oil in the LSPI engine test required by the GM dexos1 Gen 2 specification.  4Based on the ILSAC GF-5 PLUS specification. 5vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil 6Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the ASTM D6593 engine test for oil screen plugging as required by the API SN specification. 7Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20, in ASTM D6891 as required by the API SN specification. 8Based upon independent testing of Mobil 1 Annual Protection Full Synthetic 5W-30, Royal Purple High Performance 5W-30 and AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in ASTM D2896. Oils purchased 05/03/18. *All trademarked names are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use.

Is Starting Fluid Bad for Gas Engines?

Is Starting Fluid Bad for Gas Engines?

The simple answer: In small doses and used properly, it can be effective in hard-starting gasoline engines. But it can be bad for two-stroke or diesel engines. The real question to ask is, “Why does my engine need starting fluid in the first place?” Find out the answer, then fix the real problem.

The detailed answer: Ask five gearheads or mechanics their opinion of starting fluid, and you might get five different answers.

Some occasionally use it to help revive an engine that’s been pulled from storage. Others use it to help coax a stubborn engine to life on a frigid morning.

Yet others won’t touch starting fluid. One mechanic I talked to blamed starting fluid for ruining the bearings in a two-stroke outboard motor. Its owner, the story goes, liberally sprayed starting fluid into the intake when the engine wouldn’t start. And sprayed. And sprayed.

Starting fluid typically contains ether, which is an effective solvent. In this case, the starting fluid likely washed the inside of the engine clean of oil, allowing metal components to contact and eventually seize.

Diesel engines, too, can suffer the effects of starting fluid. Their high compression can cause the fluid to ignite too early, effectively causing pre-ignition, which invites all kinds of problems, like catastrophic piston or rod damage. Plus, it has no lubricating properties, so it can hasten piston wear.

With minimal work, you can find all sorts of cautionary tales on the Internet of people blowing up engines after using too much starting fluid.

Starting Fluid Does Sometimes Work

Given the disdain many harbor toward starting fluid, why would anyone use it?

Because it can be effective in gasoline engines – especially carbureted engines – when used as directed.

For gasoline to combust, it must first be vaporized. The fuel injectors in your car or truck do a great job of completing this task.

In carbureted engines, fuel is vaporized as it’s forced through the tiny openings or nozzles in the carburetor. But carburetors don’t vaporize fuel as effectively as fuel injectors. Plus, gasoline doesn’t vaporize as readily when it’s cold. Anyone who’s started a carbureted car on a frigid morning knows this all too well. Plus, an engine requires more gas in the fuel/air mixture at startup, making a cold engine doubly difficult to start and keep running.

Starting fluid, on the other hand, does readily ignite in the cold, helping to start the engine and generate heat to more easily vaporize the fuel.

But a little goes a long way. Many of the problems with starting fluid can be attributed to operator error rather than the fluid itself.

In short, if you have to use starting fluid, use it sparingly. If a couple short bursts of spray into the intake don’t elicit a cough or two from the engine, emptying the can isn’t going to work, either.

No amount of starting fluid is going to revive an engine with a dirty carburetor. Identify the real problem and get it fixed.

Ask yourself this…

Instead, ask yourself why the engine needs starting fluid in the first place. There’s likely a bigger problem that needs fixing.

I was presented with this exact scenario last fall when my snowblower refused to start. So I reached for a can of starting fluid and gave the intake a shot. She sputtered a few times and quit. I repeated the process a few times, with the same result.

I should have used Quickshot when it was sitting right there when I last filled the tank. Would have solved this issue all together.

Eventually, I took apart and cleaned the carb. She roared to life on the first pull after that. In my case, emptying the entire can of starting fluid into the engine wouldn’t have done a thing, aside from washing the oil from the cylinder and causing wear. At the very least, it helped me diagnose what the problem was not: lack of spark or bad compression.

Bottom line: Starting fluid can help start a stubborn engine, but follow the directions and use it sparingly. If a little bit doesn’t work, a lot likely won’t, either. If your engine is consistently hard to start, find out why and get the real problem fixed.

Low-viscosity doesn’t mean low quality

Low-viscosity doesn’t mean low quality

As motor oil viscosity continues to decrease, base oil and additive quality become more important.

Michael Meuli | VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

Despite uncertainty surrounding future CAFÉ standards, fuel economy remains the biggest driver of innovation in the auto industry. One strategy for increasing fuel economy involves reducing energy lost to friction. Using lower-viscosity lubricants, which reduce pumping losses and flow easier at startup, helps automakers accomplish this goal. Just as we’ve become accustomed to 0W-20 oils, 0W-16 oil has entered the market and is recommended for the 2018 Toyota Camry and Honda Fit. People are wondering how much lower viscosity can go.

That’s because excessively low lubricant viscosity can reduce wear protection. Some people fear the fuel economy gains of modern low-viscosity oils aren’t worth the potential loss of wear protection. You should be familiar with the relationship between lubricant viscosity and wear protection, but it bears repeating.

Motor oil must develop a durable fluid film that separates engine components so they don’t rub together and wear out. As a rule of thumb, the higher the oil’s viscosity, the thicker the fluid film – and the better the wear protection.

That being the case, you might think it advantageous to throw out your 0W-20 motor oil and use 15W-50 instead. That’s a bad idea, and here’s why.

Modern engines are built with tighter clearances between parts than their predecessors. Let’s take the GM* 3.8L engines we test in our mechanical lab as an example. The clearances between the crankshaft journals and main bearings can be as low as .0007 inches. That’s thinner than a sheet of paper (about .004 inches).

During operation, oil continuously flows through tiny ports in the crankshaft journals to lubricate the journal/ bearing interfaces. It should form a strong, consistent oil film on which the crankshaft journals float as they spin, preventing them from touching the bearings. This is called hydrodynamic lubrication. Oil that’s too thick for the engine, however, may not flow fast enough to fill the clearances, allowing the high spots on metal surfaces to contact. This is called boundary lubrication.

In this case, using a higher viscosity oil than what’s recommended in your modern engine would lead to increased wear. Adding insult to injury, it would reduce fuel economy and increase operating temperatures as well.

Viscosity that’s too low, however, can have the opposite effect. Since viscosity is related to film thickness, low-viscosity oil may not develop an adequate fluid film to keep metal components separated, leading to wear. If bad enough, parts will eventually weld together and destroy the engine.

You can see how modern engines have put oil formulators into a bind. How do we formulate low-viscosity oils that maximize fuel economy while also providing good wear protection in today’s stressful engines?

In a word, quality.

Although oil film thickness is related to lubricant viscosity, film strength is a function of base oil and additive quality. We start with high-quality synthetic base oils that offer naturally high resistance to heat and chemical breakdown.

The challenge, however, is that lower viscosity oils tend to be more volatile, meaning they burn off more easily when exposed to high heat. If you ever look at a motor oil’s NOACK Volatility, you’ll notice volatility tends to increase as the oil viscosity decreases. This is of particular importance since most new vehicles are equipped with turbocharged engines, which generate increased heat. High volatility can lead to excessive oil consumption, which causes the oil to thicken, making it harder to pump through the engine and reducing fuel economy. Oil that has thickened can also lead to deposits and disrupt the additive balance.

That’s why only synthetic base oils can be used to formulate a 0W-16 motor oil. Conventional base oils are too volatile to meet requirements of low-viscosity oil.

Additives, too, play a vital role in low viscosity oils. We talked about boundary lubrication earlier. When in a boundary lubrication situation, protecting against metal-to-metal contact falls on the motor oil’s anti-wear additives, more so than with higher viscosity oils. The additives form a sacrificial barrier on metal parts that absorbs contact and protects the metal surfaces.

Motor oil quality has always been important, but modern low-viscosity oils underscore the point. That’s good news for Dealers selling the best oil on the market.

To help you reach this market, we introduced new OE 0W-16 Synthetic Motor Oil (OES) last month. We’ll monitor demand for 0W-16 oils and introduce additional formulations if demand dictates.

In the meantime, brace yourself for 0W-8 motor oil, which is already being tested in Japan.

Worldwide Reputation – AMSOIL President Column

From the President – AMSOIL HQ in Superior, WI

Last winter I was riding snowmobile with a group of friends in northern Wisconsin. We stopped for a break and another snowmobiler came in wearing a red AMSOIL Racing Jersey (G3537). I struck up a conversation with him and we talked about snowmobiles, riding and AMSOIL. I told him how AMSOIL sold that jersey for a while, but it had been unavailable for years. AMSOIL reintroduced the jersey after a popular contestant on China’s version of “America’s Got Talent” wore it on that show. Suddenly demand from China for that jersey skyrocketed. I never revealed who I was or how he basically had my name emblazoned on his chest. It was an interesting conversation and I was happy to hear an unfiltered opinion of my company and its products.

More Lucas and Sea Foam Comparison Testing

Reputation is important to me. It is earned, not given. It takes years to develop and almost nothing to destroy. Under the right circumstances, even untrue rumors can ruin solid reputations. Fortunately, AMSOIL has a rocksolid reputation, and we go above and beyond to keep it that way. For most customers, that starts with our products. AMSOIL products are the best in the world. I could not be more proud of that. We compete against the biggest companies in the world, and our products come out on top. Our products do what we say they’ll do. This month we’re introducing a new product, AMSOIL Upper Cylinder Lubricant. Once again, the competition isn’t up to par. In fact, Sea Foam,* one of the most recognized fuel-additive brands, and Lucas,* the leading seller of upper cylinder lubricant, are ineffective. They’re no good. And we’re going to show you the proof.

That’s no way to treat customers, and that’s no way to do business. It’s personal for me – it is my name on the bottle. I would not do anything to damage my reputation, and I respect your reputation. You represent AMSOIL in the field and it is your word that sells AMSOIL products. You can be confident that you are representing a company that has integrity. You can be proud to wear the AMSOIL logo every day. I know I am. Plus, you never know who will ask you about it or what type of business it could lead to. We introduced a completely new clothing line in the spring and we’ve got several new items coming out this fall, including the recently released snowmobile jacket.

Speaking of snowmobiling, if you haven’t visited your retail accounts that carry our snowmobile products, now is the time. If you live in the south or don’t have accounts that carry those products, the new Upper Cylinder Lubricant and the updated pricing information are also perfect reasons to pay your accounts a visit. We provided new printed price lists to every active commercial and retail account. A follow-up visit from you could be just what they need to spark that next order.

Racing Oil vs. Regular Oil: What’s the Difference?

Why not use Racing Oil in my Car If It’s Tougher?

When deciding if racing oil is right for their vehicles, gearheads and other enthusiasts sometimes offer this line of reasoning:

  1. Racing engines are more severe than my engine
  2. Racing engines use racing oil
  3. Therefore, I should use racing oil in my vehicle for best protection

It’s true that your average racing engine creates operating conditions more severe than the average passenger car engine.

However, that’s not to say that modern engines aren’t tough on oil.

The turbocharged, direct-injection engines in modern vehicles generate increased heat and contaminants compared to their predecessors. Motor oil bears the brunt of the added stress.

That’s why industry motor-oil specifications keep growing tougher and automakers are increasingly recommending synthetic oils to meet these strict performance specs.

Scott Douglas AMSOIL racing truck

Scott Douglas AMSOIL race truck

Should I use racing oil in my car?

Racing, however, is a whole different animal.

The powerful, modified engines in racing vehicles produce extreme heat and pressures your average car or truck simply will never see.

A 900-hp Pro 4×4 race truck can produce engine temperatures in excess of 300ºF (149ºC). Engine temperatures in a typical passenger car/light truck fall somewhere between 195ºF and 220ºF (90ºC – 104ºC).

The difference is even more striking when you consider that the rate of motor oil oxidation (chemical breakdown) doubles for every 18ºF (10ºC) increase in oil temperature.

The tremendous shearing forces the oil bears as it’s squeezed between the interfaces of the pistons/rings and cam lobes/lifters pose another problem. The pressure can tear apart the molecular structure of the oil, reducing its viscosity and film strength.

Racing oil has to be formulated differently to protect these demanding engines. Even so, it doesn’t mean you should order a case of AMSOIL DOMINATOR®  10w-30 Synthetic Racing Oil for your car.

DOMINATOR® 15W-50 Racing Oil

Racing oil is changed more often

So, why not use racing oil in your daily driver? For starters, racing oils are changed frequently.

Most professionals change oil every couple races, if not more frequently. For that reason, racing oils are formulated with a lower total base number (TBN) than passenger car motor oils.

TBN is a measure of the oil’s detergency properties and its ability to neutralize acidic byproducts. Oils with longer drain intervals have higher TBNs.

AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil features a TBN of 12.5 to enable its 25,000-mile/one-year drain interval.

In contrast, DOMINATOR Synthetic Racing Oil has a TBN of 8 since we recommend changing it more often. As great as it performs on the track, DOMINATOR is not what you want in your engine when you’re driving thousands of miles and several months between oil changes.

Regular motor oil is designed to provide additional benefits

You also want to use an oil in your daily driver that excels in several performance areas:

Motor oil additives produce many of these benefits. For example, anti-oxidant additives fight increased heat and extend oil service life.

Anti-wear additives interact with the metal surfaces of engine parts and guard against metal-to-metal contact.

Many additives form layers on metal surfaces. That being the case, they compete with each other for space, so to speak, like pigs competing for room at the trough.

Racing oils are often formulated with a heavy dose of friction modifiers to add lubricity for maximum horsepower and torque.

The boosted level of additives meant to increase protection and performance during a race doesn’t leave room in the formulation for additives found in passenger car motor oils that help maximize fuel economy, fight corrosion or improve cold-weather protection.

In effect, the ravenous pigs at the trough leave no room for their brethren, resulting in a less well-rounded formulation.

Bottom line: use regular motor oil in your daily driver

Achieving the tasks of a passenger car motor oil requires a finely balanced formulation. Too much or too little performance in one area can negatively affect other areas – and the oil’s overall protection and performance. The list of tasks required of a racing oil, however, is much shorter.

The right tool for the right job is an axiom with which you’re familiar. The same holds for motor oil. It’s best to leave racing oil to competition engines and use a properly formulated passenger car motor oil for your daily vehicle.