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A 0W-16 viscosity motor oil may seem exotic to North American drivers, but as fuel efficiency requirements increase, it may become a common recommendation of manufacturers worldwide. Japanese engineers have long experimented with ultra-thin motor oils, and 0W-16 has been in regular use in Japan since the 90s.
The Benefits of Going Thin
Lower viscosity motor oil can increase fuel economy, and the pressure to create engines that sip less fuel has hastened the introduction of these viscosities to North America. The stated fuel mileage estimates for several 2018 vehicles were calculated with 0W-16 motor oil installed. Beyond fuel economy, lower viscosity oil can also provide excellent cold-starts in the most frigid temperatures.
The primary concern with low viscosity oil is wear protection. Like the rest of the OE line, OE 0W-16 develops a strong fluid film that keeps metal components separated and protected. Our work didn’t end with simply blending a new viscosity. OE 0W-16 Synthetic Motor Oil (OES) is formulated with unique anti-wear additives that protect critical engine parts like pistons and cams. This added protection is particularly important in the extreme environments produced by today’s smaller-displacement engines that run on lower viscosity oil.
Provides advanced wear protection
Improves fuel economy & maintains low emissions
Protects pistons from low-speed pre-ignition
Keeps engines clean
Protects in all temperatures
Meets the requirements of popular new vehicles like the 2018 Toyota* Camry* and the 2018 Honda* Fit*
Recommended for use in applications that require the API SN PLUS (Resource Conserving) specification. Use only where 0W-16 is specified. Do not substitute for 0W-20 or other viscosity.
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.
That’s why industry motor-oil specifications keep growing tougher and automakers are increasingly recommending synthetic oils to meet these strict performance specs.
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.
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.
It’s a back gelatinous substance that wreaks havoc in engines. And long before the engine’s demise, engine sludge can foul engine sensors and interfere with performance. Some mechanics call it the “black death.”
How does motor oil, which is fluid, become a semi-solid paste or gel inside an engine?
Here’s what we’ll cover:
How engine sludge forms
The effects of engine sludge
Synthetic oil helps prevent engine sludge
High-quality additives fight engine sludge
Severe service invites engine sludge
How engine sludge forms
Engine sludge is the result of a series of chemical reactions.
The lubricant degrades as it is exposed to oxygen and elevated temperatures. The higher the temperature, the more rapid the rate of degradation. In fact, every 18°F (10°C) increase in temperature doubles the rate of oxidation.
Many people still believe any oil is fine as long as you change it often but 95% of the brands out there do not address that inch of protection when you really need it!! We’ve all had issues where the engine is overheating or some situation where adequate lubrication isn’t available. AMSOIL offers 75% more protection when you need it and our diesel oils offer 6X more protection than required by industry testing.
The by-products of this reaction form highly reactive compounds that further degrade the lubricant. Their by-products react with other contaminants, forming organic acids and high-molecular-weight polymeric products. These products further react, forming the insoluble product known more commonly as sludge.
What begins as a thin film of lacquer or varnish deposits on hot or cold metal surfaces and bakes into an expensive mess.
The effects of engine sludge
Sludge can block the oil passages and oil-pump pick-up screen, resulting in oil starvation. Often, the negative effects are cumulative rather than sudden.
Many engines with variable valve timing (VVT) use oil-pressure-operated mechanical devices to change valve timing, duration and lift. Sludge can plug the solenoid screen or oil gallies and impact the operation of VVT mechanisms, eventually leading to a costly repair bill. Sludge reduces efficiency and increases time and money spent on maintenance.
Who doesn’t want a cooler engine? Sludge, even the early stages prevents the engine from dispersing heat efficiently. Why would you risk a Group III “synthetic” which does leave deposits adding to or resulting into an engine which struggles to exhaust heat.
Synthetic oil helps prevent engine sludge
Fortunately, sludge and varnish deposits are something oil manufacturers can control. Using thermally stable synthetic base oils reduces the rate of degradation (oxidation). (Yes – and that is “Real 100%” Synthetics – not the ones they currently call “Fully”..
Anti-oxidant additives help reduce the rate of degradation as well. One of the most widely used is zinc dithiophosphate. Not only is it an excellent oxidation inhibitor, it is an outstanding anti-wear additive as well.
High-quality additives fight engine sludge
We can further address many of the issues occurring after the initial oxidation stage.
Additives, such as detergents and dispersants, are commonly part of motor oil formulation. They help promote the suspension of contaminants within the oil and keep them from agglomerating.
Detergents, which are also alkaline in nature, assist in neutralizing acids generated in the sludge-building process. Anti-oxidant, dispersant and detergent additives are consumed during use.
To achieve maximum life expectancy, use an oil with high concentrations of anti-oxidant, dispersant and detergent additives.
Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil was subjected to the Sequence VG test to measure its ability to prevent sludge. Signature Series produced an oil pick-up tube screen virtually free from sludge. Our unique combination of detergents and high-quality base oils control oxidation and sludge to keep engines clean and efficient.
Equipment operating conditions also influence the likelihood of sludge or varnish issues.
Stop-and-go driving, frequent/long-term idling and operation in excessively hot or cold weather can increase the likelihood of sludge and varnish, especially if using more volatile conventional oils. If sludge has already formed, you can use an engine flush to clean sludge from your engine.
Interestingly, most auto manufacturers note in their owner’s manual that operation under any of the above conditions is considered severe service and requires more frequent oil changes.
From a mechanical standpoint, things like adding too much oil to the oil sump, antifreeze contamination, excessive soot loading, excessive oil foaming, poor engine-combustion efficiency, excessive blow-by and emission-control-system issues can all lead to the formation of sludge and varnish.
By practicing good maintenance and using properly formulated, premium synthetic lubricants, like AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, your vehicle won’t succumb to the “black death.”
Taking it a step further which many of our customers do – to make sure your vehicle is always running in peak condition one thing is to have your oil analyzed. I do it not so much to see how the oil is doing but to measure what may be going on in the engine to deplete detergents or to test for any out of typical wear levels, fuel in the crankcase, and to see if the viscosity is still on par. Oil analysis kits are easy to use especially when you have the dipstick extraction pump.
*vs. AMSOIL OE Motor Oil **Based 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 PLUS specification.
The answer seems simple: probably about five quarts.
But, if you drive a small car with a four cylinder engine, it’s likely closer to four quarts. However, the V-8 engine in your truck could require about seven quarts. My in-laws’ RAM diesel pickup takes 12 quarts of motor oil.
You can see how the answer isn’t so simple after all.
To find out precisely how much motor oil your car needs, do one of the following:
Check the owner’s manual
Dig the owner’s manual out of your glovebox and look up the information in the index. Eventually you’ll find it.
You can skip the hassle and use our Product Guide instead. Just input your vehicle information and, below the motor oil recommendations, you’ll find motor oil capacity (circled below in red).
What if the oil level is too low?
It could be due to a couple issues, including insufficient oil added during the last oil change or oil consumption. There are several reasons for oil consumption (in fact, you can read about 40 of them here). But here are a couple of the more common.
Leaking seals or gaskets – your engine uses seals in various places to ensure oil stays inside the engine while contaminants stay out. A prime example is around the crankshaft where it sticks out of the engine and connects to the transmission. Gaskets seal the uneven metal surfaces between parts to ensure, in part, that oil stays inside the engine. The cylinder head gasket is a notable example.
If the seals and gaskets become worn, brittle or deformed over time, they can result in oil leaks. The engine oil level will drop, depending on the severity of the leak. If your engine leaks oil, visit a mechanic and have it fixed.
Volatility – engine oil can evaporate when exposed to heat. The less stable the oil, the more readily it evaporates. As the engine is running, a thin film of oil coats the cylinder wall and piston skirt. Given its proximity to the fiery cauldron inside the combustion chamber, the oil in this area of the engine can easily volatilize, or evaporate. The by-products can exit the tailpipe as emissions. But they can also form harmful carbon deposits inside the engine that reduce efficiency and eventually lead to engine failure.
Synthetic motor oil is more resistant to volatility than conventional oil, so use a good synthetic to reduce oil consumption due to volatility and help keep your engine clean.
What if the oil level is too high?
It’s likely due to operator error; someone simply added too much last time the oil was changed or topped-off.
Too much oil is a bad thing. The spinning crankshaft and churning engine parts whip air into the oil, which can cause foam. The tiny bubbles travel between moving parts, where they rupture. When they do, nothing is left to protect metal surfaces from wear. Foam also increases heat, which causes the oil to chemically breakdown sooner.
If the crankcase is overfull, drain the excess oil until reaching the correct level.
Increased oil level can also be due to fuel dilution. This is when fuel enters the crankcase and contaminates the oil. In severe cases, enough fuel can enter the crankcase to noticeably increase the oil level. This is bad. Very bad. Fuel dilution leads to sludge, varnish and engine wear.
The presence of coolant in the oil can also increase oil level. Again, this is bad. Anytime something that shouldn’t be in your motor oil is present, wear protection suffers. Coolant in the oil is likely due to a bad head gasket, which is a costly repair.
One last word of advice: check your oil at least monthly to ensure the proper level. Make sure the vehicle is parked on a level surface to get an accurate reading. Finding out the oil is too low or too high before something goes wrong can save you a ton of grief in the long run.