Story Synthetics, a Montana Authorized AMSOIL Dealer
Ams oil montana, protect your engine from extremes

AMSOIL FAQS

Can AMSOIL lubricants be safely mixed together?
Answer: Applications require specific lubricant properties to deliver maximum performance and protection. AMSOIL carefully tailors its synthetic lubricants under the strictest quality control standards to provide the required properties for the intended application. Mixing AMSOIL synthetic lubricants is not only unnecessary, it may lead to reduced performance and even equipment failure.

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.

What is the difference between synthetic and conventional oil?
Answer: Motor oil, whether synthetic or petroleum-based, consists of molecular chains of hydrogen and carbon atoms, referred to as hydrocarbons. Petroleum crude oil is a thick, highly flammable dark-brown or greenish liquid with high energy density. Many contaminating elements exist in this complex mixture of hydrocarbons, including sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen and metal components such as nickel or vanadium. Petroleum crude oil is the raw material used for a wide variety of petrochemicals, including solvents, fertilizers, plastics and 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.

What roles do additives play in motor oil performance?
Answer: Most lubricating oils have other chemicals added to improve the overall performance of the fluid. Chemical additives are used to enhance the beneficial properties of the base oil or to make up for oil deficiencies. For passenger car motor oils, base oil makes up 70 to 80 percent of the final product; the other 20 to 30 percent is comprised of additive chemistry.

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.

Can synthetic oil be used in new engines?
Answer: Yes. Synthetic oil is perfectly safe for use in both new and high-mileage engines.

Must new cars be broken in using petroleum oil?
Answer: No. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils can be safely used during break-in. In fact, many vehicles, including the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette, are factory-filled with synthetic oil.

Why is there an hours limit in addition to time and mileage limits on AMSOIL synthetic motor oil’s service life?
Answer: No matter how well motor oil is formulated, it won’t last forever. As the miles accumulate, motor oil begins to degrade and lose its lubricating effectiveness, while the additives are depleted. Severe-service driving conditions accelerate this process. Even with little mileage on the oil, oxidation, gases and moisture take their toll and start the degradation process, making it necessary to set both a mileage and time limit with oil change intervals. Excessive idling, common with fleet vehicles, puts additional stress on the oil, making it necessary to set an hours limit for vehicles subjected to excessive idling. Motor oil and vehicle manufacturers have developed general recommendations for the maximum amount of time or miles that the oil can be used; typically these intervals fall between 3,000 and 7,500 miles, depending on the type of service.

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.

Will synthetic motor oils cause engines to leak oil?
Answer: No. Synthetic oils do not cause engines to leak oil. In fact, AMSOIL synthetic motor oil is fully compatible with modern seal materials and is properly formulated to condition seals, keeping them pliable to prevent leakage.

Can AMSOIL motor oils be mixed with other brands?

Answer: Yes. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are compatible with other conventional and synthetic motor oils. Mixing AMSOIL motor oils with other oils, however, will shorten the oil’s life expectancy and reduce the performance benefits. AMSOIL does not support extended drain intervals where oils have been mixed. Mixing other oils with AMSOIL motor oils may also void the AMSOIL limited warranty.

What kind of base stocks does AMSOIL use? Are AMSOIL synthetic lubricants PAO-based?
Answer: AMSOIL maintains formulation details as proprietary and does not divulge specifics regarding the type of synthetic base stocks used in its synthetic lubricants. AMSOIL developed the world’s first API-qualified synthetic motor oil in 1972 and has remained the leader in the synthetic lubricant industry by continually researching new technologies and demanding only the highest-quality raw materials. As the company moves forward with new technologies it is increasingly more important that this information remains proprietary. AMSOIL views synthetic base oils the same as it views additives, with each having its own set of unique properties. AMSOIL does not insist on a particular type of base stock, but insists on particular performance parameters. AMSOIL chooses whichever synthetic base stock or combination of base stocks delivers the desired result and tailors its lubricants to be application-specific (gasoline, diesel, racing, transmission, gear, extended drain, extreme temperatures, etc.). At the end of the day, the type of base stock used to formulate the oil is inconsequential; the product’s performance is what matters.

Why are AMSOIL synthetic motor oils capable of extended drain intervals?
Answer: AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated using premium synthetic base oils, and the highest-quality additives, that provide extended-drain capabilities. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils achieve greater cleaning powers, while providing better equipment protection over longer oil drain intervals. The unique synthetic formulation and robust TBN retention of AMSOIL synthetic motor oils work to resist oxidation and neutralize the acids that shorten the service lives of other oils. Their characteristic resistance to high-temperature volatility (burn-off) helps reduce oil consumption, while maintaining viscosity over longer periods of time than other oils. Check the product data sheet for specific recommendations.

Will AMSOIL motor oils decrease oil consumption?
Answer: AMSOIL synthetic motor oils can reduce oil consumption in mechanically sound engines. However, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils cannot fix engines that consume oil due to mechanical problems.

Is there a recommended procedure for changing to AMSOIL synthetic motor oil?
Answer: There are no special requirements for changing to AMSOIL synthetic motor oil. However, in older vehicles with high mileage, it may be advisable to use AMSOIL Engine and Transmission Flush first. This will ensure the engine is clean and free of accumulated contaminants that may affect the service life of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil. Installation of an AMSOIL Ea Oil Filter at every oil change is also recommended.

How do AMSOIL synthetic motor oils compare to other motor oils?
Answer: The importance of using good-quality oil in an engine cannot be overstated. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils consistently outperform conventional and other synthetic oils in virtually every category of performance, including wear protection, extreme high- and low-temperature performance, foam control, viscosity retention, rust and corrosion protection, volatility and fuel economy. While other brands may provide good performance in some of these areas, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils consistently perform at the top in every category. Drivers can have confidence knowing that AMSOIL synthetic motor oils provide maximum performance and protection.

What are “normal” and “severe” driving conditions?
Answer: Each vehicle manufacturer defines “normal” and “severe” driving conditions for its equipment; AMSOIL recommends owners check these definitions in their owner’s manual to determine the service condition in which they typically drive.

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 turbo/supercharged engines, commercial or fleet vehicles, excessive idling, first-time use of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil in vehicles with over 100,000 miles without prior continuous use of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil, daily short-trip driving less than 10 miles (16 km), frequent towing, plowing, hauling or dusty-condition driving.

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.

I am considering replacing the petroleum oil with AMSOIL synthetic motor oil in an engine that has 50,000 miles on it. I have heard that synthetics might clean the engine and cause plugging of the oil filter and passageways. Is this true?
Answer: Absolutely not. Switching from petroleum oil to AMSOIL synthetic motor oil in routinely maintained vehicles will not cause clogged oil filters or passageways, regardless of mileage. Sludge, which is caused by poor-quality oil and neglected maintenance practices, would have to be present in significant amounts to plug oil filters and passageways. If an excessive amount of sludge is present in an engine, it is just a matter of time before oil filters and passageways clog, regardless of the installation of AMSOIL synthetic motor oil.

Read full list of FAQ’s.