Date: 4 Nov 2001 14:47:14 -0800
From: (Steven Scharf)
Subject: Re: Does anyone use synthetic oils?

"Andy Coles" <> wrote in message news:<NV8F7.10874$>... > This looks all very impressive but what do these figures mean. I.E. is > 136VI for Amsoil 20w-50 better or worse than say 155VI on the Quaker > State Dlx. Anybody on the NG able to offer an a layman's understanding > of how to interpret the tables - please. Beware of the blank spot for the %zinc on Amsoil. The facts are as follows: 1. Amsoil products, other than the XL-7500 line, cannot be API certified because the level of ZDDP exceeds the API limits which results in too much phosphorus. This is not in dispute, Amsoil stated this. See: "" 2. The API limit on the amount of ZDDP was put in place because the phosphorus in the ZDDP shortens the life of the catalytic converter; the more ZDDP the shorter the life of the catalytic converter. "" "" scroll down to "Antiwear-EP" The only site I found that argued that this was not true was an Amsoil dealer's site (not the corporate Amsoil site). 3. There are many synthetic oils, including one from Amsoil, that meet the strict API certification requirements. See: "" "" "" "" "" "" "" Not all products are available in all geographic areas. 4. The high level of ZDDP in the Amsoil non-API certified oil (and other non-certified oils) provides better wear protection than the API certified oils with the lower level of ZDDP. So it would make sense to use these non-API certified oils in vehicles without catalytic converters, in fact this is recommended. Read: "" which talks about how motorcycles are better off using an oil with a higher level of phosphorus than is allowable in the API certified oils. 5. The use of an oil that does not meet the API standards, whether certified or not, could cause a manufacturer to deny warranty coverage on items affected by the oil. Amsoil stated: "Major auto manufacturers and regulatory agencies have determined that warranties must cover all equipment failures unless they were directly caused by the aftermarket product in question or by the maintenance practice in question." ",14&rnum=1&" Logically, since using an oil with too high a level of phosphorus is a maintenance practice and product that can directly cause a catalytic converter's life to be shortened, this qualifies as something that a manufacturer could deny warranty coverage over. Of course by the time the catalytic converter fails, even with a high ZDDP oil, it will most likely be out of warranty anyway. Does Amsoil cover premature failure of a vehicle's components that occur out of warranty? If so, how do they determine how much of the failure is due to the oil and how much is due to normal wear that would have occured anyway? 6. The response I got from Amsoil about this matter was: "We have never received a complaint of premature converter failure." Well geez, I guess that proves that the API limits on ZDDP were put in place for no reason at all. So the absence of complaints proves that the high phosphorus level doesn't do what the API says it does?! Amsoil's response is inadequate for several reasons: i. The whole reason that API put the ZDDP limit in place was because too much phosphorus (a component of ZDDP) shortens the life of the catalytic converter. ii. Until an Amsoil rep let the real reason for non-certification slip out, no one who was using Amsoil would have the slightest reason to even suspect that an early catalytic converter failure could be affected by the type of motor oil. The revelation about the reason Amsoil's products (other than the XL-7500 line) could not be API certified came only about a few months ago. iii. Until an Amsoil rep let the real reason for non-certification slip out there were all sorts of bizarre reasons for the non-certification being put forward by Amsoil and its dealers. Now we know the real reason, and IMVAIO Amsoil made a BIG mistake in not just stating the real reason several years ago and promoting its API certified line for vehicles with catalytic converters. They looked extremely foolish by posting all those bizarre and weak excuses. 7. Some people may actually decide that shortening the life of the catalytic converter is worth the extra wear protection gained from oils with a higher level of ZDDP. These people can use the Amsoil or one of the petroleum based oils that have a higher ZDDP level and hence are not API certified. I can't imagine the upside of Amsoil not simply doing some product differentiation between their products for newer vehicles and their products for jet skis, boats, and older cars. They could turn the whole API thing to their advantage and proclaim the benefit of the higher ZDDP level on their non-XL-7500 line, and correctly claim that most of their competitors don't have a synthetic with this extra level of protection. And get this--it would actually be true! Of course they don't have to say that there are plenty of specialty non-synthetics without API certification that also have the higher ZDDP levels. I suspect that Redline synthetics fall into the same category of "too much ZDDP for API certification" as Amsoil. But since Redline does not sell via multi-level marketing they do not have the reputation problem that Amsoil has and hence do not invite scrutiny. I don't see any indication of API certification on the Redline web site.

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