Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 17:47:48 -0500
From: "Roger Zoul" <>
Subject: Re: Does anyone use synthetic oils?

Steven, Thanks very much for this very very nice, and informative post. What you have given here is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. RZ "Steven Scharf" <> wrote in message > "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: > > " tegory=1" > "" > "" > " hetic_oil.htm" > "" > " THETIC%20MOTOR%20OILS.pdf" > "" > > 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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