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Old 10-30-2003, 02:41 PM   #1
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It all started with a post about Allison changing their ATF drain intervals for their transmissions because of using a synthetic ATF and getting marvelous results.

I went to the announcement and read something that recurs in every advertisement for synthetics, and most discussions. The strong recommendation for an extra or better filtration system. Along with claims of higher temp and lower temp advantages etc. Advantages over what? Well petroleum based products of course right? Wrong!

If we used those extra filtration measures would petroleum oils provide the same longevity/qualities as the full synthetics?

The synthetic crowd says no.

This includes all of the manufacturers marketing full synthetic engine, transmission, and gear oils made from petroleum.

So what makes oil synthetic? It originally meant making the oil from all man-made materials and no petroleum was used in the process.

I just found out today that all of the off the shelf oils that state they are full synthetic, are made from petroleum, with one exception, Mobile 1. That's right petroleum!

Is this fraud? No not exactly. Are the petroleum based full synthetics as good as the synthetic synthetics? They say yes, the synthetic synthetic manufacturers say no.

So here is another story of what you see isn't what you get.

Here is a summary:
In 1999 Castrol debuted their SynTec oils which were made from a much more highly refined, but still petroleum, base oil. Mobil sued them for calling petroleum-based oil a synthetic, and lost. Since then every manufacturer of the common off the shelf synthetic oils went to the same petroleum based oil and can now call it synthetic. Amsoil is a real synthetic synthetic, but is not one of the off the shelf brands. You have to do the research on those yourself, but no matter what the sales folks say they aren't synthetic synthetics if the MSDS says it has the petroleum. Many do.

So for those that enjoy the tedious learning curves I do, here's what I found.

Here's the Allison article doubling their transmission change intervals using a special filter/system, and Castrol's TranSynd "synthetic" ATF.
Allison drain intervals
http://www.allisontransmission.com/news/Feb2002/117.jsp
Then when you go to the TranSynd MSDS, you find it is petroleum based.

TranSynd MSDS
http://www.castrolhdl.com/Common/MSD...DS-English.pdf

Note the CAS Number next to the petroleum distillates in the above Transynd MSDS, it is CAS 64741-89-5. Doing a search on that number it comes to this NIOSH document for that class of "synthetic" as petroleum. So it appears that TranSynd is a Class III (petroleum) base stock not a Class IV (PAO) base stock.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/rtecs/py7ab41c.html#L

So how do we find out which synthetics are Group IV, as opposed to Group III base stocks which are petroleum based? Go here:
http://www.technilube.com/sections/comps/synth_diff.htm

So Castrol's ruling on their petroleum base oils have resulted in unconventional base oils (UCBOs or UBOs) to be approved for designation as a synthetic. When they use the terms UCBO or UBO they are talking about petroleum oils!!

So is this all real? Here is a page from Chevron, that is published for makers of synthetic and other oil products, to sell them on their base oils. They validate that a ruling allows petroleum oil to be classed as synthetic! Scroll down to item number 11!!!
http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/Base..._answers.shtml

Another refiner calling theirs UBO
http://www.q8special-products.co.uk/baseoils-gb.htm

Now that you understand some of the terms and can tell the difference between PAOs, and UCBOs that are petroleum go here to the Rotella site, click on the MSDS under their Rotella "Full Synthetic." It's oil!
http://www.rotella.com/products.php

Very in depth article with the Mobil lawsuit against Castrol for calling their petroleum based oils synthetics outlined and some very good observations.
http://www.micapeak.com/bike/ST1300/Oils1.html

So what I found out is that they alter the molecular structure of the Oil and ultra refine it to make the group III UCBOs, and that they still will not hold up as well as a real synthetic "synthetic."

What gripes me is that they are charging the same as if they were using real PAOs for fancy petroleum, and their claims, although true that they are a bit better than Group II petroleum base oils, are false in being as good as the Group IV PAO base stock.


So folks, they are pocketing the big difference in price for petroleum oil, when all is said and done, and because of some extra refining can sell it as full synthetic when it isn't. It makes no difference to me if it is marginally better than regular petroleum oils, it is still petroleum and subject to the heat breakdown of its additive basic molecules, and some of its own.

Do full synthetics that are synthetic synthetics offer enough value over their cost for the oils themselves and the extra filtering systems recommended for the engine and tranny?

I think it depends on the individual.

One thing that did come out of it that I do agree with. Our cheaper oils off the shelf, if changed more regularly, can offer some of the same benefits in most cases. But synthetic CHANGED AT THE MANUFACTURERS INTERVALS is better.

Here's a quote from experience at a BMW dealership that gets asked this same question all time about which oil to use in BMWs. His bottom line was this:

"Now to answer the question regarding which oil type and approach is better.

1. Conventional oil (Group II or III) changed more frequently than the recommended interval.

2. Synthetics oil (Group IV) changed at the vehicle manufacturers recommended interval."

The above quote is from here, interesting read:
http://www.bmworlando.com/pages/serv...aq/syn-oil.htm

My feeling is that we should get synthetics with at least the Group IV base stock if that is what we are paying for and it is advertised as synthetic.

And that I'll keep to the manufacturers intervals.

RV

[This message was edited by RV Roadie on Thu October 30 2003 at 07:42 PM.]
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Old 10-30-2003, 04:10 PM   #2
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My opinion has always been that petroleum based oil are good when maintained properly. It is always the additives that wear out/disperse. The only way to get rid of oil is to burn it. Depending on the application, petroleum based oil needs additional additives.

Synthetic oils are very, very good at what they do. So good in fact that I have seen engines that use oil when started off with synthetics. My recommendation has always been to run the engine on petroleum based products for the first 20,000 miles. This allows the piston rings and other moving parts to seat with each other.

Can petroleum based products compete on a level playing field with synthetics? I say no.

Do I recommend the use of synthetic lubricants? No. I am from the old school, mid-fifties, no way. If I owned a machine that was designed for using synthetic oils? Probably.

There was a really good article in one of the trade mags a couple of years ago. It talked about a lot of the oils marketed as synthetics being petroleum based oil, mixed with synthetic oil and additives. Courts ruled that since they had synthetic content, they were synthetic.

Change your oil with synthetic and cost yourself more money than necessary. If the change interval were doubled, expense would be approximately the same. I have never considered using synthetic oils, of course I drive junk.

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Old 10-30-2003, 04:49 PM   #3
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Delay Introduction

Tom Lincoln at Workhorse advised me not to begin using synthetic oils until I had at least 15,000 miles on my engine, I only have 9 and change right now.

Looks like I won't be getting into a synthetic until 2005 sometime. He did however add that I could use synthetic oil after the break in period and that the engine won't wear any more after I begin using the synthetic.

I would like to see one of our Amsoil representatives get in on this thread because aside from Mobil 1, I believe that Amsoil is a pure synthetic and so is Red Line.

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Old 10-30-2003, 05:25 PM   #4
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DriVer,
Amsoil is a true synthetic.
Quote from RV Roadie: "Amsoil is a real synthetic synthetic, but is not one of the off the shelf brands."
Don't know about Red Line.

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[This message was edited by SilverFox on Fri October 31 2003 at 08:55 AM.]
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Old 10-30-2003, 05:43 PM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SilverFox:
Amsoil is a true synthetic.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Should have deleted, "I believe that".

I've been using Amsoil products for quite some time however this is the first time that I've been bridled from using synthetic oil right off the showroom floor. It makes all the sense in the world, that's why they call it "breaking in", syns won't allow an engine to break in.

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Old 10-31-2003, 03:04 AM   #6
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I'm old school too when it comes to synthetic vs. conventional oils.

As an auto technician (ASE certified Master and L1 Advanced engine performance) I'm asked all the time by folks what to use for oil in their vehicles. I tell them to use a quality petroleum based oil and change it according to the recommended information found in their owner's manual.

That's what I've done for ALL of my vehicles and I've NEVER had a problem. I don't use any additives nor do I feel they are of any use. I still am skeptical of anything that's supposed to "coat" your internal engine parts with some sort of friction reducing material. (Sorry, I'm getting off track.)

I have heard that in some cases a synthetic oil is "too good" and may cause leaks and prevent normal break in on a new engine. I do believe the claims that synthetics can stand up to more heat, lower temp's., etc. but a properly maintained good running engine or transmission should not produce excessive heat to the point of breaking down a conventional oil.

I remember reading a report in Consumer Reports a number of years ago about the differences between conventional and synthetic oils. A fleet of New York City taxi cabs was used for the test. Half used synthetic oil and half used conventional oil. After 100,000 miles the engines were torn down and inspected. There was no significant difference in the wear on any of the internal components found between the two groups.

I also don't see any advantage to doubling your oil change interval by using a synthetic oil if it costs twice as much or more. I say it would not hurt anything to change your oil every day (except maybe wear out your drain plug ) but not changing it often enough could cause problems.

All in all I don't think synthetics are in any way bad, but no one has convinced ME that they are worth the extra money over conventional oils. I think it all boils down to what you're comfortable with and I'm happy with my conventional petroleum based oils.

ps Thanks to RV Roadie for all the great information.

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Old 10-31-2003, 05:03 AM   #7
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I thought I was trying synthetic and have been using Rotella "Full Synthetic" and it turns out it was a petroleum oil the whole time. No wonder I did not see much difference if any!!

The only two oils I am sure of being full synthetic are Mobil 1 and Amsoil at this point. I am sure there are others that are not common off the shelf brands as I said.

That was the point of the research, it doesn't make any difference if you like/use synthetic oils.

If you used one of the major brands of synthetic, the odds are you paid for synthetic, but got petroleum.

Regardless of whether the industry, (that is using the much cheaper petroleum UCBOs and charging us the same as real synthetic,) allows petroleum group III base oils to be called synthetic, I feel ripped off.

I paid $13 bucks a gallon for Rotella synthetic and got essentially six dollar regular Rotella with a petroleum base that is slightly more refined, but petroleum nonetheless.

But it was, as many other brands are now, labeled as a full sythetic.

One of the articles claimed Mobil 1 had changed over to the same scam but according to the MSDS, and from a call I made to their tech line, they are still real synthetic synthetic, as opposed to calling a petroleum base oil a synthetic.

I figured they would be since they sued Castrol to keep the distinction real for us consumers and for their business.

Based on that ruling folks, most of the synthetics on the market by major brands are nothing more than a highly refined petroleum oil.

The industry says that they use additives to make the petroleum base stock give the same level of reliability as real synthetic synthetics.

Then why not just use the same additives in regular oil?

Because then they can't manufacture a six dollar retail product and charge 20 bucks for it.

The point here folks isn't whether you like or use synthetics. It isn't about whether a true synthetic synthetic really does have superior characteristics or not.

This thread is about us getting ripped off with petroleum products made from cheaper petroleum base oils being legally marketed as full synthetic, when by my "consumer" definition it is not.

We established that Mobil 1 and amsoil are both true synthetics .

If you are thinking about synthetics and are considering another brand that is not marketed retail, read the MSDS and if it is not readily available online with a google search, call or email the company and ask them this exact question:

Is it made from group III Unconventional Base Oil (UCBO or petroleum,) or is made from group IV PAO base stock True synthetic.)

If it is made from group III UCBO, it isn't synthetic by my definition. Just highly refined petroleum.

If the whole idea is to get away from some of the less desirable characteristics of petroleum oils by going synthetic, and gaining some characteristics that petroleum oil does not have, then by marketing petroleum as synthetic is a consumer rip off, and deceptive marketing period.

Castrol Synthetic isn't, Shell/Rotella synthetic isn't etc.

So before you plunk down the big bucks for synthetic, you now know where to look to see if it is synthetic synthetic which the industry, and testing, proves does have advantages, and is not just a rip-off.

The question then becomes: are the added advantages, not the hype, worth the much higher cost?

RV

[This message was edited by RV Roadie on Fri October 31 2003 at 10:47 AM.]
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Old 10-31-2003, 06:42 AM   #8
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My conclusion is that the topic is the cause for all the folks having opinions/experience about/with synthetics that are so varied.

We hear from "no difference" to it made my motor "faster, stronger, better."

Before you can try a synthetic, you have to be able to buy a synthetic right?

No wonder so many like me found no difference! I bought a deceptively labeled petroleum oil labeled as full synthetic.

But even if you get a true "synthetic" synthetic like Mobil 1 or Amsoil, they recommend additional or superior filtration in every case if you want extended change intervals, and lab analysis of the oil to boot.

One thing synthetics can't do. They cannot make combustion contaminants from the cylinders and other parts they lubricate magically disappear.

Synthetics also get contaminated by those carbons, acids, water molecules from condensate, and a host of other contaminants.

So you have to buy additional filters, and do regular tests on your oil to know when the synthetic is full of conataminants, and needs to be changed.

A case could be made for using those filters/systems with conventional oils and getting similar results right?

But then we have to consider that oil breaks down right? Wrong! That is also a myth!

True synthetics made from PAOs do have much better flow at low temperatures folks. That is what they were designed for. So they can help with wear and tear on cold startup and cold weather. That seems to be their primary advantage. And proven valid.

All oils whether regular petroleum, additionally refined petroleum, or PAOs are designed to resist heat breakdown.

The oft stated fact that oil breaks down or wears out is mostly myth, propogated by the same folks who want to keep selling you new product and not recycle. But the API, who are one of the certifying agencies for our fuels and lubricants (American Petroleum Institute)say differently.


"How many times can oil be rerefined?

OVER AND OVER. According to industry experts and manufacturers, oil doesn't wear out, it just gets dirty as it does its job. Once water and contaminants are removed from the used oil, it can be re-refined time and again without compromising the quality of the lubricant."

That quote is from here:
http://www.recycleoil.org/

Who puts their vehicles through the toughest use and abuse? The military of course! Try running your vehicles behind a HUMVEE in the desert and see what I mean.

Did you know the military has been using recycled oil for years???
Read this site for the facts and myths of used motor oil:
http://www.dscr.dla.mil/products/pol/refined.htm

Or go here and scroll down to actual fleet testing and engines disassembled proving it is as good as virgin oil:
http://www.nrc-recycle.org/brba/fs/rerefinedoil.htm

Now before you think I am suggesting using recycled oil I am not.

I have the same outdated feelings toward it that you all do.

The reason for those posts was to validate this statement: Petroleum oil does not break down or wear out, it just becomes contaminated.

As will any synthetic in an internal combustion engine. But as the folks who market it have found, additional filtration can prolong the oil change intervals.

No base stock, UCBO, PAO, or even the newest top base stock group V, can stop the combustion by-products from eventually overcoming the oils ability to protect your engine.

True synthetics can't make them disappear magically, no additive can neutralize them for long.

Extra filtration can remove some of it, but any filtration system that could remove it all would not be able to let the oil flow as needed.

My point is simple.

I see no reason with the same filtration systems in place, and with the same sampling to determine when the oil must be changed, that we would not find our cheaper oils lasting quite a bit longer than we are told they will.

Radical idea there huh? Use tha super filtration systems and analyze regular petroleum oils? Seem like a big waste of money right? Wrong. That is only if you still persist in believeing the proven myth that oil breaks down.

Could that be as long as with synthetics? I don't know.

But once you remove the myth, believed by most folks with internal combustion engines in use, that oil breaks down or burns up somehow, the major claims of "proving" synthetics by adding extra filtration then extending the change intervals seems to be a way to get around their much higher pricing.

Let me repeat that. Engineers, Oil analysts, the API, SAE, the military, many cities and their fleets, Mecedes Benz, all have proven that oil doesn't brek down itself, it just becomes contaminated, and, when put through the refining process again, with some additional steps, can even at times exceed the performance of virgin oils.

Petroleum engine oils don't break down folks!

I am not trying to make a case against synthetics either. Merely stating fact, that every reader of this post can verify by going to the authoritative sources that I provided in the links above.

If you disagree, you probably skipped my links above. Opinions long held are still not facts. Please supply your independant source links, not one product's marketing claims. Let's remember that my first post proved that most brands marketed as "synthetics" are just petroleum oil after all.

It is not prudent to believe everything in adverising. Especially when it simply is not true. I am refferring still to the "myth" that oil breaks down.

My link sources don't care whether you buy Amsoil, Mobil 1, Castrol, or any other brand, synthetic or regular. They are just the industry experts, fleet users, and manufacturers, with the equipment and long term testing to back up their statements.

I would be interested to see if anybody has used regular oil and done the added filtration and lab analysis to find extended oil change intervals for a fact, be they lesser, the same, or better than synthetics I sure don't know as I haven't done it, nor can find it.

But since comparing contaminant level with added filtration against contaminant levels without added filtration is a flawed premise to begin with, I'd sure love to see the difference.

What I hope to accomplish with these posts are these new facts for us to use to our advantage:

1. If you intend to try synthetic oils, make sure with the knowledge above that real synthetic is what you get. Most aren't.

2. If synthetics have some added advantages, which I believe they do, you may find no difference if the synthetic you choose isn't, and think all synthetics will yield the same results.

3. That oil does not "break down" anymore than synthetics do as far as the base oil is concerned.

4. That synthetics are also subject to the same contaminants and cannot majically make them go away.

5. That added filtration may be more responsible for extended intervals than the base stock used.

6. That if you use synthetic and no added filtration, and extend your intervals without lab analysis of your oil, you may be doing more harm than good.

7. If you use synthetic and do use lab analysis, find extended intervals working, and do not use added filtration, that you might get the similar results with no added filtration and petroleum oils if you use lab analysis to determine the change points.

8. I am concerned with the deceptive labeling of synthetics that are just slightly more refined petroleum.

So armed with the above I can:

1. Use regular high grade oils and change them at, or more often than manufacturers recommendations.

2. Use regular high grade oils and submit samples for analysis and let those determine my intervals.

3. Use regular high grade oils, add top quality additional filtration, submit samples, and let those determine my oil change intervals.

4. Use true PAO synthetic oils and change them at, or more often than manufacturers recommendations.

5. Use true PAO synthetic oils and submit samples for analysis and let those determine my intervals.

6. Use true PAO synthetic oils , add top quality additional filtration, submit samples, and let those determine my oil change intervals.

To do the above I would need to know which are PAO synthetics, and which are not.

I am not saying that petroleum oils would do as well, or better with filtration. I am saying that without a valid comparison, it is all unproven conjecture.

We might be surprised at an actual test. Or not.

One data point is my 92 1 ton Dodge diesel dually. It has 226k miles on it now, all heavy towing except for the last 10k miles. It has never had synthetic in it except for the last two oil changes where I was trying to see if it made any difference. Turns out I used petroleum anyway. My Cummins engine, with no sampling, no fancy filters, and oil changes at recommended intervals (3k for severe duty, 6 k for regular duty,) still runs like new. And I believe it will for the next 226k miles too. It takes three gallons of Rotella T and a cheap Fram filter at Wal marts to do an oil change. The Rotella is 6 bucks a gallon, the filter is three bucks, and they only charge 8 dollars labor (since I bought the oil there) to do the labor and dispose of the oil. Total cost $29.00 give or take two bucks before tax. I don't get dirty, or have to transport oil to dispose of it for 8 bucks. I do watch them from outside and check their work.

My engine was designed for regular oil. My oil was designed for my engine. I don't think it could run any better regardless of what was used during its hard life.

Let's compare notes at 500k miles. How many folks will stay with a vehicle like I do, long enough to reap the long term benefits of all the extra expense and effort? There are a few of us out there, but in the RV world, we are in the minority I think.

I think though, after all this research, I will do the extra filtration with a second system. But since my oil is cheap, stick to the regular intervals.

If that seems anti-synthetic it isn't. Just my take in view of the facts. You see I do believe that synthetics give better lubricity and reduce wear, and in a gasoline engine where the fuel is not a lubricant, instead a solvent, that would be a great advantage.

But my truck is a diesel, which fuel is a lubricant in and of itself. Since the advent of low sulphur fuels that removed a tad of the lubricity of the fuel, I use Howes diesel additive to improve the lubricity back up beyond the old fuel lubricity. It is an oil added to the fuel. 4 oz. to my tank size. I can't prove that is doing what I think it is, but it can't hurt and it is cheap and proven over the years for anti gel anyway, and water dispersing in diesel.

If I had a motorhome, I might want the prolonged intervals as they can't get an oil change for 8 bucks labor, and use a lot more oil each time. For them it may be cost effective.


RV

[This message was edited by RV Roadie on Fri October 31 2003 at 11:25 AM.]
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Old 10-31-2003, 07:56 AM   #9
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OK, I'll admit I was only trying to express my opinion of synthetic oils and lost sight of RV Roadie's original point. I was unaware that many so called synthetic oils actually were petroleum based. It doesn't really matter to me because I don't use them. However, it will provide me with more information to pass along to my customers. It also goes to support my philosophy that petroleum based oils get the job done no matter how refined they may be.

I do agree that it is a rip off for a manufacturer to sell a high priced lubricant under the guise of a synthetic. It's nice to know that Mobil 1 is a true synthetic synthetic since that is what my place of business sells and recommends to those who desire to use a synthetic oil.

Thanks again RV for the excellent information provided on this subject.

Jim Wathen
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Old 10-31-2003, 08:17 AM   #10
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Wonderfull info.

I use Rotella and change oil & filter at 5000kms (3000mi) as per book.

F350 PSD.

Barry

Y2K FORD F350 PSD - long box crew cab.

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Old 10-31-2003, 09:25 AM   #11
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Thanks guys,
Jim, I was only trying to keep it on topic because there are many more than just me out there on irv2, and a discussion of synthetics Vs regular oils usually comes down to anecdotal evidence and manufacturers claims.

How many of us fell for any or one of these? How many "anecdotal" stories did we hear from users that they worked? And even some who swore by the product doing what it claimed?

FTC oil additive actions
Slick 50 http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1996/07/slick.htm
More Slick 50: http://www3.ftc.gov/os/1997/12/bluecora.do.htm
STP http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1995/12/stp.htm
Zmax http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/02/zmax1.htm
Castrol Syntec Power System fuel system treatment
http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/09/burmah...lcomplaint.htm
TK7 http://www.ftc.gov/opa/predawn/F93/tk-7-2.txt
Prolong http://www3.ftc.gov/os/1999/09/pslcmp.htm
Dura Lube http://www3.ftc.gov/opa/1999/05/duralub2.htm
Shell, Castrol, STP, Valvoline, Motor up etc. all charged with fraud in this one:
http://www3.ftc.gov/opa/1999/09/shellcastrol.htm

And here is a list of the mechanical fuel saving devices we have all seen advertised and are tested and commented on here in an FTC comprehensive report. Some actually damaged the vehicle engines, most did nothing, one or two had an insignificant increase. Read the asterisks
Fuel saving devices don't-list of tested devices at bottom http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/autos/gasave.htm

I hope nobody fell for this expensive one:
FTC action against Brake Guard
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1998/01/brake.htm


The above are examples of advertising hype that was believed by the users, and they in turn would say it worked with no scientific proof.

When the FTC applied the proof, scientifically testing the products, they found them to be essentially worthless in their main claims.

There are several issues I do want to raise about a possible adverse effect of having more flow ability at low temperatures.

RVrs with Motorhomes aren't all fulltimers that drive their vehicles at full operating temperature all of the time. Many motorhomes, both diesel and gas fueled, are stored for significant periods of time.

Because of their size many times they are stored outdoors. As temperatures rise and fall there is a certain amount of condensation that will occur as the metal parts of an engine, both internal and external cool more slowly than the outside air. This causes water to form inside the engine. There are well-documented cases of this phenomenon in all industries, aircraft, automobile, trucking, and farm.

Regular oil does not flow as well in cold temperatures and perhaps might stay on top sides of internal engine parts longer, protecting them longer than a lubricant that will flow off top surfaces more easily. That part is conjecture on my part, but reasonable in view of the experiences and tear down corrosion found in many stored engines.

Just like in Motorhomes stored for more than a few weeks or the entire winter.

One of the worst things you can do is start it up once a week and not drive it long enough for it to come up to full operating temps, and that exacerbates the formation of water in the engine's interior parts. Warming it up to full temp will re-coat the engine with lubricant, as well as burn off any condensation inside the engine. Just idling or driving till the temp comes up a bit, or driving in stop and go traffic is not enough.

We know that synthetics and their additives were developed for high temperatures in jet engines where petroleum lubricants failed.

However no engine on a car, truck, or motorhome in good operating condition should ever come close to those temperatures.

So if the engine is allowed to sit, the lubricant of whatever kind will eventually flow off of internal parts and leave them open to the corrosion of the condensate.

Here are two good examples from gas aircraft advisories on the condensation/damage that will occur in as little as 30 days.

http://www.mattituck.com/new/articles/engcorr.htm

http://av-info.faa.gov/data/SAIB/NE-03-45.pdf

If anybody has any independent research links for this area of the discussion I would appreciate any posted links.

Diesels are notorious for not warming up all the way in stop and go traffic or winter. So I wonder if superior low flow characteristics might be as much of a problem as regular oil in storage and non-use.

I have seen the marketing claims and that isn't what I mean. They all claim to have anti corrosion additives and properties. If an additive were all it took, then we would not need to repack our bearings after a prolonged period of being stored or stationary. And bearing grease does move over time, and IS a lot thicker than anything we have been discussing here, right?

Condensation and corrosion are fact. But unlike the boating and aircraft industry, little attention is given to our RVs, and their special storage needs.

So if you think any product can substitute for full warm up and burning off water from condensation, I don't think it will, but am open to research I might have missed.

Easy enough to prevent damage knowing the above. And has to do with low temp flow and our topic.

So I thought I would digress a bit since it is seasonally on track now.



RV

[This message was edited by RV Roadie on Fri October 31 2003 at 01:38 PM.]
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Old 10-31-2003, 09:27 AM   #12
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RV Roadie,

Having worked in various technical and management capacities for a large industrial engine manufacturer for 30 years, I must respectfully challenge your sources' conclusions. Yes, hydrocarbon-based lubricating oil can "wear out". Let me explain.

Lubricating oil can encounter conditions inside an engine that cause chemical modification of the base stock. Among these are oxidation (exposure to excessive heat), nitration (common in lean-burn engines that have excess air in the air/fuel mixture), contamination by strong or weak combustion acids, etc. Further, long chain hydrocarbon molecules can be mechanically sheared as the oil passes through gears or tight bearing clearances.

This is an entirely different situation than that of an oil whose additive package is depleted and which might be contaminated with wear debris or dirt, but the base stock is still in serviceable condition. This oil is, indeed, a candidate for recycling.

An analogy can be made to automatic transmission fluid (ATF). Why does ATF that's been severely overheated have a "burned" smell and appearance? Because, in a very literal sense, it is burned (more properly, oxidized). Because of the extreme heat to which it has been exposed, the hydrocarbon base stock has had a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the atmosphere and been chemically changed.

So, yes, depending on the conditions seen in an engine, hydrocarbon-based oil can "wear out", if we define wearing out as rendering the oil's base stock as no longer being serviceable.

I would offer the following from the July-August 2003 edition of Machinery Lubrication magazine:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Q. A co-worker was telling me that lubricants can be used indefinitely if the additives are occasionally sweetened and impurities are removed. I find this hard to believe. Can you shed some light on this subject?

A. This myth that oil can last forever is exactly that, a myth. In a few circumstances oil can be restored to like-new condition through reclaiming and/or additive reconstruction. Certain lubricants, like turbine oils, are far more suited to reclaiming than crankcase oils. Often, oil encounters enemies such as water, heat, metal debris, pressure and mechanical action that stress and oxidize it beyond repair.

Figure out how the relieve the oil from the enemies mentioned above, and you'll be amazed at how much longer your lubricants will last.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rusty

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[This message was edited by RustyJC on Fri October 31 2003 at 01:46 PM.]
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Old 10-31-2003, 10:34 AM   #13
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Hi Rusty,
I have defer to API and SAE in their analysis with their facilities, engineers, and level of expertise, of used engine oil still being usable. As well as the other sources who have tested it, and examined the engines that used plain ol' used engine petroleum oil that was recycled.

And that is not to disregard your background at all.

That is why I use top sources, and more than one of them. It is reasonable to assume that some engineers might have a different take on it, but when the majority of top engineers agree, it seems to be a pretty valid premise.

I have no problems with your position Rusty, that's what makes a poker game. I did provide a lot of data points however.

Did you miss the part about Castrol TranSynd "synthetic" ATF being actually petroleum based?

I also acknowledge that shear forces and temperatures above the boil/flash point of any lubricant, synthetic or petroleum based, will cause some degradation.

Do you also acknowledge that PAO Group IV base stocks are also subject to the same factors, and somewhat more resistant to them, but not immune to them?

Or are you saying that at the point in the analysis when PAO is determined to need to be changed, that no shear degradation has occurred?

This becomes a chicken or egg debate if we go down that road. Is the high heat that oxidizes oil, before which point it was not lacking in its molecular lengths or lubrication properties/additives, the result of another failure mechanically or otherwise? Or before the oil burned had it somehow lost its properties?

A diesel by defintion runs hotter than gas engines. And at higher pressures. If a part fails due to condensation and storage, or a bubble in a cast or machined part, then creates extreme temps, wouldn't you agree that no lubricant of any type can at that point "put scrambled egg back into the shell?"

So the cost/benefit analysis goes like this. Does the percentage of extra protection, at temps and tolerances that should not occur in our engines/transmissions if the operator has sufficient gauges and knowledge to avoid operator error, and lubricant changes were performed at appropriate intervals justify that tiny extra level of protection?

To be clearer, if someone operates their vehicle at 350 degrees tranny temp for prolonged periods, it makes no difference what the tranny fluid is, the temps warp the metal parts, melt the plastic parts, and the tranny is soon a lump. Does it make any difference of a tranny fluid protects to 400 degrees in that scenario, instead of 350? That is operator error. No gauge to monitor temps in a machine that is operating under severe duty.

"In an engine" is a little vague here Rusty. For example, shear is a critical factor in a jet engine where tolerances are so close that shear is a daily factor. As are much higher temps than in our RV and passenger vehicle engines.

If you check the MSDS' of the available group IV synthetics they have similar, lower, or slightly higher boil/flash points, by at most 40 degrees F. But all of them are well above the temps in an engine that is in reasonbly good operating condition right?

Granted the shear resistance of PAOs is significantly better than petroleum based stock. Are you saying they will never shear?

But the question remains, how do the re-refiners get an end product from only used oil, that is comparable to virgin unsheared oil, if your premise is true?

Which raises another question. I really don't know . . . yet!

Are there any companies that are recycling the synthetics back to engine lubricants that pass the tests as the recycled petroleum oils do? That is, meets the same standards as the virgin product?

If your premise is that there is no degradation of PAO base stock, and that holds true, I certainly think they would.

I didn't say that was your premise, but asked if it was.

RV
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:37 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RV Roadie:
I have defer to API and SAE in their analysis with their facilities, engineers, and level of expertise, of used engine oil still being usable. As well as the other sources who have tested it, and examined the engines that used plain ol' used engine petroleum oil that was recycled.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Roadie,

My concern is with the general statement "Used engine oil (is) still ...usable." Absolutes (such as always and never) almost never are (absolute, that is). I'm not debating that much (perhaps even most) used crankcase oil can be reclaimed. I'm just stating that, because of damaged base stock, some cannot. Now, if that damaged base stock gets knocked out in the reclaiming process, that's great. If, however, it makes it into the finished product, that's not so great.

If your sources are struggling with the concept that lubricating oil can be oxidized beyond usefulness, ask them if they would reuse oil that's been subjected to a Conradson carbon test. That's an extreme example of oxidation, admittedly, but the base stock has been changed chemically, right?

My previous post dealt with hydrocarbon-based lubricants, meaning generally those up through Group III. It was not directed at PAO's and other synthetics, as such are not generally used in large industrial engines.

Rusty

[This message was edited by RustyJC on Fri October 31 2003 at 04:05 PM.]
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