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About TomNJ

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    Floyd VA USA
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    Mobil 1 0W-20 EP

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    2019 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL AWD

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  1. Amsoil markets its products based on a variety of laboratory bench tests, but often does not have certifications or approvals against industry specifications from the API, ACEA, or engine builders like most other brands. Saying that a product is "recommended for" or "suitable for" or "formulated for" a certain use is not the same as having an approval or certification from an independent industry organization or engine builder. Therefore it is not possible to compare Amsoil to other oils with respect to key performance parameters since there is no way to know if they actually ran or passed critically important engine tests. It becomes a matter of trust, not science. Most synthetic oils based in PAO, esters, GTL, AN, or Group III base oils will provide some level of higher performance and will cost more, but most people do not need higher performance unless they are extending drains, operating in severe conditions, or have a modified engine. How much an oil is worth is different for each person. I use synthetic oil because I extend my drains to one year, and I look for approvals that are relevant to my engines and operating conditions. For me, any synthetic oil meeting SN+ or GF-6 is fine, but I want it certified, so I would not use Amsoil. I know Amsoil sells some Group III based certified oils, but usually at a higher price. I use Mobil 1 Extended Performance but would be just as happy with Pennzoil, Quaker State, or Castrol synthetic oils so long as they support extended drains. Pennzoil is the largest selling motor oil in the USA, and I believe Mobil, Castrol, and Valvoline are in the top five. As for which is best, that depends on how you define "best". What is best for you may not be best for others. GTL offers a nice set of properties, but I can't say it is better that PAO, ester, and Group III+. It depends what you want. And besides, base oils are only part of the performance equation as the additives are equally if not more important. Rather than worry about what is in the oil, look for industry approvals and certifications to measure performance. As for viscosity, I usually follow the engine manufacturer's recommendations, although I lean toward the heavy side. I am fine with 0W and 5W oils, but want at least the high end of a 20, preferably a 30. I don't push my engines.
  2. Hi Bonker, Happy to help: 1. Just to be clear, esters are not made from the fats, but rather from the fatty acids that are derived from the fats. So long as the acids are pure and saturated it does not matter where they came from. Many acids from vegetable oils are unsaturated and these would give unstable esters, but the saturated ones are fine. Also the number of carbons in the acid matters. Saturated acids longer than about C10 can cause a freeze point in some POEs. The most common vegetable based acids used in POEs are C8 and C10, usually sold as a mixture of the two called C8C10 acid, and this is derived from coconut or palm kernel oils. Also C7 can be produced from castor oil. C9 acid is the most common animal based acid. C5, C7, C9, and some C8 acids are produced synthetically. 2. Low NPI esters are more polar and if used in high doses may interfere with additives and cause excessive seal swell. Croda recommends an NPI of greater than 100 for motor oils, but not all agree. The most commonly used POE in PCMOs is TMP C8C10 which has an NPI of 58. Crods’s Priolube 1973 has an NPI of 130 and so can be used in higher doses. 3. There are bench tests for film strength such as the Falex test, but the conditions make a big difference. Sometimes companies select conditions to favor their products. In any case, film strength tests have not been correlated with PCMO performance. 4. POEs do offer performance benefits to motor oils due to their high oxidative stability, additive solubility, seal swell balance, high lubricity, and low volatility. They are used less now because most synthetics are based on Group III base oils which can solubilize additives and are seal neutral. PAOs, however, benefit very much from the addition of a polar base oil, such as POE or AN. The choice is up to the formulator. POEs have a higher VI and lower volatility than ANs, but net treat cost is also a major factor.
  3. To the best of my knowledge from their SDSs and claims, the Red Line oils contain PAO, POE, and/or Group III base oils in various ratios. All three base oils are compatible with each other and with other oils. I would not expect any separation or precipitation from mixing.
  4. POEs for refrigeration are designed for maximum miscibility with the refrigerant gases. Since POEs are necessary with HFCs, the seals would likely be changed to be compatible with the POE. The lower viscosity refrigeration POEs up to ISO 32 would usually have an NPI of about 30 to 50. Higher viscosity oils like ISO 68 to ISO 100 usually have an NPI from 60 to 100.
  5. It depends on which ester and I do not have test data, but in my opinion I would not expect a meaningful effect on cleaning from such low doses and would prefer 10% or more. These low doses, however, may improve additive solubility and seal swell. Again it depends on which ester and what you are trying to achieve. There is a Non-Polarity Index (NPI) formula that estimates the relative polarity of POEs based on their molecular structure. Various POEs have NPIs ranging from 30 to 130 (lower number means more polarity), so you see there is a lot of variations in ester polarity depending on which ester structure is selected. The more polar the ester, the less percentage is needed.
  6. It is time and temperature related. The longer the ester is in contact with seals and the higher the temperature, the more the swelling effect - up to a point where it should stop. This swelling is desirable in high PAO based oils, and older engines where the seals may be hardened and leaking. It also depends on the chemistry of the seals in a particular engine. There is a lot of variation among seals, as there is a lot of variation among esters and driving conditions, so the effects cannot be precisely defined. Back in the 1970s, Hatco ran a series of seal swell tests using a 100% ester based oil and a 100% Group I based oil with a variety of seals of the same part numbers but from different manufacturers. They found that the variation in seals had a larger effect than the ester vs mineral oil. Also, I used this 100% ester based oil for many years in various cars and did not experience oil loss. In my opinion, it is not an issue unless you have a high level of a high polar ester with little or no PAO to balance it. I do not believe such oils are on the market today.
  7. I have not recommended or praised Red Line oils because I do not know the formulations. When I visited and worked with them some 30+ years ago I thought they were a fine and reputable company with good technology, but that was a long time ago and their ownership and formulations have changed. I did say that they claim to have high doses of POEs, and if that is so, then they would be a good way to add some POE to your engine oil without diluting the additives. Of the other oil brands you mention, I have only used Mobil 1 EP which I believe is a fine oil, but I cannot say it is better or worse than other premium synthetic oils. I select synthetic oils based on their certifications and approvals, not their base oil composition. The additives play a larger role in controlling wear, corrosion, and cleanliness than the base oils. Sometimes I also consider their claims. If a large oil company such as Mobil claims their oil can be used safely for 15,000 miles or one year, I trust them because I know they did the proper and complete testing to support their claims. When small oil companies make such claims I trust them less because they often do not have the money to do the proper and complete testing. Many small oil companies are honest and have excellent technology, others less so, and I have no way of knowing. Claims are cheap, approvals are expensive.
  8. POEs are miscible with most PAGs but I can't speak for all. There are many different kinds of POEs and PAGs. There are companies selling POEs for top-off in automotive air conditioning PAG systems so they apparently are confident that the two can be mixed without problems - I just do not have experience or data to know for sure. I have read that high sulfur diesel fuels reduce wear, but this is not an area of expertise.
  9. Yes esters can dissolve existing deposits due to their polarity, and reduce the formation of deposits due to their oxidative stability. It is a slow process and the effectiveness depends on the type of ester and the concentration. I would only use 20-30% POE if the formulation had at least an equal amount or more of PAO to counter the seal swell effects of the POE and I had no concern for cost. Otherwise, 10% is an effective dose.
  10. I do not know what is in this oil for seals or solubility. Could have Ketjenlube or small dose of aromatic ester.
  11. I doubt they affect shelf life if not stored at high temperatures. I do not know what is used in diesel oils.
  12. Friction modifiers are mainly to enhance fuel efficiency. I have no experience with Tungsten additives.

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