Series 3000: Proving Its Mettle

From The AMSOIL Action News, October 1996

AMSOIL and a midwest fleet have been conducting a joint demonstration since January 1996 comparing Series 3000 Synthetic 5W-30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil to a popular 15W-40. Over-the-road testing is bearing out what we’ve known all along: Series 3000 is one great oil!

Bottle of AMSOIL Series 3000 Synthetic 5w30 Heavy Duty Diesel motor oil.

SUPERIOR, WISC. – After a winter of record-breaking cold temperatures and a late spring and summer, the 1996 Kenworth trucks with Cummins N-14 engines participating in the AMSOIL Series 3000 fleet demonstration are approaching 80,000 demonstration miles or the one-third mark in the 250,000 mile study and Series 3000 is looking good.

Service Life and Protection

The five test vehicles, which are running with Series 3000, a high-quality aftermarket full-flow oil filter and an AMSOIL By-Pass Oil Filter, have received no oil or by-pass oil filter changes to date. Full-flow oil filters have been changed as necessary. Oil will be drained according to the findings of used oil analysis.

The five controls, running with Pennzoil Long-Life 15W-40 Motor Oil, a national brand petroleum product and the same make aftermarket full-flow oil filter as that in the test vehicles, have received four installations of new oil and filters. Oil drain intervals are set at 20,000 miles.

Oil Analysis Results

Bar Charts comparing Series 3000 and Delo 400 Iron Wear Metal and Solid Contaminant readings during the test.

Oil analysis shows the Series 3000 in all test vehicles is fit for ongoing service, with a large safety margin between its performance after 80,000 miles and study condemnation limits. In fact, at a drain interval now four times that of the control oil, Series 3000 shows superior overall performance:

  • Lower wear metal generation per mile: Series 3000’s lower rate of wear metal generation indicates Series 3000 provides better wear protection.
  • Lower Soot and solids accumulation per mile: Better ring seal more successfully inhibits blowby materials from entering the crankcase, which helps inhibit the buildup of sludge and corrosives, enhances oil additive life and helps keep viscosity from climbing out of grade.
  • Better TBN retention: Series 3000’s TBN averages 8.27 after 80,000 miles, while the conventional oil’s TBN averages 4.45 at 20,000 miles. Series 3000’s higher TBN shows the oil provides more protection against acid damage and better retains its ability to provide that protection.
  • Better viscosity retention: Series 3000 has maintained its high temperature viscosity in the middle of the range specified for 5W-30 oils, which means the oil builds the high-temperature film thickness for high temperature wear protection that its viscosity grade specifies.
List of the test parameters.

Control oil viscosities have dropped to the lower limit of the specified range, and one sample dropped out of grade. Viscosity loss leads to a loss of high-temperature film thickness, which results in greater wear during high temperature operations.

Fleet personnel have also observed that oil consumption is lower in the vehicles using Series 3000 than in the controls and oil pressure holds steadier in the test vehicles.

A lower rate of oil consumption is primarily attributed to Series 3000’s lower oil volatility and better ring seal. Volatility, or the oil’s tendency to evaporate in heat, directly contributes to oil consumption as oil molecules “boil” away at engine operating temperatures.

A tight seal between piston rings and cylinder walls also helps keep oil consumption low. First, it ensures that the oil is cleaned from the cylinder walls during the piston downstroke and not picked up and pushed into the combustion chamber on the upstroke. Second, it prevents the pressurized gases from travelling down the cylinder, picking up an oil mist and moving the oil mist through the crankcase ventilation system where it is ultimately burned in the combustion chamber.

AMSOIL synthetic motor oils encourage a tighter seal between cylinder wall and piston rings than conventional oils do by keeping rings and cylinders cleaner than conventional oils do.

Fleet personnel also comment that oil pressure is more stable with Series 3000 than with the conventional oil. In cold temperatures, more stable oil pressure indicates better cold temperature lubrication. Petroleum-lubricated engines often indicate low or no oil pressure after cold temperature startups because the thickened oil sits in the sump instead of flowing.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy will be evaluated later in the demonstration to allow for long-term data gathering. Fuel efficiency varies according to season, load, route and other factors. The longer the term allowed for data gathering, the more time the variables have to “average out,” giving more accurate results. Based, however on the reports received and the testing done on Series 2000 0W-30, which has the same advanced technology as series 3000 5W-30, fuel economy benefits will
prove outstanding.

*All trademarked names and images are the property of their respective owners and may be registered marks in some countries. No affiliation or endorsement claim, express or implied, is made by their use. All products advertised here are developed by AMSOIL for the use in the application shown.

Reproduced With The Permission Of AMSOIL INC. All Rights Reserved.

While AMSOIL Series 3000 5w30 Synthetic HD Diesel Oil is still one great oil for pre 2007 diesels (API CI-4+ Diesel & SL Gasoline Engine Specs), try AMSOIL Signature Series Max-Duty Synthetic 5w30 for a serious upgrade. (API CK-4 / SN+)

For more information on the performance of the Series 3000 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil, this page compares it to other popular diesel oils of the time and this page brings up the Series 3000 1996 Data Sheet.

While it isn’t the recommended oil for a 2007 John Deere LA130 Lawn Tractor, when I change the oil in it at the end of the season in 2019, I didn’t have any of the AMSOIL 10w30 (AES) Synthetic Small Engine Oil in stock. Since the Series 3000 met the specs needed and I had some on the shelf I decided to give it a try. Used it for the 2020 season, didn’t get around to changing it at the end of the season like I normally do but figured it would be ok and I would get it in the spring. By the time spring came around in 2021 I wasn’t thinking about oil changes. Checked the dipstick, oil looked fine so I was thinking I had changed it the prior fall. Cut the whole season of 2021. Cut grass for the last time on November 25th and prepared to do my end of season oil change.

Logged into My AMSOIL Garage to get the info on how much oil I use in it (2 qts) and realized at that time the oil hadn’t been changed since 2019, 58 hours. While that’s not a lot of hours, the oil and filter usually gets changed at half that. Decided to pull a sample and see how the Series 3000 stood up. (AMSOIL’s Synthetic Small Engine Oils are rated for up to 200 hours or 1 year, whichever comes first.)

Got the sample back and the report said, “Data indicates no abnormal findings. Resample at normal interval. In other words, it could have gone another year with no problem.

Below are the sample results. Not bad for a 14 year old small engine.

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