It’s Not Easy To Impress The Professionals Who Test Motor Oil For A Living.
Matt Erickson | DIRECTOR, TECHNICAL PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
One thing I love about my job is the testing our team gets to do. It’s fun coming up with ways to challenge our products and see how well they protect equipment. So, when new oil specifications are developed, meaning new performance tests are available, the whole development team here at AMSOIL gets excited.
After more than a year of delays, the new API SP and ILSAC GF-6 motor oil specifications took effect May 1. Their introduction continues the trend of more demanding specs to ensure today’s motor oils are capable of protecting advanced engines.
Last month, I talked about the great results Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil achieved in one of the new engine tests needed to meet API SP and ILSAC GF-6 requirements – the Sequence IIIH Test. Today, I want to
peel back the curtain to show you the rest of the story.
The Sequence IIIH test is designed to measure viscosity increase and piston cleanliness, two important differentiators of motor oil performance. It subjects a candidate oil to 90 hours of use at 304°F (151°C) in a Chrysler* engine, much hotter than normal operation, to really challenge the oil. The intent is to screen oils for their ability to maintain protection under the severe conditions today’s smaller, hotter-running turbocharged engines present. Simply put, it’s designed to push the oil to its breaking point and separate those that can protect from those that can’t.
As soon as the test stand was available, we sent samples of Signature Series to an independent lab that specializes in testing motor oils from all kinds of manufacturers. The lab techs do nothing but test oil all day, every day. They’re accustomed to testing oils designed to just barely pass these performance tests, so when they heard AMSOIL Signature Series was going to be tested, their ears perked up. Many of them are gearheads who use AMSOIL products themselves, so they wanted to see the results.
As I said last month, the 90-hour test didn’t even challenge Signature Series. Its viscosity increased only 0.1 percent and the pistons were so clean they looked practically new.
So, we told the lab to reassemble the engine and run the test again using the same oil, doubling the length of time on the engine and oil to 180 hours. As the test neared its conclusion, the lab manager said the techs were lined up in the test cell to watch the engine run … and some were even taking pictures.
Following the test, oil viscosity was measured and the pistons were rated for cleanliness. Even after doubling the length of the industry-standard test, Signature Series limited oil thickening to 49.6 percent – half the
allowable limit of 100 percent for a single-length run – while delivering 40 percent cleaner pistons.1 Needless to say, the techs were impressed.
How did the oil achieve such impressive results? We start with the best synthetic base oils available, which naturally resist chemical breakdown in the presence of extreme heat. We add a finely tuned, high-quality additive
package designed to complement and enhance the base oils’ performance. Increased levels of highly active detergent and dispersant additives control contaminants and keep engine parts clean. The premium base oils,
combined with the right balance of antioxidant additives, also control viscosity, helping the oil stay in grade despite prolonged exposure to brutal heat.
This adds up to premium engine protection in today’s demanding engines. Signature Series protects vital components against wear in the toughest conditions, providing motorists peace of mind and the confidence to extend
drain intervals if they choose.
When a competitor’s oil easily passes an industry-standard test, they often reformulate to reduce cost and performance to where it barely passes the test. When we pass a test (or a double-length test), we continue to search for ways to increase protection even more because, for our customers, “good enough” doesn’t cut it. Our goal is to provide enthusiasts the absolute best motor oil on the market, and our team gets excited about the testing to prove it. It’s not easy to impress the professionals who test motor oil for a living, but Signature Series delivered.
1 Based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5w30 in the Sequence IIIH Engine Test (ASTM D8111), required by the ILSAC GF-6 and API SP specifications.
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