MSOIL FOUNDER A.J. AMATUZIO coined the phrase "extended drain intervals"
back in 1972 with the introduction of AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic
Motor Oil, formulated for 25,000-mile/one-year drain intervals.
Not only was AMSOIL motor oil the first synthetic oil to pass
American Petroleum Institute (API) service requirements, AMSOIL
INC. was the only motor oil company promoting oil drains beyond
Today, motorists are still bombarded with propaganda
from the major oil companies promoting 3,000-mile oil changes.
However, the industry is slowly but surely coming around. Vehicle
manufacturers typically suggest 5,000- to 7,500-mile intervals
in their owners manuals, and many manufacturers have also started
incorporating oil life monitors into their vehicles, allowing
motorists to safely extend drain intervals by monitoring oil life
and alerting drivers when the oil needs changing. Competing oil
companies have also begun marketing their own synthetics, some
claiming service lives extending beyond 3,000 miles.
Lubes-n-Greases Automotive Editor David McFall,
once with the American Petroleum Institute recently tackled the
issue of extended drain intervals in his March column, criticizing
the standard 3,000-mile oil change and referring to the American
motor oil market as "shackled."
"In Europe the average engine oil drain interval
for current gasoline-fueled cars is about 10,000 miles,"
explains McFall. "In the United States, indicates the Automotive
Oil Change Association, the average drain interval followed by
most drivers is somewhat less than 5,000 milesone-half of
"Every year in the United States, this too-short
drain interval results in the unneeded production of 300 million
to 400 million gallons of engine oil; excess consumer expenditures
of around $1.5 billion; and tens of millions of unnecessary oil
Not only are these unnecessary oil changes an
expense to consumers, explains McFall, but they have an environmental
cost as well. "The added environmental cost of having an
average 5,000-mile oil drain interval (instead of 10,000 miles,
as in Europe) may be nearly 100 million gallons of engine oil
being dumped, untreated, into the U.S. environment annually."
McFall's examination of Mobil 1, Shell and AMSOIL
demonstrates the differences among companies who are shackled
to the current system and one who isn't.
According to an ExxonMobil spokesperson, "Car
owners should follow the oil change intervals specified by the
manufacturer. We believe it is inappropriate to recommend drain
intervals that may conflict with those set forth by the car manufacturer's
"Here, in a nutshell," says McFall,
"is this observer's take on ExxonMobil's and the oil industry's
'owner's manual' position: It is designed solely to increase motor
oil sales." He backs it up by mentioning that Mobil 1 SuperSyn
motor oil claims to meet European ACEA A5 and B5-02 specifications,
two specifications intended to extend oil drain intervals. "If
the oil can be used in Europe for extended drain intervals, why
doesn't ExxonMobil notify U.S. consumers of that capability?"
Although Shell Oil Products, owner of Pennzoil-Quaker
State, has broken through the shackles enough to offer an API
unlicensed oil specially formulated for higher mileage engines,
they make no mention of a recommended drain interval, preferring
instead to avoid the issue and keep consumers in the dark.
McFall marvels at the success of the independent
motor oil company that offers drain intervals up to 11 times longer
than the standard interval offered by conventional oils, saying,
"Purists can sniff that AMSOIL's data isn't derived from
a controlled field study, but the sheer mountain of vehicle miles
over three decades, and the absence of any confirmed performance,
wear or maintenance issues, speaks volumes."
McFall sums up his column by highlighting the
true value of AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil, stating the cost may
be "two to three times higher than most retail conventional
oils but if you can securely count on a 15,000- to 25,000-mile
drain interval, it's a flat-out bargain, not to mention providing
a clear environmental bonus."
So, what is it that allows AMSOIL motor oils to
be used for extended drain intervals, while other oils must be
changed significantly sooner? First, the synthetic base stocks
with which AMSOIL motor oils are formulated are worlds apart in
quality compared with conventional base stocks. The synthetic
molecules are uniform in size and shape, resisting the vaporization
that boils off the smaller molecules of conventional motor oils
and leaves behind a thicker, higher viscosity oil that compromises
engine protection. AMSOIL motor oils surpass even the most stringent
European volatility standards, providing superior protection for
extended drain intervals.
Second, AMSOIL spares no expense when it comes
to additives, selecting the most robust additive packages on the
market. These additives keep AMSOIL motor oils shear stable, resist
the degrading effects of varnish and sludge, keep engine components
clean and deposit-free and effectively resist rust, corrosion
By using only the highest quality synthetic base
stocks and additives available, AMSOIL motor oils are capable
of extended drain intervals, all while maintaining performance,
providing long-term wear protection and fuel economy, keeping
engines clean and deposit-free, providing cold weather starts
and protecting against rust and corrosion.
For a copy of David McFall's column on AMSOIL,
contact Lubes-n-Greases at (703) 536-0800.
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of LNG Publishing Company, Inc.