ANY POPULAR North Americam engine oils may actually be harmful to European engines.
European automobile manufacturers design vehicles to use specific high quality lubricants
with specific properties and additives. Most motor oils offered in America do not meet
the demanding specifications, and the European lubricants are not readily available.
As a result, problems such as premature wear and engine sludge develop.
"Europeans build their cars and impose higher requirements on the type of oil
than we are used to here in North America," said an oil industry source. "They
have more of a multi-tier system within their specifications, whereas the API system
uses the lowest common denonminator as a guideline. It is, by its own admission within
API 1509, a minimum spec."-------
The high quality oils used in Europe allow Europeans to enjoy longer drain
intervals. However, when European vehicles are exported to the United States, the
concept becomes distorted.
"There is in general a longer drain associated with the higher tier oils in the
European system," remarks the oil industry source, "so the thought process is -
if we don't allow the longer drain in North America, consumers should be able to get
by with API spec oils - but it leaves manufacturers open to the type of problems
Mercedes-Benz recently experienced."
A recent class-action lawsuit brought forward by owners of certain 1998 through 2001
Mercedes-Benz vehicles claimed they weren't informed that synthetic motor oil was required
in order to take advantage of the extended drain intervals afforded through the use of
the vehicles' Flexible Service System (FSS). Many using conventional oils experienced
premature wear problems, and the settlement will cost the company over $32 million.
"The long drain indicator used by Mercedes is predicated on using Mercedes-Benz-
approved oil, which is a very top quality synthetic oil," explains the oil company
source. "When those vehicles came to the States, somehow dealerships weren't
impressing upon the consumer the need to use the right oil. And whether or not the
dealers were doing so, some consumers were putting in regular API-spec oil, resulting
Although synthetic oils are generally of higher quality than conventional oils,
not all synthetics can meet the stringent European specifications. "A good quality
synthetic could solve the problem," says the source, "but in the case of M-B,
for example, you're dealing with an extremely high-spec oil. Not every synthetic
is going to meet that spec. Some only meet the base-line API specs. Just because
it's a synthetic doesn't mean it's a top-tier product."
Formulated with top-of-the-line synthetic base stocks and robust additive packages,
AMSOIL synthetic motor oils provide superior protection and performance over competing
synthetic and conventional motor oils and meet or exceed the most stringent European
oil specifications. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils provide superior protection and
performance in both foreign and domestic automobiles for extended drain intervals.
--AMSOIL Action Line, December 2003
Read about the 5W-40 Synthetic Oil developed by AMSOIL
specifically to meet this need in America.