Allprocars's Blog

June 6, 2010

A Deeper Look At Motor Oil Consumption

The oil spill in the Gulf is unthinkable because of the destruction it is causing to the wetlands and beaches of La., Ms. Al. and Fla.  Additionally health hazards caused by the  oil spill could be as serious as agent orange and other chemical problems seen in other situations.  But oil consumption is an ongoing situation with cars, trucks, factories, equipment etc. everyday in our lifes.  However, people are complacent about the atmosphere and oil consumption because people do not get concerned until it directly affects their everyday occurances.   Yet everyday we see oil spilled on our streets and highways.  We see trucks with smoke billowing out of tailpipes and stacks due to poor maintenance and faulty engine conditions.   Nice to be informed as to what causes some of these situations and take action where you can make a difference.  Time to find out reasons why and how Synthetic Lubes can prevent some of these problems and how Synthetics as an alternative source of energy can protect our environment.  Instead of complaining about the situation, do something to change the situation.   I did 34 years ago by believing in AMSOIL, the leader of Synthetic Lubrication.  I have seen better gas mileage, less maintenance costs, less down time, less pollution and less dumping of oil filters and air filters in our land fills. Don’t be complacent, be positive take action to be Informed.  The following is an excellent article by Ed Newman, AMSOIL Director of Advertising on Oil Consumption. 

Ed Newman
AMSOIL Director of Advertising
This article appeared in National Oil & Lube News, April 2010

Have you ever met people who have simplistic answers to complex questions and never want to take time to think a little more deeply about the subject? To be honest with you, I think we all fit that description from time to time. Many issues are so complicated that we just don’t have the time to really study them in depth. So we opt out for the simple answer. For example, let’s talk about motor oil consumption.

Ever had a car where you had to top off your oil now and then? Who hasn’t? In my case, I always assumed that this was due to the oil’s volatility. That is, when the engine was hot, the oil’s lighter molecules would vaporize.

I once attended two days of training at a quick lube (part of a major oil company chain) wherein they showed how their conventional oil lost up to 30 percent and their synthetic only 12 percent in a volatility test. It sank home the message I’d already adopted, that synthetics were more resistant to oil loss than conventional oils. While this may be true to a large extent it is not the end of the discussion.

I saw a Technical Service Bulletin called The Reasons for Motor Oil Consumption, and seven pages later I could no longer stand on my simple one sentence answer to the problem. The problem of abnormal oil usage is far more complicated and, in fact, most of the causes are mechanical, not lubricant related at all.

Here are just the first of 40 explanations for oil consumption: External Oil Leaks.
“Some of the many points where external oil leaks may occur include, oil lines, crankcase drain plug, oil pan gasket, valve cover gaskets, oil pump gasket, fuel pump gasket, timing case cover and camshaft bearing seal. No possible source of leakage should be neglected because even a very small leak can cause extremely high oil consumption. For example, it has been estimated that a leak of one drop of oil every 20 feet is approximately equal to a loss of one quart of oil every 100 miles. One way to check for external leaks is to road test the vehicle with a large piece of light-colored cloth tied under the engine. Oil on the cloth will indicate a leak which should be traced to its source.”

But the list goes on. The problem may be front or rear main bearing seals, worn or damaged main bearings, worn or damaged connecting rod bearings, worn or damaged camshaft bearings, worn crankshaft journals, distorted cylinders, honing abrasive, worn ring grooves, cracked or broken ring lands, problems with the wrist pins, clogged oil passages, or even unequal tightening of various bolts.

Item 20 on the list had to do with the radiator, and I initially thought this was just a bit much. Until I read the explanation. A defective cooling system can cause overheating of the engine which may result in the development of localized hot spots in some of the cylinders which can lead to scuffing and scoring of cylinders, pistons and rings resulting in high oil consumption.

And the list goes on. Dirty oil, too much oil in the crankcase, worn or broken piston rings, improper valve timing, incorrect oil pressure, piston slap, internal gasket intake breach, spark knock, aftermarket performance chips and modifications, lugging engines, inappropriate operation of overdrive, leaking turbocharger seals, restricted air intakes and fuel dilution can all contribute in various ways to oil consumption.

In short, few things are as simple as they might initially appear. When all is said and done, however, even though there may be multiple reasons for oil loss, in a mechanically sound engine it boils down to one: the volatility issue. In this, synthetic motor oils make a difference. For this reason, if your customers’ vehicles are mechanically sound they should be using synthetics to reduce their oil consumption. Benefits include reduced oil usage, reduced emissions and improved fuel economy.

Here’s another simple answer that is more complicated than it looks, the cost of synthetics. People who say synthetic motor oils are too expensive have often never gone into depth analyzing the real life cycle costs of a premium synthetic motor oil versus conventional petroleum. The initial cost appears quite a bit higher, but the life cycle cost is the true measure. The annual cost of a premium extended drain synthetic is comparable to or even less than conventional oils these days, and the benefits too numerous for this short summation. When your customer is driving a vehicle with a mechanically sound engine, I always recommend a synthetic solution.

For further information go to and become informed.



June 5, 2010

Experts Predict Continued Growth For Synthetics

Can anyone remember when Thomas Edison invented the Light Bulb or Alexander Bell inventing the telephone.  Probably not but I can remember when Synthetic Lubricants were first manufactured for commerical use.  While synthetics were first started by the Germans during World War II for their recoiless guns no manufacture took the step to develop synthetics for cars, trucks or other applications until Albert J. Amatuzio took that step back in the late 60s with his company, AMSOIL.  Today synthetics are here to stay so if you have not been a believer in this type of lubrication it is time to change your “Stinking Thinking” as Zig Ziglar would say.  The following aticle was penned by Ed Newman of AMSOIL and it appeared in the June 2010 issue of National Oil & Lube News.  Save yourself time and money by becoming informed and using the best lubricants found anywhere.  AMSOIL came on the market in 1972 and it was four year, 1976, before another manufacturer attempted to have a synthetic oil.  That was Exxon Mobil and still today Exxon Oil is DOES NOT compare or even come close to the service life technology of AMSOIL products.   So to sum up my comment I close with a long used Military Proverb.  Lead, Follow or Get Out Of The Way as technology will leave you in its wake!!!.   For more information check out

by Ed Newman
AMSOIL Director of Advertising
This article appeared in National Oil & Lube News, June 2010

For the past few years we’ve read how the lubricants market has been “flat.”  Pundits have noted that though not going away any time soon, oil is certainly not a stellar growth sector in the economy. And yet, if you look back at the historical record there has been a segment of the lube industry which has been quietly growing for a long time. We’re speaking of the synthetic lubricants sector, and a new report by the Freedonia Group indicates that U.S. demand for synthetic motor oil is expected to rise more than 7 percent a year over the next three years. These robust numbers might be worth paying  attention to.

An April 7 article by George  Gill in his Lube Report* from Lubes ‘N Greases highlights the details of Freedonia’s research findings. The opening salvo is a brief summary of the numbers. He follows with this:

“Engine oils and hydraulic and transmission fluids will experience the fastest gains as synthetics finally begin to penetrate the conservative medium and heavy duty truck market,” Cleveland-based Freedonia suggests, “and as increasing new vehicle lubricant performance requirements and growing consumer acceptance further expand synthetics’ share of the light vehicle market.”

Driving Forces
Ned Zimmerman cites four primary drivers for the growth in synthetic lube sales. First, the major brands have stepped up their marketing efforts in this direction. A lot more money is now being spent to make motorists aware of these new lube technologies.

Second, the trend toward OEMs using synthetics in many makes and models will drive demand. GM and others recognize the role synthetics play in helping vehicles attain increasingly stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements. This, too, is helping consumers become more aware of the benefits of synthetics.

Third, Zimmerman noted that while awareness is already strong in the do-it-yourself market, near-term economic pressures will likely drive many others to evaluate and choose synthetics in an effort to reduce maintenance costs.

Fourth, the consumers who make up the bulk of the do-it-for-me market are the kind of people more susceptible to mass marketing. (See point one.)

In short, we’re seeing a convergence of driving forces that will result in the continued growth and mainstreaming of synthetic motor oils and drivetrain fluids. Is this a good thing? Absolutely.

The Trend Is Your Friend
Wall Street has plenty of pithy maxims for investors that sum up pearls of wisdom learned from the school of hard knocks. For example, when you miss a good investment opportunity, there’s consolation in knowing “another bus will be along in fifteen minutes.” With regard to buying stocks Peter Lynch said, “Spend at least as much time researching a stock as you would choosing a refrigerator.” And this Sioux proverb is also a good admonition: “When you realize that you are riding a dead horse the best strategy is to dismount.”

So, the saying that immediately jumps into my mind when I read the Freedonia report is this: “The trend is your friend.”   

In sailing, there’s nothing like the feeling of the wind at your back and clear horizons ahead, the sail taut, catching the wind. The wind at your back makes everything easier. Catch the wind. The trend is your friend.

I recently picked up a hitchhiker on a rural highway. He’d been walking near fifteen miles when I came along.  Heavy laden with a rather hefty set of baggage, he said he hadn’t minded most of it until this last portion where he came up a rise and was now walking into a headwind. It had been a beautiful day, but it’s tough to walk into the wind. And we all know what happens when you spit into the wind.

I’ve never been a surfer (other than body surfing in Puerto Rico) but I understand the principle. Surfers watch the incoming waves with an eye to the big ones that will give the biggest thrill. They paddle with the trend and position themselves to make a run. When it all comes together, the rush and roar of riding the wave gives an incomparable thrill. The trend is the surfer’s friend.  Successful surfers go with the flow, not against it.

Summing Up
It’s a simple message that oil change professionals can profit from. The trend is toward more sophisticated technologies, and high tech lubricants will be increasingly required in the future, as well as desired. Promoting a properly priced premium synthetic solution is the primary way to benefit from this trend.

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