The Easy Way to Test Synthetic Oils
November 12, 2009
Testing synthetic oils really isn't that hard and if you're already changing your own oil then this should be a fairly simple exercise.
It's great that everyone has their favorite oil, but most comments that come out of these forums are biased to the user's own favorite oil when in fact they haven't used or tested other products.
If someone is really interested in testing two or more synthetic oils, it's really not that hard to do. Blind studies are always best, but sometimes that isn't always possible.
If you're looking for better performance then the first test should be a simple fuel mileage comparison. Before you install the first oil pull an accurate fuel mileage off your next two tanks of fuel. Switch your vehicle over and repeat the two tank test and record your results.
We won't get into a full discussion here about oil analysis, but for further proof of an oil's serviceability an oil sample should be taken. Some oil analysis companies sell these for about $20.00 and worth the investment.
Your fuel mileage test should reveal quite a bit about how good the oil is. I have seen test results vary by as much as 2 mpg. If you see an increase in fuel mileage it means there is less intra-fluid friction and less friction means less heat.
Less friction (better fuel mileage) means less heat, it's as simple as that. Checking fuel mileage cost you nothing and an oil sample is a very inexpensive test to further separate any oils that you test.
Warning! Beware of the big oil companies that do a lot of outside advertising such as getting naming rights to a football stadium. This is a sure fire sign that most of their money goes towards marketing an inferior product instead of investing in the technology to advance their product line.
Smaller companies have developed niche products that always stand the test of time and should be on your short list when considering synthetic oil for your car of light truck? Niche products have gained a strong hold with a lot of people and as the internet grows you will see smaller more specialized companies making the best lubricants. Dealing with smaller independent companies usually pays off with better higher quality products.
Put brand names aside and just run a simple fuel mileage test on every brand you can and make your decision based off of scientific test and not what an uninformed biased person on a forum says. You can use forums to exchange ideas, but when someone starts bashing one product in favor of another then chances are they have never used the product they are bashing.
We have tested over 10 different synthetic oils over the years and it's really a lot easier than it sounds. The real benefit once you decide on the right oil is reduced engine wear. With the oil we currently use we have seen engines well into the 500,000 mile mark without any overhauls. There is no sense in dumping 3G into an engine overhaul when you can just spend a little more on higher quality oil products for the life of the car.
Testing oils yourself will ultimately decide which oil is best. Don't take everything so serious with all the information that is being passed around the internet. Do your own testing and decide for yourself.
Steve Tarini is a 13 year veteran of testing synthetic lubricants with Amsoil. As an Independent Amsoil Dealer I have personally seen and tested over 15 different synthetic engine oils and Amsoil came out on top every single time. Contact us for our special offer for a free 6-month trial membership:
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