worahm
I have worked over 40 years for a major international oil company in an Automotive Research laboratory. I was intimately involved running laboratory and road tests for SHC synthetic motor oil, first introduced in Germany and the first four generations of Mobil 1 synthetic engine oil.

I cannot verify the comparative test results discussed in the attached article. However, I can verify the five tests mentioned are authentic engine oil tests that are used in most automotive engine test laboratories throughout the world.

I submit this information primarily to help Forum members better understand how complicated motor oil testing and evaluations are and the amount of testing that is involved.

I am not an Amsoil employee and I have never worked for or sold Amsoil products.

[url]http://www.amsoil.com/lit/g3115.pdf[/url]

Bill
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Skip Douglas SkipD
That report is quite interesting, Bill.

While I have not had any tests done on the oil from my generator, I can report that after two years of my generator running on Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 (about 40 operational hours), the oil came out looking nearly as clean as new. There was a little discoloration but it was all relatively transparent.
Skip Douglas
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Canada_Guy
I haven't read the attached study, but I do recall reading here a year or 2 ago about Amsoil and how it doesn't "evaporate" while the engine is running for extended periods.

I seem to recall that other brand oils off gas (for lack of a better word) and the engine needs to be topped off more often where an engine running Amsoil can run for significantly longer without the need for an oil top up.
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MEC
That is very interesting.
I would of thought Mobil should of ranked higher.

A local garage used Amsoil exclusively and a buddy of mine swore by it. This was twenty something years ago. So, it must of improved more since then.

Wonder how the Generac branded oil would compare.
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skutflut
MEC;36207 wrote:
That is very interesting.
I would of thought Mobil should of ranked higher.

A local garage used Amsoil exclusively and a buddy of mine swore by it. This was twenty something years ago. So, it must of improved more since then.

Wonder how the Generac branded oil would compare.


I wonder what brand of oil in the Generac branded bottles.
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skutflut
Intersting Study

Just out of curiosity, how many of the categories in the study which I assume are based on gasoline fuel, would have had different results, better or worse, when using propane or natural gas fuel?

I also have some concerns with the operating cost chart. The oil manufacturer recommended change intervals do not agree with either Generac's or auto manufacturers owners manual recommendations. If a warranty claim were to come up with a major engine problem, I am pretty sure that the equipment manufacturer would not honor a warranty if the problem was traced to not following the manual's instructions regarding frequency of oil changes, no matter what the oil manufacturer's recommendations are. Showing costs based on the oil manufacturers recommended intervals, versus the engine manufacturer's specified intervals is misleading, in my opinion.
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worahm
When Mobil started advertising the extended oil drain interval back in the late 80's, they would always default to the manufacturer's advertised oil change interval, even though their tests indicated a much longer interval was indicated.

Gradually, over the years the manufacturer's became convinced and lengthen their recommended oil change interval when Mobil 1 was used.

Later, as some of the myths about synthetic oil disappeared, Corvette used Mobil-1 as their factory fill followed by BMW, Toyota and many other car manufactures. My 2013 Toyota Camry was delivered from the factory with 0-20 wt. full synthetic engine oil with a 10,000 mile recommended oil change interval.

Skutflut. As far as I am aware, Amsoil is the only company still using an ester based, base stock for their premium grade, synthetic oil.

IMHO, ester based synthetic oil has certain advantages over non-ester based "synthetic" oils that are used in most "synthetic oil's today. Amsoil also makes a highly regarded, premium synthetic oil designed specifically for small four cycle engines.

Using the manufacturer's recommended oil change interval is always the wise course to take. In addition, a case can also be made for using the manufacturer's brand oil.

Because Amsoil premium, full synthetic oil for small 4 cycle engines meets Generic's recommended oil specifications, IMHO. it would be safe to use Amsoil synthetic oil, as long as you used Generac's recommended oil change interval.

Bill
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worahm
Canada_Guy;36206 wrote:
I haven't read the attached study, but I do recall reading here a year or 2 ago about Amsoil and how it doesn't "evaporate" while the engine is running for extended periods.

I seem to recall that other brand oils off gas (for lack of a better word) and the engine needs to be topped off more often where an engine running Amsoil can run for significantly longer without the need for an oil top up.


According to the NOACK (ASTM D5800) tests, Amsoil synthetic oil evaporation loss is low, but it does not have the lowest evaporation loss compared to other brands. Keep in mind, the NOACK test does not measure actual, real world conditions while the engine is running.

In the NOACK test, a candidate oil is exposed to heat and circulating air. Following 60 minutes, the remaining oil volume is weighed and compared to the original weight, with the difference reported as the percentage of weight lost. Results must be limited to 15 percent or less to meet the API SN and ILSAC GF-5 specifications.

Volatility is a particular concern to air cooled, stationary engines that usually run at a higher temperature then water cooled engines.
Bill
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worahm
skutflut;36210 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, how many of the categories in the study which I assume are based on gasoline fuel, would have had different results, better or worse, when using propane or natural gas fuel?

I also have some concerns with the operating cost chart. The oil manufacturer recommended change intervals do not agree with either Generac's or auto manufacturers owners manual recommendations. If a warranty claim were to come up with a major engine problem, I am pretty sure that the equipment manufacturer would not honor a warranty if the problem was traced to not following the manual's instructions regarding frequency of oil changes, no matter what the oil manufacturer's recommendations are. Showing costs based on the oil manufacturers recommended intervals, versus the engine manufacturer's specified intervals is misleading, in my opinion.


Propane and Natural Gas burn much cleaner then gasoline. I think it is safe to assume that propane and natural gas could only influence the test results in a positive way.

Keep in mind, some of the tests are not run in an engine, under real world conditions. Therefore, fuel would not influence the test results.

For instance, in the NOACK test, a candidate oil is exposed to heat and circulating air. Following 60 minutes, the remaining oil volume is weighed and compared to the original weight, with the difference reported as the percentage of weight lost. Results must be limited to 15 percent or less to meet the API SN and ILSAC GF-5 specifications.

Bill
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worahm


Generac has the advantage of blending an additive package that would best benefit their particular engines, exclusively and not be concerned how their engine oil performs in engines manufactured by other companies. Generally, the engine company will work with an oil company to develop an oil additive package that works best in THEIR engines. There are a few companies that have their own, in-house testing laboratory. However, they will generally hire outside companies to verify their in-house test results Bill
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worahm
SkipD;36203 wrote:
That report is quite interesting, Bill.

While I have not had any tests done on the oil from my generator, I can report that after two years of my generator running on Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30 (about 40 operational hours), the oil came out looking nearly as clean as new. There was a little discoloration but it was all relatively transparent.


When oil comes out of the engine after a period of time "looking as clean as new", you can look at that two ways. The engine is either very clean internally and is not accumulating combustion by-products. Or, the oil has an ineffective detergent additive package.

It is important to note that your engine is running on NG or propane. So, that is one big advantage.

That being said, I would prefer the oil have some indication that the detergent additive package was holding whatever contaminants existed in suspension. Which should to some degree, change the color of the oil.

One way to verify how clean your engine is internally, would be to remove the valve cover(s) and visually examine the valve deck. If the valve deck is deposit free, that would suggest your oil is doing an effective job and keeping your engine clean. Bill
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ED01
I just wanted to add that Amsoil is not a fly by night company. I use Amsoil Saber in all my 2 cycle equipment. I am not a landscaper but I do have a lot of commercial landscaping equipment to take care of my property. I learned about this product on one of the most popular lawn site forums. It is very highly regarded with a lot of landscapers. Saber is a synthetic oil for mixing with gasoline in 2 cycle engine at a 100 to 1 ratio. You can run the 100:1 mixture in all of your 2cycle tools no matter what the manufacture calls for. This has been out for years and last I had read all of the landscapers that have used it are very pleased with the product. Most guys run between 80:1 to 100:1 ratios. I'm a little cautious and run closer to 80:1 ratio.

This is the only high end oil I use. I like not having as much smoke on coming out of the 2 cycle engines and they do start better. As far as crank case oil I believe if you routinely change your oil and use a decent name brand oil your engine will be just fine. Today's oils and filters are better than ever and fuel injection has made a world of difference with the oil life in gasoline engines. NG and Propane are just naturally clean. Engines stay tighter longer as they run with less wear and buildup. In the old day's gasoline used to destroy the oil but that is a thing of the past.
However my generator uses much more motor oil than any other motor I have. Whatever the cause if premium oil would help I would use it. I don't think the oil would make a difference though. As most of my engines the used oil that comes out of the Generac looks very clean. I suspect there is either too much blow-by past the rings or the crack case is being ventilated too strongly. But that's for another thread. I just wanted to say that Amsoil is a credible company.
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worahm
ED01;36222 wrote:
However my generator uses much more motor oil than any other motor I have.


How much oil does your generator use?

Bill
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techntrek
Coming up on 10 years with my Generac and the oil has always come out clear and nearly new, like Bill's. The slight color change I always see I assume is oxidation from age. It gets few hours above the normal exercise time.
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ED01
worahm;36224 wrote:
How much oil does your generator use?

Bill


Last year we had a power outage and I shut it down at about 33 hours of running and left it sit a couple of minutes before checking. The level was about 1/8" above the bottom line. I always keep the level right at the top line. My only concern is if I'm on vacation. I'm thinking I have about 3 days before the unit shuts down on low oil. It's not a big deal if I'm home. The air filter getting oily is a little bit of a nuisance but it just means I have to change them out periodically.
Due to elderly parents it doesn't look like we'll be taking many vacations for the next few years so I may not have anything to worry about for awhile.
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MEC
Bill,

Thank you for bringing your wealth of knowledge on oil to this forum.
I definitely learned something!
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MEC
skutflut;36209 wrote:
I wonder what brand of oil in the Generac branded bottles.


From the 5Qt 5w-30 Full Synthetic container:
"Manufactured for Old World Industries, LLC
Northbrook, ILL. USA 60062
Distributed by Generac Power Systems, Inc. products
Waukesha, WI. USA 53187"
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dennis48755
Yes, thank you Bill.

After Amsoil, it looks like Pennzoil Ultra is a good choice. But Pennzoil.com lists it as Ultra Platinum.

Dennis
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skutflut
MEC;36245 wrote:
From the 5Qt 5w-30 Full Synthetic container:
"Manufactured for Old World Industries, LLC
Northbrook, ILL. USA 60062
Distributed by Generac Power Systems, Inc. products
Waukesha, WI. USA 53187"


Who manufacturers it for Old World I wonder? Looks like the company is selling off parts of itself.
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UPS
skutflut;36254 wrote:
Who manufacturers it for Old World I wonder? Looks like the company is selling off parts of itself.


It's the parent company of the brand Peak (oil, anti-freeze, etc.) :

[URL="http://www.oldworldind.com/"]http://www.oldworldind.com/[/URL]
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BobCanuck
UPS;36256 wrote:
It's the parent company of the brand Peak (oil, anti-freeze, etc.) :

[URL="http://www.oldworldind.com/"]http://www.oldworldind.com/[/URL]


And according to chatter on Bobistheoilguy.com, Peak/Old-World get their oil from Warren. Warren has at least a couple of different Full Synthetic oils.

Back to the original and interesting oil test report that was posted here. For my fellow Canadians, I learned that the Canadian Tire Motomaster Formula 1 Synthetic that I use is made by Shell/Pennzoil, so I suppose I might compare it to the Pennzoil product in that test. Test results were decent.

By the way, my oil comes out a somewhat darker shade than it went in, but nothing that concerns me. The insides of my valve covers are squeaky clean. Mind you, that is also the case in my cars, which run on Dino oils, and get changed every 6,000 km or so.

Bob Canuck
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worahm
The problem with companies that have an oil company or chemical company formulate an oil product for the general market with their brand on the bottle, is you never know what you are buying. Frequently, the additive package will go to the lowest bidder. Or, the company selling the oil will switch companies that blend their oil after the contract expires. In other words, the same product may contain a completely different additive package then the previous product.

That is not to say that major oil companies do not change their additive package when they formulate a package that improves performance. In fact, most major oil companies have 5 or 6 different additive packages for the same product at the same time. They do that to prevent any one chemical company from holding them hostage by increasing the price of the particular additive they hold the patent on.

That being said, the performance for those additive packages will be the same.

Formulating an additive package can be tricky. Additives do not always get along with one another. On occasion, an additive will perform differently when combined with other additives or a different base oil. That is why adding an after market additive to your engine oil can be risky.

More is not always better! Adding more ant-wear additive (Zink) does not necessarily mean the engine will experience less engine wear.

Adding more Viscosity Improver, to broaden the VI Index may change 10-30 to 10-40 however, it may also reduce the overall performance of the oil by causing additional sludge to accumulate on the valve tulips. Not to mention reducing the volume of lubricant in each bottle.

You can't go wrong if you use the oil formulated by the engine manufacturer. Secondly, I would consider using a product that is clearly a superior product and at the same time meets the engine manufacturer's recommendations.

Bill
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techntrek
worahm;36262 wrote:
Additives do not always get along with one another. On occasion, an additive will perform differently when combined with other additives or a different base oil. That is why adding an after market additive to you engine oil can be risky.


Same for mixing oils. Don't put Mobil 1 in before a big trip and then take along a jug of Amsoil to top off.
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worahm
MEC;36207 wrote:
I would of thought Mobil should of ranked higher.


In the early years it did. There was nothing that even came close. We ran test cars over 200,000 miles on an outdoor, 8 vehicle dynamometer. The cars were instrumented so they could be driven 24/7 by computers on the EPA approved mileage accumulation cycle. The cycle included both city and highway driving with a 10 minute soak cycle every few hours to simulate fueling, rest stops etc. The two BMW and two Quad-Four Oldsmobile engines were completely disassembled, rated, measured, weighed and photographed with standardized color film before the test started and after the test was completed.

We even ran a Chrysler 50,000 miles without an oil or filter change. We measured the delta P across the oil filter every 24 hours during the entire test.

There was a lot of misinformation about synthetic oil at that time. Mobil did it's best to set the record straight. They spared no expense when it came to the quality of the base stock and the experimental additive packages. It took years before the market place finally accepted the fact that synthetic oil was here to stay.

There was lots of excitement in the air at the lab. Everyone involved knew something special was happening and we were on the leading edge of something very new. It was a great ride and I was happy to be a significant part of it, alongside many bright and highly competent people.

Bill
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