The automotive oil market produces $100 billion in revenues each year. The market is so extensive that even Amazon is getting in on the game by announcing that they are producing their own brand of Amazon Basics Synthetic Motor Oil.
For most of us though, we prefer to stick with a well known trusted brand of synthetic oil such as Amsoil and Mobil 1. But which one of these is better?
We are going to do the hard work of comparing these two types of synthetic oils for you.
Synthetic Oil vs. Regular Oil
Deciding between synthetic and regular motor oil is a hotly debated topic. Many car professionals recommend sticking with what the manufacturer recommends. Others argue that synthetic is beneficial for older and high mileage vehicles.
The advantage of using synthetic oil is that the molecular structure is smaller and more uniform in size. This creates less friction.
The refinement of the production process also means there are fewer deposits left inside of your engine. There are also additives in the oil that protect and clean your engine.
If you drive in extreme cold or heat, a synthetic is going to be more stable and perform consistently for you. To make sure your engine performs well be sure to buy a synthetic specially geared for extreme weather.
We are going to stick with discussing synthetic oil for the purposes of our discussion. If you want a more in-depth comparison, you can check out this great comparison.
How to Test the Oils
The best way to figure out which oil is best is to find out a vehicle’s mpg is while using each oil. This is an unbiased test that can’t be rigged to achieve the results the tester hopes for.
This is an effective test because it is a measure of energy used. Your engine should be more efficient as a result of better lubrication and reduced resistance.
The smoother and easier the engine components move, the more efficient they are at producing power. This efficiency results in better performance and an increase in miles per gallon driven.
Another common test used to measure the quality of motor oil is a “four-ball wear test.” In this test, there are four metal balls arranged into a pyramid. Three balls on the bottom, and one on top.
The pyramid is then submerged in the oil.
One good thing about this test is that is measures the effectiveness of the oil during cold and hot operation. One of the most stressful times for your engine is during startup.
The oil in your engine at startup is cold, so it is at its thickest. It takes time for the oil to heat up and begin flowing. During this time your engine is vulnerable to damage.
This is one area where synthetic is a smart choice. Oil producers formulate their product to have a greater resist
Amsoil Synthetic Oil
Amsoil’s performance in these tests always produced top results. It consistently shows an increase in mpg from 1.5 to 3.5 more.
If you consistently use Amsoil in your engine and change your oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles you will experience a better performing and less troublesome engine. You will also have longer drainage intervals and better fuel mileage.
The best part is you can get this increased improvement without having to pay significantly more for the oil. Amsoil’s Signature Series only costs slightly more than other top quality synthetics.
Keep in mind that this high-quality oil lasts about 25,000 miles. The average person only drives 15,000 to 18,000 miles a year. This means you are paying for an oil change once a year instead of three to four times a year.
How can Amsoil protect your engine for that long? It maintains viscosity and fights breakdown. This ensures it continues to lubricate despite high heat and the demands of the high-performance engines of today.
Maintaining a strong level of viscosity long term means your engine components are well protected. This means less damage and free radical metal shearlings in your engine.
Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil
Mobil 1 came in second place when it was tested. The mpg increases were better than other oils, but negligible at best.
While Mobil 1 performed well at increasing gas mileage, it left something to be desired when it came to maintaining viscosity. It starts out strong and protective but quickly loses these qualities as heat degrades to molecular bonds.
Unfortunately, this means you will need to change your oil more often to ensure that your engine is adequately protected. When it comes to price Mobil 1 is reasonably priced for most car owners. This makes it an affordable price for oil changes.
In the long run, it will end up costing you more because you will have to change your oil more often.
What’s Your Oil of Choice?
Ultimately the synthetic oil you choose needs to be the one that you feel the most comfortable with. It also needs to work with your vehicle and align with what your manufacturer recommends.
Amsoil is consistently one of the top performing oils and can greatly benefit your engine’s performance. If you are unsure of whether you should use it, it is best to speak with an expert before putting it in your car.
Now that you know what oil to use, do you know when you need an oil change? Check out our post on how to tell if you need an oil change.