[BiturboS4] engine oils

California Fields cfields72 at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 26 14:57:51 EDT 2002

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I did some research over the weekend to try and find out more info about
engine oils. To my dismay, there is still quite a bit of conflicting
information out there. Still, I tried to put together what seemed consistent
and logical.  I thought you might be interested in what I found (some may seem
common sense but I figured it would be good to cover all bases). I apologize
for the long post but thought it would be useful.

Engine oil is made primarily from a "base stock" and an "additive package" to
enhance the positive qualities of the oil and reduce the negative ones.  There
are two types of basestocks, petroleum (refined from crude oil) and synthetic
(created from pure compounds).  However, recently oil companies have created
psuedo-synthetics (oils that are labeled as synthetic even though they
originate as crude oil) because they are highly purified crudes (have very
little contaminants) and do not resemble basic petroleums.  This labeling is
legal and so you have to be aware that synthetic doesn't necessarily mean that
the oil had been engineered from pure compounds.  Therefore, there are really
three categories (petroleum, synthetic, and psuedo-synthetic).
The imporant thing about oil is that it should satisfy all of your engine's
requirements: lubrication, heat dissipation, cleaning (removal of deposits),
and protect against oxidation and other corrosion.  Now, although all
basestocks can provide each of these requirements, they don't meet the high
stringincies of today's engines and so additives must be included to make up
for the difference.  It's really the type and amount of additives that make
engine oils different from each other because the basestocks used today are
very similar (within each category - petroleum and synthetic).  The important
thing to recognize here is that synthetic basestocks are inherently better at
meeting the engine's requirements than petroleum basestocks and so the
synthetic basestocks need less additives.  The question that I wasn't able to
find an answer for is whether more additives = higher probablity of oil

So, I read some more and found that, basically, you have to look at all the
objective data available on the oil (viscosity index, flash point, pour point,
etc.) and compare these data points between oils.  The one that scores the
best in each category will be the best oil. Unfortunately, there isn't an oil
that is consistently best in each category and so you have to choose which
category is most important to your engine's needs.  I will spend some time
putting together the names of all of these categories, their explanations, and
what numbers you should look for.  Hopefully I'll have time this week.

One thing to keep you interested is that the Amsoil 0W30 and 5W30 were rated
the best when you compare the objective categories (they had the best
numbers).  More later...


Carter Fields - San Francisco
'01 santorin blue
stock (not for long!)

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