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Question About EP Additives

Q. An individual has posted a message on an Internet message board that said AMSOIL motor oils "lack sufficient EP additives" and the "quality of the product has dropped" in the last few years.  Due to lack of EP additives and the the drop in product quality he "wiped out bearings, pistons, rocker bushings, etc."

A. No truth whatsoever. AMSOIL INC. has continually improved the performance of its products over the years. The best performing oil we've ever made are the oils we make today. In addition, new technology has allowed us to improve performance as the introduction of our Series 2000 oils demonstrated. Our standard products outperform the competition and the Series 2000 products blow them away.

First of all, extreme pressure (EP) additives are not typically used in motor oil. EP additives are used in gear lubes and some greases. This is because they contain sulfur or chlorine compounds that become active under engine operating conditions. In this activated state they react with the water found in by-products of combustion, and form acids which are corrosive to engine components such as bearings.

Engine oils typically use antiwear (AW) additives to prevent metal-to-metal contact within an engine. These are commonly zinc and phosphorus compounds (zinc dithiophosphate or ZDP). These additives are different from EP additives because they activate or bond with metal surfaces at lower temperatures and pressures and do not form corrosive acids. EP additives are intended to withstand higher pressures and temperatures than found in engines. AW additives offer more than enough protection for all engine conditions without any of the harmful side effects of EP additives.

AMSOIL INC. has always used higher quality and a higher level of additives including zinc and phosphorus than most motor oils on the market. The attached tables compare the content of zinc and phosphorus of several popular motor oils for passenger car and racing applications. These additive contents were determined using spectrographic analysis. Results could be verified for accuracy by submitting unused oil for analysis to any independent oil analysis laboratory.

ANTI-WEAR ADDITIVES

SPECTROGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: Passenger Car Motor Oils

           
       

Zinc
ppm

Phosphorus
ppm

       

AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 0W-30

 

1599

1288

Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic 5W-30

 

1070

892

Phillips 66 Trop Artic 10W-30

 

922

784

Pennzoil 5W-30

 

1170

905

Quaker State 10W-30 4X4 Synthetic Blend

 

1078

856

Castrol Syntec 5W-50

 

972

856


ANTI-WEAR ADDITIVES

SPECTROGRAPHIC ANALYSIS: Racing Oils

           
       

Zinc
ppm

Phosphorus
ppm

       

AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 20W-50 Racing Oil

 

1675

1380

Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic 15W-50

 

1500

1174

Quaker State High Perf. Synthetic Blend 15W-50

 

1030

960

Havoline Formula 3 20W-50

 

1085

834

Castrol Syntec 5W-50

 

972

856

Valvoline Racing 20W-50

 

1192

1077

 Quantity of AW additives alone, however, will not make one lubricant perform better than a competitive lubricant. It's the combination of blended synthetic basestocks with a perfectly balanced package of the highest quality additives that allows AMSOIL to consistently outperform the competition in all aspects, including wear protection.(NOTE: Perfectly balanced means that using an aftermarket oil additive will not improve and may actually harm the performance of AMSOIL motor oils.)

The following results from Four Ball Wear Tests will demonstrate how effective AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils are at wear protection compared to other popular oils. The Four Ball Wear Test is a lubricant industry standard (ASTM D 4172) test that compares relative wear prevention characteristics of new lubricants at specified conditions.

AMSOIL products clearly offer better wear protection than competitive synthetics and much better protection than conventional oils. Engines can fail due to mechanical problems even when using AMSOIL. AMSOIL Motor Oils, however, in over twenty-five years have never caused an engine failure. If you ever hear someone say AMSOIL caused their engine, bearings, pistons, etc. to fail, they are wrong.

Federal Mogul Corporation, a manufacturer of engine bearings, pistons, connecting rods and other engine parts, studied over 7,000 case histories of bearing distress and engine failure and never found engine oil to be the cause of a failure. Dirt, the number one cause of engine failure, was found to be responsible for 43.4% of failures, and insufficient lubrication, the second most common cause of failure, was responsible for 16.6% of failures. Insufficient lubrication is the general term used when not enough oil gets through to the engine to lubricate it (lack of oil volume).

Some causes of insufficient lubrication include oxidation, oil thickening, sludge, cold temperature related dry starts, etc. These, however, are also areas where AMSOIL motor oils out perform the competition. If an engine breaks down with AMSOIL motor oil in it, it would have broken down sooner using another oil! That's fact!   

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