Lubrication News January-April 2005
Reprinted from The Direct Line & The Action News
Chrysler MDS Requires 5W-20
According to Chrysler, it is essential to use the correct motor oil viscosity when changing the oil on a 2005 Magnum or
300 model with the 5.7L Hemi V8 engine. The engine makes use of a multiple displacement system (MDS) that is designed to cut
out cylinders during cruise conditions, improving fuel economy and lowering emissions, while firing on all eight cylinders
under heavy load conditions, including wide-open throttle operation. The valvetrain of this system is extra sensitive to oil
thickness and flow rate and can exhibit problems if the wrong oil viscosity is installed. Only 5W-20 motor oil should be
used when performing an oil change on any 5.7L-equipped Magnum or 300. AMSOIL offers XL 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLM) for
Contamination Control Critical in Fluid Systems
According to the book "Fluid Contamination Control," fluid systems are subjected to contamination when the first elements
are cast and machined, during assembly, when the system or machine comes off the assembly line and when the system is
broken-in, serviced, maintained, repaired and overhauled. According to the book, "the conditions under which the internally
wetted surfaces of a fluid system are opened to the environment are as critical to the prognosis of a machine as sterility
and cleanliness are in the case of exploratory surgery on a human. Injected contaminant is a critical factor with regard to
fluid system service life and reliability."
Superior Protection for 7500 Miles and Beyond
AMSOIL XL Motor Oils are ideal for vehicles equipped with oil life monitors.
Recent years have seen vehicle manufacturers increasingly moving away from oil change intervals based on mileage. Many
European vehicles feature oil life monitors on their dashboards that light up when they determine the oil is nearing the end
of its life. These systems typically analyze engine operational data, including temperature, revolutions and speed, to
determine oil life. The Mercedes-Benz Flexible Service System, for example, has been standard on all Mercedes-Benz vehicles
sold in the United States since model year 1998 and typically allows 10,000 to 20,000-mile oil change intervals with
synthetic motor oil.
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils save time and money by outperforming and lasting longer than
conventional petroleum motor oils
Oil life systems are gaining a foothold in American-made vehicles as well. First introduced in 1987, the General Motors
Oil Life System (OLS) is now factory-installed in 95 percent of new GM vehicles. It often allows extended drain intervals
beyond 10,000 miles, even with conventional oil, and as is well documented, synthetic oils can go even further.
The premium quality of AMSOIL XL-7500 Synthetic Motor Oils allows them to be used for intervals beyond 7500 miles when
longer drain intervals are specified by the manufacturer and in vehicles equipped with oil monitoring systems. For this
reason, XL-7500 Motor Oils have been re-named Extended Life (XL) Synthetic Motor Oils. XL Motor Oils are recommended for
7500 mile/six month oil change intervals, at a minimum. When using AMSOIL XL Motor Oil with an oil monitoring system, and
the oil change light comes on before 7500 miles, simply reset the light and continue driving until hitting the 7500 mile or
six month mark (whichever comes first). If the light hasn't come on by the 7500 mile or six month mark, continue driving
with full confidence until the light comes on.
Available in 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30 and 10W-40 formulations, AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils exceed the current performance
requirements for gasoline engines, including API SM and ILSAC GF-4, and deliver exceptional performance by controlling wear
and maximizing fuel economy.
Offering both cost effectiveness and the convenience of an extended drain interval, AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils save
time and money by outperforming and lasting longer than conventional petroleum motor oils. While the initial fill of AMSOIL
XL may be more expensive than conventional oil, AMSOIL saves customers money mile for mile. Motorists who travel 15,000
miles per year need only change AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils twice, rather than five times for conventional 3,000 mile oil
Improve Fuel Economy
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils are formulated to reduce energy loss from friction. Their uniform molecular structures
ease oil flow and reduce friction between metal surfaces while friction modifier additives further reduce energy loss for
optimum fuel efficiency.
Maintain Low Emissions
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils are formulated to maintain low exhaust emissions and protect catalytic converters against
deposits for long service life.
Protect Engines In All Temperatures
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils are mulit-viscosity formulations that provide optimum engine protection in both hot and
cold temperature extremes. They effectively resist thermal breakdown from heat, while allowing easy engine turnover and
rapid lubrication in cold temperatures.
Keep Engines Clean
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils offer greater resistance to deposits than conventional oils and are heavily fortified with
detergent/ dispersant additives. XL Oils effectively protect against sludge, carbon and varnish formation that can clog oil
passages (causing lubricant starvation) and stick piston rings (increasing blow-by and oil consumption). AMSOIL XL Synthetic
Motor Oils promote clean engine operation for longer lasting, better running engines.
Lower Fleet Maintenance Costs
Cost conscious business owners and fleet managers benefit from the extended drain intervals and wear protection offered
by premium quality AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils. While frequent oil changes are expensive, time consuming and
inconvenient, longer drain intervals reduce costs (labor, used oil disposal, facility demands) and keep the environment
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils fulfill the requirements of most public and private purchasing bids. XL Oils are cost
effective and ideal where synthetic motor oil is specified.
In gasoline-fueled vehicles, AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils are recommended for 7500-mile/six month oil change intervals
or longer where stated by vehicle manufacturers or indicated by electronic oil life monitoring systems. Change aftermarket
OEM or AMSOIL oil filters at every oil change.
For best results, AMSOIL recommends the use of high efficiency AMSOIL full-flow oil filters. AMSOIL full-flow oil filters
are engineered to last longer and reduce engine wear by capturing smaller particles, holding more dirt and flowing more oil
than conventional filters.
AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils are excellent for use in all types of gasoline-fueled vehicles and are recommended for all
domestic and foreign vehicles requiring any of the listed performance specifications:
XL 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLM)
- API SM/CF, SL, SJ...
- ILSAC GF-4, GF-3...
- ACEA A1/B1
- JASO VTW
- GM 6094M
- Ford WSS-M2C930-A
- Daimler Chrysler MS-6396N
XL 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLF)
- API SM/CF, SL, SJ...
- ILSAC GF-4, GF-3
- ACEA A1, B1
- JASO VTW
- GM 6094M
- Ford WSS-M2C929-A
- Daimler Chrysler MS-6395N
XL 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLT)
- API SM/CF, SL, SJ...
- ILSAC GF-4, GF-3...
- ACEA A1/B1
- JASO VTW
- GM 6094M
- Ford WSS M2C205-A
- Daimler Chrysler MS-6395N
XL 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLO)
- API SM/CF, SL, SJ...
- ACEA A1/B1
- JASO VTW
Following two rounds of strong racing in Buffalo, Team AMSOIL snocross star D.J. Eckstrom entered the final rounds of the
WSA snocross season third in the overall Pro Open points standings and second in the overall Pro Stock points standings. At
the U.S. Air Force Park X Snocross in Hill City, Minn., Eckstrom earned his eighth podium finish of the season, finishing
third in the Pro Stock class. He finished a strong fourth in the Pro Open class. The final race of the 2004-2005 season was
held in Lake Geneva, Wis. on the weekend of March 18-20. Eckstrom again ran a solid race in the Pro Stock class, earning a
third place podium finish and finishing the season second in the overall Pro Stock points standings. With a 13th place
finish in the Pro Open class, Eckstrom finishes the year third in the overall Pro Open standings.
Hybrid Technology Grabs Hold of the Bus Market
Optima Bus Corporation recently announced plans for a fuel efficient, low emission hybrid-electric powered version of its
popular Opus low floor bus. Expected to yield fuel savings of up to 50 percent over traditionally powered buses, Optima
predicts hybrid sales will comprise 40 percent of the company's total sales volume by 2009. When the first prototype of the
new bus is unveiled in May, Optima plans to tour trade shows and perform demonstrations for transit organizations around the
The Ultimate Motorcycle Lubricants
New AMSOIL Motorcycle Oils offer superior transmission and rust protection.
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils have been re-formulated with new high
performance additive technology that provides even greater multi-functional benefits for the special requirements of
motorcycle applications. These independent and exclusive new AMSOIL formulations provide second-to-none viscosity protection
for hot-running American and foreign motorcycle engines, transmissions and primary chaincases.
AMSOIL 20W-50 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCV) is
recommended for Harley-Davidson, Buell, Victory, Ducati, BMW, Aprilla and Triumph motorcycles calling for a 15W-50 or 20W-50
viscosity, providing superior protection in engines, transmissions and primary chaincases.
AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil (MCF) is
recommended for Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Husqvarna and KTM motorcycles calling for a 10W-40 or 20W-40
viscosity, providing superior protection in engines and transmission.
Improved Transmission Protection
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils not only provide superior protection for motorcycle engines, they also provide superior
gear protection, meeting API GL-1 gear lube requirements. Synthetic 10W-40 Motorcycle Oil meets SAE 80W-90 gear lube
viscosity requirements, while Synthetic 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil meets SAE 90 gear lube viscosity requirements.
Viscosity is the most important characteristic of a lubricant. Motorcycle gears create a shearing effect that causes
permanent oil viscosity loss. This thinning effect reduces the oil's ability to prevent metal-to-metal contact and wear. The
stability and natural operating temperature ranges of the premium synthetic base stocks used to formulate AMSOIL Synthetic
Motorcycle Oils eliminate shear and reduce wear. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils exhibit absolute shear stability as
measured by the Kurt Orbon shear stability test.
The high temperatures and tight tolerances common to motorcycle applications also affect viscosity. The High Temperature
/High Shear (HTHS) Test (ASTM D-4683) measures a lubricant's viscosity under severe high temperature and shear conditions.
The more resistant an oil is to high temperature viscosity loss, the better it protects, and even a HTHS difference of 0.1
cP makes a significant difference.
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils exhibit higher HTHS viscosities than competing conventional and synthetic motorcycle
oils. As seen in the graph, AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oil displayed the highest High Temperature/High Shear viscosity in
the test group, providing motorcycle engines and transmissions operating in the harshest conditions with superior protection
against wear and viscosity loss and eliminating the need for separate gear case oils as recommended by some competitors.
Synthetic 10W-40 may also be used in two-cycle transmissions.
Excellent Wet Clutch Performance
Many motorcycles utilize a clutch that is immersed in the transmission or motor oil. The friction modifiers present in
many automotive motor oils and the extreme pressure additives present in EP gear lubricants produce a low coefficient of
friction between the clutch discs and plates, resulting in clutch slippage and glazing. Slippage leads to increased
operating temperatures and reduced clutch life. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils are formulated without friction modifiers,
providing positive clutch engagement, longer equipment life and reduced temperatures. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils meet
the clutch compatibility requirements mandated by JASO MA
Excellent Corrosion Protection
Most motorcycles spend the majority of their lives either parked or in storage, but most motorcycle oils fail to address
corrosion problems. Corrosion protection during storage and in humid conditions is essential to extending equipment life.
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils are formulated with specialized additive technology that not only protect against corrosion
and acids during operation, but also provide exceptional protection during storage.
Outstanding Heat Resistance
Motorcycles operate in demanding, high heat conditions that require robust high temperature deposit control additives.
While many conventional oils break down and oxidize when faced with high temperatures, causing formation of carbon and
sludge deposits, AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils effectively withstand oil breakdown and oxidation, keeping equipment
running cooler and minimizing oil consumption, thickening and emissions. Air-cooled engines get especially hot while idling
in traffic, often reaching temperatures up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. The extra margin of protection provided by AMSOIL
Synthetic Motorcycle Oils is especially important for hot running air cooled motorcycle engines.
High engine speeds and transmission gears in motorcycles churn the oil, suspending air and causing foam. When this oil
and air mixture is drawn into a loaded area, the air compresses and decreases the thickness of the oil film, compromising
wear protection. In addition, suspended air promotes oil oxidation, reducing its service life. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle
Oils greatly reduce foaming to provide long term lubricating protection in high speed, high RPM conditions.
Robust Additive Levels
Recent automotive motor oil regulations have limited certain additive levels, including the anti-wear, anti-oxidant
additive, and reducing its level results in compromised wear control and shortened service life. Because motorcycle
applications require robust additive systems to control wear and oxidation, use of an automotive motor oil or an automotive
motor oil re-labeled as a motorcycle oil compromises protection and performance. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils are
overtreated with robust additive packages, including high levels of calcium, phosphorus, zinc and additional oxidation
inhibitors, to extend oil life expectancy, provide unmatched engine cleanliness and greatly reduce wear.
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils are recommended for twice the manufacturer's recommended drain interval for on-road
The Four Ball Wear Test (ASTM D-4172) determines the wear protection properties of a lubricant. The smaller the average
wear scar, the better the wear protection provided by the lubricant. AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils produce significantly
smaller wear scars than competing motorcycle oils, providing unsurpassed protection against engine wear, reducing
maintenance costs and extending equipment life.
AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils provide excellent cost effectiveness and are cost competitive with competing high end
motorcycle oils. The unmatched protection and performance provided by AMSOIL Synthetic Motorcycle Oils is excellent
insurance for today's expensive motorcycles and custom bikes.
Owner-Operators comprise One-Third of Carrier Fleet
According to data from the Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of
Commerce, there are more owner-operator truckers than previously estimated. "Using ratios discovered by our membership
profile survey and this new data, we can estimate that owner-operators comprise about one-third of the total for-hire
carrier fleet, which is estimated by the survey as 1.1 million large trucks," says John Siebert, project manager for the
OOIDA Foundation. The survey shows 390,000 total owner-operator trucks, with each owner-operator owning an average of 1.4
Gear Reducer Tip
According to Hack Hensley, Predictive Maintenance, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, LLC, water-cooled gear reducers used in
industrial equipment could exhibit problems if the water temperature is too cold, causing condensation that allows water to
enter the oil. "If you notice water on the floor, or on the cooling water lines going into the gear reducer or the gear
reducer sweating, you probably have water in the gear reducer," says Hensley. "I have encountered this problem twice. Both
reducers were critical equipment. When you find this problem, first increase the temperature until the water lines quit
sweating. Second, perform oil analysis on the reducer and check for water. If this issue isn't corrected, it could be
Demand for Engine Repair on the Rise
Increased demand for engine work brings increased demand for aftermarket products.
Passenger cars and light trucks have come a long way over the years. Today's vehicles require less maintenance and
typically last in upwards of 200,000 miles under normal service conditions. By the time a major repair is required, a
vehicle is often too old too make the repair worthwhile. In addition, low interest rates offered by new car dealers make new
car purchases more attractive than repairing older vehicles.
A recent survey of Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA) members indicated that demand for
small four-cylinder diesel engines doubled in a year's time.
However, the decline in engine work and parts sales appears to be slowing down. Customers are finding it difficult to
sell or trade their vehicles when they require major repair work, and demand for engine parts and repairs appears to be
leveling off and may even start increasing.
While the number of machine shops, custom engine rebuilders and production engine remanufacturers has been declining
through the years, the market looks to have stabilized. A recent survey of Automotive Engine Rebuilders Association (AERA)
members indicated that demand for small four-cylinder diesel engines doubled in a year's time. The average number of
rebuilds per month increased from 0.82 in 2002 to 1.6 in 2003. The survey also indicated that demand for four, six and eight
cylinder gasoline engines remained steady, but the percentage of import engines being rebuilt jumped from 24.3 percent to
Demand for performance engine parts is on the rise. Approximately 80 percent of shops do performance work, and the survey
shows that businesses are doing more performance work than ever, representing 18 percent of output.
Increased demand for engine work is good news for the aftermarket, creating increased sales of parts such as rings,
bearings, pistons, camshafts, timing sets, upper valvetrain components and oil pumps and gaskets, as well as spark plugs,
oil and air filters, thermostats, motor oil, antifreeze and oxygen sensors.
High quality motor oil keeps bearing, ring and cylinder wear to a minimum, but high mileage engines often suffer from
valve guide and seat wear, increasing oil consumption. As oil consumption increases, spark plugs can foul and lead to
misfire, increased emissions and reduced fuel economy.
AMSOIL synthetic motor oils and diesel oils offer unsurpassed protection and performance for both new and rebuilt
engines, keeping friction, heat and wear to an absolute minimum for increased equipment life.
Bosch Platinum+4 Spark Plugs
Bosch Platinum+4 spark plugs are the most powerful spark plugs on
the market, featuring a unique four-ground electrode design and revolutionary firing technology that provide longer, more
powerful sparks, longer service life and more efficient combustion than conventional single electrode spark plugs. Their
pure platinum heat-fused center electrodes deliver smoother acceleration, improved fuel efficiency, maximum power and
extended performance life.
Consult the Online Application Guide link in the Menu at the top of this page to determine the appropriate Bosch plugs
and wires for your application.
Diesel Demand on the Rise
According to the Diesel Technology Forum, the new generation of diesel vehicles are 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient
than comparable gasoline vehicles, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts increasing demand for these fuel
efficient diesel cars, trucks and SUVs.
Today's diesel vehicles are clean, quiet, and fun to drive; and evidence suggests that 2004 is just the
beginning of a new era of diesel options for the American consumer
In its energy forecast for the next 20 years, the EIA foresees increased demand and fluctuating prices for petroleum, and
it stresses the importance of energy efficiency in the transportation market.
"This report reaffirms what experts are increasingly predicting to be a viable market for light-duty diesel vehicles in
the United States," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "Diesels are an attractive
alternative because of their superior fuel efficiency, ability to decrease dependence on foreign oil, and lower emissions of
The Department of Energy (DOE) predicts four to seven percent growth in the light-duty diesel market by 2012, while
previous studies reveal that a 20 percent market share by diesel vehicles by 2020 would save the country 350,000 barrels of
oil a day. "Since light-duty diesels currently account for only about 0.2 percent of the market today, this growth
prediction is substantial," says Schaeffer.
While diesel vehicles represent 50 percent of new vehicle purchases in Europe, Americans are beginning to have more
diesel choices than ever. Modern diesel technology is available in four key market segments: economy cars, family station
wagons, luxury sedans and SUVs.
"Today's diesel vehicles are clean, quiet, and fun to drive; and evidence suggests that 2004 is just the beginning of a
new era of diesel options for the American consumer," says Schaeffer.
The Changing Vehicle Market
According to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report, light trucks are continually gaining market share at the
expense of cars. The change is being spearheaded by the replacement of cars with SUVs. While cars accounted for 71.2 percent
of the market in 1975, they accounted for 47.9 percent in 2004. SUVs accounted for a mere 1.8 percent of the market in 1975,
increasing to 26.1 percent in 2004.
If the SUV is the new family car, then a case could be made that the market shares for pickups, people
movers (vans and wagons) and family cars have not changed much over time
Pickup trucks accounted for 13.1 percent of the market in 1975, climbing to 15.2 percent in 2004. Wagons accounted for
9.4 percent of the market in 1975, falling to 3.7 percent in 2004.
"If the SUV is the new family car, then a case could be made that the market shares for pickups, people movers (vans and
wagons) and family cars have not changed much over time," write the authors of the report.
Model year 2004 vehicles are the most powerful and fastest in 30 years of EPA reports, and they are 13.1 percent more
fuel efficient than model year 1975 vehicles. The EPA credits the advances in performance to engines with more valves and
advanced fuel injection systems and transmissions with lock-up torque converters and extra gears.
According to the EPA's report, 69.1 percent of 2004 cars and 44.3 percent of trucks have four-valve engines, 99.8 percent
of cars and 100 percent of trucks have port fuel injection, 80.2 percent of cars and 18.5 percent of trucks are front wheel
drive, five percent of cars and 49.6 percent of trucks are four wheel drive and 13 percent of cars and 4.1 percent of trucks
have manual transmissions.
A separate report released by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) indicates that Americans drove 2.88
trillion miles in 2003, and the number is expected to top three trillion miles in 2006.
"Vehicle usage is at the root of most aftermarket demand and vehicle replacement demand," says AASA director of market
research Frank Hampshire. "Long-term trends bode well for continued growth in the automotive aftermarket and the entire
Vehicles Often Neglected
A vehicle inspection campaign performed by the Car Care Council last spring revealed an 87 percent failure rate among
inspected vehicles. In the lubricant and fluid category, 34 percent of inspected vehicles had low, overfull or dirty motor
oil, while 23 percent had low or dirty power steering fluid, 26 percent required a coolant flush and 27 percent had low
coolant. In addition, 14 percent of vehicles had front windshield failures, 24 percent needed new air filters and 17 percent
required new PCV filters.
Winning Female Customers
It is important to put forth extra effort in order to earn loyal female customers, especially when selling automotive
products or services. "We take the time to explain the procedures of the repair," says Amy Wade, vice president of Wayne's
Cool Air in Fort Worth, Texas. "Female customers always worry that they are going to be taken advantage of, therefore, they
need added attention. You can always make the sale when people understand the situation." Wade also advises telling the
truth in order to win respect and keeping shops clean and organized. "Appearance is everything to your female customers,"
says Wade. "Women like to see things clean and organized. The thing they appreciate most is our clean and decorated
bathroom. We also have a nice waiting area with women's magazines and a TV. It makes the wait go faster when the kids can
watch cartoons. Our flower beds always have blooming flowers in them and the grass is always mowed."
Turbo-charger Demand on the Rise
Offering benefits such as increased fuel economy and power and reduced powertrain weight and emissions, turbo-charger
demand has been rising sharply over the past few years, most noticeably in European countries where direct injection diesel
engines are popular. While normally aspirated diesel engine production continues to decline, production of turbo-charged
diesel light vehicles more than doubled between 1998 and 2003, rising from 3.6 million to 7.7 million vehicles.
The demand for super-chargers has also increased, but not at the same rate as turbo-chargers. Advances in the
super-charger field have allowed vehicle manufacturers to produce smaller engines that combine the performance and
horsepower benefits of a large engine with the fuel economy benefits of a small engine.
AMSOIL synthetic motor oils provide superior protection and performance, keeping turbo-charged and super-charged engines
running cool and efficient.
Consider Truck Resale Value
According to Kenworth's Chris Braun, truck buyers should take resale value into consideration in order to minimize life
cycle costs. Attempts to eliminate as much up-front cost as possible from a new class 8 truck purchase seem reasonable, but
the purchase of certain components can pay off when it comes time for trade-in, decreasing the cost of ownership.
Truck make, drivetrain, transmission, engine brake, sleeper, air ride suspension and interior trim can all affect resale
value and should be considered when purchasing a new truck. Premium brands, popular components and higher horsepower engines
all bring higher resale prices.
Braun advises truck buyers to spec an engine brake because it can add approximately $2,500 in resale value, while also
decreasing brake wear. "And be sure to spec an air ride suspension if you want to get a better price for your used truck in
the future," says Braun. "Air is virtually standard now. you would only spec a mechanical suspension for very special
Although truck interior may seem relatively unimportant, it is one of the first things a used truck buyer notices. A
nice, clean interior gives a positive first impression and can help hasten a sale.
Extended transferable warranties, complete service records and following a preventive maintenance schedule also add
Light Vehicle Population to Increase
Strong sales predicted for light trucks
According to a recent R.L. Polk & Co. report, light vehicle population in the United States will increase by 16
million vehicles over the next few years, for a total of 234.4 million vehicles on the road by July 1, 2008. The light truck
market, including pickups, mini-vans and sport utility vehicles, is expected to see significant growth, while passenger car
sales are expected to decline.
Dave Goebel foresees passenger car population slowly declining over the next several years as many
people replace their older cars with new light trucks.
"Understanding the past and current VIO (vehicles in operation) snapshots is important for the auto industry, but to
understand what will happen in the future has become increasingly important," says Marty Miller, product manager with Polk's
product strategy team. "During the next five years, we expect light truck VIO to grow by over 13 percent and passenger car
VIO to fall by nearly 9 percent. This development will certainly have implications for automotive part product life cycles
and the aftermarket."
Passenger cars represented 60 percent of total vehicles in 2003, while light trucks represented 40 percent. By 2008, Polk
projects the numbers will change to 54.7 percent for cars and 45.3 percent for light trucks.
Polk analytic consultant and model builder Dave Goebel foresees passenger car population slowly declining over the next
several years as many people replace their older cars with new light trucks. "There are several other dynamics at play
here," says Goebel. "Light truck sales have recently outnumbered passenger car sales. We also know from our research that
light trucks last longer than cars, and that more recently produced model years outlast older model years. Our modeling
techniques are based on these known differences in durability across vehicle segments and model years."
Public Transportation Demand on the Rise
Reflecting an increased demand for transportation choices, 24 of 31 transit-related measures across the nation passed
during November's election. The initiatives are worth over $40 billion. "The message is loud and clear," says William W.
Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association. "People want more public transportation. These
initiatives prove that people are willing to invest in quality transit services that will pay dividends for years to come."
Eighteen of 22 transit-related initiatives also passed earlier in 2004, putting the success rate at 80 percent. "This year
has also shown that it's not just big metro areas that are clamoring for transit," says Stephanie Vance, program manager for
the Center for Transportation Excellence. "Medium and smaller communities like Parkersburg, WV, El Paso County, CO, and
Kalamazoo, MI, also see its benefits."
Grease Storage Tip
According to the "Lubricating Grease Guide," it is important to tightly seal grease containers during prolonged storage
to avoid contamination that leads to grease deterioration. The most common source of contamination is moisture, which can
enter apparently sealed grease containers and change the product or rust the container. Appearance changes can occur if
oxidation causes the surface to darken, if air slowly escapes or if water causes the grease to become hazy.
ExxonMobil Follows AMSOIL into Extended Drain Market
What does the introduction of ExxonMobil Long Drain Motor Oils Mean for AMSOIL?
A press release from ExxonMobil announced a new line of motor oils recommended for extended drain intervals.
It was only a matter of time before another company followed the path forged by AMSOIL over 30 years ago. Some Dealers
may recall that Mobil also followed AMSOIL into the synthetic motor oil business, introducing its synthetic motor oil two
years after AMSOIL. The technology for extended oil drains is obviously available, but until now, the major oil companies
have had other agendas. Marc Graham, who is president of Pennzoil-Quaker State-owned Jiffy Lube International, was quoted in
a 2001 Lubricants World interview as saying, "At [PQS] we use a number internally that if we [shortened the drain
interval] by 100 miles [for each car serviced], it would mean an additional $20 million in revenue for the company." He also
explained that "if we could move our customers to get one more oil change per year, it's worth $294 million for the oil
change alone and $441 million in revenue, when you include the ancillary products and services customers typically buy along
with the oil change."
The technology for extended oil drains is obviously available, but until now, the major oil companies
have had other agendas.
Mobil backed off 25,000 mile oil change intervals in 1974
Mobil briefly recommended 25,000 mile oil drains in the 1970's. It's not difficult to figure out who they were trying to
compete with. AMSOIL was the only other company offering synthetic motor oils and recommended 25,000 mile drain intervals.
However, it may be that because vehicle manufacturers weren't yet comfortable with extended drain intervals, Mobil retracted
its extended drain recommendations and simply recommended motorists follow the intervals specified in their vehicle's owners
manual. Of course, traditional oil change recommendations also allow Mobil and other motor oil companies to sell a lot more
oil. Everyone wins but the customer.
AMSOIL stands apart from the competition.
AMSOIL has always formulated its products to be the absolute best, continually researching ways to make its already
outstanding products even better. Other oil companies, however, are beholden to shareholders, and one could speculate that
their incentive is to maximize profit. They formulate oils down to a price, rather than formulating them to be the best they
can be. Then, they price their products to maximize profits. In addition, AMSOIL has 33 years of experience blending premium
extended drain synthetic oils. That's 33 years worth of proven performance in the field.
A closer look at ExxonMobil's new long drain motor oil line reveals that two are petroleum based, one is a synthetic
blend and only one, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, is a full synthetic. The petroleum based products are recommended for
5,000 mile drains, the synthetic blend for 7,500 mile drains and Extended Performance for 15,000 mile drains. However, a
look at the fine print reveals that ExxonMobil is still recommending drivers follow the oil drain recommendations listed in
their owners manuals during the warranty period. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are recommended for 25,000 mile or one year
drain intervals in both new and older vehicles. The AMSOIL warranty stands behind this recommendation.
AMSOIL has recommended extended drain intervals since 1972.
AMSOIL delivers the highest quality lubricants on the market. It's the AMSOIL identity, and it's what customers expect.
Al Amatuzio coined the phrase "extended drain interval," and from the beginning, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils have been
formulated for extended drain intervals.
Vehicle manufacturers are pushing for extended oil drain intervals.
Vehicle manufacturers in Europe have been recommending extended oil drains for years. In fact, the average drain interval
in Europe is 10,000 miles. Vehicle manufacturers in the United States are definitely coming around to extended oil drains as
well. Most owners manuals from recent model vehicles recommend 5,000 to 7,500 mile oil drain intervals. In addition, oil
life monitors have become increasingly common on today's vehicles, allowing and encouraging motorists to increase drain
intervals up to 12,000 miles, even when using conventional oil. Vehicles equipped with an oil life monitor no longer
recommend oil changes based solely on mileage. The system measures engine operational data such as temperature, revolutions
and speed to determine when the oil is nearing the end of its life.
The motor oil industry is faced with the extended oil drain interval issue
The success of oil life monitors has posed a threat to motor oil companies who insist oil must be changed every 3,000
miles. It becomes increasingly difficult to maintain this position when vehicle manufacturers are recommending significantly
longer intervals with the use of their oil monitoring systems. This is no doubt one of the reasons ExxonMobil finally
introduced a line of long drain motor oils.
AMSOIL Dealers will benefit from ExxonMobil's entry into the extended drain market
AMSOIL Dealers should expect increased sales and increased interest in the Preferred Customer program and the Dealer
opportunity. When Mobil first entered the synthetic motor oil market in 1974, many Dealers were concerned about their sales.
However, rather than suffering, sales numbers actually skyrocketed. While AMSOIL was once the lone voice promoting the
benefits of synthetic motor oil, it was then suddenly joined by the largest motor oil company in the world. The Mobil
campaign helped educate consumers about the benefits of synthetic motor oil, and AMSOIL Dealers were able to take advantage.
As other motor oil companies joined the ranks and offered synthetics, the message became more mainstream and demand for
synthetic motor oil continued to rise.
With ExxonMobil introducing a line of long drain oils, it's the same situation. While AMSOIL has certainly proven that
extended drain intervals provide valuable benefits, the fact that ExxonMobil is finally saying the same thing brings the
message to even more people. AMSOIL Dealers can take advantage of that. People who were previously dubious about extending
oil drain intervals will be more inclined to do it, and AMSOIL Preferred Customers and Dealers will pay significantly less
for an oil that lasts longer than ExxonMobil. However, unlike ExxonMobil or anyone else, AMSOIL offers 33 years worth of
tried and true performance.
AMSOIL beats ExxonMobil on price.
The suggested retail price of the top oil in ExxonMobil's new line, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, is $5.79 to $5.99 a
quart. That's right in line with AMSOIL 5W-30 and 10W-30, which retail for $5.95 a quart. By registering as an AMSOIL
Preferred Customer, customers pay only $4.65 a quart, and even less when purchasing by the case.
Armed with the facts, AMSOIL Dealers are positioned to capture even more extended oil drain interval customers. It is up
to Dealers to spread the word. By offering customers AMSOIL synthetic motor oils, Dealers are offering a better oil, a
longer drain interval, a better price and 33 years worth of proven performance.
Dodge Jumps Back into Car Market
With trucks accounting for 78 percent of its sales in 2004, Dodge has become known primarily as a truck manufacturer. Now
it is looking to reestablish itself in the car market with the introduction of the 2006 Charger sedan. "Our biggest
challenge for 2005 is getting into the car business on a volume basis," says Jon Myers, chairman of the Dodge National
Dealer Council. "It is an arena we haven't been in for a long time." Known for producing cars with limited runs, including
the Viper and SRT-R Neon, Dodge plans to target a high volume, mainstream car segment with the Charger. Fuel efficiency will
play an important role in the vehicle's marketing. A displacement system on the Charger's optional Hemi V-8 engine improves
fuel economy by up to 20 percent by deactivating four cylinders when full power is not needed.
Hydraulic System Tip
John Sosnowski, district maintenance manager at Martin Marietta Materials, advises scanning the entire machine for the
source of hydraulic system overheating on mobile equipment. "One of our machines was gradually building heat in the
hydraulic system," he says. "It started at 130 deg F operating temperature and grew to 160 deg F operating temperature.
After the thermography scan was complete, it became clear what the problem was. The auxiliary pump to the main pump was
failing. This resulted in the oil reservoir maintaining a 200+ deg temperature. The reason the operators saw only a 160 deg
F temp was due to a faulty gauge."
API SA Oils Fail Engine Sequence Tests
Although API category SA oils have been obsolete since the 1940's, they can still be purchased in many discount and
convenience stores. Marketers argue the oils offer simple, inexpensive lubrication, but auto manufacturers want consumers to
be aware of the risks of using obsolete oils, citing new evidence that SA oils are "likely to cause serious damage" if used
in engines built since the 1940's.
"Further, the extreme scuffing indicated on five camshaft lobes in the SA test indicate that the life
of this engine would be short, regardless of the oil change interval."
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers recently released a report entitled "Impact of Low Quality Oils on Engine Wear
and Sludge Deposits; A Comparison of API SA and API SL (ILSAC GF-3) Engine Oils." It reviews the results of two engine
sequence tests run on both an API SA motor oil and an API SL motor oil. According to the report, the SA oil failed miserably
in the areas of wear, sludge and deposits.
According to Robert Stockwell of General Motors, the API SA oil failed in many areas and caused filter clogging. "When
the pick-up tube plugs, oil starvation will occur on startup and the engine will be destroyed," he said. "Further, the
extreme scuffing indicated on five camshaft lobes in the SA test indicate that the life of this engine would be short,
regardless of the oil change interval."
The ASTM Sequence VG test measures sludge and deposits. Although the standard test time is 216 hours, the test for the SA
oil was cut short at 168 hours because it had already clearly failed. Sludge deposits were evident on the valve decks,
rocker arm covers and camshaft baffles at 144 hours, and kinematic viscosity had increased at 168 hours
Citing the industry tests as proof that SA oils are harmful to modern engines, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
wants the lubricants industry to begin spreading the word to consumers. "The Alliance has asked API, the Independent
Lubricant Manufacturers Association, Automotive Oil Change Association, NADA and other organizations whose members sell
motor oil or interface with the public on lubricant quality issues, to help publicize this story," says Alliance staffer
Ellen Shapiro. "In addition, the Alliance plans to post the study on its web site and discuss the issue with state
The Alliance suggests states can take action through new prohibitions, increased enforcement, new labeling requirements
and notices posted on store shelves.
The 12-page "Impact of Low Quality Oils on Engine Wear and Sludge Deposits; A Comparison of API SA and API SL (ILSAC
GF-3) Engine Oils" study can be viewed in PDF format on the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association's website:
http://www.ilma.org/resources/impact_lowqualityoils.pdf (Opens New Window)
If you haven't read the couple of paragraphs in your Auto's Owner's Manual dealing with maintenance and warranty
requirements dealing with the manufacturer"s requirements for the Service rating of the lubricants required for you Vehicle,
you should. This is not difficult to understand and it is important. No matter what brand you prefer to use in Motor Oils,
whether mineral based or synthetic, you really need to use the correct service rated oil. Engines today run
hotter and are designed to produce more power on less fuel. If you have any doubts, ask someone who can advise you.
Remember, you can use updated motor oils in an older car (the newer service rated oils are retroactive), but you cannot use
outdated, obsolete spec oils in newer cars).
AMSOIL Synthetic Motor oils have always been ahead of the ratings game and there is no such thing as outdated motor oil.
The reason AMSOIL has so many different motor oils is to give us "picky" people choices. The Diesel and Marine Synthetic Motor Oil has
the TBN additives for Heavy Duty Diesel applications and rust preventive additives for use in high humidity locations and
long periods of inactivity to prevent rust such as in Shrimp boat engines. The Series 2000 20W-50 Synthetic Racing Oil has tremendous film strength for high
performance/high horsepower applications. Sure there also is the SAE 60 Synthetic Heavy Weight Racing Oil. And there are the SAE 30 Synthetic Diesel Oil and 15W-40
Semi-Synthetic Diesel Oil. Just one of any of these products my not be perfect for everyone. But having all of these
motor oil makes it easier for the "picky" people to get the exact product they need. Whether you need a 5W-20 Viscosity Synthetic, 10W-40 High Performance
Synthetic Motorcycle Oil, to the Synthetic SAE 40 Natural Gas Engine Oil,
AMSOIL has you covered. For a list the Synthetic Motor oils available from AMSOIL, CLICK HERE.
Women Prefer Luxury Vehicles
According to WomanMotorist.com, luxury vehicles are becoming a hot commodity with female drivers. "Luxury vehicles are
among the most requested products by women," says editor-in-chief Sandra Kinsler. "Clearly women are interested in
entry-level luxury products as well as some of the highest-priced production vehicles on the market. And this should come as
no surprise. The data clearly depicts an increased interest among women for very high priced vehicles, such as the Maybach
and Aston Martin." The study also indicates increased female demand for pickup trucks.
Bearing Lubricant Life
According to the "Rolling Bearings Handbook and Troubleshooting Guide," high temperatures are the primary cause of
shortened bearing lubricant life. Lubricant temperatures vary depending on bearing speed, bearing load and ambient
temperature, and as temperatures increase, lubricant life decreases. AMSOIL synthetic greases contribute to lower operating
temperatures, extending lubricant life.
Mineral Oil Failure in High Temperature Service
According to Noria Corporation, conventional oils offer limited protection in high temperature applications: "The main
factor that limits the use of mineral oils in high temperature applications is their oxidation stability, rather than the
viscosity thinning or thermal stability. In the presence of air, it is generally not advisable to use mineral oils in any
application at temperatures above 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)."
Cooling System Failure
Preventive maintenance and high quality antifreeze keep cooling systems running efficiently.
Preventive maintenance is crucial to maintaining a healthy vehicle fleet and maximizing profits. Premature engine failure
can cost a fleet thousands of dollars in repairs, maintenance and downtime. Just as a high quality motor oil and routine
maintenance help avoid engine breakdown, antifreeze also plays a critical role in keeping an engine running smoothly.
Just as a high quality motor oil and routine maintenance help avoid engine breakdown, antifreeze also
plays a critical role in keeping an engine running smoothly.
A vehicle's cooling system controls excessive engine heat by transferring and dissipating the heat created during the
combustion process. "Coolant, circulated through hoses and passages in the cylinder block and head, absorbs heat and carries
it to the radiator, where it is dissipated," says Charlie Yates, field engineering manager at Castrol. "A poorly maintained
cooling system can lead to overheating, which results in boil-over or blown gaskets, cracked parts, a reduction in critical
clearances, lowered oil viscosity and increased wear. The formation of rust and corrosion pitted cylinder liners and
corroded water-pump impellers also stem from cooling system neglect.
"Over time, these conditions can result in catastrophic engine failure, making a huge impact on a company's bottom line,"
says Yates. "The good news is that with a few preventive maintenance measures, a cooling system will function properly and
pose little threat to an engine."
Typically, antifreeze is mixed with water at a 50/50 ratio. This ratio effectively prevents freezing during cold
temperatures and boil-off in high temperatures. Because hard tap water contains excessive calcium and magnesium that cause
scaling and inadequate heat transfer, antifreeze should be mixed with soft or deionized water without salts or chlorides.
Some heavy duty antifreeze products also require the addition of a supplemental coolant additive in order to prevent
problems such as scaling, pitting and buildup of acid, rust and foam.
Checking coolant levels should be part of a fleet's daily or weekly pre-operation inspection, and a belt-tension gauge
should be used to check cooling system belts.
Radiator cleaning is also important. Blow cleaning air at around 50 psi in the opposite direction as normal cooling flow.
For suction fans, remove the guards and blow air outward. For blower fans, remove the radiator guard and blow air toward the
fan. To ensure the radiator is thoroughly cleaned, shine a light behind the fan. If light shows, the radiator is clean.
AMSOIL Antifreeze & Coolant provides maximum protection and extended service life in both gasoline and diesel
vehicles without the need for supplemental coolant additives. It provides maximum protection in temperature extremes, and it
may be used for seven years or 250,000 miles in passenger cars, light trucks, vans and recreational vehicles and seven years
or 750,000 miles in over-the-road diesel trucks. AMSOIL Antifreeze & Coolant is also non-toxic, making it safer for
children, pets and wildlife.
- Maximum protection in temperature extremes
- Non--toxic and biodegradable
- provides extended service life in both gasoline and diesel vehicles
- Compatible with all ethylene glycol and propylene glycol antifreeze formulations
- Seals hairline cracks, preventing leaks
Premium Spark Plugs Improve Engine Performance
Spark plugs are essential to the combustion process, igniting the air/fuel mixture to produce the power necessary to keep
the engine running. As long as the engine is running, the spark plugs are constantly firing. In most applications, each
spark plug fires once every other revolution of the crankshaft. In a four cylinder engine, each spark plug fires five times
a second at idle and 25 to 30 times a second at 60 mpg.
In a four cylinder engine, each spark plug fires five times a second at idle and 25 to 30 times a
second at 60 mpg.
Electrode wear eventually shortens spark plug life. As the plugs fire, metal slowly erodes from the electrodes and
eventually widens the gap between electrodes, increasing the voltage required to create a spark. Once the gap becomes too
wide, the plug may misfire and contribute to losses in performance and fuel economy and an increase in emissions.
Standard spark plugs will usually last 35,000 to 45,000 miles under normal driving conditions, while long-life spark
plugs with multiple ground electrodes or center electrodes made of wear resistant metal will usually last up to 100,000
miles. Long life spark plugs are ideal for tightly-packed engines in which the plugs are hard to reach.
It is important for electrodes to reach temperatures high enough to burn off fouling deposits, but not become so hot as
to cause preignition. The ideal operating temperature is controlled by both the length of the ceramic insulator around the
center electrode and the electrode design. The longer the insulator nose, the slower hear is conducted away from the
electrode. A longer path between the electrode and plug shell also contributes to slower cooling rates and hotter plugs.
Ceramic insulator length and center electrode design determine a spark plug's heat rating, which must be matched with the
engine application to avoid plug fouling or preignition problems.
If a spark plug is fouled and misfiring, a new set of plugs will improve ignition performance and starting, increase fuel
economy and decrease emissions. However, engines that burn oil and engines run for frequent short trips may continue to
experience plug fouling problems.
New spark plugs must have the same threads, diameter and seat configuration as the originals, and the distance the
electrodes reach into the combustion chamber must be compatible with the engine application. Configuration of electrodes and
electrode materials can differ from the original set of spark plugs.
It is a good idea to check spark plug wires when changing spark plugs. If the insulation is damaged, the boots are loose
or resistance exceeds specification, they should be replaced.
Bosch Platinum+4 spark plugs are the most powerful spark plugs on the market, featuring a unique four-ground electrode
design and revolutionary firing technology that provide longer, more powerful sparks, longer service life and more efficient
combustion than conventional single electrode spark plugs. Their pure platinum heat-fused center electrodes deliver smoother
acceleration, improved fuel efficiency, maximum power and extended performance life.
Bosch spark plug wire sets often exceed OEM quality, effectively delivering maximum voltage to the spark plugs for
hotter, more powerful and longer sparks, improving fuel economy, delivering quicker and easier starting, smoother idle and
acceleration and reduced emissions.
Consult the G-1767 Bosch Plug & Wire Set Catalog or the Online Application Guide link in the Menu at the top of this
page for the appropriate plugs and wires for your application. This Online Application Guide has great information on
filters, lubricant specifications, capacities, etc. and is printable so you can keep it for future reference.
BMW Looks to Overtake VW in U.S. Sales
Although Volkswagen has long been the top selling European vehicle brand in the United States, BMW is quickly closing in.
The numbers for 2004 show Volkswagen leading BMW in sales by only 45 vehicles through November. The 11 month totals show
Volkswagen with 234,642 vehicles sold in the U.S., with BMW close behind at 234,597. The numbers for 2003 showed Volkswagen
up by 65,000 vehicles through November. The only year BMW outsold Volkswagen in the U.S. was 1993, the year Volkswagen
stopped production at its Puebla, Mexico plant. While Volkswagen enjoyed increased sales in 2001 due to the popular
redesigned Jetta, Passat and New Beetle models, its sales have been steadily declining since 2002. Through November 2004,
Volkswagen sales were down 17.6 percent for the year, while BMW sales were up 6.7 percent.
Wear Metal Trending Tip
According to Noria Corporation, it is best to avoid sampling downstream of filters when wear metal trending. This
practice strips valuable data from the oil prior to drawing the sample. In addition, the common practice of drawing samples
from large centralized reservoirs, including steam turbines, paper machine lubes and hydraulic system, should also be
avoided because the large volumes of oil in these tanks often dilute wear metal concentrations to undetectable levels. For
optimal results, it is best to sample live-zone return lines and bearing drain headers.
Petroleum Equipment Institute Offers Safe Refueling Tips
Static electricity related fires gained national attention in the mid 1990's, prompting the Petroleum Equipment Institute
(PEI) to take steps to educate the public about the fire hazards related to the discharging of static electricity at gas
While it is tempting to re-enter a vehicle while it is refueling, especially in cold winter
temperatures, it is best to stay outside.
While it is tempting to re-enter a vehicle while it is refueling, especially in cold winter temperatures, it is best to
stay outside. Re-entering the vehicle, especially in cool, dry weather conditions, can cause static electricity to build up
and be discharged at the nozzle, causing fire.
PEI offers the following rules for safe refueling:
1) Turn the engine off.
2) Don't smoke.
3) Avoid re-entering the vehicle.
As of September 2004, PEI received 160 reports of static electricity related fires. Many motorists became charged through
friction created between clothing and a car seat, causing an electrostatic discharge to the vehicle's body, fuel cap or the
According to PEI research, static electricity is the primary cause of fires at fuel pumps. Although reports of fires
related to cell phone usage have been widely circulated, none of the investigated incidents were caused by cell phones.
For more information on static electricity build-up and refueling safety, visit PEI's website at www.pei.org/static.