Everything you ever wanted to know
about motor oil but didn't know to ask

Author: Michael Kaufman

Only a Small Portion of the Book

What you are currently reading is a small portion of a much larger work. This page contains a 15 page excerpt of the first full chapter of "The Motor Oil Bible", a 135 page PDF ebook that discusses just about every major issue/question related to motor oil and filtration that you could ever want to know.

The honest truth is that this free excerpt exists for one purpose only - to convince you that "The Motor Oil Bible" is a book that is worth your time and attention, and to suggest to you that you might want to consider getting your hands on the full, 135 page version of the book.

Best of all, it's actually REALLY SIMPLE to get the full 135 pages for free as well, but we'll get to that in a bit. For now, why don't we focus on the book itself. As I said a moment ago, the following represents the first 15 pages of "The Motor Oil Bible". It is the COMPLETE first 15 pages of the book. I hope that you find it as useful as my previous customers have.

Let's Really Talk About Oil

Well, if you are reading this introduction to "The Motor Oil Bible", it is obvious that you are someone who wants to know everything you can about properly maintaining your vehicle. Rest assured you're reading the right book. There is NOTHING more important to the life of your vehicle than proper lubrication and filtration of its engine and other moving parts.

Obviously, the more you know about these two issues, the better equipped you'll be to "do it right". When you finish reading "The Motor Oil Bible", you'll know everything necessary to choose the proper oil and filtration system for your vehicle in order to virtually eliminate engine component wear.

Throughout the course of the following chapters I will try to explain, in non-technical language, exactly how motor oil is made, what it does, how it does it, how it is tested, how it shouldn't be tested and how to compare one oil to another. I'll discuss many of the misconceptions regarding motor oil and specifically synthetic oil.

In addition, I'll provide information that should help you in finding the right oil and air filtration systems for your vehicle based upon their relative cost effectiveness related to your particular application. By the time you're done reading this eBook, you'll know everything I know about automotive lubrication and filtration. And, as GI Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle".

What Does Motor Oil Do?

As automobiles are redesigned to create more powerful yet efficient engines, lubricants have to be redesigned to meet the increased demands placed on them. Higher engine temperatures and decreased oil sump capacities mean that motor oils have to work much harder in today's engines than they used to.

But what is it really that an oil does? Of course, we know that oil is necessary, and we all probably have the general idea that oil makes things slippery so that metal parts can more easily pass by one another. But, is there more to it than that?

YES. Much more.


In order for your engine to function properly and with adequate power, a lubricating motor oil must perform four main functions:


Motor oil must lubricate engine components so that they will easily pass by one another without a significant loss of power due to friction. Of course, at start-up, this is especially true. As an engine sits, oil tends to run down into the oil pan. Therefore, when the engine is started, the oil must be quickly pumped throughout the engine to provide sufficient cranking speed for the engine to turn over.

Once the engine is running, motor oil must create a film between moving parts to make them "slippery" which increases power, performance and efficiency. Each different type of engine requires a certain viscosity range in order that the oil will provide an adequate film between moving parts while still flowing quickly and easily enough throughout the engine.

Some people believe that if a 30 weight oil provides good protection, a 50 weight must provide great protection. That's not necessarily true. If your vehicle was not designed to take a 50 weight oil, using one may not cause more engine wear, but it will likely cause an increase in engine temperatures. This can be just as bad for the longevity of your engine as increased engine wear.


The film that a motor oil provides between metal surfaces does more than just lubricate. By keeping engine components from coming in contact with each other, a motor oil also provides protection against wear. That probably seems pretty obvious. However, there is another way in which an oil protects.

Motor oil must protect against corrosion of engine components. Oxidation of the oil and contamination via condensation and combustion by-products all cause acids within an engine oil. If these acids are allowed to come into contact with engine components, corrosion occurs and premature component failure is the result. Engine oils are designed to combat these acids.


If an engine does not remain clean, it does not remain efficient. Deposits within an engine gum up the works and reduce fuel efficiency while robbing your engine of performance. In addition, contaminants within an oil that are left "unguarded" can cause incalculable wear within an engine.

Any particle larger than 5 to 20 microns in size (depending upon the vehicle) will seriously damage an engine if not removed or contained. To give you an idea of how small this is, a human hair is 100 microns thick. Although filtration plays a big role in this area, the oil also has to play it's part by keeping deposits from forming within the engine and by holding contaminants in suspension until they can be removed by the oil filter.


Motor oil is responsible for a large percentage of the cooling that takes place within your engine. Your radiator (anti-freeze system) is only responsible for cooling the upper portion of your engine. The rest (crankshaft, camshaft, timing gears, pistons, main and connecting rod bearings and many other critical engine components are cooled mainly by the motor oil within your engine.

Heat is generated within an engine from both the combustion process and the friction caused by the motion of engine components. As oil passes through the system it is directed onto these hot surfaces in order to carry the heat away to the oil pan. From here the heat is dissipated to the air surrounding the pan.

It is with this overall motor oil "job description" in mind that we move on to the next chapter of "The Motor Oil Bible": What goes into an oil?

What Goes Into an Oil?

If you're going to study oil, it makes sense to start at the beginning. How is an oil made? What components are used to create it? What is the difference between the manufacturing of a standard petroleum oil and a premium synthetic oil? It is these questions which you will find answers to within this chapter of "The Motor Oil Bible".


There are two main components that any motor oil is made of. There is a base fluid (sometimes called a basestock) and the additive package. The base fluid typically makes up the bulk of the oil. Additive chemicals are then added to enhance the positive qualities of the basestock and to overcome whatever negative qualities there may be.


There are two main types of basestocks, petroleum and synthetic. Petroleum basestocks are a purified form of crude oil and have been used as the base for automotive lubricants since motor oils were first being developed.

Synthetic basestocks, on the other hand, are chemically engineered in a lab specifically for the purpose of lubrication. They are engineered from pure compounds that contain no contaminants which must be removed via purification. Synthetic basestocks have been around since the early 1900's but were not widely used in automotive type applications until the 70's.


As indicated above, petroleum basestocks are refined from crude oil that has been recovered from natural underground "storage areas". Once the oil is recovered, it must be run through a series of purification steps to improve the following desirable lubrication qualities:

  1. Viscosity Index

    A measure of an oil's ability to maintain it's viscosity over a wide temperature range. The higher the number, the less change in viscosity with a change in temperature. Better oils will generally have higher viscosity indexes.
  2. Low Temperature Performance

    The better an oil will flow at low temperatures, the better its low temperature performance. Better low temperature performance provides more immediate engine protection at start-up in cold weather climates.
  3. High Temperature Performance

    How well does an oil hold up under extremely hot conditions. Will it burn off easily? Will it allow metal to metal contact under hot conditions as a result of viscosity loss? Obviously, better oils will hold up more effectively under extreme heat.
  4. Oxidation Resistance

    Oxidation occurs when oxygen reacts with the components of an oil to form sludge and other engine deposits. Oxidation leads to increased oil viscosity making the engine work harder to pump the oil through its system. An oil should be able to resist oxidation.

The Refining Process

In order to enhance the above qualities for the final lubricant base oil, crude oil is passed through a series of purification steps. The series of steps will be something closely resembling the following:

  1. Desalting

    Removal of salt contaminants from the crude oil to make the rest of the refining process easier.
  2. Partial Vaporization

    The crude oil is heated within a vaporization chamber which collects portions of the crude that have differing boiling points. Lubricating basestocks are the components with the highest boiling point with the exception of asphaltic materials.
  3. Vacuum Distillation

    Process by which lubricating basestocks are separated into fractions of differing molecular weights, and, therefore, differing viscosity ranges.
  4. Solvent Extraction

    Solvents are added to each fraction obtained from the distillation process and the mixture is allowed to settle into a phase containing aromatic compounds and a phase containing non- aromatic compounds. The aromatic compounds are extracted from the basestock before the next step in the refining process.

    Up to 80% off the aromatic contaminants are removed through this method. This greatly improves thermal and oxidative stability and raises the viscosity index of the stock considerably.
  5. Dewaxing

    Wax is removed to improve low temperature fluidity. In cold temperatures wax contaminants will crystalize making the lubricant thick and difficult to pump.

    Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is added to the lubricant basestock and the oil is cooled to just below the intended pour point of the basestock. All wax crystals that form are removed via filtration. NOTE: The pour point of an oil is often referred to in its technical specifications and basically refers to the lowest temperature at which an oil will still pour (it's actually slightly more complicated than that, but pour points will be discussed in another chapter).
  6. Hydrofinishing or Clay Treatment

    This is an optional component of the refining process reserved for more premium petroleum basestocks. Hydrofinishing uses a catalyst bed through which hydrogen and heated oil are passed. As these components pass through the bed, unstable components such as sulfur and nitrogen are removed. Clay treatment uses a different method to achieve a similar outcome.

    Both of these refining processes improve oxidation stability, thermal stability and color of the lubricant basestock.
  7. Hydrotreating

    In some cases a more severe method is used in addition to regular hydrofinishing. Hydrotreating involves putting the lubricant basestock through extremely high temperature and pressure extremes in the presence of a catalyst.

    This will convert any remaining aromatic hydrocarbon contaminants into usable nonaromatic hydrocarbon molecules. The resulting hydrocarbon molecules are much more stable, and the resulting basestock is very pure with very few contaminants.

    This process can be used in place of solvent extraction of aromatics and/or in addition to solvent extraction. It is much more effective, achieving about 99% removal of aromatic contaminants as opposed to only about 80% for solvent extraction. Only super-premium petroleum basestocks will be manufactured using this method.

A Note of Importance -

Crude oil comes from many sources and has a wide range of quality levels and contamination levels. The refining process above can only do so much. As a result, petroleum basestocks will have a wide range of quality levels.

To minimize these quality differences lubricant companies must exercise tremendous care in selecting crude oil stocks. In addition, the refining process must be done under the strictest of quality control measures.

As a result, those companies that exercise this care will charge more for their oil - they simply have to. So, if you are going to use a petroleum lubricant, keep in mind that you generally get what you pay for. Although you're paying somewhat for the brand name, in most cases there is a reason that brand name oils are priced higher - they're of higher quality.

Just because you see the API starburst on the bottle doesn't mean it's a "quality" oil - it only means that the oil in that container meets the absolute minimum specifications in order to adequately protect your engine. Just be careful what you use to protect your "baby".


There are some petroleum lubricants available on the market that are so pure and refined, they can now be passed off as synthetics. They are not made from true synthetic basestocks (at least not in the way that synthetics have traditionally been defined), but they have so little in common with traditional petroleum basestocks, it is really somewhat silly to classify them as merely petroleum lubricants.

Petroleum lubricant basestocks can be put through a super-extreme refining process called hydrocracking. In some cases, as in the case of one particular name-brand "synthetic" oil, these highly refined petroleum basestocks can actually be termed and sold as "synthetic". It is completely legal for lubricants manufacturers to label these oils as "synthetic".

These are extremely high performance petroleum basestocks, but they are not truly synthetic the way that most people understand the term and will not necessarily perform to the same level as a premium synthetic oil.

Hydrocracking involves changing the actual structure of many of the lubricant basestock molecules by breaking and fragmenting different molecular structures into far more stable ones. This results in a basestock which has far better thermal and oxidative stability as well as a better ability to maintain proper viscosity through a wide temperature range - when compared to a typical petroleum basestock.

Although contaminants are still present, and these are still petroleum basestocks, contamination is minimal and performance characteristics are high. This process also can turn a wider range of crude oil stock into well-performing petroleum lubricant basestocks.


Synthetic lubricant basestocks have very little in common with their petroleum "cousins". They are used for a similar purpose. But, while one is designed specifically for the purpose of lubrication, the other has been simply transformed into something that will adequately do the job.

In fact, the relationship between these two basestock types would be similar to the relationship between a big rock and a hammer. Both can be used to drive nails, but one will be far more effective than the other. A hammer which is designed for driving nails will do so much more efficiently than will a rock.

In addition, the hammer will be able to drive nail after nail without any significant loss in its integrity. The quality of the hammer will degrade very little over time. However, the rock will easily be chipped and cracked when used to pound nails. In fact, you would probably find that after only a few dozen nails, you would need to go find a new rock to pound nails with.

You see, the rock was not designed to pound nails. Of course, you could fashion it into something that looked like a hammer if you like, but it's still a rock. It will work in a pinch, but it is not the right tool for the job.

But, along comes "Nail Drivers Inc." with a novel idea. They decide to first determine what the qualities of a good "nail driver" would be. Then they fashion a tool that is specifically designed to have these qualities.

Doesn't it make sense that the new tool will accomplish the job far better than the old rock? The same is true of a synthetic oil when compared to a petroleum oil.

Designed to be Better

In the case of synthetic basestocks the first step is the most important. The lubricant manufacturer first decides what the final lubricant is going to be used for. Once that is determined, research is done to determine what lubricant characteristics will be best suited to that particular application. Only then is manufacture of the actual lubricant basestock begun.

On the surface, the manufacture of synthetic basestocks may seem far more simplistic than the manufacture of a petroleum oil. In the case of synthetics, materials of low molecular weight are chemically reacted with each other to produce materials of higher molecular weight with very specific lubricating properties.

There is no need to separate the basestock into fractions of differing molecular weight because the intended molecular weight is formed at the start. There is no need to extract contaminants or transform them into something useful because there are no contaminants to begin with. As a result, there is little for me to explain when it comes to synthetic basestock manufacturing.

Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the particular materials used for chemical reaction and the methods used for those reactions will result in synthetic basestocks of varying quality. Experience is essential to proper manufacture of a quality synthetic basestock.

Synthetic basestocks manufactured in this way will have the following basic benefits over their petroleum basestock counterparts: improved low and high temperature performance, improved oxidative and thermal stability, enhanced frictional characteristics and longer lubricant life.

Types of Synthetic Basestocks

Synthetic basestocks are not all the same. There are few different chemical types that may be used as synthetic basestock fluids. There are only three that are seen commonly in automotive applications:

  1. Polyalphaolefins (PAO's)

    These are the most common synthetic basestocks used in the US and in Europe. In fact, many synthetics on the market use PAO basestocks exclusively. PAO's are also called synthesized hydrocarbons and contain absolutely no wax, metals, sulfur or phosphorous. Viscosity indexes for nearly all PAO's are around 150, and they have extremely low pour points (normally below -40 degrees F).

    Although PAO's are also very thermally stable, there are a couple of drawbacks to using PAO basestocks. One drawback to using PAO's is that they are not as oxidatively stable as other synthetics. But, when properly additized, oxidative stability can be achieved.

    PAO's also tend to shrink seals which was discovered in the early 70's when a major oil manufacturer had seal troubles with their first synthetic formulation.
  2. Diesters

    Less commonly used, these synthetic basestocks offer many of the same benefits of PAO's but are more varied in structure. Therefore, their performance characteristics vary more than PAO's do. Nevertheless, if chosen carefully, diesters generally provide better pour points than PAO's (about -60 to -80 degrees F) and are a little more oxidatively stable when properly additized.

    Diesters also have very good inherent solvency characteristics which means that not only do they burn cleanly, they also clean out deposits left behind by other lubricants - even without the aid of detergency additives. As with PAO's, diesters can affect seals. However, they generally cause seal swell as opposed to seal shrinkage. Chemically resistant seals are recommended if using synthetic base oils manufactured with diesters.
  3. Polyolesters

    Similar to diesters, but slightly more complex. Greater range of pour points and viscosity indexes than diesters, but some polyolester basestocks will outperform diesters with pour points as low as -90 degrees F and viscosity indexes as high as 160 (without VI additive improvers).

    The same seal swell characteristics exist with polyolesters as with diesters.

Other synthetic basestocks exist but are not nearly as widely used as those above - especially in automotive type applications. Most synthetics on the market will use a single PAO basestock combined with an adequate additive package to provide a medium quality synthetic lubricant. However, PAO basestocks are not all the same. Their final lubricating characteristics depend on the chemical reactions used to create them.

Premium quality synthetics will blend more than one "species" of PAO and/or will blend these PAO basestocks with a certain amount of diester or polyolester in order to create a basestock which combines all of the relative benefits of these different basestocks.

This requires a great deal of experience and expertise. As a result, such basestock blending is rare within the synthetic lubricants industry and only done by very experienced companies. In addition, although such blending creates extremely high quality synthetic oils, they don't come cheap. Many of these oils will cost in excess of $6 to $9 per quart whereas lesser quality synthetics may only cost $3 to $4 per quart. As I've said before, you get what you pay for.


Although the basestock of an oil will be a major determining factor in the lubrication quality of an oil, chemical additives play a major part in making sure that it does all that it is supposed to do. In fact, the chemical additive package of an oil is just as important to insuring the quality of a lubricant as is the particular basestock used.

The chemical additive package of an oil is designed to perform a number of tasks and each task is performed by a particular type of chemical. The quality of the chemicals used and the manner in which they are blended plays a large part in determining how well the additive package does its job.

As you can well imagine, as the quality of the additive chemicals increases, so does the price. In addition, proper blending takes a great deal of research. This requires much time and, again, money. Therefore, manufacturers will, of course, charge more for motor oils which contain a high quality additive package than those with lower quality additive packages. They simply can't afford not to.

As mentioned above, each chemical within an oils additive package plays a different role in boosting the beneficial properties of it's host lubricant (basestock). Each of those roles is described below along with a brief description of the types of chemicals that are used to accomplish those roles.


Basestock lubricants have a certain temperature range over which they will flow adequately. The wider this temperature range the better. Cold temperature starting requires an oil that will flow well at low temperatures. The higher engine temperatures of todays smaller, higher revving engines requires an oil that will perform well under high temperature conditions.

Pour Point Depressants

In order to improve the flow characteristics of a lubricant basestock at low temperatures additives called pour point depressants are used. Because synthetic basestocks have inherently better low temperature flow characteristics, pour point depressants are typically unnecessary. Therefore, they are normally only used in conjunction with petroleum basestock lubricants.

Waxy contaminants within petroleum basestocks tend to crystalize in low temperature conditions. These crystalized structures absorb oil and increase in size. This leads to oil thickening and poor low temperature flow characteristics. Pour point depressants do not inhibit this crystallization, as is thought by many.

Instead, the pour point depressants are absorbed into the crystals instead of the oil, thereby lowering the volume of the crystals in proportion to the volume of the free flowing oil. This helps maintain the low temperature flow characteristics of the base oil even when crystallization occurs.

Higher quality petroleum basestocks have less need for pour point depressants because they have lower levels of wax contamination. However, complete dewaxing of a petroleum basestock is not very economical, so all petroleum basestocks require at least some level of pour point depressant. The only exception might be hydrocracked petroleum basestocks.

Viscosity Index Improvers

As a lubricant basestock is subjected to increasing temperatures it tends to lose its viscosity. In other words, it thins out. This leads to decreased engine protection and a higher likelihood of metal to metal contact. Therefore, if this viscosity loss can be minimized, the probability of unnecessary engine wear will be reduced. This is where viscosity index (VI) improvers (sometimes called viscosity modifiers) come in.

VI improvers are polymers that expand and contract with changes in temperature. At low temperatures they are very compact and affect the viscosity of a lubricant very little. But, at high temperatures these polymers "explode" into much larger long-chain polymers which significantly increase the viscosity of their host lubricant. So, as the basestock loses viscosity with increases in temperature, VI improvers negate that viscosity drop by increasing their size.

The higher the molecular weight of the polymers used, the better the power of "thickening" within the lubricant. Unfortunately, an increase in molecular weight also leads to an inherent instability of the polymers themselves. They become much more prone to shearing within an engine. As these polymers are sheared back to lower molecular weight molecules, their effectiveness as a VI improver decreases.

Unfortunately, because petroleum basestocks are so prone to viscosity loss at high temperatures, high molecular weight polymers must be used. Since these polymers are more prone to shearing than lower molecular weight polymers, petroleum oils tend to shear back very quickly. In other words, they lose their ability to maintain their viscosity at high temperatures.

Synthetic basestocks, on the other hand, are much less prone to viscosity loss at high temperatures. Therefore, lower molecular weight polymers may be used as VI improvers. These polymers are less prone to shearing, so they are effective for a much longer period of time than the VI improvers used in petroleum oils. In other words, synthetic oils do not quickly lose their ability to maintain viscosity at high temperatures as petroleum oils do.

In fact, some synthetic basestocks are so stable at high temperatures they need NO VI improvers at all. Obviously, these basestocks will maintain their high temperature viscosities for a very long time since there are no VI improvers to break down.


Lubricating oils are not only prone to viscosity loss over time. They are also susceptible to breakdown due to contamination and/or oxidation which decreases the useful life of an oil. Additives are often used in order to inhibit the susceptibility of a basestock to this breakdown over time.

Detergents and Dispersants

Contamination due to sludge and varnish build-up within an oil can often be one of the limiting factors in determining the useful life of an oil. If this build-up can be minimized and contained, the life of the lubricating fluid can be increased. Detergent and dispersant additives are utilized for this purpose. There is some debate as to whether those additives considered to be detergents actually "clean" existing deposits, but at the very least they aid dispersants in keeping new deposits from forming.

Detergent and dispersant additives are attracted to sludge and varnish contaminants within a lubricant. They then contain and suspend those particles so that they do not come together to form deposits. The more contamination within the oil, the more additive that is used up. Since synthetic oils are less prone to leave sludge and varnish, these additives are used up much more slowly within a synthetic lubricant.

Some oils use ashless dispersants which are more effective at controlling sludge and varnish contamination than metallic dispersants. In addition, some ashless dispersants are actually long chain polymers that serve a dual purpose as VI improvers in multi-grade oils. Detergents are all metallic in nature.

Anti-Foaming Agents

Although necessary for engine cleanliness, detergents and dispersants can have a negative effect on the lubricating fluid within your engine as well. Sometimes, these oil additives can play a part in oil foaming. In other words, air bubbles are produced within the oil. These air bubbles, if not neutralized, will reduce the lubricating qualities of the motor oil. Anti-foaming agents such as small amounts of silicone or other compounds are used to control this phenomenon.

Oxidation Inhibitors

As you probably can guess, oxidation inhibitors are additives that manage to reduce the tendency of an oil to oxidize (chemically react with oxygen). They are also called antioxidants. There are two types:

  1. One type of antioxidant destroys free radicals. In fact, you may have heard of antioxidants which can be found in vitamin supplements. In human beings, free radicals can cause cell damage and even cancer. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals in the body to reduce the chance of them causing any damage. In motor oil they serve a similar function by destroying free radicals that aid in the process of oxidation.
  2. The other type of antioxidant reacts with the peroxides in the oil. These peroxides are involved in the process of oxidation. Reaction with the antioxidant removes them from the oxidation process, thereby lessening the chance of motor oil oxidation.

Oxidation inhibitors also serve one more very important purpose. They protect against bearing corrosion. You see, bearing corrosion is caused by acids within your motor oil. These acids come from combustion by-products, but they can also be the result of oxidation. So, by inhibiting motor oil oxidation, antioxidants also protect against bearing corrosion.

Corrosion Inhibitors

Although antioxidants prevent the acids caused by oxidation, they do nothing to neutralize the acids caused by combustion by-products. Therefore, other additives must be used in order to keep these acids in check and to protect engine components from their effects.

Some corrosion inhibitors are designed to protect non-ferrous metals by coating them so they cannot come in contact with acids within the oil. Other corrosion inhibitors are designed to actually neutralize the acids within the oil. The acid neutralizing capability of an oil is expressed by its Total Base Number (TBN).

Since diesel engines tend to have more acid build up within the oil, these oils generally have TBN between 9 and 14. Gasoline oil TBN levels are normally lower at 5 to 8. Generally, higher quality oils and/or those that are designed for longer drain intervals will have higher TBN numbers.

Synthetics will almost always fall at the high end of the scale for both gas and diesel oils, while petroleum oils will typically fall at the low end of the scale because they are changed frequently anyway. There is normally no need for petroleum oils to have high TBN values.

Anti-Wear Agents

Even with the best of oils there is always the possibility of metal to metal contact within an engine, however slight. Some oils (especially premium synthetics) will cling to metal surfaces better than others, but engines that are left to sit for any period of time may have very little lubricant protection at start-up. This is especially true in cold conditions when petroleum oils do not pump well. To minimize the engine component wear caused by these situations, anti-wear additives are used.

Additives such as zinc and phosphorus will actually coat metal surfaces forming a protective barrier against wear. They do not eliminate the metal to metal contact. They simply minimize the wear that occurs during those instances. Typically, zinc and phosphorus come as a package called ZDDP (zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate). They work together.


Some additives are included in an oil to deal with compatibility issues between the oil and certain engine components. For instance, as was mentioned when discussing basestocks, there are certain types of lubricant basestock that will cause seals and gaskets to swell or to shrink. These effects have to be minimized. Sometimes basestock blending will alleviate the issue, but in other cases additives might be used.

Moreover, depending upon the particular application the oil will be used for, some additives may be left out while others may be left in. For instance, in order to meet API SJ fuel economy requirements, oils are now formulated with special friction modifiers. However, these friction modifiers might cause clutch slippage if used within motorcycle oils. So, motorcycle specific oils do not contain these friction modifier additives.


When considered as a whole, lubricant oils are comprised mainly of basestock fluids. Only a small percentage of the oil is comprised of additive chemicals. However, as is evident from the information presented above, additives can play as important a role as the basestock fluid itself.

A high quality basestock blended with a cheap additive package is still junk oil. A high quality additive package added to a cheap basestock is no better.

Of course, a motor oil as a whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, even a high quality basestock combined with a high quality additive package isn't necessarily going to yield a premium oil. The company manufacturing the oil has to know how to correctly blend those basestocks and additives so that they perform well together.

If you want your engine to last, don't be cheap - Your vehicle wasn't. Spend the extra to get a high quality oil. If you're going to stick with a petroleum oil, don't by "John Doe's No-Name Cheapo Oil". It might meet API specifications, but that doesn't mean much.

The same goes for a synthetic oil. If you're going to spend the bucks, why purchase synthetic oil from a manufacturer that's only been blending synthetics for a few years? Wouldn't you rather purchase a synthetic oil from a company that's been doing it for a while.

As an example, if you were waiting to have triple bypass surgery, who would you want operating on you - the first year eager-beaver medical resident or the guy who's been doing it for 15 years and gets a write-up in a different medical journal every week for his expertise in the field? Do I even have to ask?

There are companies out there that have been manufacturing synthetic lubricants for over 20 years. Don't you think they probably know a little more about it than some company that just started selling synthetic oil a few years back to increase their bottom line? If you want the better oil, generally you can purchase it from the company that's been doing it the longest. Of course, that's not always true, but it is generally a good rule of thumb.

Better yet, read the rest of "The Motor Oil Bible" so that you can intelligently compare different oils to find what's best for you. Take the time to understand how to properly lubricate your engine. In the end, I guarantee your vehicle and your pocketbook will thank you.

More Excerpts, Tech Spec Comparisons & 100% eBook Rebate

Hopefully, you found the above information useful and easy to follow. I've done my best to make "The Motor Oil Bible" as complete as possible, while making it as easy to read as I could, trying not to bog you down with a bunch of "industry jargon". If you believe I've accomplished that with the above excerpt, I've got another 120 pages of super useful information available in the rest of the book.

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Another Way to Get the Book Free

Although not the preferred method, it's certainly another option. You could just ask for a refund. It's an electronic book, so it's not like I'm going to ask for it back. Obviously, if you actually LIKE the book (and I believe you will), I'd hope that you wouldn't ask for your money back. But, you could.

I'm not going to argue with you over a few bucks. If you want your money back, I'll give you a refund. And, if you had trouble with ME giving you a refund, you could always contact the payment processor for the order (ClickBank) who is very generous with their refunds. If ANYONE requests a refund, they get it. So, you're covered at both ends. Rock solid. Guaranteed.

Whether you like the book or not, you can get it completely free.

Requests More Excerpts & Tech Spec Data Guide

If you're not yet sure that you want the full book, feel free to simply enter your name and email address below to request further excerpts from the various chapters within the book as well as a 13 page document comparing the tech specs for over 600 different motor oils. Find out just how good (or bad) your current oil is. These technical specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers' themselves, so they are straight from the horses mouth.

If you want the excerpts and the tech spec document, simply fill out the form at the link below. Otherwise, if you'd like to order the full version of the book or read more about it, you can simply close this window and return to the original page.

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