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Hot, Hot, Hot
by Ed Newman
AMSOIL Director of Advertising

This article appeared in National Oil & Lube News, May 2006

When you think about, it’s amazing that we put so much faith in motor oil.
We demand a lot. As technology advances, the demands we place on lubrication increase. For example, we all want better fuel economy, so we’re using lighter oils. However, we also want engines to produce more power per cubic inch. To add power, we’re putting in turbochargers which raise the engine temperature and put higher stress on our oil.

That’s not the only stress. We value cleaner air, so cleaner exhaust emissions place more contamination in the oil and increase temperatures. We’ve cut aerodynamic drag, a plus for vehicle owners, but murder on oil. By minimizing the air flow over the engine and drivetrain, temperatures also increase. What’s more, with smaller sumps we have less oil to do the big job it has to do.

According to a recent study conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), temps under the hood have increased by more than 30% since 1985. Our vehicles are increasingly complex and powerful machines. And increasingly hot. To keep them running smoothly, we’re demanding that lubricants do more and last longer. And above all, they must deal with the heat.

Synthetics offer many advantages, including longer lasting equipment, fewer repairs, better performance, better fuel economy and cleaner exhaust emissions. They even last longer than other lubricants. But one of the biggest drivers in the switch to synthetics is the way they deal with heat.


Before you can understand why synthetic lubricants continue to grow in popularity, you need to grasp the many roles lubrication has in our vehicles.

First, and most important, is reducing friction. Lubricants reduce friction by creating a film between two surfaces. Many parts don’t need much separation, but that separation counts. Even the thinnest film cuts down contact. In most cases it eliminates it.

Lubricants perform other jobs, too. They must carry away harmful contaminants or prevent contaminants from sticking to engine parts and bear them to the filter. Lubricants also help cool the engine, not only by reducing heat from friction but also by absorbing heat from contact areas and transporting that heat to another location where it can’t harm sensitive engine parts.

We also rely on lubricants to seal pistons, piston rings and cylinder contact areas, prevent corrosion and transfer energy, as in hydraulic equipment or valve filters in an automotive engine.

We depend on our vehicles to perform well in all conditions. Lubricants cannot fail or our vehicles will suffer.

Today’s vehicles run with reduced oil viscosity, more horsepower, turbocharged engines, cleaner emissions, improved aerodynamics and increased operating temperatures. They perform all this under the watchful eye of a public demanding that vehicles run cleaner because of environmental concerns. We put stress on our lubricants.


Synthetic lubricants help solve the problem of heat through their design. Because of their uniform structure synthetic molecules slip easily across one another. Because they’re created from pure chemicals they contain no contaminants or molecules that don’t help the lubricating process.
Contrast that to refined lubricants which contain odd-shaped molecules that don’t slip past each other as easily. This creates additional friction. Less friction means less engine wear and better heat control and fuel efficiency. Synthetics outperform refined lubricants because they reduce friction.

Reducing friction means reducing heat, a significant challenge in today’s high performance automobiles. Today’s vehicles produce more power and higher loads, pushing operating temperatures above the vehicle’s optimal range. High temperatures cause engine wear and failure.

Synthetics help control heat not only by reducing friction, but also by transferring heat more effectively than conventional lubricants. Again, the advantage lies in the synthetic molecule. Synthetics transfer heat more efficiently, reducing the possibility of engine problems.

It’s interesting that the appeal of synthetic motor oils was initially due to their low pour point in frigid temperatures. Over time, the technology proved to have far more advantages than first imagined. As spring turns to summer, you’ll want to keep your customers’ engines cooler with synthetics. That’s a hot idea, and a way to be cool yourself while earning a few extra dollars and helping your customers at the same time

Ed Newman is the Director of Advertising for AMSOIL INC.

If I can provide any more information about AMSOIL products for your ATV or your vehicles, don't hesitate to PM me.

Take care,
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