AMSOIL has discontinued its BriteSide® Miracle Wash Waterless Wash and Polish due to slow sales. Get it while supplies last. We are disappointed by this news as we found a 1001 uses for this product in our shop and used it on a very regular basis. It is outstanding for quick clean-up and polishing of painted surfaces, glass and metal. It left a UV protective shine that repelled dirt and moisture. Miracle Wash has been in the AMSOIL product line for many years and we always felt that it was an item that should have been more popular than it was. We are sad to see it go.

Toyota vehicles are generally known as reliable, staid cars that maintain their value.  Many may be unaware of Toyota’s rich off-road history. Their Land Cruiser series (which was available in North America from 1960 through the mid-80’s) is legendary for its off-road prowess and indestructibility. If you’ve ever met a Land Cruiser owner, you’ll find that they are an extremely devoted lot. Some 1990’s Land Cruisers from the Asian market are still imported by enthusiasts. If you keep an eye out, you may spot the occasional Land Cruiser with right-hand steering of this origin.

In 2006, Toyota released the FJ Cruiser, which was a design tribute to the FJ 40 Land Cruiser. Nick M’s 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser is our Ride of the Month for August. While the FJ Cruiser’s body style pays homage to previous designs, does it possess the off-road capabilities of the old standards? By all accounts, the answer is most definitely yes. The FJ Cruiser is acclaimed by both reviewers and consumers for its off-road abilities and also for its surprising on-road comfort as well. Car and Driver magazine also agreed as they named the FJ Cruiser as one of “10 Vehicles for the Apocalypse” in a light-hearted 2007 article.

The FJ Cruiser’s off-road capabilities come from a number of angles. The centerpiece of the FJ is Toyota’s beefy 4.0 L V-6 engine which delivers 239 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. Features like off-road tires, generous ground clearance, skid plates, locking rear differential and an ultra-low-range transfer case all contribute to the off-road proficiency of the FJ.

Nick has added a few other items personalize his FJ:

  • Trail Gear Rock Sliders (heavy duty running bars)
  • AFE cat back exhaust
  • Toytec 2″ lift (front)
  • SPC adjustable front upper control arms
  • Old Man Emu 2″ lift (back)
  • All-Pro rear lower control arms
  • AMSOIL Synthetic Lubricants throughout
Nick M's Toyota FJ Cruiser

Nick M’s Toyota FJ Cruiser

Nick uses his FJ Cruiser for hunting and fishing excursions as well as to tow his ATV to the cottage on weekends. By all accounts, he has chosen the perfect vehicle for his purposes.

Would you would like to submit an offering as our Ride of the Month? Just send us a photo and short blurb on any type of vehicle that you enjoy and that others may find interesting. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles, etc. are applicable. Your full name and location will be omitted. Feel free contact us at “”.

If you own a Ski-Doo snowmobile equipped with the latest E-TEC engine, you may be under the impression that only BRP XPS-2 Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil is capable of protecting your engine. You wouldn’t be alone as Ski-Doo and their dealer network work very hard to promote this sentiment. AMSOIL has often contested OEM claims that they should have a monopoly on oil sales for their equipment. In the case of Ski-Doo E-TEC engines, AMSOIL performed extensive testing to prove that their Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil is up to the task.

What is Different About “E-TEC”?

Ski-Doo/Rotax E-TEC 800R 2-Stroke EngineThe Ski-Doo/Rotax E-TEC concept is probably the most sophisticated production 2-stroke engine on the market. It offers plenty of real-world benefits including lower oil and fuel consumption, low emissions, precise power delivery and light weight. E-TEC uses direct fuel injection (“DFI”), meaning that fuel is injected directly into the cylinder under very high pressure. Engine control electronics process about 8000 calculations per second, making sure that the engine is receiving the correct amount of fuel and oil as conditions dictate. This makes for ultra-low emissions and industry-leading fuel economy. BRP also claims that these engines consume about half of the 2-stroke oil as compared to their previous engines. In fact, they claim that the oil tank may need to be filled once in a typical 2000 kilometer season. Not only are these engines efficient and clean, they perform. The E-TEC 800R engine delivers a whopping 163.9 horsepower.

That amount of horsepower in a tiny package makes for high heat and stressful operation. Coupling this with minimal oil consumption, means that E-TEC owners can’t just grab the cheapest 2-stroke oil at the gas station and hit the trail. There is no disputing that E-TEC engines need an oil with supreme cleaning and lubricating properties.

Is Only XPS-2 Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil Up to the Task?

As AMSOIL didn’t think so, they performed some extensive tests using industry recognized methods. They have released two papers on the subject.

In the AMSOIL Interceptor, Ski-Doo/BRP XPS-2 Comparison Testing Study (1.2 MB PDF), AMSOIL pits their Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil against BRP XPS-2 Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil. As you’ll see, Interceptor exceeds the performance requirements of E-TEC engines and handles (the more expensive) XPS-2 quite nicely in all of the testing. Take special note that some of the test values are on a 1-10 scale while others are derived from a “percentage of an area with defects”.

The other paper is the Case Study of AMSOIL Interceptor in Ski-Doo E-TEC Engines (955k PDF). In this field trial, an 800R E-TEC engine is torn down and inspected after 3469 miles of hard trail riding using Interceptor. Again, the results showed that Interceptor provided outstanding protection in the E-TEC engine.


As you’ll see in the testing, Interceptor comfortably exceeds the performance requirements for E-TEC engines. While the XPS oil is no slouch, pound-for-pound and dollar-for-dollar, AMSOIL Interceptor is a logical choice for E-TEC owners. The E-TEC engine is an absolute gem and we believe that this engine and other clean DFI concepts may keep the 2-stroke engine on the trails for many years to come. We are fully confident that AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil can deliver the ultimate in protection and performance and this is backed by AMSOIL’s Limited Warranty.

AMSOIL has given their Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Power Steering Fluid a formulation tune-up to meet more specifications than ever. This fluid now covers most all applications to go with its other merits which include all-weather capabilities and smooth performance. Read more

Not that long ago, many automatic transmissions had just four forward speeds. In an effort to optimize fuel economy, the upgrade was made  to 5- and 6- speeds over the last few years. Some luxury car makers offered more speeds, but now automakers are pulling out all the stops for the masses with Chrysler and Hyundai introducing 8-speeds in their 300 and Genesis models. Honda and Hyundai are said to be developing 9-speed units and rumors suggest that Hyundai and Kia are releasing 10-speed gearboxes in 2014.

Why More Speeds?

Simply put, with more forward speeds, the cars can always be in the optimum gear for any situation. As the car accelerates, there is no need for the engine to speed up and then make a huge drop in RPM as the transmission shifts up. With more gears,  the transmission can seamlessly advance from gear to gear without the dramatic engine speed changes that can hamper fuel economy. More speeds also offer more gear ratio options at highway speeds.

Is This Really Progress?

If these gearboxes prove to be durable, there is no question that these “plenty-gear” units are huge step forward in terms of fuel economy alone. Eight and nine-speed transmissions are said to offer 15% fuel savings over today’s conventional units. Automakers are investing $Billions into transmission technology, so if your next vehicle delivers considerably improved fuel economy, there’s a good chance that the transmission will play no small role in this.

Read More:

AutoblogGreen: Chrysler adding 8-speed transmissions this year; 9-speeds are coming

Globe and Mail: Automatic transmissions gear up for better fuel efficiency