Earlier this year, one of our customers told us about an exceptional car that we immediately wanted to learn more about. Luc F.’s 1987 Lotus Esprit HCI is a classic supercar that is both rare and beautiful. We are thankful that he gave us permission to share it with you.

What separates this machine from your average mass-built sports car is not just its rarity or the hand-crafted leather interior. It’s also not the fact that this Lotus was hand-built in England. What makes a Lotus so special is the engineering that stems from 60 years of extraordinary racing success. We’ve never had the pleasure of driving a Lotus, but by all accounts, it is an exhilarating experience that one will not soon forget.

We were pleased that Luc chose our AMSOIL Z-Rod Synthetic 20W-50 Engine Oil to protect the turbo-charged engine. As this high-compression Lotus engine is equipped with flat tappet camshafts, Z-Rod is a superb motor oil choice.

Luc was generous enough to offer this description of his Lotus along with a brief history of the Esprit model.

“The Esprit is a mid-engine car that designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro from Ital Design for
Lotus cars of the UK. It was presented to the public for the first time in Turin in 1972. The first production Esprit came off the line in 1976.

The initial Esprit came equipped with an atmospheric 2.0L 16V engine designed in-house by
Lotus and was developing 160HP. The engine design was all-aluminum with steel sleeves. It was used in different configurations until 1996. When enlarged to 2.2L with a turbo
and charge cooler, it was producing 300HP in the Esprit S4s.

The car rides on a typical Lotus backbone chassis consisting of a central steel boxed section
which is attached a tubular cradle for the engine at the back and suspension attachments
at the four corners. The body shell is built of fiberglass and consists of two halves glued at
the waste band and bolted to the chassis. This layout was kept until the end of the
production with the last edition of the V8 in 2003.

Two different body styles were used over the years, the Giugiaro design from 1976 to 1987
and the (Peter) Stevens design  from 1988 to 2003.

I bought this particular car from a broker in Pennsylvania after 5 years of checking ads and the internet. It had 21,000 miles on the clock and used to be owned by a collector in New Jersey.
Only around 600 units were produced with the HCPI (High Compression Petrol Injection) engine from
from 1986 to 1987. They featured a Bosch K-Jetronic injection system with a Lambda sensor which was adapted for the turbocharged engine. Other normally aspirated and turbo cars were
equipped with Dellorto carburetors (or Stromberg for the federal version). One of the reasons
this particular model was chosen is the stability that an injected fuel system offers after long
intervals without running it (which can be an issue with carburetor versions).

This car is one out of just 12 cars in the black and gold color scheme issued for the USA market. Total turbo production  numbers for the G model were around 2200 units which makes it a pretty uncommon car. Prices are surprisingly low and part of the reason is the perception by the public of the
fiberglass structure and parts availability. On that subject, it is a misconception to believe
that parts are hard or extraordinarily expensive to get. There is a great market out there for
these cars and since the engines are sleeved, available kits allow you to overhaul your
engine without even coming close to what a Ferrari or Porsche engine rebuilt would cost
you. There is also great support from Forums (The Lotus Forum from UK comes to mind)
where no questions remain unanswered. This is a real bonus when you are new to the brand.
Maintenance is a pain (like any mid-engine car), but it is part of the fun of buying an exotic
car. Like any special car, if you don’t take care of maintenance yourself, costs can get
astronomical. That been said, with a little patience, the right tools and good advice, it has been a
very reliable car up to now.

Driving the Esprit is really special, it feels like what you would expect from a Lotus. Very
direct and connected to the road, sometimes a little too connected on rough back roads.
This car feels at home on nice sweeping roads or highway at any speed. You will get up to speed in a very linear way with no sudden push from the turbo and you will get there fast if
you keep it on the boost. Lag, like any turbo of that era is an issue, you just need to learn to
deal with it.”

Thanks very much to Luc F. for sharing his photos and offering a description of this very special car.

AMSOIL Synthetic 15W-40 API-CJ-4 Diesel OilA reader asks: I see that you carry wide variety of AMSOIL diesel engine oils and I find the selection to be a bit confusing. What is the difference between the “Premium” and “Heavy-Duty” diesel oils? Are the “Premium” diesel oils suitable for heavy-duty diesel engines?

Our answer: Great question and yes, all of the AMSOIL diesel motor oils are suitable for heavy-duty engines. When choosing a diesel engine oil, the very first thing you must do is determine the industry specification required by the engine maker. This is very important. The second thing to do is choose a viscosity. Your owner’s manual should offer some recommendations on both of these points.

Let’s look at the various categories of AMSOIL Diesel Oils and hopefully take some of the confusion out of this issue.

Premium Synthetic Diesel Oil

There are two products in this category. The “DEO” Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil and the “DME” Premium 15W-40 Synthetic Diesel Oil. These products are ideal for any heavy-duty or pick-up truck service. They are the finest offering from AMSOIL for applications requiring the very latest API CJ-4 specification as well as older diesel specs. DEO 5W-40 and DME 15W-40 meet the following specifications.

  • API CJ-4, CI-4+, CF, SM, SN
  • ACEA E7, E9
  • Ford WSS-M2C171E
  • Mack EO-O
  • DDC 93K218
  • Caterpillar ECF-3, ECF-2, ECF-1a
  • Cummins 20081
  • Volvo VDS-4, VDS-3
  • MS 10902
  • MB 228.31
  • MTU Type I & II, Type 2.1
  • MAN 3275, 3575
  • JASO DH-2
  • Global DHD-1
  • Renault RLD-3

OE Series Synthetic Diesel Oil

The AMSOIL “OE” Series of synthetic diesel engine oils is AMSOIL’s moderately-priced offering. Available in 15W-40 and 10W-30 grades, OE diesel meets many of the same industry specifications as the Premium Diesel Oil Series at a lower price. This makes the OE Diesel Oils ideal for the oil change shop market and cost-conscious diesel owners. OE Diesel is also ideal for fleets that have a mix of older and newer diesel trucks and equipment. Here are the industry specs covers by the OE Diesel Series.

  • API CJ-4, CI-4+, SM, SN
  • ACEA E9
  • DDC 93K218
  • Cummins CES 20081
  • MB 228.31
  • CAT ECF-3, ECF-2, ECF-1-a
  • Mack EO-O Plus
  • Volvo VDS-4
  • MAN 3575
  • Renault RLD-3
  • MTU Type 2.1

AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Synthetic Diesel Oils

AMSOIL’s Heavy Duty Series of diesel engine oils are formulated for older diesel engines that do not have the latest emissions equipment or exhaust particulate filters. These oils do not meet the newest API CJ-4 specification, so they should not be used in 2007 and newer trucks.

An example of suitable applications would be diesel trucks made prior to the 2007 model year and require the API CI-4+ specification. AMSOIL Heavy Duty Diesel Oils provide extended drain intervals and the best possible wear protection for older diesel trucks and equipment.

If you have a mix of older engines as well as newer units that require an API CJ-4 oil, go with the Premium or OE Series shown above.

If your engine does not require the CJ-4 spec, the Heavy-Duty Series oils shown below are an excellent choice.

AMSOIL 15W-40 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel & Marine Motor Oil

This synthetic 15W-40 is AMSOIL’s workhorse for older diesels. This 15W-40 is capable of triple the oil change interval suggested by the manufacturer and delivers exceptionally strong wear control. Here are the industry specifications covered by 15W-40 Synthetic Heavy Duty Diesel & Marine Motor Oil.

  • API CI-4+, CF, CF-2, SL
  • ACEA A3/B3, E2, E3, E5, E7
  • Global DHD-1
  • JASO DH-1
  • Mack EO-M, EO-N
  • DDC Power Guard 93K214
  • Caterpillar ECF-1A, ECF-2
  • Cummins CES 20076, 20077, 20078
  • Volvo VDS-2, VDS-3
  • Mercedes-Benz 228.1, 228.3, 229.1
  • MAN 271/3275
  • MTU Type 2

AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30/SAE 30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil

Ideal for applications that require straight 30-weight diesel engine oil or 10W-30. This robust synthetic is capable of staying in service for up to 600 hours and flows down to -36°C. AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30/SAE 30 Heavy Duty Diesel Oil covers the following industry specs.

  • API CI-4+/CH-4/SL, CF, CF-2
  • Global DHD-1
  • ACEA A3/B3, E3, E5
  • JASO DH-1 • Mack EO-M+, EO-N Premium Plus ’03
  • Detroit Diesel Power Guard 93K214
  • Caterpillar ECF-1a, ECF-2
  • Cummins CES 20076/20077/20078
  • Volvo VDS-3/VDS-2
  • Mercedes Benz 228.1/228.3/229.1
  • MAN 271/3275
  • MTU Type 2

AMSOIL Series 3000 Synthetic 5W-30 Diesel Oil

Long known as one of AMSOIL’s most powerful synthetic oils, Series 3000 5W-30 can be used in place of 10W-30, 5W-40 or even 15W-40 with no sacrifice in engine protection. The upside of using a 5W-30 is improved fuel efficiency, maximum power output and a -50°C pour point. This elite 5W-30 is an asset to any diesel engine that does not require the very latest industry spec. Series 3000 Synthetic 5W-30 Diesel Oil covers the following specifications.

  • API CI-4+, CI-4, CF, CF-2, SL, SJ
  • ACEA A3/B3, E2, E3, E5, E7
  • Global DHD-1
  • JASO DH-1
  • Mack EO-M, EO-N
  • DDC 93K214
  • Caterpillar ECF-1-a, ECF-2
  • Cummins CES 20076, 20077, 20078
  • Volvo VDS-2, VDS-3
  • Mercedes 228.1, 228.3, 229.1
  • MAN 271/3275
  • MTU Type 2

A Reader Asks: Is it OK to use a motor oil that is meant for a gasoline car engine in a diesel motor? If the diesel engine calls for 10W-30 engine oil, can most any good 10W-30 be used?

Our Answer: In most cases, you should not use a motor oil designed for gasoline engines or passenger car service in a diesel engine. The exception would be motor oils that carry the correct diesel oil specification as suggested by the diesel engine manufacturer (more on that in a bit). A common mistake we see people make is that their diesel engine calls for a 10W-30 engine oil and they assume that any 10W-30 will suffice. This is definitely not the case. We carry some of the best synthetic oils for passenger car/gasoline engine service on the planet and would never recommend that these products be used in a heavy-duty diesel engine.

The reason being is that the combustion that takes place in diesel engines generates a significant amount of soot that is not found in gasoline engines. Soot is an abrasive carbon substance that results from incomplete diesel fuel combustion. Heavy-duty diesel engine oils are fortified with additives that hold the soot in suspension and strong detergents to keep engine internals clean.

Also, diesel engine oils tend to have a higher total base number or “TBN” than gasoline engine oils. This TBN number represents the motor oil’s ability to counteract acids that can build up in the motor oil over the service life. These acids are also a result of the combustion process.

What Would Happen If You Used Gasoline Engine Oil In A Diesel Engine?

It would not be an instant disaster, but over time the oil would become loaded with soot and would not have the capacity to deal with it. Deposits will start to form in the engine and would be especially severe in the upper valve train area. Eventually excessive engine wear would start to occur.

Can You Use Diesel Engine Oil In a Gasoline Engine?

Provided that it meets the diesel motor oil meets the correct motor oil specification for your vehicle, diesel engine oils will function perfectly in a gasoline engine. If the specification matches, there is no downside to using a diesel engine oil in a gasoline engine.

Engine Oil Specifications Explained

We’ve mentioned motor oil specifications several times, so let’s briefly touch on this important component of the discussion. The manufacturer of every modern gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle or piece of equipment will prescribe that the motor oil used in the engine meet a particular industry specification. These specs are always marked on the label and should be noted when choosing a motor oil. Here are some examples of API (American Petroleum Institute) motor oil specifications.

Gasoline Engine/Passenger Car Service

  • API SN (newest specification)
  • API SM (previous specification)
  • API SL (previous specification)
  • API SJ (previous specification)

Diesel Engine Service

  • API CJ-4 (newest specification)
  • API CI-4 Plus (previous specification)
  • API CI-4 (previous specification)

Most motor oils are formulated to cover multiple specifications, so take special note to make sure that spec required for your vehicle is on the label. European car makers usually have their own unique motor oil specifications which should be observed.

Bottom line: Do not fixate only on the viscosity or grade when choosing a motor oil. Make sure that the correct industry specification is on the label when shopping for motor oil and you won’t go wrong.

AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil

A reader asks: I use my 2006 Honda Rincon ATV all year-round. It is used for pushing snow in the winter and for trail riding in the summer. The AMSOIL application guide suggests 2 different engine oil options for my model. It says I can use either the AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-40 ATV Oil or the AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 Synthetic Oil. Is it possible to use one of these engine oils for both summer and winter?

Our Answer: Yes it is possible to choose just one of these oils, rather than switch products seasonally. Either of these synthetic oils would be quite suitable for winter and summer service as they both flow exceptionally well in extreme cold. But as you run your ATV in winter, we would tend to lean to toward AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 Synthetic Oil. Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 has a cold pour point of -51°C (-60°F). The Synthetic 10W-40 ATV Oil has a very respectable cold pour point of -44°C (-47°F), but we would opt for the 0W-40 for that extra measure of cold-start protection.

But is it OK to use a 0W-40 ATV oil in the summer heat? It’s more than OK. Remember that AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 is still a 40-weight oil at operating temperatures. It is also test-proven to be exceptionally shear-stable. This means that it resists thinning out, no matter how hard you thrash your engine in the summer heat. Below is a chart illustrating how well Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 Synthetic Oil maintains its viscosity compared to Polaris Synthetic PS-4 Plus and Arctic Cat Synthetic ACX in ASTM-7109 Shear Stability testing. Both the Polaris and Cat oils are 50-weight engine oils and each lost a third of their viscosity in the test process. AMSOIL 0W-40 stays steady and maintains its 40-weight viscosity.

AMSOIL 0W-40, Polaris & Arctic Cat Shear Test

So while either the AMSOIL 0W-40 or 10W-40 would be outstanding for all-season engine/transmission service in your ATV, we give the nod to the Formula 4-Stroke 0W-40 Synthetic Oil for its slight advantage in extreme winter cold.

AMSOIL is making some changes to their collection of European Formula Synthetic Motor Oils. Some have been reformulated and improved to meet vital new industry specifications. All four products will receive subtle name changes and most get new container size options.

AMSOIL European Synthetic Motor Oil Collection

The AMSOIL European Synthetic Motor Oil collection undergoes name changes and some formulation advances for 2016.

The Low and Mid-SAPS products will be called “Improved” ESP, while the Full-SAPS products will be called “Classic” ESP. “SAPS” refers to the oil’s “Sulfated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulfur” content. “ESP” stands for “Emissions System Protection”. The emissions system of each European car model is designed to tolerate a specific SAPS level and that is why there is a variety of European motor oil types.

Let’s take a look at how AMSOIL’s Euro Motor Oils will look for 2016.

AMSOIL Low-SAPS European Formula 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil (AEL)

This product receives the most changes of all of the European engine oils. First off, its name will now be “AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil” with the product code remaining “AEL”. As we mentioned a couple of days ago, AEL has been reformulated so that it now meets the Chrysler “MS-11106” and ACEA “C-3” specifications. This makes European Formula 5W-30 suitable for Dodge Ram 1500 pickups with the EcoDiesel engine. This engine is an Italian-made 3.0L turbo-diesel unit made by VM Motori. This engine is also found in some Jeep Grand Cherokee models.

AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil will also meet the GM dexos2 specification. The dexos2 spec is required for Chevy Cruze models with the 2.0L turbo diesel engine.

Important: For the time being, this new formula is available only in the new US gallon (3.78L) jug format (singles or cases of 4). Quart bottles will contain the old formulation until current stock runs out which will be sometime in January, 2016.

The 5 litre jug format is being phased out and will be replaced with the aforementioned US gallon jug container option.

AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil will meet the following specifications in 2016.

  • Volkswagen 504.00/507.00
  • Mercedes-Benz 229.51
  • BMW LL-04
  • Porsche C30
  • Chrysler MS-11106 (gallon jugs only until further notice)
  • ACEA C-3 (gallon jugs only until further notice)
  • GM dexos2 (gallon jugs only until further notice)

AMSOIL European Formula Full-SAPS Synthetic 5W-40 Motor Oil (EFM)

The Full-SAPS Euro 5W-40 is getting its name changed to “European Formula 5W-40 Classic ESP Synthetic Motor Oil“, with the product code remaining as “EFM”. Although the formulation is unchanged for European Formula 5W-40 Classic ESP, some its specifications are newly OEM-licensed. EFM 5W-40 is now carries the Mercedes 229.5 factory approval and the official Porsche A40 endorsement.

This product will also now come in US gallon jugs (or cases of 4). The 5 litre jug will be discontinued once current stock is sold off.

AMSOIL European Formula 5W-40 Classic ESP Synthetic Motor Oil meets the following specifications.

  • Volkswagen 502.00, 505.00
  • BMW LL-01
  • Mercedes-Benz 229.3, 229.5 (New Mercedes-Benz factory–approved)
  • Porsche A40 (New Porsche factory-approved)
  • ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4
  • Renault 0710, 0700

AMSOIL European Car Formula Mid-SAPS 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil (AFL)

The AFL Mid-SAPS Euro 5W-40 will now be called “AMSOIL European Formula 5W-40 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil“. Other than a new name and label, there are no significant changes to this product beyond discontinuation of the 5 litre jug format. This will be replaced with single US gallon jugs (or cases of four).

AMSOIL European Formula 5W-40 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil meets the following specifications.

  • Volkswagen 502.00/505.01
  • Mercedes-Benz 229.51
  • Porsche A40
  • BMW LL-04
  • ACEA C3
  • Chrysler MS-10850 (supersedes MS-10896)
  • GM dexos2
  • Ford WSS-M2C917-A
  • Renault RN0700/RN0710

AMSOIL Full-SAPS European 0W-40 Synthetic Engine Oil (EFO)

The Full-SAPS Euro 0W-40 is being changed to “European Formula 0W-40 Classic ESP Synthetic Motor Oil“. The EFO 0W-40 is available in US quart bottles only and will not be offered in the US gallon format. The name and label change will be the only new features for this product. AMSOIL European Formula 0W-40 Classic ESP Synthetic Motor Oil meets the following worldwide industry specifications.

  • Volkswagen 502.00, 505.00
  • BMW LL-01, LL-98
  • Mercedes-Benz 229.1, 229.3, 229.5
  • Porsche A40
  • ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4
  • Renault 0710, 0700

If you have quesitons, feel free to contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

We now have a motor oil available for the Dodge Ram 1500 truck with the EcoDiesel engine. (photo credit briggsdodge.com)

Update #1 August 2016: Chrysler now suggests 5W-40 for EcoDiesel Engines

Update # 2 August 2016: We now offer a substitute oil filter for the EcoDiesel engine

We are pleased to announce that Oildepot has now has a motor oil for the Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.0L EcoDiesel engine ready for shipment in Canada and the United States. The new version of AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil is available immediately in US gallon containers only. This product is formulated to meet the special Chrysler MS-11106 and ACEA C-3 specifications required for this engine.

For pricing on this brand new engine oil for EcoDiesel motors, contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781. We will be happy to show you how to get this product at the best possible price in North America. We ship from warehouses located in Canada and the US, so we can get orders to you fast with low shipping rates.

Here are the new product codes:

  • AEL1G-EA (single 3.78L jug)
  • AEL1G-CA (case of four 3.78L jugs)

We hope to have an oil filter available for the EcoDiesel engine in the near future. The Dodge/Mopar oil filter is ridiculously expensive. We now offer a high-quality alternative at a sane price (see update at top of page).

How Has This European Formula 5W-30 Oil Changed?

  • This oil has been reformulated to meet the Chrysler MS-11106 and ACEA C-3 specs for Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
  • It now also meets the GM dexos2 spec for the Chevrolet Cruze with the 2.0L I4 Turbo Diesel “LUZ” engine.
  • This European 5W-30 will meet the same VW, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche specs as before the reformulation (see list below).
  • The name has been changed from AMSOIL European Car Formula Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil to “AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil”.
  • The product code remains “AEL”.
  • The 5 litre jug format for this product will be discontinued.
  • A single US gallon (3.78L) jug format or case of 4 X 1 US gallons (15.12 litres total) has been added.

Here is the complete list of specifications met by the new version of AMSOIL European Formula 5W-30 Improved ESP Synthetic Motor Oil.

  • Chrysler MS-11106
  • ACEA C-3
  • GM dexos2
  • VW 504.00/507.00
  • Mercedes-Benz 229.51
  • BMW LL-04
  • Porsche C30