A reader asks: My car has two cabin filter options. One is a carbon cabin filter and the other is a regular cabin filter. What are the differences or advantages between the two filters? Do the carbon filters provide better air quality? 

Our answer: The filter media of a carbon cabin filter contains activated charcoal. These filters have a darker appearance compared to regular paper cabin filters. The function of the carbon/charcoal component is to block some odors from the air entering the vehicle interior.  That is the only function of a carbon cabin filter.

Aside from the odor-removing feature, carbon cabin filters perform exactly the same task as regular cabin filters. Both filter types stop dust, dirt, pollen and soot from entering the car interior through the ventilation system. In that respect, cabin filters certainly do improve the air quality in your car.

Do Carbon/Charcoal Cabin Filters Remove Carbon Monoxide?

In other words, will a carbon cabin filter make the air in your car safer? Will it remove dangerous gasoline and diesel exhaust? The short answer is no. Carbon/charcoal cabin filters will not filter out carbon monoxide and other toxic exhaust fumes. Again, a carbon cabin filter can remove odors, but that feature does necessarily make the breathing air safer than with regular cabin filters.

How Often Should You Change Your Cabin Filter?

Your car’s cabin filter should be changed once per year. Once you see how dirty these filters can get, you’ll understand why they have to be changed relatively often. A clogged cabin filter can restrict the air flow of your car’s heating/cooling system. When its time to defrost your windows in winter or cool down the interior in summer, maximum air flow is vital.

Changing Your Own Cabin Filter

Rather than have a dealer or shop change out your cabin filter, consider doing it yourself. Shops will charge a small fortune for this task. Do a search on YouTube for the cabin filter change procedure for your vehicle. You might be surprised at how easy it is.

AMSOIL OE 0W-16 Synthetic Motor OilThe 0W-16 motor oil viscosity is now on the market and will be the factory-fill in a growing number of popular car engines.

The immediate question for many might be “Is 0W-16 Too Thin?”. We cover that question in a post here.

Let’s look at 0W-16 motor oil by the numbers. Below are common motor oil metrics comparing 0W-16 with 0W-20, 5W-20 and 5W-30 engine oils.

What Is A 0W-16 Motor Oil?

The 0W-16 motor oil viscosity is now suggested for the 2018 (and newer) Honda Fit and Toyota Camry (2.5L engines). This motor oil grade meets the criteria of “0W” winter weight and “16” high-temperature viscosity.

0W-16 Motor Oil By The Numbers

The 0W-16 motor oil example we will be using is AMSOIL OE 0W-16 Synthetic Motor Oil. To compare apples to apples, we will use the AMSOIL OE Series 0W-20, 5W-20 and 5W-30.

Kinematic Viscosity at 40°C

Kinematic viscosity measures a motor oil’s resistance to flow under gravity. This viscosity test is measured in “centistokes” (or “cSt”).

Below are the kinematic viscosity numbers for AMSOIL OE Series Synthetic 0W-16, 0W-20, 5W-20 and 5W-30 measured at 40°C. Note that the 0W-16 viscosity at 40°C (104°F) is about 57.6% of the viscosity of 5W-30.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
36.5 cSt46.0 cSt48.5 cSt63.4 cSt

Kinematic Viscosity at 100°C

At 100°C (212°F), 0W-16 is 65% of the viscosity of 5W-30. Note that 0W-20 and 5W-20 have the exact same viscosity at this temperature. Keep in mind that they both measure as 20-weight oils at hot temperatures.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
7.2 cSt8.6 cSt8.6 cSt11.0 cSt

Cold Cranking Simulator Viscosity

This industry standard test simulates how well an engine oil will crank during cold temperatures. The motor oil test sample is cooled to a specific temperature. A motor stator is then spun in the cold oil. The resistance created by the cold oil is measured and converted to “centipoise” (or “cP”). Centipoise is a viscosity measurement unit. Higher centipoise values mean that a greater amount of energy is required to crank over the oil in cold temps.

“0W” motor oils are measured at -35°C, while “5W” motor oils are measured at -30°C.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
4781 cP @-35°C5859 cP @-35°C4310 cP @-30°C4555 cP @-30°C

Cold Pour Point

The cold-pour-point is simply determined at the temperature where a motor oil stops flowing. Note that as both the 0W-16 and 0W-20 have a “0W” winter viscosity, they end up with identical cold-pour-points.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
-48°C (-54°F)-48°C (-54°F)-44°C (-47°F)-44°C (-47°F)

Noack Volatility

The Noack Volatility test procedure heats a motor oil to 250°C and exposes it to moving air for one hour. The amount of oil lost to evaporation during this test is shown by percentage. Lighter viscosity motor oils will tend to have higher volatility losses.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
12.4%12.0%8.6%9.4%

High Temperature/High Shear

The high temperature/high shear (HTHS) test replicates a motor oil’s ability to flow through tight tolerances of an engine and protect fast moving engine parts. First, a motor oil sample is heated to 150°C and exposed to steady shearing. The viscosity of the oil is measured in “centipoise” (cP). A 5W-30 (being thicker) will naturally achieve a higher HTHS value than a 0W-20 or a 0W-16.

A higher HTHS result presumably offers better wear control. A lower HTTS value generally offers better fuel economy.

Today’s engines and low HTHS motor oils are designed to achieve dependable wear control and long engine life.

If high HTHS oils were the be all/end all, we would be using 15W-40 in our passenger car/light truck engines. That simply isn’t necessary or feasible. The HTTS number should be considered as another viscosity indicator rather than a determining factor in wear control.

0W-16 0W-205W-205W-30
2.3 cP2.74 cP2.8 cP3.3 cP

Do you have questions about 0W-16 motor oil? Feel free to contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

A reader asks: I’m using 100% biodiesel derived from used vegetable oil in my van’s diesel engine. I’m told that I have to change the engine oil more often when using biofuel. Why is this?

Our answer: There are several reasons as to why oil change intervals must be reduced when replacing diesel fuel with biodiesel.

Lower Fuel Energy And Deposit Formation

The main concern with biodiesel is that it provides reduced fuel quality. The simple fact is that biodiesel delivers less energy than regular diesel fuel. This means that combustion is less complete than with regular diesel. This brings a greater tendency toward fuel dilution in the motor oil and an increased incidence of engine deposit formation.

Vegetable-based fuels also have a higher tendency to form deposits on fuel injectors. Fouled injector spray patterns can lead to increased fuel dilution in the motor oil.

Biodiesel Oxidization And Moisture Attraction

There is also a very high potential for increased engine deposits when biodiesel has oxidized. The quality of biodiesel processing and storage practices is absolutely paramount. Incomplete processing and bad storage practices can lead to a myriad of problems. Oxidized fuel can contribute to poor combustion, reduced fuel economy, engine deposits, corrosion, fouled fuel injectors and reduced starting performance.

Biodiesel attracts moisture which can lead to corrosion and reduced performance. This is another reason to use the best possible storage practices.

All of these factors can contribute to faster degradation of engine oil in bio-fuel-powered vehicles.

How To Determine An Oil Change Interval When Using Biodiesel

With all of the variables at play, it is very difficult to determine an oil change interval. Oil analysis is a cost-effective way to determine when to change oil. One could be changing oil too late or too early. Oil analysis can offer a snapshot of the condition of the engine and the motor oil. Analysis shows whether items such as as wear metals, fuel dilution, moisture and coolant are elevated to dangerous levels.

Advantages Of Using Biodiesel

There are advantages to using biodiesel. Some studies suggest that biodiesel can offer improved engine wear control. Biodiesel has excellent lubricating properties which can extend the life of fuel pumps and injectors. Lastly, pure biodiesel offers very clean emissions compared to regular diesel exhaust.

AMSOIL OE 0W-16 Synthetic Motor OilA small motor oil revolution started in 2018 of which few people are aware. The introduction of the brand new 0W-16 motor oil viscosity.

Cars That Take 0W-16

Currently, the 2018 Honda Fit (with the 1.5L engine) and the 2018 Toyota Camry (with the 2.5L engine option) are the only two cars that use 0W-16.

In the case of the Fit, Honda is suggesting either 0W-20 or 0W-16. The 0W-20 viscosity is relatively common, so this was a consumer-friendly choice.

0W-16 is the only recommended viscosity for the latest Camry 2.5L engine. There are two versions of the Toyota 2.5 litre “Dynamic Force Engine”. The A25AFKS conventional engine and the A25AFXS hybrid engine. Toyota is claiming that these two engines are among the most thermally efficient motors on the market. The addition of friction-reducing 0W-16 would certainly optimize this efficiency.

Why Was 0W-16 Introduced?

Quite simply to maximize fuel economy. Car makers have been moving toward thinner engines oils and transmission fluids for the last couple of decades. Thinner oils reduce friction and deliver a relatively small fuel mileage boost. Auto makers have to meet corporate average fuel economy (also known as CAFE) targets set by the US government. If they miss these targets, the penalties can run into the tens of millions of dollars. Going with thinner motor oils may deliver just a small fuel economy improvement per car. But every little bit counts as auto makers strive for mileage gains.

Will Using 0W-16 Engine Oil Cause Premature Wear?

Obviously, it’s too early to tell. But we strongly doubt that this will be a problem. Today’s engines are made with very precise tolerances along with high-tech materials and manufacturing processes. Motor oil technology has also kept pace with cutting-edge synthetic base oils and ever-advancing additive chemistry. As soon as wear protection test data becomes available, we will post it. We would not be at all concerned with using this new viscosity where it is recommended.

For now, 0W-16 is suggested for smaller displacement 4-cylinder engines. It will be interesting to see if 0W-16 is soon suggested for turbo-charged, V-6 or even V-8 applications.

Back in the early 2000’s, 5W-20 motor oil was introduced. Honda and Ford were early adopters of this grade with Ford even making 5W-20 the factory fill in their V-8 and V-10 pick-up engines. There were concerns that 5W-20 was too thin to protect engines and that it was simply a fuel economy improvement scheme. Early on, many believed that auto makers were willing to sacrifice engine life in order to meet their government-mandated fuel economy targets. But that concern never became a reality.

Today, 0W-20 is routinely used in 400 horsepower V-8 pickup truck engines with stellar wear protection.

Going forward, we fully expect that 0W-16 motor oil will be viewed as an integral part of overall automotive efficiency improvements with no discernible engine wear consequences.

arctic-cat-snowmobile-2019

photo credit: snowmobile.com

Below is a list of all 2019 Arctic snowmobile 2-stroke and 4-stroke models along with the recommended AMSOIL synthetic oil.

We offer AMSOIL synthetic oil for Arctic Cat snowmobiles at factory-direct prices in Canada and the US. We ship from 13 warehouses across North America. Free shipping on qualified orders. Contact us for pricing using the form on this page.

Oil Suggestions For Arctic Cat Snowmobiles From Previous Years

AMSOIL Synthetic Oil Options for Arctic Cat Snowmobiles

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil
The sensible replacement for Arctic Cat C-TEC2 Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil and Arctic Cat APV Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil. When buying by the case, Interceptor is a better value. This 100% synthetic injector oil is designed to keep APV valves clean in C-TEC2 and Suzuki-made 2-stroke engines. Provides outstanding wear-control and maximum performance.

AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector Oil
A full-synthetic upgrade over the conventional Arctic Cat Formula 50 Mineral 2-Stroke Oil (at a surprisingly low price). Perfect for recreational and work sleds. Offers excellent wear control and clean, low-smoke performance.

AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil
The perfect substitute for Arctic Cat C-TEC4 Synthetic 4-Stroke Engine Oil. Ideal for any 4-stroke Arctic Cat motor made by Yamaha, Suzuki or Kymco. Pours to -60°F for outstanding cold weather protection. Withstands extreme heat and heavy loads. Suitable for turbo and non-turbo engines.

2019 Arctic Cat Snowmobile Models With AMSOIL Synthetic Oil Option

  • M 6000 (all models) 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • M 8000 (all models) 794cc l/c– Interceptor
  • M 9000 King Cat 998cc l/c turbo– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Lynx LT ES 2000 565cc f/c– Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • Pantera 3000 700cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Pantera 6000 ES 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • Pantera 7000 Limited/XT Limited 1049cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • XF 6000 (all models) 599 l/c– Interceptor
  • XF 8000 (all models) 794cc l/c– Interceptor
  • XF 9000 (all models) 998cc l/c turbo– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • ZR 3000 700cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • ZR 6000 (all models) 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • ZR 7000 (all models) 1049cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • ZR 8000 (all models) 794cc l/c– Interceptor
  • ZR 9000 (all models) 998cc l/c turbo– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • ZR 120 123cc f/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • ZR 200 192cc f/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Bearcat XT 540cc f/c– Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • Bearcat 7000 XT 1049cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Norseman 3000 ES 700cc l/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Norseman 6000 X/ES 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • Norseman 8000 X 794cc l/c– Interceptor

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

2019 Polaris RMK Pro Snowmobile

Photo credit: Snowmobile.com

Here is a list of all 2019 Polaris snowmobile models along with the recommended AMSOIL synthetic oil product for each engine type.

We offer AMSOIL synthetic oil for Polaris snowmobiles at wholesale prices in Canada and the US. We ship from 13 warehouses across North America. Free shipping on qualified orders. Contact us for pricing using the form on this page.

Here are oil recommendations for Polaris snowmobiles for the 2008 to 2018 model years.

AMSOIL Products For Polaris Snowmobiles

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil
Replaces Polaris VES Full-Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil and Polaris VES Extreme Full-Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil. AMSOIL Interceptor flows down to -69°F, while Polaris VES Extreme flows to -60°F.
Interceptor is designed to keep variable exhaust power valves clean over long service intervals. Ideal for Polaris’s 3-stage electronic VES exhaust valves.
Interceptor is a proven world-class favorite available at price that may surprise you.

AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector Oil
A 100% synthetic substitute for Polaris Blue Synthetic-Blend 2-Stroke Oil. We can offer AMSOIL Synthetic Injector Oil at a lower price than the partial synthetic Polaris Blue.
This Synthetic Injector Oil flows down to -53°C for outstanding cold-start performance. This product is perfect for the 550 fan-cooled engine as well as recreational and work snowmobiles.

AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40 Synthetic Oil
An elite option for any 4-stroke snowmobile engine. Suitable for turbo and non-turbo engines. With a cold pour point of -51°C (-60°F), this 100% synthetic 0W-40 delivers fast start-up protection. The robust synthetic formula resists shearing when exposed to extreme heat and heavy loads. An excellent choice for the Polaris Indy 120 and all full-sized Polaris 4-stroke engines from previous model years.

2019 Polaris Snowmobile Models With AMSOIL Synthetic Oil Suggestion

  • 600 Pro-RMK/RMK (all models) 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 800 Pro-RMK/RMK Assault (all models) 795cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 850 Pro-RMK (all models) 840cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 800 SKS (all models) 795cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 850 SKS (all models) 840cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 600 Switchback (all models) 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 800 Switchback (all models) 795cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 850 Switchback (all models) 840cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 800 Titan SP/XC/Adventure 795cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 550 Indy (all models) 544cc f/c– Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • 600 Indy SP/XC 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 600 Rush Pro-S/XCR 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 800 Rush Pro-S 795cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 850 Rush Pro-S/XCR 840cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 550 Voyageur 544cc f/c– Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • 600 Voyageur 599cc l/c– Interceptor
  • 550 Widetrak LX 544cc f/c– Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • 120 Indy 120cc a/c– Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

2019 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles

Photo Credit: Snowmobile.com

Here is a list of all 2019 Ski-Doo snowmobiles along with the correct AMSOIL synthetic oil recommendation for each model and engine type.

We offer AMSOIL synthetic snowmobile oil  for Ski-Doo snowmobiles at wholesale prices in Canada and the United States. We ship from 2 warehouses in Canada and 11 in the US. Free shipping on qualified orders. Contact us for a prices using the form on this page.

Here are oil recommendations for Ski-Doo snowmobiles made from 2008 to 2018.

AMSOIL Products For Ski-Doo Snowmobiles

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector OilAMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Synthetic 0W-40 Motor Oil

AMSOIL Interceptor Synthetic 2-Stroke Oil
A world-class replacement for XPS 2-T E-TEC Synthetic Oil. Interceptor has been exhaustively tested in in E-TEC engines (with stellar results). The high detergent content keeps RAVE valves clean. Our customers come back year after year for this dependable performer.

AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Stroke Injector Oil
A value-priced, full-synthetic replacement for XPS 2-T Carb Premium Mineral Oil. Ideal for recreational and utility sleds of all model years. Also suitable for power valve-equipped engines. Fights deposits and wear for clean, reliable performance.

AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40 Synthetic Oil
A reliable substitute for both XPS Extreme Cold Grade Synthetic Oil and XPS 4T Synthetic Oil. Ideal for turbo and non-turbo snowmobile engines. Flows down to -51°C (-60°F) for dependable cold starts. Withstands extreme heat and heavy loads. A shear-stable formula for consistent viscosity protection throughout its service life.

2019 Ski-Doo Models With AMSOIL Synthetic Oil Suggestion

  • Freeride 850 E-TEC (all models) 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Summit Sport 600 Carb 597cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Summit SP 600R E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Summit X/SP 850 E-TEC 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • MX Z X/X-RS 600R E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • MX Z X/X-RS 850 E-TEC 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Expedition Sport 550F 553.4cc f/c- Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • Expedition Sport 600 ACE 600cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Expedition LE/SE 600 H.O. E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Expedition Extreme 800R E-TEC 799cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Expedition ACE (all models) 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Expedition LE/SE 1200 4-TEC 1170.7cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Grand Touring Sport 600 ACE 600cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Grand Touring Limited 600R E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Grand Touring Limited/Sport REV Gen4 900 ACE 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Grand Touring Limited 900 ACE Turbo 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Backcountry 600R E-TEC 600cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Backcountry 850 X/X-RS E-TEC 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • MX Z Sport 600 Carb 597cc l/c- Interceptor
  • MX Z TNT/Blizzard 600R E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • MX Z TNT/Blizzard 850 E-TEC 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Renegade Sport 600 ACE 600cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Renegade Sport 600 Carb 597cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Renegade 600R E-TEC (all models) 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Renegade 850 E-TEC (all models) 849cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Renegade 900 ACE (all models) 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Renegade 900 ACE Turbo 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Skandic WT 550F 553.4cc f/c- Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • Skandic WT 600 ACE 600cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Skandic WT/SWT 600 H.O. E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor
  • Skandic WT/SWT 900 ACE 899cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Tundra 550F LT/Sport 553.4cc f/c- Synthetic Injector Oil or Interceptor
  • Tundra LT/Sport 600 ACE 600cc l/c- Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports 0W-40
  • Tundra Xtreme 600 H.O. E-TEC 594.4cc l/c- Interceptor

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.

AMSOIL PC Series Synthetic Compressor OilsA reader asks: Do you have a replacement for Quincy Quinsyn Plus ISO 46 compressor oil?

Our answer: Yes. AMSOIL PC Series ISO 46 Synthetic Compressor Oil is a direct substitute for Quincy Quinsyn Plus ISO 46. It is a high-quality, value-priced replacement for the Quincy factory-fill fluid.

Request an AMSOIL commercial wholesale price list with the form on this page. We ship from 2 warehouses in Canada and 11 in the United States. Enjoy free shipping on qualified orders.

About AMSOIL PC Series ISO 46 Synthetic Compressor Oil

  • PC Series is a 100% synthetic compressor oil. AMSOIL has been making the world’s finest synthetic oils since 1972.
  • Priced very competitively compared to the factory-fill from Quincy.
  • AMSOIL PC Series has an 8000 hour service life like Quincy Quinsyn Plus.
  • The low-friction formula optimizes energy efficiency.
  • Withstands high discharge temperatures and resists deposit formation.
  • Separates moisture and delivers strong anti-rust protection.

What Types Of Compressors Are Compatible With AMSOIL PC Series Oil?

  • Single/Multi-Stage Rotary Screw
  • Rotary Vane
  • Axial Centrifugal
  • Reciprocating (Single or Dual-Stage)

AMSOIL PC Series ISO 46 Synthetic Compressor Oil Container Sizes

AMSOIL PC Series ISO 46 Synthetic Compressor Oil is available in the following container formats.

  • US Quart (946ml) Bottle (or case of 12)
  • 5 US gallon (18.9L) pail
  • 55 US gallon (208L) drum
  • 275 US gallon (1041L) tote

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781. 

A reader asks: I’ve got a Volvo-Penta marine engine. The recommended engine oil is straight SAE 30. What do you suggest?

AMSOIL 4-Stroke Marine Synthetic 10W-30 Engine OilOur answer: AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30 Marine Engine Oil would be at the top of our list. The “straight-weight” SAE 30 recommendation is derived from antiquated thinking on motor oil. Some conventional multi-viscosity motor oils could be prone to shearing and thinning when exposed to extended periods of heavy loads. The AMSOIL Marine 10W-30 is highly resistant to shear down, so that simply isn’t a factor. AMSOIL Marine 10W-30 would meet the viscosity requirements of your engine through the entire service interval.

It is important to note that AMSOIL Synthetic 10W-30 Marine Engine Oil contains very powerful anti-rust/corrosion ingredients for marine use. This product was engineered to stand up to all of the rigors of marine use.

Why Is Shearing An Issue With Some Motor Oil Formulas?

One of the main reasons that some multi-grade motor oils are highly prone to shearing is that they may contain “viscosity index improvers”. “VI” improvers expand with heat to prevent the motor oil from thinning out as engine temperatures rise. Imagine tiny springs that expand when exposed to heat. The problem with VI improvers is that eventually they can shear down reducing the overall viscosity of the motor oil. This compromises the oil’s ability to fight wear in extreme heat and contributes to depositing. Some conventional motor oils can contain up to 20 percent VI improvers by volume. They offer no benefits in terms of lubrication.

AMSOIL motor oils do not contain VI improvers. The synthetic chemistry of AMSOIL Marine 10W-30 makes it highly resistant to heat and shearing. That’s why it is the perfect candidate for Volvo-Penta engines that suggest an SAE 30 motor oil.

We do have a motor oil that could be consider a straight SAE 30. AMSOIL SAE 30/10W-30 Synthetic Heavy-Duty Diesel Oil is suitable for diesel and gasoline engines. We would still lean toward AMSOIL Marine 10W-30 because of the obvious benefits of the marine anti-rust/corrosion package.

A reader asks: How long is motor oil usable after the bottle has been opened?

Our answer: Once the seal has been cracked on a bottle of motor oil, the remaining oil should be used up within one year. This guideline also applies to transmission oil and gear oil. Opened bottles of both synthetic and conventional motor oils would have a similar lifespan.

Three Reasons Why Motor Oil Should Be Used Within A Year Of Opening

  1. Condensation- After the seal on the bottle has been broken, the interior is more prone to condensation. Once the oil level in the bottle is lowered, there is more open space for condensation to develop.
  2. Oxidation- As the motor oil becomes exposed to oxygen over time, the chemical makeup of the motor oil changes. Simply put, once the oxidation process has started in motor oil, the capabilities of the oil are severely limited and unpredictable. Therefore, that partial bottle of motor oil that has been sitting on shelf for several years should be used in an oil can or sent to recycling.
  3. Additive Fallout- Over time, the ingredients that make up the motor oil formula can start to degrade. This compromises the capabilities and service life of the motor oil. This process would likely take much longer than a year. This can happen in sealed bottles that have been stored for too long as well.

Motor Oil Storage Tips

  • Store motor oil in dry conditions. Don’t leave motor oil bottles out in the yard or in the back of the truck.
  • Do not store the oil in temperatures below it’s cold-pour-point. If the motor oil freezes and “gels”, this will shorten the lifespan of the motor oil.
  • The ideal storage temperature range for motor oil is between 0°C (32°F) and 29°C (85°F).

Shelf Life Of Unopened Motor Oil Bottles

The shelf life of sealed, unopened motor oil, transmission fluid or gear oil is roughly 5 years. Please note the storage tips above to maximize the shelf life of new motor oil.