What are Synthetic Lubricants?AMSOIL Signature Series 100% Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil

Synthetic oil consists of chemical compounds which were not originally present in crude oil (petroleum) but were artificially made (synthesized) from other compounds. Manufacturers are able to create “tailor-made” molecules which are of uniform size and shape and can slide together much easier, hence creating less friction. Although in use in the aerospace industry for some years prior, synthetic oil first became commercially available when AMSOIL introduced the world’s first synthetic motor oil to exceed API automobile service requirements in 1972.

What Are The Advantages of Synthetic Oil?

  • Measurably better low and high temperature viscosity performance
  • Decreased evaporative loss
  • Resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown and oil sludge problems
  • Extended drain intervals with the environmental benefit of less waste oil
  • Superior shear stability and film strength
  • Reduced exhaust emissions
  • Increased horsepower
  • Improved fuel economy

About Conventional Oils

Conventional petroleum oils are refined from crude oil which is pumped from within the earth. However, the refining process does not remove many of the impurities inherent in crude oil. These impurities detract from the lubricating ability of the oil and contribute to deposit, sludge and varnish formation. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are constructed in the laboratory and contain no impurities. The basestock of conventional lubricants generally contain molecules of all shapes and sizes, positioned in every direction. Because of this lack of molecular uniformity, conventional lubricants cannot compete with synthetics in terms of friction reduction. Conventional lubricants also contain wax components that tend to congeal in cold temperatures.


Let’s put aside the fact that AMSOIL has been producing synthetic lubricants for automotive applications longer than anyone else and the fact that they are now one of the largest independent makers of synthetic oil on the planet. Simply put, pound for pound there is not a better line up of synthetic lubricants, air and oil filtration and car care products anywhere. Check out our Products page and find an unparalleled line of products for automotive, recreational and industrial applications.

Are AMSOIL Motor Oils More Expensive?

AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are more expensive than most petroleum oils, but comparing AMSOIL and other motor oils is like comparing apples with oranges. AMSOIL motor oils exceed performance characteristics of conventional motor oils by such a wide margin, they are really a different class of product. AMSOIL is a premium product that rightfully commands a premium price. That being said, AMSOIL synthetics are priced very closely to most brand name synthetics.

If you have walked through any motor oil section lately, you will note that there is no such thing as inexpensive motor oil anymore. Conventional motor oils have never been priced closer to AMSOIL products. AMSOIL products are an even greater value when you have an AMSOIL Wholesale Account with us. As has always been the case, in terms of value and quality, the over-priced conventional products in the store don’t compare.

Better for the Environment

By safely extending drain intervals, AMSOIL synthetic lubricants dramatically cut the amount of oil consumed and emissions produced. This is not a new fad that AMSOIL is following. Extended drains have been a core principle of the company since day one.

In addition to the extended drain intervals, AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are specially designed to protect engine components, extending the life of the engine and reducing the need for repairs. They are also thermally stable with a strong resistance to high temperature volatility (burn-off). This prevents sludge deposits and allows engine internals to stay clean. The result is clean operation, reduced oil consumption, lower emissions and optimum fuel economy.

The advanced “lubricity” (slipperiness) of AMSOIL synthetic lubricants has also been proven to increase fuel economy. The resulting improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction of emission levels contributes to the conservation of natural resources and protection of the environment.

A Word About Store Brand Synthetic Oils

While most are relatively competent products, many brand-name synthetic motor oils contain additive packages that are no more robust than their conventional brethren. This is the reason why most store brand synthetics do not recommend drain intervals beyond 3000 miles (5000 km’s). Their high prices do not reflect this mediocrity.

A Word About Extended Drain Intervals

The premium AMSOIL Signature Series products have “25000 mile or one year” drain intervals and this tends to immediately put some people’s backs up. While we have often seen these intervals met and even exceeded (backed up with oil analysis), we do not recommend installing these products, slamming the hood and forgetting about your oil for a year. If you intend to push the “one year” products out to 12 months, we recommend monitoring the situation with oil analysis and we can certainly help you with this. Remember there are caveats on the product labels suggesting that “Severe Service” operation will reduce the drain interval. What constitutes “Severe Service” operation are things like frequent short trips, excessive idling, frequent towing, frequent operation under very dusty conditions, etc.

Don’t feel that because you are buying a “one year/25000 mile” oil, that you HAVE to run it that far to get value from the product. What we tell people is that if you are currently running out to 3000 miles (5000 km’s) and if your vehicle is mechanically sound, you can safely double or triple your current interval. This saves time and money and you can still sleep at night. If you would like real convenience and savings, consider By-Pass Oil Filtration. These systems clean your oil 15 to 25 times greater than a standard oil filters and allow you to extend your drain intervals indefinitely with oil analysis dictating when your oil should be changed. If you are logging big miles, this takes all guess work out of when to change your oil and can save scores of oil changes over the life of your vehicle. Consider the savings in terms of time, money and waste oil.

If you are intending to use the 6 month/16000km XL line of motor oils and your vehicle is mechanically sound, you will have no problem reaching either milestone. Despite our misgivings about lengthy service intervals on product labels, credit must be given to AMSOIL. While everyone else is telling their customers to dump their oil early and often, AMSOIL is telling their customers to push their motor oils to the limit and to put them to the test with lab analysis.

If you wish to stick with your manufacturer’s drain interval, but would still like to have the performance and protection of AMSOIL products, have a look at the value-priced OE Series of Synthetic Motor Oils.

Related Articles:

FAQ: About Synthetics

Improving Fuel Economy with AMSOIL Products

Ten Reasons Synthetic Motor Oil is Superior to Conventional Oil

Ten Myths About Synthetic Lubrication