Posted 17 May 2008 - 03:29 AM
I really became interested in things that most people, not even master mechanics, know. I self taught myself by reading books and experimenting. I even worked at a dealership for a while repairing the first breed of fuel injected computer controlled vehicles.
I even owned a car that was the first production fuel injected computer controlled car in the U.S. The Cosworth vega.
I studied ignition theory. Took 2 courses in oil lubrication, oil and air filtration. And from everything I learned, I found there are only a few ways that MPG can be increased.
1) Is by reducing friction.
Most motor oils are not very good at friction reduction at all levels of load. This is why cars get a whole lot better MPG on the highway than in town driving. Stop and go driving puts a huge load, and causes a lot of friction in an engine. Also, to get the car moving again after you stop uses a lot of energy.
The best thing I have found for increasing MPG on the friction issue is synthetic oil. But, what most people do not understand is that there are different grades of synthetics. Good and bad just like regular oil. And blends (synthetic and petroleum) are not always the way to go. And there is no guarantee on the percent of each that you get unless a certain language is used.
Example: Some brands claim they are "fully synthetic". What is the definition of fully synthetic, and how much of it is synthetic? Because it's a board word, the oil companies are not held to any standard bottle to bottle. So here are the list of phrases that guarantee a percent.
1) 100% synthetic equals 95% or better synthetic oil leaving room for additives.
2) Synthetic equals between 80-90% synthetic leaving about 5% for additives, and the rest is petroleum oil.
3) Semi-synthetic equals between 50%-80% synthetic. 5% for additives, the rest petroleum oil.
4) Para-synthetic equals between 30-50% synthetic. 5% for additives, the rest petroleum oil.
Any other wording and you really don't know what you are getting.
It's basically best to stick with name brands. Ones that have been producing synthetic for a while. The new guy on the block may just really rip you off, or even damage your engine. Blending synthetic oil takes special knowledge, it's not something that those who work with petroleum can do just because they know petroleum oil. You have to be educated in this area.
Side note: There are seven different bases that synthetic oil can be made from. Each base (starting point and main ingredient) can determine the quality of the oil. Esters and diesters are old school and cheap to manufacture. Any company boasting to use these bases are way behind current technology in this field. And they are more into making money using these types base products than producing a quality product.
Beware of carbon based synthetic oil. I don't know of any current companies producing this, but it can destroy an engine because it is not compatible with petroleum oil. If you happen to add this, it turns into tar. This was one of the things that gave synthetic oil a bad rep in the beginning. Only a very stupid company would attempt producing synthetic oil this way. Unless it used in an environment where petroleum oil will "never" be added to it. Like in industry, or aircraft (this is what they use jet engines). In cars there is always the possibility that someone will make that mistake not knowing what is being used in that car. So it is very important that a synthetic oil used in cars is always compatible with petroleum oil.
What makes synthetic oil different?
Unlike petroleum oil, synthetic oil can be built from the ground up to do a job. In other words, it's designable. Petroleum oil is based on the quality of the base crude oil that it is made from. The oil is basically stuck with that and very few options.
Currently, there are only two ways to refine oil. The usual way which is by fractioning the oil by using a Fractioning tower. Then there is hydro-cracking. Which is bombarding the oil with hydrogen gas which removes almost all impurities and basically producing an oil so clean it's transparent like water. A dye has to be added just so you can see the oil level on a dip stick.
Wear and friction reduction?
A good synthetic oil will reduce wear and friction about 90% over petroleum oil. And average synthetic will reduce friction 50-80%. And the rest falls lower, some even worse than petroleum oil. Name brand and price will keep you in the better group. Cheap and no name brand will keep you in the lower group.
Beware of any product that claims 100% wear reduced. That goal is impossible to reach which means they are lying. Which opens the question: What other claims are they lying about?
What are the top sellers and best products for the money?
The top three are:
Side note: Amsoil is the only company that will compare it's product to others by their name (No brand a, b, c, etc...). If a company does this, they have to prove the out come of each test or get sued for slander of another companies product. According to tests, their product out does everyone else. And they have not been sued, so their test is not hype.
80-90% friction reduction means a good increase in MPG right?
Not always. There are several variables to consider. The main one is how an engine is designed and machined to it's parts. Some engine manufacturers design and machine their engines for less friction so when an oil that reduces friction is added, there is not much friction to reduce. So your MPG may not change much in an engine like this. So the difference on average is 1-3 MPG increase when changing over to synthetic oil. But I have seen as high as 7 MPG increase, but it's rare.
Does not a decrease in friction also translate into longer engine life?
Yes. The average good grade synthetic will increase engine life by 3-5 times over petroleum oil. This is for 3 reasons.
1) The film strength (oils ability to keep two pieces of metal apart under load) of synthetic oil is about 3-5 time higher than petroleum oil.
2) Synthetic oil does not readily run off the metal parts in your engine like petroleum oil does. In fact the manufacturing process leaves the molecules positively charged which makes a film of oil stick to your engine parts for several days after engine has been turned off. This keeps you from having what's known as dry starts. Where the engine parts actually rub against one another for several seconds without oil. Stopping this translates into 30% reduction of wear.
3) Because of synthetic oils ability to resist break down due to high temps, the oil keeps protecting the engine all the way until it is changed. Petroleum oil starts to degrade badly beyond 500 miles. In fact, if it were removed from an engine after 500 miles, it would not even pass all the tests required by the manufacturing that are listed on the bottle.
In miles, how long can I expect my engine to last using synthetic oil?
It's not uncommon to get up to 500,000 miles and more. I currently have 270,000 miles on a 96 Chevy van. Still runs like new and only consumes 1 quart of oil about every 2 months.
The thing I like most about using synthetic oil and my engine lasting longer. Is that once the car is paid off, I actually get a couple of years of no payments instead of having to go into debt again because the car is worn out.
Does synthetic oil companies make other products that reduce wear in other parts on your car?
2) Transmission fluid.
3) Brake fluid.
4) Gear lube.
5) Power steering fluid
Using synthetic oil in all these areas will make each component last longer.
Posted 17 May 2008 - 12:46 PM
Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:39 PM
Semi-truck drivers are already driving slower to save fuel.
Also, boycotting certain oil companies to buy gas for a week, makes them have a surplus.
Also, certain gas companies only use gas made from oil from the U.S.. While others only use only foreign oil to produce gas. What do you think would happen if we boycott the foreign oil gas stations?
Don't think boycotts don't work? Citgo gas is closing stations left and right in our town because no one will buy gas from them. I suspect in less that 2 years, not one Citgo station will be around here.
The power of the consumer is great if we ban together.
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