AMSOIL Synthetics Frequently Asked Questions - Engine Oil / Oil Changes

20 Weight Oil


Hi Dan. I was watching one of your Youtube videos on 20wt oils. It was very informative. I wanted to ask you about the Mercedes owners that are using a 0w20. I've heard really good things about this oil. I read an article from the Amsoil website about HDT Motorcycles using this oil for break-in. I was a long time Mobil 1 user, but I'm really thinking of switching over to Amsoil 0W-20. I wish I knew more about the base oils and whether Amsoil is really as technologically advanced as Mobil 1. Redline makes a 0w20 but it's mostly polyolester based. Does this mean Redline can handle heat better than the supposedly PAO-based Amsoil? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. - Mike


The use of 20wt oil seems to be here for the long run.  A few years back, NORIA (large training company) issued a report on the use of 20wt oils pointing out some vital information.  They concluded from significant research that 20wt petroleum oils did not provide the same level of wear protection as 30wt oils.  The problem is that in hot engines the oil film did not hold up as well.  The use of synthetic 20wt oils eliminates this problem.  That's why I recommend synthetic oils for any 20wt application.

Amsoil makes two 20wt engine oils, the 5W-20 XL and the Original Formula 0W-20.  Both oils will provide excellent protection but the 0W-20 is the superior oil.  Here is the tech-sheet on the 0W-20 and it shows very good numbers.  The basestock of the 0W-20 is PAO and Ester and the basestock of the 5W-20 is top shelf hydro-cracked oil.  The PAO/Ester blend gives you the best of both and overcomes the weaknesses of each individually, in other words, the combo is better than the either of the PAO or Ester individually.

Here is a comparison between Amsoil vs Mobil and other oil comparisons that demonstrates the superior performance of the AMSOIL 10W-30.  The principles are the same for the 0W-20.  Mobil makes a high quality oil and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  AMSOILis forced to make the top end oils better even if they cost more to manufacture to capture a segment of the market.  Mobil and other large oil companies can just pour money into advertising to get name recognition and sell on price competition.  Amsoil has to appeal to a very quality dedicated customer who wants the best value not just the lowest price.

Polyester is a terrific synthetic base for racing or very extreme high temperatures.  For most applications the difference in high temperature performance would never come into play.  A non-racing  engine would be blowing the radiator due to steam and the rubber hoses would be melting before you would reach temperature that the PAO/Ester blend would fail.  It is kind of like driving around with racing tires that can take 250 miles per hour; when you can buy a tire good for 175 miles an hour for a lot less money.

In summary, you can not buy a better 0W-20 synthetic engine oil than AMSOIL ASM.

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