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Old 08-01-2009, 04:30 AM
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What is the straight dope on Amsoil?

Are Amsoil oils a scam?

They have published various charts that show far superior characteristics than oils from other established brands like Mobil, Castrol, etc. Yet their oils do not meet major manufacturer specifications, like BMW LongLife 01 and 04, VW 505, MB 229.3 etc.

They claim that their oils are actually exceeding all those specifications but they haven't bothered to get the certification because it is a costly and time consuming process

Does their claim hold water? This is a list of all oils covering BMW LL-04 (Warning PDF) and there are some really obscure brands there. They got the certification but Amsoil won't?
Old 08-01-2009, 05:30 AM
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Doing a basic Google reveals that it seems like the only sites to even mention Amsoil are very consistently synthetic-something-or-another-dot-com. And all of those just links to Amsoil's own tests. After something like ten pages I still hadn't found a general purpose (i.e. an obviously unaffiliated site) with an independent study.

I did find this thread which seems to indicate that Amsoil not only doesn't get certified for BMW, but they pretty much don't get any sort of certification, instead just saying, "Can be used in lieu of X-certified oil."

They almost certainly do perform according to their tests, but their tests aren't the same as what everyone else uses as their standards for comparison. For instance the 4-ball test appears to be largely pointless as an engine oil test.

WAG: Most likely they're of perfectly decent quality, but I'd venture to guess that mystical powers will fail to arise. For almost all applications, it will probably perform just as well as anything else and possibly cost less (I didn't compare prices), but given that it doesn't follow certifications and engine manufacturers likely base the materials and tolerances and whatnot on what can be expected via particular certifications, it's most likely going to have a higher chance of causing an issue.
Old 08-01-2009, 10:30 AM
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It is the same quality as other premium synthetic oils. Back in 1986 I convinced my brother's neighbor, an Amsoil seller, to sponsor a demo derby car I had built. I put the oil in the engine and used a transmission conditioner in the tranny. I slapped Amsoil stickers all over the car too. Early in the derby, I lost my radiator and figured the engine would quit soon after due to overheating. The engine would not die. It ran for at least another 30 minutes without coolant. The transmission also continued to work fine despite the constant slamming from reverse to drive and back. A broken driveline finally stopped me. I took the car home and dropped it on the ground behind my garage.

2 months later I was asked about the engine in the demo car. I charged up the battery for a few hours and when I hit the starter, the engine fired right up. The engine was pulled and put in a 67 Chevy pickup, it ran fine for a couple more years. Based on this I have pretty much used synthetic oils in all my vehicles.
Old 08-01-2009, 02:57 PM
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Racer, it's good to see that you're not only unbiased and free of conflicts of interest, but that you only base conclusions on rigorous, scientific research.
Old 08-01-2009, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
Racer, it's good to see that you're not only unbiased and free of conflicts of interest, but that you only base conclusions on rigorous, scientific research.
I blew up a lot of engines (especially Vega engines) and spent a lot of money doing it. As someone that would drive anything on a race track and do so trying to be as cheap as possible, I would use anything given to me free to save a buck or two. As far as Amsoil goes, I have never bought it personally. I used Mobil 1 for many years then changed over to Royal Purple about 5 years ago. A friend of a friend knows a distributor of RP and I get if for about half the shelf price.
Old 08-01-2009, 09:29 PM
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If you think that people get into long, drawn out, heated debates on the SDMB, go on one of the many 'car guy' sites and read. I'm on one or two and the mere question of 'which oil should I use?' quickly runs into so many pages that it would leave the constant arguers in the SDMB Pit in slack jawed awe.

Having said that, the way that Amsoil is sold and marketed sounds to me a little 'cult like'. So it makes the hype hard to believe.

The people I know use either Mobile 1 (I do), Royal Purple, or Castrol synthetic. And the Castrol guys insist upon 'german' Castrol, not just the regular synthetic.

Srsly, they call us car 'nuts' for a reason.

Last edited by Dallas Jones; 08-01-2009 at 09:30 PM.
Old 08-01-2009, 09:40 PM
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I dunno, all I know is that my manual tranny no longer suffered "kickouts" on attempted shifts anymore (unless I myself make a mistake) once I switched to Amsoil last year.
Old 11-01-2009, 08:25 PM
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Are Amsoil oils a scam? No, they have been in business for 37 years. Many retail stores sell their oil. NGK, WIX, Donaldson and many other companies are business partners.

They have published various charts that show far superior characteristics than oils from other established brands like Mobil, Castrol, etc. Yet their oils do not meet major manufacturer specifications, like BMW LongLife 01 and 04, VW 505, MB 229.3 etc. AMSOIL meets those specifications in some of their oils, they just do not pay to be on their lists. AMSOIL meets all warranty requirements and has never voided a single warranty in 37 years.

They claim that their oils are actually exceeding all those specifications but they haven't bothered to get the certification because it is a costly and time consuming process

Does their claim hold water? Yes. This is a list of all oils covering BMW LL-04 (Warning PDF) and there are some really obscure brands there. They got the certification but Amsoil won't?
Those certifications are not required in the US. Only that the oil meets them. And AMSOIL backs their products up with a free parts and labor warranty, should their oil ever fail.
Old 11-01-2009, 08:36 PM
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I think the general conensus is that it is just a high quality synthetic oil. What's unique about it is the multi-level marketing system they employ-- it's sometimes called Amway for men.

Notice that anytime a board starts one of these threads, you get new members vigorously defending Amsoil. Hmm... what a happy coincidence!
Old 11-01-2009, 10:30 PM
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AMSOIL hardly needs defending. Just that the facts need to be presented, instead of wives tales and other nonsense. They are the largest privately owned motor oil company in the world. I retired from Shell Oil Company, the largest publicly owned motor oil company in the world. Any questions?
Old 11-01-2009, 10:43 PM
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I've found a lot of information about motor oils at this site in the past. You may want to check it out.
Old 11-01-2009, 10:57 PM
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My Amsoil story:
I wanted an Amsoil air filter for my car and I knew the (Amsoil) part number but NONE of the dealers that I called would just sell me a filter, they ALL wanted to help me get rich in the motor oil game.
I finally would ask dealers up front if they were going to sell me a filter or try to recruit me, after a LONG search I found a dealer (in Alvin, Texas) that was willing to JUST sell me a filter.

It was a great filter (oilless is indicated for turbo cars as the oil screws up the MAF).

Unclviny
Old 11-01-2009, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by unclviny View Post
My Amsoil story:
I wanted an Amsoil air filter for my car and I knew the (Amsoil) part number but NONE of the dealers that I called would just sell me a filter, they ALL wanted to help me get rich in the motor oil game.
I finally would ask dealers up front if they were going to sell me a filter or try to recruit me, after a LONG search I found a dealer (in Alvin, Texas) that was willing to JUST sell me a filter.

It was a great filter (oilless is indicated for turbo cars as the oil screws up the MAF).

Unclviny
Just call AMSOIL direct. That is what I do.
Old 11-01-2009, 11:46 PM
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..

Last edited by tim vipond; 11-01-2009 at 11:47 PM.
Old 11-02-2009, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by unclviny View Post
It was a great filter (oilless is indicated for turbo cars as the oil screws up the MAF).
Yup - Amsoil oil filter user here (on the race car). The well-known industry guru who does my oil analysis suggested I use their oil filter. He recommends a different brand of oil as there's one that he feels will perform better in my car. I'm using a K&N air filter, even though he doesn't like oiled filters on supercharged cars, because it is an oddball size that doesn't interchange out to anything else. The filters that interchange into this K&N part number are different enough that they won't fit in the custom housing.

This doesn't really say anything concrete about their oil products, but if they're making the effort to produce the best filter, I expect they're at least trying hard with their oil products.
Old 11-02-2009, 06:43 AM
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Terry,

You might check out AMSOIL's new line of race oils. They are the same race oils that the AMSOIL race teams use. https://amsoil.com/a/catalog.aspx?zo=1181889 .
Old 11-02-2009, 06:52 AM
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You might check out AMSOIL's new line of race oils. They are the same race oils that the AMSOIL race teams use.
Interesting, thanks. I'll ask my oil guru about it when I send him my end-of-season analysis sample next week. He does stay up-to-date on new products / formulations (most likely because he's helped formulate lots of them), so it'll be interesting to see what he says.
Old 11-02-2009, 06:53 AM
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You are welcome. I like the AMSOIL dry synthetic nanofiber 100,000 mile air filters too. I've got them in my motorhome, minivan and on the INJEN cold air intake on my sports car. They work great, low cost, won't have to buy another, nor dispose in a landfill. I just vacuum clean once a year when I change my AMSOIL oil and AMSOIL oil filter.

Last edited by tim vipond; 11-02-2009 at 06:57 AM.
Old 11-02-2009, 07:14 AM
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Notice that anytime a board starts one of these threads, you get new members vigorously defending Amsoil. Hmm... what a happy coincidence!
It helps that we're Google-indexed now, since this thread was started and ended months ago. We get a lot of old threads on people's pet topics resurrected that way.
Old 11-02-2009, 09:10 AM
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I won't use Amsoil just to avoid the "Amsoil people" and the cult. Really. I am into high-performance cars and high-performance boats, and one of the least fun things is dealing with Amsoil people (and they stick out like sore thumbs on many boards).

If they all got together, drank funky Kool-Aid and waited for a space ship to take them to mine a comet for special lubricants for their next line of products, I would not be surprised in the least.
Old 11-02-2009, 09:46 AM
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AMSOIL hardly needs defending. Just that the facts need to be presented, instead of wives tales and other nonsense. They are the largest privately owned motor oil company in the world. I retired from Shell Oil Company, the largest publicly owned motor oil company in the world. Any questions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster View Post
I won't use Amsoil just to avoid the "Amsoil people" and the cult. Really. I am into high-performance cars and high-performance boats, and one of the least fun things is dealing with Amsoil people (and they stick out like sore thumbs on many boards).

If they all got together, drank funky Kool-Aid and waited for a space ship to take them to mine a comet for special lubricants for their next line of products, I would not be surprised in the least.
You can always just order direct from AMSOIL or buy in retail stores instead if you want to avoid the "Amsoil people". I've found many that were very knowledgeable, helpful, and can get you the best prices. AMSOIL is not going away. They've been around for 37 years and have had double digit growth each year for the past 20 years. They are increasing market share when the majors are losing market share. Plus they have great business partners in NGK, WIX, Donaldson, Mann and others.
Old 11-02-2009, 09:46 AM
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Why Don't We Have Silicon-Based Motor Oils?

It seems (to me) that silicon-based oils ought to be more stable, and resist breaking down, than the carbon-based oils we now have. Why haven't these been developed? If you had an engine oil that didn't break down, it would probably last >50,000 miles.
opps, that would NOT be good for Greasemonkey and Jiffylube.
Old 11-02-2009, 09:56 AM
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Oils do so much more than lubricate. The must maintain flow at different temps; suspend/hold contaminants; suspend/hold water; not foul the internal components of all mass-marketed engines; not affect emission controls systems; not hurt the air as they are burned and/or expelled (as they are combusted at different rates by different cars). They need to be compete in pricing wars, too.

I believe the end of an oil's life while in use is partly due to it's ability to lubricate, but it's how contaminated and water-laden it has become that is important, too.

Last edited by Philster; 11-02-2009 at 09:57 AM.
Old 11-02-2009, 10:04 AM
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It seems (to me) that silicon-based oils ought to be more stable, and resist breaking down, than the carbon-based oils we now have. Why haven't these been developed? If you had an engine oil that didn't break down, it would probably last >50,000 miles.
opps, that would NOT be good for Greasemonkey and Jiffylube.
Ralph, AMSOIL already offers 35,000 mile chemical synthetic gasoline engine oils and 50,000 mile diesel chemical synthetic engine oils. And you can go much longer than that if you have your oil analyzed and they say it is fine to do so. Some have gone over 400,000 miles on a single oil change. And you are right, the conventional motor oil companies do not like this technology and are losing market share.
Old 11-02-2009, 10:32 AM
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WTF, TIM! YOU DISTRIBUTE AMSOIL.


I knew your post looked creepy!!!!!!!!



DAMN.
Old 11-02-2009, 10:54 AM
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WTF, TIM! YOU DISTRIBUTE AMSOIL.


I knew your post looked creepy!!!!!!!!



DAMN.
No need for swearing.

Of course I do. I also have a science degree and retired from Shell Oil Company after 28 years. Giving me a good background working in and understanding the industry. What was creepy? I'm just answering questions.

Your posts are the creepy ones "If they all got together, drank funky Kool-Aid and waited for a space ship to take them to mine a comet for special lubricants for their next line of products, I would not be surprised in the least."

Last edited by tim vipond; 11-02-2009 at 10:58 AM.
Old 11-02-2009, 11:01 AM
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Of course I do. I also have a science degree and retired from Shell Oil Company after 28 years. Giving me a good background understanding the industry. What was creepy? I'm just answering questions.

Your posts are the creepy ones "If they all got together, drank funky Kool-Aid and waited for a space ship to take them to mine a comet for special lubricants for their next line of products, I would not be surprised in the least."
As I see it, you are doing exactly what you say you are doing, answering questions. But by admitting you are an AMSOIL distributor you essentially put yourself in the same boat as Amway people, hence the questioning of your motivations. MLM participants have a poor reputation for objectivity and a zealousness second to none.

That was not a judgment, mind you, just an observation.
Old 11-02-2009, 11:13 AM
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As I see it, you are doing exactly what you say you are doing, answering questions. But by admitting you are an AMSOIL distributor you essentially put yourself in the same boat as Amway people, hence the questioning of your motivations. MLM participants have a poor reputation for objectivity and a zealousness second to none.

That was not a judgment, mind you, just an observation.
I'm not going to deny I am an AMSOIL Direct Jobber. Just like I won't deny I distribute NGK, WIX, Donaldson, Mann and other fine automotive products and can distribute any other oil companies products, but I haven't found any that are better.

I don't think AMSOIL and Amway have much of anything in common other than being MLM. You can buy direct from AMSOIL or buy in retail stores. I don't think Amway allows that. I have a pretty broad perspective of AMSOIL as I have over 330 retail, commercial, municipal and individual accounts.

The USAF and NASA didn't have any problem purchasing any of my products. And 3500 of the Texas State Police cars for the past 8 years changed from 2,000 to 3,000 mile oil and filter change intervals to 20,000 to 22,000 mile AMSOIL oil and filter change intervals, and Texas Parks and Wildlife all use AMSOIL.

Last edited by tim vipond; 11-02-2009 at 11:17 AM.
Old 11-02-2009, 11:27 AM
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Those on the board here are better informed knowing tim vipond is an Amsoil 'direct jobber'.

So, anyone reading his 'one oil change over 400,000 miles' type comments can hold that up against the background of how MLM folks tend to get when they discuss their products/company.

.

Last edited by Philster; 11-02-2009 at 11:28 AM.
Old 11-02-2009, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Philster View Post
Those on the board here are better informed knowing tim vipond is an Amsoil 'direct jobber'.

So, anyone reading his 'one oil change over 400,000 miles' type comments can hold that up against the background of how MLM folks tend to get when they discuss their products/company.

.
I agree that "those on the board here will be better informed knowing Tim Vipond is an AMSOIL Direct Jobber" for the past 5 years. Actually, what I said is documented. https://amsoil.com/lit/g1343.pdf?zo=1181889 . And I also discussed Shell's products same way when I was the Shell Answer Man for Shell Solvents.
Old 11-02-2009, 05:32 PM
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Years ago, I read of an inventor who came up with a device that filtered the oil several times; and the fltration was so good that the oil never had to be changed (you just had to top up occasionally). The device was quite expensive, so it was only used on fleet vehicles. Once a mont (or so) you drained a small amount of dirty oil from the base of the filter-the big adavantage (for the fleet operator) was that the vehicle never needed an actual change-just topping up and draing a small amount of waste oil.
Anbody ever hear of this?
Old 11-02-2009, 05:45 PM
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Years ago, I read of an inventor who came up with a device that filtered the oil several times; and the fltration was so good that the oil never had to be changed (you just had to top up occasionally). The device was quite expensive, so it was only used on fleet vehicles. Once a mont (or so) you drained a small amount of dirty oil from the base of the filter-the big adavantage (for the fleet operator) was that the vehicle never needed an actual change-just topping up and draing a small amount of waste oil.
Anbody ever hear of this?
Sure. Bypass filtration filters out all wear causing particles down to 1 micron. AMSOIL does this routinely for the past 37 years. You just need to have the oil analyzed occasionally to make sure there are no mechanical or oil issues.
Old 11-02-2009, 05:56 PM
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Ralph, here is a brochure if you'd like to learn more: https://amsoil.com/lit/g1063.pdf?zo=1181889 .
Old 09-29-2010, 10:53 AM
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Amsoil is it a scam ?

For what it's worth, I started using synthetic oil in 1991 at the suggestion of my brother who was a hot rodder, car collector and airline pilot. As a car collector he pointed out how much money I could save by using synthetics with the extended oil change of 1 year for oil and 6 months for filter. I did the math and it was a lot cheaper than changing conventional oil and filter every 3000 miles on my 3 vehicles. As an airline pilot he pointed out that no airline jet or any jet engine operates on conventional oil they all use synthetics because of superior wear characteristics and because the oil is engineered, there is a consistent molecular particle size unlike conventional oils and it is designed for operating in high temperatures. Under those conditions conventional oil will break down and cause failures......not a good thing when you are at 35,000 feet. I have used Amsoil and Mobile 1, both are great products and for full disclosure I am a preferred customer with Amsoil so I save some money purchasing my products directly from them. It is worth the $ 30 CDN per year to join and no I am not a dealer nor am I interested in selling these products, I am happy just using them. As for the mostly negative comments in this thread I would chalk that up to ignorance of synthetics, there use and the tangible benefits of using them. I use Amsoil in my 3 cars and Motor Home.
Old 09-29-2010, 01:50 PM
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The incredible disapearing oil

I think it was in the late '70s, I had a new Datsun F10 (only 1 1/2 model, years if it doesn't sound familiar)
I was talked into Amsoil just before I left on a three week trip.
I left Kansas City Sept 1st. I drove through Yellowstone, up through Montana, then on to Seattle.
I stayed in Washington for a few days, then took Hyway 101 south.
Saturday evening, crossing the bridge from Washington to Astoria, Oregon my oil light came on. Luckily, I found a garage just closing, the owner willing to help me. He found I had NO oil in the crank case. The engine was clean, no sign of a leak.

He flushed it twice with regular oil then filled it. I never lost another drop of oil.

Last edited by picunurse; 09-29-2010 at 01:51 PM.
Old 09-29-2010, 11:01 PM
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mcopeman: Nobody with half a clue about modern oils doubts that synthetics are far superior to natural oils. What people doubt is that Amsoil is anything like a good example of a modern synthetic oil.

Back in the 70s Amsoil might have been a leading edge techology. Or a half-assed poorly implemented first attempt being sold by a company that didn't even know what it didn't know. Who can say?

But nowadays it's pretty widely believed to be nothing but a scam on par with MLM sales. You can certainly buy synthetics from major manufacturers which have all the certs and test to prove their qualities. Amsoil? Not so much.


Oh yeah ... I used to fly jets too. Fighters and airliners both. Turbine oils are synthetic and have been for decades because the temps inside a turbine engine are hundreds of degrees hotter than those in a car engine. In other words, the fact those temps are so much greater means that using synthetics in turbines proves exactly zero about the suitability or not of mineral oils in ICEs.

All the high performance multi-thousand horsepower ICEs on piston fighters and airliners of the 40s and 50s ran mineral oil. I guess that "proves" that mineral oils are good enough for pistons.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-29-2010 at 11:04 PM.
Old 09-30-2010, 12:45 AM
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Amsoil is it a scam ?

LSL Guy, the fact that conventional oils will do the job in piston applications doesn't mean that conventional oils are the best choice. The fact that jet engines operate at much higher temperatures than piston engines shows the extreme conditions that synthetics oils operate in, which in my mind make synthetics a natural choice for piston engines for no other reason than the protection offered if the engine overheats or loses coolant. Also there is a significant cost savings on oil changes over the life of the vehicle when we use synthetics and extended oil changes. I have used synthetics for 19 years both Amsoil and Mobil 1 have served me well, protected my engines, given me peace of mind and saved me money over the long hall. I don't really care which company is an MLM or a Bricks and Mortar retail outlet, as long as their stuff works for me, I am happy. I go online make my order and pick it up next day at the Amsoil warehouse.
Cheers, Mike.
Old 09-30-2010, 10:14 AM
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mcopeman: Sorry to have sounded combative.

I originally read your peice as touting Amsoil specifically above all synthetics. Upon careful re-reading, your point is/was simply that synthetics are much superior to naturals & Amsoil seems as good as any other synthetic in your experience.

Makes sense to me. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers a bit.
Old 09-30-2010, 10:37 AM
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It is worth the $ 30 CDN per year to join and no I am not a dealer nor am I interested in selling these products, I am happy just using them.
This is the part I don't get. Why do you pay for the privilege of buying the product? Why not just buy a similar product at retail?
Old 10-08-2010, 12:57 AM
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Is amsoil a scam

Where I live in Alberta, we pay $10 or so for a liter of Mobil1....... so there is a discount for the preferred customer at Amsoil, I paid $6.35 a liter and it saves money when you add up 2 cases of oil plus filters. 3.65 x 24 = $ 87.60 just for oil. Its just away to save a few bucks.
Cheers, Mike.
Old 10-08-2010, 01:02 PM
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Where I live in Alberta, we pay $10 or so for a liter of Mobil1....... so there is a discount for the preferred customer at Amsoil, I paid $6.35 a liter and it saves money when you add up 2 cases of oil plus filters. 3.65 x 24 = $ 87.60 just for oil. Its just away to save a few bucks.
Cheers, Mike.
Or you could just get a store brand full-synthetic for less than 5 bucks and not have to pay for Mobil 1's marketing budget or Amsoil's pyramid of shills.
Old 10-10-2010, 12:00 AM
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Is amsoil a scam

I am down in AZ for awhile, what stores have house brand synthetics ? For under $ 5 a quart I am very interested. Are the house brand filters OK or do you recommend another brand ?
Cheers, Mike.
Old 10-10-2010, 12:38 AM
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I am down in AZ for awhile, what stores have house brand synthetics ? For under $ 5 a quart I am very interested. Are the house brand filters OK or do you recommend another brand ?
Cheers, Mike.
The one I was thinking of was O'Reilly's which sells their full-synthetic for $4.80 last time I was in. I think NAPA's is about the same. Of course, Wal-Mart sells a full-synthetic oil for something ridiculous like 12.00 for a 5-quart jug, which works out to less than 3 bucks a quart.

I've always used the cheapest filter available and never had an oil-related problem. IMHO, the filter is overkill past the break-in period and so long as it's not so shoddily constructed it'll fall off the car or is lacking a relief valve or anti-drainback valve, it'll be fine. This should describe any filter you'll find in a reputable store (I'll leave it to you to decide if Wal-Mart is reputable).
Old 10-11-2010, 12:36 AM
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One thing you must remember about motor oils:

one quart of the most expensive synthetic and one quart of the cheapest store brand conventional both get dirty at the same rate.
Old 10-11-2010, 07:43 AM
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Snake Oil IMHO.
Consumer Reports tests oils from time to time and says their is no difference between them other than the sales pitch.

Ya dance with who brung ya and use the oil the MFG suggested.
Old 10-11-2010, 09:36 AM
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What about the filters? Modern engines generate very little particulate contamination, and sludge is minimal. Could you get by with less frequent filter changes?
Old 10-21-2010, 05:51 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Under Oveur & over Unger
Posts: 10,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enola Straight View Post
One thing you must remember about motor oils:

one quart of the most expensive synthetic and one quart of the cheapest store brand conventional both get dirty at the same rate.
one more thing you must remember about motor oils:

contamination is one factor in determining when a motor oil needs to be changed. another is breakdown of the additive package.

ricklarge, if you want to know why people think Amsoil is a scam, it's because nobody can so much as breathe the word "Amsoil" without people like you descending on them like rabid pack animals. It gives off whiffs of Amway crazies or Scientologists, and makes people want to avoid whatever it is you're shilling out of spite.

Last edited by jz78817; 10-21-2010 at 05:54 AM.
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