Synthetic engine oil history |

Automotive

Published on November 16th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Synthetic engine oil history

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Synthetic engine oils were first developed in the late ’30s and early ’40s by German scientists because they lacked enough crude oil for their military needs. An additional benefit of the synthetic oil was its ability to continue to operate in subzero temperatures. Later, in the ’50s, synthetic engine oils were coveted in jet-engine use for their ability to withstand high operating temperatures without breaking down. In the ’60s, Albert J. Amatuzio experimented with synthetic oils in auto engines, and in 1972, his company, Amsoil, was the first synthetic engine oil to meet API requirements.

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Amsoil’s oxidation testing lab is just one example of the types of testing that go into producing a high-quality synthetic engine oil.

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Amsoil’s oxidation testing lab is just one example of the types of testing that go into producing a high-quality synthetic engine oil.

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Interestingly, synthetic oil isn’t really synthetic — it still uses a petroleum “base stock,” which is transformed using a process known as organic synthesis. When the petroleum oil base stock undergoes organic synthesis, a uniform molecular structure is achieved, and a “perfect” oil is created. This offers a number of benefits, including greater film strength (for better wear protection), a lower pour point (for easier pumping in cold weather) and greater lubricity, which can result in reduced operating temperature, improved fuel economy and more power.

Synthetic oil’s ability to work well in both cold and hot environments is one of its many advantages. Synthetic oils also have a longer service life. So servicing your vehicle will be less frequent. Just need to change the oil filter. Now you know!

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