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What is AMSOIL? History & FAQs

What is AMSOIL? History & FAQs

Learn more about AMSOIL - a U.S. based, synthetic oil product manufacturer that creates some of the best synthetic oil products.
By
Dave Mann
8
min read
June 11, 2020
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What is AMSOIL? History & FAQs

Top Insights

  • AMSOIL revolutionized vehicle lubrication by developing the first API-certified synthetic motor oil tested in 1972, embodying the pioneering spirit of "The First in Synthetics®."
  • Committed to excellence, AMSOIL continuously innovates, producing high-quality synthetic lubricants, additives, and many other products that surpass conventional oils and other leading synthetics in performance and protection.
  • The AMSOIL Dealer Program offers unique opportunities, enabling dealers to build close customer relationships while promoting AMSOIL's superior products.
  • Independent tests continue to confirm AMSOIL's leadership in quality and performance, with products lines like their Signature Series provide exceptional engine protection and efficiency.
  • When working with raw material suppliers for product development & improvement, AMSOIL implements quality-first principles, whereas many competing companies focus primarily on cost.

Meet The Author

Dave Mann
President
Hi, I’m Dave - a former Ford Truck/Automotive Engineer with 40 years of combined professional experience working with lubrication systems and using and promoting AMSOIL products. My trucks, heavy equipment, farm and powersports vehicles experience extreme use, and I use AMSOIL products in every single one. Enjoy the site!

What is AMSOIL?

AMSOIL Inc. is an American corporation based in Superior, Wisconsin that primarily formulates and packages synthetic lubricants, fuel additives, and filters. Company founder Albert J. Amatuzio developed several synthetic motor oil formulations throughout the mid-to-late 1960s. In 1972, AMSOIL's 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil became the first synthetic oil to meet API (American Petroleum Institute) service requirements.

AMSOIL's Mission Statement

We are driven to earn the loyalty of every customer by engineering innovative lubricant solutions and investing in expertise to deliver the performance they’ve been promised and the satisfaction they deserve.

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AMSOIL - The First in Synthetics

AMSOIL founder and industry pioneer Al Amatuzio built his company on the same principles that defined his career as a jet fighter squadron commander – excellence, integrity and strong leadership. In 1972, the breakthrough came. AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil, the result of years of research and inspired by aerospace technology, became the first synthetic motor oil in the world to meet American Petroleum Institute service requirements. It outperformed conventional oils on all counts, signaling a new age in lubrication science. Today, virtually every other motor oil manufacturer has recognized the superiority of synthetic lubricants and followed the AMSOIL lead with introductions of synthetic motor oils of their own. Accept no substitutes – AMSOIL is The First in Synthetics®.

The History of AMSOIL

AMSOIL's Founder - Al "Ammo" Amatuzio - Twice honored as our nation's Top Pilot

AMSOIL was founded by Al Amatuzio, a WWII veteran of the Naval Air Corps and the US Air Force who later served as a Lieutenant Colonel and squadron commander in the Minnesota Air National Guard. Amatuzio saw the benefits of synthetic oil in action in his squadron's jet aircraft and wondered why synthetics weren't being used in automobile engines at the time.

When Amatuzio began researching synthetic oil in the 60's, motor oil quality was poor, prone to breaking down in high-temperatures, and contributed to hard-starting in cold weather. He studied chemistry and learned about oil additives. In 1966, he had formulated his first synthetic motor oil and asked one of his pilots to use it in his brand-new 1966 Ford Station Wagon.

By 1968, he was commercially selling his synthetic motor oil. In 1970, the company name "AMZOIL" was born - an amalgamation of his name and "oil" - which he'd later change to "AMSOIL" following a lawsuit filed by Pennzoil.

His first few years in business almost entirely exhausted his financial resources, as few people were willing to pay for more expensive synthetic oils even if they were proven to be much better than conventional oils. Amatuzio decided he needed API and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) certifications to increase the credibility of his products and earn the trust of motorists.

In 1972, an accredited third-party lab tested his oil rigorously and deemed it met API service requirements, the first synthetic motor oil to become API certified. It outperformed conventional petroleum motor oils on all accounts.  

Big oil companies saw AMSOIL's 25,000 mile/one year guarantee as a threat to continuous sales for their conventional products. Eventually, they followed suit, with Mobil introducing its first synthetic oil in 1974.

In 1994 Al Amatuzio was honored as the pioneer of synthetic lubrication with his induction into the Lubricants World Hall of Fame.

In 2017 Al Amatuzio passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and loved ones in his home.

In 2018, Alan Amatuzio (founder Al Amatuzio's son) assumed sole ownership of AMSOIL INC. and serves as the Chairman & CEO.

In 2021, AMSOIL launched AMSOIL Industrial, a new business unit dedicated to serving large business-to-business customers, like metal stamping and injection molding manufacturing companies, power generation, and general construction equipment manufacturers.

In 2023, AMSOIL acquired Benz Oil, a Milwaukee-based company that specializes in the development, manufacture and supply of industrial and metalworking fluids.

A timeline infographic of AMSOILs history.

The AMSOIL Product Range

AMSOIL has engineered hundreds of products over its 54+ year history. While the initial focus was on synthetic motor oils for passenger vehicles, its product line has greatly expanded, covering all types of motor oils, filters, transmission fluids, fuel additives, compressor oils, gear lubes, cleaners and protectants, and more.

The great thing about AMSOIL is they have all of their products third-party tested, and they often do more rigorous testing of their own products than what's required to meet API and SAE service requirements.

My personal experiences interacting first-hand with AMSOIL engineers and the company founder, Al Amatuzio, have taught me a great deal about how AMSOIL focuses so heavily on manufacturing the highest quality lubricants and protectants. If you want to learn more about how I discovered AMSOIL, my conversations with Al Amatuzio and other employees, and the many benefits I've experienced, checkout this article.

AMSOIL Signature Series Oils

Easily one of their most popular products, the AMSOIL Signature Series line of oils (formulated differently for gas engines and for diesel engines) touts many benefits over conventional oils and leading synthetic oil competitors.

Signature Series Testing - ASTM Based Tests

ASTM stands for American Society for Testing and Materials.

The Sequence IVA Engine Test, which must be passed to meet the API SN PLUS specification, simulates extended periods of stop-and-go driving. For 100 hours, the test engine cycles between 50 minutes of idling and 10 minutes of elevated rpm — conditions that encourage engine wear. The camshaft is then measured for wear in 84 locations and an average score is determined.

After rigorous third-party testing, the cam lobes show little-to-no-wear.

AMSOIL used Signature Series 0W-20, the lightest viscosity in the line, to further increase the severity of the test. AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil provided 75% more engine protection against horsepower loss and wear (based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-20 using the ASTM D6891 standard test) than required by the industry standard, extending the life of vital components like pistons and cams.

AMSOIL Signature Series vs Mobil 1

AMSOIL Signature Series is also fortified with a heavy treatment of detergent additives, delivering 28% more acid-neutralizing power than Mobil 1 and helping engines stay cleaner for longer (based upon independent testing of Mobil 1 Annual Protection Full Synthetic 5W-30 and AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in ASTM D2896 - oils purchased July 2020).

The Sequence IIIH Test - ASTM D8111

The Sequence IIIH Test uses the Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar engine to evaluate a motor oil’s ability to resist heat and keep pistons clean. The test is conducted with oil temperatures of 304ºF (151ºC), much hotter than normal operation, to accelerate oil thickening and deposits.

A single-length 90-hour test didn’t even challenge Signature Series. Its viscosity was like that of new oil, and the pistons were still nearly spotless. To really test the oil, AMSOIL told the lab to reassemble the engine and run the test again using the same oil.

Even after doubling the length of the industry-standard test, the oil limited oil thickening to well under the allowable threshold while delivering 40% cleaner pistons than required by the standard (based on independent testing of AMSOIL Signature Series 5W-30 in the Sequence IIIH Engine Test (ASTM D8111), required by the ILSAC GF-6 and API SP specifications).

AMSOIL goes the extra mile to prove its products are the best by conducting industry-standard tests that independent, third-party labs often conduct.

One of my favorite YouTubers, Project Farm, conducts his own version of these industry-standard tests and documents the results. In the video below, he created a March Madness-style bracket for 16 different oil products and concluded, based on his own, unaffiliated testing, that AMSOIL was the best oil on the market.

AMSOIL vs Pennzoil - Oil Championship - Project Farm

AMSOIL Dealer Program

AMSOIL markets its products largely through a nationwide (US & Canada) network of Authorized Dealers. Al Amatuzio helped set his company apart by focusing strongly on developing and cultivating these types of relationships.  

How can you become an AMSOIL Dealer?

To become an AMSOIL Dealer, you must fill out the Dealer application, sign the agreement, and pay the Dealer fee ($49.95 USD or $64.95 CAD).  After approval, you'll receive a Dealer Starter Kit loaded with product samples and marketing brochures.

Advantages of Becoming a Dealer

Dealers experience the same benefits as AMSOIL Preferred Customers, plus quite a few more.

  • purchase AMSOIL products at wholesale pricing
  • minimal startup/overhead costs and no inventory requirements
  • corporate support and video-based training
  • no quotas to maintain
  • no renewal requirement; simply cancel your membership or stop paying

I have been an AMSOIL Dealer for almost 25 years now and have had the pleasure of serving thousands of customers, retailers, and business throughout the US and Canada. In my opinion, AMSOIL is the best synthetic oil manufacturer around and their Dealer program is a great opportunity for those of us who prefer AMSOIL and want to promote their products. If you have questions about becoming a dealer, contact me here.

Other AMSOIL FAQs

Why is AMSOIL not sold in big box stores?

AMSOIL is not sold in most big box stores because AMSOIL wants to maintain the legacy that founder Al Amatuzio introduced, relying on a national network of AMSOIL Dealers to educate customers on why synthetic oil is better than conventional oil.

From AMSOIL:

We think it’s important that AMSOIL products are available primarily at businesses that offer specialized products and services. As such, we don’t sell directly to national chains because they can gain a competitive advantage that makes it less desirable for local or regional businesses that offer repair, installation or other value-added services.

Where can you buy AMSOIL?

AMSOIL products are sold online and by distributors and retailers throughout the US & Canada. Using their store locator, you can find AMSOIL at many local auto parts stores, quick lubes, auto service centers, hardware stores, and powersports dealers.

Is AMSOIL high quality?

AMSOIL offers the highest-quality synthetic oil products on the market, and their quality is backed by rigorous industry-standard testing.

AMSOIL designs and engineers products to performance specifications, not down to a price as many other companies do. AMSOIL's oil formulations are made from the highest-quality base oils and performance additives.

For example, when AMSOIL's raw material suppliers, some of the largest companies that supply many different companies, develop a new product, they come to AMSOIL first because they know AMSOIL will not ask them what it costs.

Instead, AMSOIL will ask what the performance parameters are, and then they will incorporate that new product, chemical additive, etc, into a new formulation and test it to ensure it meets and exceeds AMSOIL's stringent, rigorous performance specifications.

Once accomplished, AMSOIL will discuss the price with the supplier. This is in contrast to what many other companies do when they go to a supplier; they go to the supplier with a specific price target and say "what can get for this price?"

This is very different from how AMSOIL operates. AMSOIL engineers its products to ultra-premium performance parameters and specifications, and customers who want the best of the best will seek out AMSOIL products for this and many other reasons.

Why is AMSOIL so expensive?

AMSOIL is a bit more expensive than many competing products at retail prices. Yet, even though you might pay a bit more up front, AMSOIL lubricants will save you money in the long run with extended drain intervals, reduced maintenance costs, and longer service life for your vehicles and equipment.

What's so special about AMSOIL?

AMSOIL is very different from other oil companies because they developed the first synthetic motor oil to meet API service requirements and because they've always focused more heavily on their relationship with independent AMSOIL Dealers.

Is AMSOIL the best synthetic motor oil on the market?

AMSOIL is considered one of the best synthetic motor oils because it was the first company to meet American Petroleum Institute (API) requirements in 1972 with a fully synthetic motor oil. Even today, compared to many competing lubrication products, AMSOIL more effectively lubricates and protects engines in various applications. The benefits of AMSOIL far outweigh the cost.

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