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What is AMSOIL made from?

What is AMSOIL made from?

Discover what base oils and additives AMSOIL lubricants are made from in this post. Only the highest quality ingredients!
Dave Mann
min read
June 2, 2024
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What is AMSOIL made from?

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Meet The Author

Dave Mann
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 made from?

Every motor oil is made of two primary ingredients: base oils and additives. Base oils are categorized into five different groups: groups I & II are conventional base oils, while groups III IV and V are synthetic. AMSOIL formulations are proprietary but we know they use the highest quality Group III, IV, & Group V base oils in most of their products along with proprietary additives like viscosity modifiers, detergents, anti-wear additives, dispersants, and oxidation inhibitors.

While AMSOIL does not manufacture the base oils themselves, I know first-hand that they are very selective in choosing the highest-quality base oils. In conversations I've had with their engineering team and executives, I've been told that base oil suppliers tend to seek out AMSOIL first when testing and developing new base oil products because suppliers know AMSOIL wants only the best and won't demand lower quality products because of cost restrictions, unlike leading competitors.

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Is AMSOIL a true synthetic?

Yes, most AMSOIL lubricants are classified as 100% full synthetic products (with the exception of a few synthetic-blend oils). They were also the first company to develop and sell a full synthetic oil that met API service requirements, rendering the tagline: "The First in Synthetics."

Group IV PAOs

AMSOIL motor oils used to display a "PAO" badge signifying their use of Group IV Polyalphaolefins (PAOs) synthetic base oils as a key component in many of their motor oil formulations. PAOs have the following characteristics that make them well-suited for lubricants:

  • Uniform molecular structure for low friction and high shear stability
  • Excellent oxidation resistance at high temperatures
  • Very low pour points for cold temperature pumpability
  • Naturally high viscosity index, requiring fewer viscosity modifiers

They've since removed the PAO badge as their oil formulations use a variety of different base oils that are tailored for specific applications and use cases.

Are base oils really that important in motor oil formulations?

In my professional opinion, the selection of base oils is not that important. What really matters with any synthetic lubricant formulation is how the overall oil performs when you consider all of the base stocks and additives combined. AMSOIL has had extensive, third-party performance testing done in labs and in real-world applications. For instance, you can specifically see how AMSOIL compares to Mobil 1, Royal Purple, and many other competitors.

AMSOIL Ingredients Breakdown

AMSOIL Engine Oil Additives

AMSOIL motor oil formulations include many different additives depending on the type of oil and it's applications:

  • Viscosity Modifiers: Polymers and copolymers of olefins, methacrylates, dienes, and alkylated styrenes improve shear stability, helping maintain viscosity across wide temperature ranges and throughout the service life of the oil.
  • Detergents: Metallo-organic compounds of sodium, calcium, and magnesium phenolates, phospohnates, and sulfanates help to envelop particles and cling to contaminant surfaces, keeping components clean and quickly neutralizing acids even at high temperatures.
  • Anti-Wear Additives: Zinc Dialkyldithiophosphates (ZDDP), and organic sulfer/chlorine compounds help prevent wear on critical components.

  • Dispersants: Alkylsuccinimides, alkylsuccinic esters, and mannich reaction products quickly attack particles to prevent agglomeration and sludge. Strong bonds are formed to contaminants to ensure dispersion throughout the oil.
  • Oxidation Inhibitors: Zinc dithiophosphates, hindered phenols, aromatic amines, and sulfurized phenols help decompose peroxides and terminate free-radical reactions to slow oxidation and extend oil life.
  • Anti-Foamants: silicone polymers and organic copolymers reduce the surface tension of foam bubbles and speed their collapse for foam-free oil.
  • Pour-Point Depressants: alkylated napthalene, phenolic polymers, polymethacrylates, and copolymer esters help lubricants flow at lower temperatures and deliver better performance and protection at start up.

AMSOIL isn't found in most big-box stores but can be purchased online and locally from qualifying quick lubes, services centers and some powersports dealerships.

Is AMSOIL made from petroleum?

Only those formulations that utilize Group III base oils can be considered as made from petroleum (crude oil). Even then, many consider Group III base oils as synthesized hydrocarbons.

What base oils does AMSOIL use?

AMSOIL used to advertise their products as relying mostly on Group IV base oils (PAOs). Nowadays, their formulations are more complex and use a variety of base oils, highly tailored for various use cases and real world applications.


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