Talk:Synthetic oil

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Synthetic oil and plastics[edit]

What is the impact of synthetic oil to PVC product, especially in the PVC pipe?

Suggest merger[edit]

this page should be merged with motor oil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

sounds like a bad idea to me -- Solipsist 09:16, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Mobil 1 formula[edit]

–Some chimp is revising this article to state that "Mobil 1 contains 5% polyalphaolefin".

- it depends on which Mobil 1 formula is being discussed; the regular line, the Extended Performance, one of the motorcycle oils, or one of the diesel forumlas, and which continent and country is being discussed. A blanket statement is erroneous on its face.

- someone posted speculation on why it was changed. It was changed because it was erroneous.

Eblem 01:06, 22 December 2006 (UTC) —

Please refrain from personal attacks. --Petri Krohn 02:05, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
There appear to be a number of individuals defacing various Wikipedia pages with allegations about ExxonMobil and some of its products.
This is an encyclopedia entry.
Those who want to sound off pro or con products have other fora in which to do that.
I may be reached at —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eblem (talkcontribs) 18:18, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Formula Change Sensitivity[edit]

(moved this comment by User: here from article. -- Petri Krohn 02:03, 22 December 2006 (UTC))
Apparently, Mobil have some sensitivity to their public MSDS information being linked on Wikipedia apparently because "the url purporting to show Mobil 1 containg 5% PAO does not support the claim". One would think that public MSDS would be accurate. If alternative formulations for different grades exist, then explanatory linkage needs to be provided, not all linkage deleted.
I looked at your MSDS and it did not support what you claim it supported.
In addition, Exxon Mobil sells at least five lines each of Mobil 1 products in Europe, Asia, and North America from motorcycle oils, including 2 cycle, to diesel, and multiple lines of automotive motor oils.
Are you of the opinion that an MSDS for one viscosity of one product line in one country is applicable to all the lines of all the products in all the markets?
If so, I can easily dispel you of that misconception.
--Eblem 01:39, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


In 2006, the results of a gas chromatography test on Mobil 1 5w-30 EP were posted by an industry expert on the popular motor oil discussion website BITOG. It showed the oil to be primarily composed of a less expensive, Group III processed mineral oil. Until this time, Mobil 1 was believed to be a true synthetic, utilizing a Group IV (PAO) basestock. The release of this information has led to a backlash against ExxonMobil's lubricant products in many automotive communities. Ironically, in 1999, Mobil fought Castrol's change in formulation to a Group III basestock in motor oils being marketed as fully synthetic. Mobil claimed that Castrol was decieving their customer base, while degrading their products. The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus eventually ruled that Castrol could continue to market their Syntec line as a fully synthetic motor oil. ExxonMobil currently refuses to comment on the primary basestock of their Mobil 1 series of oils. This has only added further confusion over the exact definition of the term "synthetic oil." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 19:22, 12 February 2007

GOOD DAY, Gentlemen. While I understand (sometimes, few ones), the attempts by Wikipedia "editors", who appear to be too jealous to remove ANYTHING that do nos please their "criteria", in order to "maintain" Wikipedia's "reference quality" (whatever it means), I believe they are actually destroying the true value of the concept: look, if someone reads a Wikipedia article, it could be that such person could be ONLY interested in a very general, superficial view of the subject... But what if the person is seriously investigating a subject, and such other person (like me), wants to know AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE in a Complete, well written article, not one full of deletions (sometimes VERY useful content) by fanatic censors dressed as "editors". As a person with more than 32 years of experience in the petroleum industry that continues to work daily as a Senior technical advisor at the Mexican equivalent of the American Petroleum Institute (you can see our webpage at, albeit in spanish language), I not only understand the fact that an Encyclopedic article HAS to meet strict rules, BUT; on the other side, it is more and more often that I am seeing undue deletions, INSTEAD OF useful EDITIONS to the articles. As it continues to be, the absolutely USELESS article on the "Mobil-1" motor oil does NOT contribute ANYTHING of true value apart from the completely trivial section on "Sponsorships". As a Qualified Professional Engineer with my experience in this area, I feel compelled to raise your attention to the fact that Motor Oil characteristics DO vary as a given formulation DEPARTS from a so called "100% Full Synthetic" formulation. The (sad) fact that in USA (and other countries) too many concepts have been HEAVILY DISTORTED in order to MAKE BELIEVE the unsuspecting public whatever the businesses want them to believe, to raise profits in the most rampant way. Europeans, on the contrary, tend to be more conservative in their specifications and also more demanding (No offense here). That is the reason for DISTINGUISHING between a True Synthetic and a mixture that attempts to appear as "100%" Synthetic. If this discussion is avoided, Wikipedia readers will NOT be aware of this, which hurts the whole Wikipedia concept, so, lets include this matter in MORE detail, not less, much less amputating it. A Terse, well written section on the matter of How-Much syntetic really is this Product, is in absolute benefit to Wikipedia readers. When people GET the Wikipedia spirit, they tend to ENRICH an article, certainly not DELETING or MUTILATING sections of it. As a final note, I do NOT work for ANY company that sells ANY kind of Motor Oils, But we TEST and CERTIFY Motor Oils, so that I have absolutely NO interest in attacking or recommending ANY given product. But when a large company decides to promote its products and starts to STRETCH some concepts, in order to promote its sales or earnings, I am of the opinion that the persons that work in this field of knowledge MUST STEP-IN and try to CLARIFY whatever needs to be clarified, in this case, the use of the terms "100% Synthetic", "Fully Synthetic" or similar ones. Remember the Old and Wise saying: "There is still an ounce of TRUTH in every Lie" which fits this matter.

Let's IMPROVE the Mobil-1 page. Sincerely, Alfredo M. Claussen, P.E., Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo, R&D; Mexico City. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:59, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Mobil fought Castrol[edit]

With trepidation I point out that there is no evidence that "In 1999, Mobil fought Castrol's change in formulation to a Group III basestock in motor oils being marketed as fully synthetic."

This line is verbatim from a post at "", where there is an ongoing movement among non-tribologists to rehash long-settled matters, such as the marketing of Group III synthesized motor oils as "synthetic" in North America, based on rumor and old wives' tales.

The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus


does not conduct "trials" and there is no adversarial proceedings. It will consider matters of general interest to the public about the fairness of advertising and related matters. In two cases:

3035 08/01/1993 CASTROL, INC. /Castrola Syntec Motor Oil

3526 03/01/1999 CASTROL, INC. /Castrol Syntec Synthetic Motor Oil

it addressed matters of general interest to consumers of motor oils, neither of which involved anything like "Mobil claimed that Castrol was decieving their customer base, while degrading their products.", and concluded that the Group III base stock - which was constructed by removing waxes, combining aromatics into longer chain molecules, and adding hydrogen atoms to the result - were "synthetic". Castrol, Valvoline (Ashland Refining), Pennzoil, Quaker State, Havoline, and others all have made and sold synthetic motor oils, advertised and sold legally in the US and Canada, for at least the last ten years.

Thus, the statement "This has only added further confusion over the exact definition of the term "synthetic oil." is patently false, since in the US and Canada that has been authoritatively settled for a decade.

The statement that "ExxonMobil currently refuses to comment on the primary basestock of their Mobil 1 series of oils." is both knowingly false and misleading. For example, from the very source of all this misinformation,, we can read ExxonMobil's:


"To meet the demanding requirements of today's specifications (and our customers' expectations) Mobil 1 uses high-performance synthetic fluids, including polyalphaolefins (PAO), along with a proprietary system of additives. In fact, each Mobil 1 viscosity grade uses a specific combination of synthetic fluids and selected additives in order to tailor the viscosity grade to its unique requirement."

The refusal, apparently, consists of ExxonMobil's refusal - consistent with industry-wide practice - to provide the exact make-up of base stocks, blend stocks, and additives of various products.

The statement "In 2006, the results of a gas chromatography test on Mobil 1 5w-30 EP were posted by an industry expert on the popular motor oil discussion website BITOG." is also false, and the long battle over the complete lack of any test results, readings, graphs, or other data and the ongoing attempt of one participant to obtain an actual verifiable gas chromatography test can be found at the website in question,, for anyone willing to spend about four hours reading tendacious, tedious, unprofessional rantings.

The statement "Until this time, Mobil 1 was believed to be a true synthetic, utilizing a Group IV (PAO) basestock." is also unmitigated gibberish.

ExxonMobil has, to my knowledge, only advertised in the US and Canada two motor oils as being specifically primarily API Group IV (polyalphaolefin): its 10W-40 and 20W-50 motorcycle oils. Its other products have been for several years various blends of polyalphaolefin, polyolester, diester, alkylated napthlenes, esterized waxes, esterized vegetable oils, trace mineral oils, and a host of proprietary additives.

The "backlash against ExxonMobil's lubricant products in many automotive communities" consists of this false, misleading, unsupported, mendacious, scurrilous material being inserted in what should be a reference-quality encyclopedia entry by someone with apparently no knowledge whatsoever of either the history of synthetic oil or the accepted practices in the industry.

Because I am simultaneously dealing with "intgr" and "Petri Krohn" and other well-meaning but apparently ignorant Wikipediasts who apparently can't tell a fact from a fig, I will refrain from removing this tripe pending some additional discussions.

--Eblem 01:31, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


Umm...what's with the rabid fanboyism for Mr. Al Amatuzio? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chiaroscuros (talkcontribs) 02:07, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

The article is laughably POV, with exhortations to the reader to think about the benefits of synthetic oil! I don't know enough to correct it, but I hope someone will. —JerryFriedman 18:56, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. It is apparent that the author favors synthetic oils, as seen through the simple statements exhorting the benefits while explaning away many of the disadvantages. That said, however, there is nothing within the advantages or disadvantages that is inherently wrong. Automotive manufacturers and professional engine builders have cautioned against the use of synthetic oils during the critical break-in period for piston engines as the lubrication and anti-shear properties lengthen or prevent proper wear-in of the piston rings. A bottle of synthetic oil will generally cost you 2 to 3 times more than a bottle of regular old 10W40 dinosaur juice, depending on the manufacturers.

Another disadvantage not mentioned is the use of synthetics in severely worn engines that have not been properly or adequately maintained. As synthetic oils have superior lubrication properties, their use can actually clean out some of the sludge and build-up that has taken place in worn engines. In many cases this build-up is what is keeping the various gap tolerences within the engine's rotating assembly at acceptable levels. By running synthetic (after, say, 150,000 very hard and ill-maintained miles) it can begin to clean out this build-up, increasing the gaps in bearing clearances, on cylinder sidewalls, and in the valve train. The engine may become noisier and wear down faster due to the increased clearances. The engine may also begin to burn oil as the loss of the build-up facilitates oil loss through the valve assembly and piston rings. On the up side, though, this clean-out can open up oil passages, facilitating increased oil supply.

On a final note, the use of fully synthetic oils is highly encouraged in high performance turbocharged engines. Turbos are both lubricated and cooled by the engine's oiling system, and turbos generate an enormous amount of heat. In normal street applications (read OEM and mild daily driven), regular oil will more than suffice. However, as one increases the power output, demands, or frequency of use of the turbo, this added heat can cause accelerated break-down of engine oil. The oil can begin to burn inside the turbo, leaving damaging crystaline carbon deposits inside the turbine and bearings, causing turbo failure over time. Synthetic oils are much more resistant to thermal breakdown and their lubrication properties will aid in maximizing the life of the turbo. 23:52, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Synthetic oil is categorically better than conventional oil, therefore you decide to cry POV. Give it a rest. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 11:12, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

♠When are we going to dump the Mobil 1 photo, it's an advertisement. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 02:43, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Very blatant such. {Phoenixdolphin (talk) 07:47, 26 September 2008 (UTC)}

"Many vehicle manufacturers specify synthetic motor oils."[edit]

I doubt the statement, "Many vehicle manufacturers specify synthetic motor oils." I can not find the text of the referenced manufacturer specifications, citations needed.

Expect when the truth is known the referenced manufacturer specifications say nothing about "synthetic", no matter that nothing other than synthetic motor oils may have passed their specifications. N4hhe 21:21, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Mercedes-Benz recommends synthetic motor oils for their automobiles. A call to any dealer will confirm this fact.

Under Required applications this item appears to be incorrect: "MB 229.5 ( (4G63 engine)" - 229.5 is the correct Mercedes-Benz specification for synthetic motor oil as called for in the owner's manual, however 4G63 is the designation for a Mitsubishi four cylinder engine, and does not designate any Mercedes-Benz engine —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I drive a 2005 Chrysler 300C, equipped with a Hemi...The owners' manual does not specify synthetic oil. It says synthetic oil may be used. The dealer only puts synthetic in on request. <brett> —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

We should probably fix this section up. I noticed that the Mercury Grand Marquis 2002+ was listed as taking synthetic, noting that it takes 5W20. It uses the Ford modular 4.6L V8, so if that engine needed synthetic, MOST police cars in the US would be forced to run synthetic, which is not the case; ask any fleet manager. While it's technically true that many 5W20 oils are synthetic blends by the standards of the 1990s, that's stretching things. By that standard, many 'normal' oils qualify as synthetic blends, and you might as well say that most oils are synthetic oils, which would be confusing and somewhat deceptive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Many unattributed "facts"[edit]

Many of the statements about "drawbacks of synthetic oil" are controversial, insofar as they are vigorously disputed by the vendors of these synthetic oils on their own web sites and there are no citations or attributions on this page that would lend veracity to the listed drawbacks (with one exception). We should at the very least cite the vendor's statement regarding these unattributed "drawbacks", if not just eliminate them entirely where there is dispute over their validity. (Which means entirely eliminating pretty much everything except the "cost" and the "no benefit in taxicab use" drawbacks, where the former can be validated from various sources and the latter already has a citation).

The same applies to listed "advantages". In some cases we can cite oil company literature regarding these advantages, but they should be attributed to their correct source, not just listed as if we had a direct line to whatever deity we individually happen to worship.

In addition, most of the facts in this web page are not applicable to current oils sold as "synthetic" oil in the United States, which are Group III oils which basically are, well, processed dinosaur juice pumped out of the ground, not manufactured substances built out of other molecules (the exceptions being small specialty vendors such as Amsoil and Red Line selling Group IV or Group V oils basically via mail order). In general this page is about ten years out of date and applies to a time when Group IV / Group V oils were the only synthetics sold in stores in the United States, and is not applicable to any oils currently sold as "synthetic" in any department store, discount store, or auto parts chain store in the United States, thus is misleading to the typical U.S. citizen attempting to find information regarding what is sold as synthetic oils here. Wikipedia pages should not be Euro-centric (or US-centric for that matter) but should strive for universality. Information about Group III oils should be included here also in addition to the current information about Group IV and Group V synthetics, and appropriate citations found to document both that information and the "facts" currently asserted in this article. Badtux (talk) 07:19, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Synthetic fuel merger suggestion[edit]

Somewhere along the line it was suggested that the synthetic fuel article be merged into this one. I disagree with this suggestion, as "synthetic fuel" and "synthetic oil", though sometimes produced through similar chemistry, refer to fundamentally very different products. In my view, the encyclopedic discussion of these different products does not benefit from such a merge. I have been working on improving the synthetic fuel article up to good article status, and it was recently suggested that this matter be resolved to further that effort. I thought it best to open this for discussion for a time in an effort to resolve the matter. Sfj4076 (talk) 07:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Concur. THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 11:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Not from crude oil?[edit]

The article claims that synthetic oil is "artificially made (synthesized) from compounds other than crude oil (petroleum)." I would claim synthetic oil is artificially made from crude oil. What else is it made of?

Take PAO. PAO is a polyolefin, which is produced from olefin, an alkene, which is made by "cracking petroleum" (seeOlefin). Thus, PAO is synthesized from crude oil.

The difference to normal oil is that it is *synthesized* from oil, not just refined. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Motor oil cracked from Canadian bitumen is also classed as "synthetic". Crude bitumen is not "crude oil", it's oil sands bitumen. Santamoly (talk) 20:25, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

Semi-synthetic oils[edit]

The article says: "Semi-synthetic oils (also called 'synthetic blends') are blends of mineral oil with no more than 30% synthetic oil."

Shouldn't that be "no LESS than"? Sounds so to me... /Amateur —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

No, semi-synthetic actually does mean less than 30% synthetic is to be blended to mineral oil. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:06, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. There is no common or mandated ratio of mineral and synthetic oil that must be achieved or avoided in order to use the term "semi-synthetic". "Fully synthetic" means 100% of the base oil is of a synthetic classification. Anything less than that is a synthetic blend, semi-synthetic, part-synthetic or whatever other term you will find. Weasley one (talk) 15:05, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Linking Klotz Synthetic Lubricants[edit]

I don't understand why Klotz Synthetic Lubricants isn't linked, unlike the competitors: 3,000 mile myth, Amsoil, Castrol, Fischer–Tropsch process, Maxima synthetic racing oil, Mobil 1, Motul, Pennzoil, Red Line Oil, Royal Purple, and Schaeffer Oil. If you are the editor of this article, please have it linked to — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

"See also" sections aren't for external links or redlinks. I removed Klotz and Maxima because they don't have articles. If the product or company is encyclopedically relevant (see WP:CORP), go ahead and write an article for it. tedder (talk) 18:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


A test by Consumer Reports is listed under "Disadvantages". There is however no mention of any disadvantages, just that the test found no noticable advantages over mineral oil. A lack of advantages is not the same as a disadvantage, so I'll remove that point if nobody objects. PerDaniel (talk) 13:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Automotive Use[edit]

I find this section to have multiple issues, among them a single source supporting most of this section (I could make the link work) and irrelevant historical information regarding disputes between companies and quotes like that by Baker. This entire section needs to be rewritten and more sources provided. I could find any history on this company named All-Proof founded by Alvin Fagan. The section should be primarily about the history of synthetic oil in automobiles, not about synthetic oil companies. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE 13:35, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

"Synthetic base stock lubricant oil as described above ..."[edit]

"Synthetic base stock lubricant oil as described above ...", but there is no description of synthetic base stock lubricant above the quoted clause. This is what can happen to an article when it's edited by edit-warring parties who are very interesting in grinding their own axes, and not at all interested in the integrity of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Various nonsense[edit]

This article is a mess. It is full of factual and grammatical holes as well as sentences that I can't even decipher. For example:

"Synthetic base stock lubricant oil as described above are man-made and tailored to have a controlled molecular structure with predictable properties. They comprise of organic and inorganic base stock oil combined with polymer packages to produce synthesised oil compounds (API/SAE Groups III, IV & V)."

It opens with a clumsy way of saying, I believe, "synthetic oil" (I assume the clumsiness is an intention to try and differentiate a finished oil from a base oil). It then goes on to talk about " and inorganic base stock oil...". What "inorganic base stock oil" is that? Silicone? If so, I would argue this is so distinct from the context of this article as to be out of scope and thus unnecessary to be specifically mentioned. If it refers to some other inorganic base stock oil, I'll admit it defeats me as to what it might be (despite 21 years in the lubricant technology business).

Then we have "...combined with polymer packages to produce synthesised oil compounds (API/SAE Groups III, IV & V". Sorry - you've lost me. Is this an attempt to describe the process of making a synthetic base stock? Or the description of a synthetic finished oil (eg motor oil)? In either case, it isn't. We also have the invention of some "SAE" base oil groups - these groups are defined only by the API. Finally there is the contentious issue of which API groups are classified as synthetic. Group IV is and there is no argument here. However Group III is not universally accepted (from a national legal perspective) as synthetic and Group V is defined by the API as 'anything not in Groups I to IV', so is, in fact, a hugely diverse pool of base oil types, including synthetics (eg esters, polyethers, glycols etc) but also including minerals (eg low and medium VI mineral oil, naphthenic oils etc) as well as vegetable oils (eg castor oil).

The "Ester" section talks about the generic ester group of chemicals and their genesis rather than specific types relating to base oil use.

"Semi-synthetic oil" introduces an apparently arbitrary definition of what composition defines this. We are then treated to a section all about non-synthetic oils, by way of comparison.

I move that the whole article is redundant in favour of other articles such as Lubricant, Motor oil and other specifics. If not redundant then in need of a ground-up re-write without the POV and with some reliable references and citations. More than I have time for right now I'm afraid. Weasley one (talk) 15:05, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


This article seems rather "woolly", lacking definitive information and references. Surely this is subject that can be backed with more hard science/engineering and, perhaps, less marketing hype/wishful thinking? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

AAA report[edit]

Could be a useful reference Sizeofint (talk) 05:34, 14 June 2017 (UTC)