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MOBIL 1 Facts and Background - Also re: "SYNTHETICS"

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Old 10-24-11, 02:49 PM   #1
Mikey100
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Post MOBIL 1 Facts and Background - Also re: "SYNTHETICS"

The following is only presented to somewhat concisely provide the facts behind various oils - and the subject of being a "synthetic oil" - the most talked about being Mobil 1.

I have no 'dog' in this discussion (fight), nor am I in any way associated with any commercial company mentioned herein. I am not attempting to sell anything nor any idea. I just wanted the readers of this great forum to be able to quickly and completely read FACTS - not opinions. ALtho' I still feel some 'opinions' might appear somehow magically.

MOBIL 1 FACTS:
Mobil 1 is a blend of synthetic and dino oils. It was originally a pure synthetic, but Mobil successfully lobbied to continue using the 'synthetic' description while changing the formulation to a blend. They can do that in the US (where their lobbying dollars get traction), but NOT countries like Japan and many European countries where community members actually require that products are described accurately. How bloody old fashioned is THAT?

Amsoil, Redline, Royal Purple, and others are true synthetics.

FACTS: 1974: Mobil test markets Mobil 1 synthetic SAE 5W-20 "synthesized engine lubricant"
1976: Mobil 1 goes national and changes the product description to “synthetic” motor oil.

MORE MOBIL 1 FACTS:
Mobil 1 is NOT a blend like the advertised blends you buy in the store. It starts its life as regular oil, and then is made into a synthetic through whatever processes they use. The European "true" Synthetics are truly synthetic, entirely formulated in a lab. Honestly though, if they both perform the same, who cares what process was used to achieve the results ? Thousands of satisfied people have always used Mobil 1 and never had a problem - And it is still the recommended oil of many High-end car manufacturers, including the German ones. In addition, many peoples have used Amsoil and Royal Purple, among others, without being able to determine any discernable differences or shorter engine lives. I am not claiming to be an expert at all - This is just info I have gathered. I go with Mobil 1, and Yes ! Price is a factor. True synthetics are spendy, and for my money there is not enough of a cost-benefit for regular street applications.

BACKGROUND:
In the late 1990s, Castrol started selling an oil made from Group III base oil and called it SynTec Full Synthetic. Mobil sued Castrol, asserting that this oil was not synthetic, but simply a highly refined petroleum oil, and therefore it was false advertising to call it synthetic. In 1999, Mobil lost their lawsuit. It was decided that the word "synthetic" was a marketing term and referred to properties, not to production methods or ingredients. Castrol continues to make SynTec out of Group III base oils, that is highly purified oil with most all of the cockroach bits removed.

Shortly after Mobil lost their lawsuit, most oil companies started reformulating their synthetic oils to use Group III base stocks instead of PAOs or diester stocks as their primary component. Most of the "synthetic oil" you can buy today is actually mostly made of this highly-distilled and purified dino-juice called Group III oil. Group III base oils cost about half as much as the synthetics. By using a blend of mostly Group III oils and a smaller amount of "true" synthetics, the oil companies can produce a product that has nearly the same properties as the "true" synthetics, and nearly the same cost as the Group III oil. In fact, Mobil-1 is now primarily made from Group III unconventional base oils, exactly the stuff Mobil was claiming was not really synthetic. The much more expensive traditional synthetics are now available in their pure forms only in more expensive and harder to obtain oils."

INTERESTING SIDEBAR:
When Mobil 1 first came out, they touted that you could extend your oil changes out to 25,000 miles. They back-peddled on that statement really fast when customers started taking them literally.

DETAILS:
People stumbled across the double-secret US Mobil labeling ‘scam’ when checking with Mobil technical support. They did this after noticing a significant difference in the internal condition of race engines that had similar hours on Mobil 1 and true synthetics. Mobil HAS confirmed that it’s a dino base with a synthetic additive package - and yet it is labeled as a true synthetic in the US market only.

Mobil 1 is still a good oil. It is used by most of the German marques as OEM oil, including MB and Porsche. For general applications it’s perfectly OK. Actually, it is really good ! And please keep in mine: There's a world of difference between race applications and normal road use. Oil temps, rev limits, and the amount of time at full throttle are far higher in Racing Applications than are ever seen on the road.

FORMULATION:
Synthetic oils, pioneered in the '70s by Mobil and now available from most major oil companies, take the all-season, multiviscosity approach to the outer limits. Unlike traditional mineral oils that are produced by distillation and further refining of existing crude oil stock, synthetic lubricants are made through chemical reactions. These new oils aren't synthetic or artificial in the sense that they're manufactured out of whole cloth--they still have the same natural ingredients found in "real" oil. But in a synthetic lubricant, these ingredients are recombined like a Lego set to yield synthesized-hydrocarbon molecular chains with desirable characteristics and uniformity not found in even the highest-quality traditional motor oils. Typically, the best synthetic oils use a combination of up to three different synthetic base fluids--polyalphaolefin (PAO), synthetic esters, and alkylated aromatics.

SYNTHETIC OIL BENEFITS:
Because a synthetic oil's molecules are much more consistent in size and shape, they are better able to withstand extreme engine temperatures. By contrast, the unstable molecules in conventional oil can easily vaporize or oxidize in extreme heat. Mobil 1 synthetic is said to be capable of protecting engines "at well over 400 degrees F"; in the real world, most racers have no problem running synthetics up to 290 degrees F under prolonged use, but they get really jumpy when a conventional exceeds 270 degrees F.

Because a synthetic oil is chemically produced, there are no contaminants in the oil. By contrast, conventional oils contain small amounts of sulfur, wax, and asphaltic material that can promote detonation as well as varnish and sludge buildup. With no wax, synthetics will flow at much lower temperatures than conventional oils. In fact, synthetic oils are now available with viscosity ratings as low as 0W-30, as in Mobil 1's new Tri-Synthetic blend or Castrol Formula SLX. These oils flow more than seven times faster than a conventional 5W-30 motor oil during initial start-up, yet at normal operating temperatures act like a regular Grade 30 oil.

SUMMARY:

1 The superiority of any lubricant has nothing to do with it being or not being "synthetic".

2 The only superiority of Man-made products is that the performance, composition, etc. is far more predictable, more consistent, than composition of any products from natural sources (ie, dino oil).

3 The performance repeatability of Man-made "synthetic" products is really the superior advantage over naturally sourced products.
For example:
Each "batch" of Base Oil produced, even from the Crude Oil from the same Oil Field, can vary in specifications and performance. And therefore the ultimate performance of the final product in a consumer application can NOT be totally predictable or repeatable.

4 CHANGE your oil – and oil filter - every 5000 or 10000 miles REGULARLY with regular air filter changes, and something in your life is gonna change BEFORE your Lexus engine expires. There just are bigger problems in the world to worry about.

We sincerely hope this benefits someone. Best Wishes to all,

Mikey Lulejian
Lake Oconee, GA


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Old 10-24-11, 06:58 PM   #2
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Considering 99% of engines on the planet are just perfectly happy with standard "dino" oil, I am perfectly happy with my $24 per 5 quart jug of Mobil 1 that is kinda synthetic, especially when compared to $8 - $10 per quart for RP and Amsoil...
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Old 10-24-11, 08:26 PM   #3
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hmm interesting stuff and also informative (i guess)..so i have been using regular oil (DIY), so if now i change to synthetic and lets say i go back to regular for some reason..it wont harm the engine?...m soo tempting to use synthetic but have heard from an senior automotive expert that one should stick with either regular or synthetic..and shouldn't switch back n forth..is that true or a myth..:P
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Old 10-24-11, 09:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imherenow View Post
hmm interesting stuff and also informative (i guess)..so i have been using regular oil (DIY), so if now i change to synthetic and lets say i go back to regular for some reason..it wont harm the engine?...m soo tempting to use synthetic but have heard from an senior automotive expert that one should stick with either regular or synthetic..and shouldn't switch back n forth..is that true or a myth..:P
theoretically no problem with changing from one to the other, though it won't really be of much of a benefit either... pick one and stick with it, IMO change if you want, but don't go back and forth...
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Old 10-24-11, 09:50 PM   #5
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Gotcha....plus with regular oil and high octane (91) fill ups m getting 22mpg combined (approx 80%city and 20%hwy driving)..so i dont know if i will get better than that..prolly 23mpg i would guess??
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Old 10-24-11, 11:13 PM   #6
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my ex's father worked on mobil-1, had something like 200 patents he developed, and was obviously a very smart man. did he use mobil-1 in his cars? no. why? he said it was overkill unless you're truly thrashing an engine or work in extreme conditions (cold, heat, outer space ).

but like mitsuguy said, i'm happy to buy jugs of mobil-1 and decent filters and change it myself to keep the engine happy.

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Lake Oconee, GA
now that location alone is something to put a smile on your face (yeah i've been there).
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Old 10-25-11, 07:53 AM   #7
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I am watching this thread carefully. If it gets out of hand, I will close it. They usually do thats why I am watching...


Carry on.

Last edited by ArmyofOne; 10-25-11 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 10-25-11, 08:20 PM   #8
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Another thread about oil? Wow.

I do agree Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic is not real. Figures why I have oil consumption from using it. After swtiching to Castrol Fully Synthetic, I dont have any oil consumption problems.

As for Royal Purple being called Fully Synthetic, I would like to know why, they dont have a Starburst Symbol on their Oil bottles?
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Old 10-25-11, 09:35 PM   #9
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I am not surprised by this 'article' after doing some reasearch on this subject over the years. I too believe Mobil 1 to still be a very good motor oil, although probably not as good as it used to be. However, I have stongly suspected that many of their viscosity grades, if not all of them, are mostly highly refined dino oils now. This especially after their merger with Exxon and in light of the aforementioned Mobil/Castrol lawsuit. The US courts misinterpretation of the word "synthetic" has allowed oil manufactures to mislead customers.

On a side note, think about this, according to the 'article', it sounds like foreign cars factory filled with Mobil 1, (ie. Lexus LFA) get the true PAO Mobil 1 Synthetic in the factory that is locaed ouside the US. After it comes to the states and gets filled with the US Mobil 1, it may not get the same oil that was originally specified and tested for it by the manufacturer in the first place.
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Old 10-25-11, 09:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akachan LS View Post
On a side note, think about this, according to the 'article', it sounds like foreign cars factory filled with Mobil 1, (ie. Lexus LFA) get the true PAO Mobil 1 Synthetic in the factory that is locaed ouside the US. After it comes to the states and gets filled with the US Mobil 1, it may not get the same oil that was originally specified and tested for it by the manufacturer in the first place.
Ya know .... That is an EXCELLENT point. That may explain why Mobil 1 is THE recommended oil for my M-B SL500. I never looked at it this way before. Thanks so much for pointing this out !

Best Wishes to all !

Mikey Lulejian

Lake Oconee, GA


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Old 10-26-11, 11:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS4_Fiend View Post
Another thread about oil? Wow.

I do agree Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic is not real. Figures why I have oil consumption from using it. After swtiching to Castrol Fully Synthetic, I dont have any oil consumption problems.

As for Royal Purple being called Fully Synthetic, I would like to know why, they dont have a Starburst Symbol on their Oil bottles?
Certification is an expensive process. A Boutique oil company does not have money for that.
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Old 10-26-11, 11:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post
Certification is an expensive process. A Boutique oil company does not have money for that.
Just curious. Since you say that, how come other brands even lower quality brand has a starburst symbol. Only Royal Purple is the one so far I've seen in the market that doesn't have a starburst symbol.
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Old 10-27-11, 08:34 AM   #13
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I am not a big Mobil 1 fan in general, particularly their 5W30, but I have had good experiences with their 0W40 and know others that have had good experiences running W20 and 0W30 from them. In addition, I love their Mobil 1 ATF for power steering and they make a very good gear oil with their 75W90.

When they went from their tri-synthetic to supersyn in the last decade, that's when I started to see some consumption issues with them and wound up using additives for lack of better and less expensive options when living in Mexico (there is nowhere near as much synthetic variety down there as there is in the U.S.). Still, they are a standard by which I look at other oils and I am sure they will always remain in the category.

I should also be fair in mentioning that because of all the things I did with my RX300, it was subject to a lot more than it is now where is a highway/commuter vehicle, so Mobil 1 (and many other oils) would do just fine by a lot of people in their daily driver.
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Old 10-31-11, 12:18 AM   #14
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Interesting read...very informative!
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Old 10-31-11, 07:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexmex View Post

I should also be fair in mentioning that because of all the things I did with my RX300, it was subject to a lot more than it is now where is a highway/commuter vehicle, so Mobil 1 (and many other oils) would do just fine by a lot of people in their daily driver.
Agreed. I think what you write is the most IMPORTANT point. Whether Mobil 1 is "this" or it isn't ........ is NOT the point. It is EXCELLENT lubrication for upwards of 10K miles (normally) ........
and it's in use by hundreds of thousands of cars worldwide.

And that provides an excellent "comfort level."

Best Wishes,

Mikey Lulejian
Lake Oconee, GA


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