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This thread was split off from another thread to keep the original thread on-topic. This post is being edited by XtremeRevolution to include the discussion context (quotes below). Greg's post will be at the bottom.


I will read through this entire thread shortly, but wanted to voice a few concerns regarding catch cans. Remember, I come from the Cruze world, where we also have a 1.4L Turbo engine (obviously different).

With the use of AMSOIL's Signature Series oil, I've run that car to 15,000 miles between oil changes (obviously won't do that here), and in that 15,000 miles, I've seen no measurable amount of oil consumption, yet our intake tract and other PCV related components are covered in oil. I've come to the conclusion that it isn't problematic. Note, this is a low-volatility oil, as are many other synthetic 5W-40 oils that people should already be using.
...First of all, lets talk about Amsoil. Last I checked Amsoil was a true synthetic oil. I mention that because "synthetic" is a very loosely used non enforceable term. There are oils that are marketed as synthetics that are not. A true synthetic oil does not wear out, not ever. That's the reason you can run it to 15,000 miles with no issues. In fact, the only reason it needs to be changed at all is because over time it gets dirty. Incredibly, in applications where the combustion doesn't go near the oil, and thus it doesn't get dirty, the stuff lasts forever. As an example, in certain turbine aircraft engines, the oil is only required to be changed when the ENGINE is changed! That literally means it lasts the life of the engine even while being subjected to much more extreme temperatures and power than we would see in our cars.

My point here is that if you are using an oil that you are sure is a true synthetic, as long as it's not getting dirty, you can go to 15,000 miles in this car, just as with most others...
I'm surprised you're familiar with synthetic base oil formulations and that understand their benefits; it's not often that I come across people who are. My reason for not going 15,000 miles in this car has more to do with the fact that I won't be going 15,000 miles in a year, and oils reportedly begin to have additive solubility problems after a year of being in service. If this was my daily driver, I'd be validating 15k intervals like I did in the Cruze. In addition, I work at home full time and all of my driving consists of short trips with frequent wide open throttle runs to near redline. As a result, acidity (or rather, the depletion of the base number) is my concern, but I'll be getting plenty of oil analysis reports.
Staying up late I see.

Oils are not really my strong area of knowledge, I just have experience with synthetics from my aviation background. Turbine engines use synthetic oils, but they do have different additives, so what you say makes sense about the solubility issue. In any case, I think we agree that synthetic oil is really good, especially in high boost small displacement engines. I generally stay away from arguing for or against specific brands. I have had good results from Amsoil in other cars. In fact in one case Amsoil was the only oil that would hold up (Alfa GTV6 transaxle with double the stock power, no cooler, and at the track). In the 124 I have been sticking with the factory stuff, but I don't have any real data on it.
I tend to stay up late since I can get a lot done at later hours while the kids are off to sleep (ages 1 and 3).

I'll pull a sample for analysis of the factory oil when it comes time to drain just for record-keeping purposes. I believe in the dart, they used Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40; a decent group 3 oil that wouldn't technically be considered synthetic but generally performs well.
End of context quotes.
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I look forward to that information on the oil. I didn't know that the recommended Pennzoil wasn't true synthetic, but I suspected it. Considering what they charge for it, I should probably be irritated by that information.

Greg
 

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I look forward to that information on the oil. I didn't know that the recommended Pennzoil wasn't true synthetic, but I suspected it. Considering what they charge for it, I should probably be irritated by that information.

Greg
I am also very irritated. I guess it's time to look for an alternative.

Or, maybe not. I plan on 5k miles changes anyway.
 

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I am also very irritated. I guess it's time to look for an alternative.

Or, maybe not. I plan on 5k miles changes anyway.
Don't want to turn this into a personal promotion thread (disclaimer: I'm an AMSOIL dealer), but one of the advantages of the true synthetics in turbocharged vehicles is thermo-oxidation performance (tested under API licensing as ASTM-D6335; the TEOST 33C test). The test measures deposits formed under high heat levels, and is designed to simulate turbocharger operating conditions. The test reports results in grams of deposits formed. The true synthetics always perform better and report lower numbers, so even at shortened intervals, there are still benefits seen in reducing the amount of long-term deposits formed.

I'll be doing my own maintenance on this vehicle. I don't like other people working on my car, even for simple oil changes, with warranty repairs being the only exception.
 

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I look forward to that information on the oil. I didn't know that the recommended Pennzoil wasn't true synthetic, but I suspected it. Considering what they charge for it, I should probably be irritated by that information.

Greg
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe OEM replacement oil is Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, to be specific. The bottle advertises as PurePlus, which is their modern (2014+) GTL base oil; 100% Group 3. No Group 4 PAO or Group 5 Ester.

It's one of the best Group 3 oils, as GTL processing produces a much more pure base oil, but at the end of the day, it falls short on some of the metrics that make true synthetics great. Whether or not that will be consequential in this engine is yet to be determined.

I apologize for the tangent. I can create a new thread and split off relevant posts if people are interested in discussing this topic further.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think you should start an oil thread. It sounds like you have a lot of information about this, that I for one, would like to hear.

Greg

P.S. I certainly think Amsoil is the best, however the drawback is that it's not commonly available, and it can be difficult to figure out which Amsoil product to use. Perhaps you could address these issues in your thread.

Greg
 

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I think you should start an oil thread. It sounds like you have a lot of information about this, that I for one, would like to hear.

Greg

P.S. I certainly think Amsoil is the best, however the drawback is that it's not commonly available, and it can be difficult to figure out which Amsoil product to use. Perhaps you could address these issues in your thread.

Greg
Alright, oil thread started.

I became a dealer to help the CruzeTalk community get easy access to these oils, and I can do the same here. For this vehicle, the appropriate engine oil is: AMSOIL European Car Formula 5W-40 Classic ESP Synthetic Motor Oil

On the technical side, this oil has a NOACK volatility of 8.7%. Some manufacturer approvals for European formula oils require no higher than 10%, so this exceeds that by a healthy margin. The TBN is at 10.1, which is a strong starting point, and HTHS is about typical for 40 weight oils at 3.7. Bottom end bearing protection should be bulletproof. I believe this is a Group 4 PAO based oil based on the low volatility for a given multigrade viscosity gap. From what I'm seeing, cost for a case of 12 quarts of this oil (3 oil changes worth), would be about as much as a single oil change at the dealer, and you don't have to worry about them over-filling.

Engine oil capacity is 4 quarts, which is really not a lot. The owner's manual, if I remember correctly, noted 3.3 quarts capacity, with 0.7 quarts being held in the oil filter.

I'd like to mention that I don't want to deter people from evaluating other engine oil options. AMSOIL dealers sometimes have a reputation for being overbearing and for bashing all competing products, and that's not what I'm here to do and certainly not I want this thread to be used for. I'd like to encourage technical discussion.

That being said, if you or anyone else is interested in using AMSOIL products, send me a private message and I'll get you pricing details (marketing policy prohibits us from posting pricing publicly). Any other technical or product related questions, I'll be glad to answer here.
 

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Some of the members on this forum insist that they won't put anything in it that does not meet the FCA requirement MS-12991, which is what the owners' manual specifies (page 275). Has AMSOIL certified its oil to that standard? If not, would it meet it if the certification were undertaken?
 

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Some of the members on this forum insist that they won't put anything in it that does not meet the FCA requirement MS-12991, which is what the owners' manual specifies (page 275). Has AMSOIL certified its oil to that standard? If not, would it meet it if the certification were undertaken?
I don't blame them.

AMSOIL's 5W-40 Classic ESP Euro Spec oil has manufacturer approvals for Mercedes-Benz 229.5 as well as Porsche A40, in addition to meeting BMW LL-01 specifications. An oil that meets those three specifications will also meet, if not exceed FCA's MS-12991 specification. Like other specifications, MS-12991 is simply a minimum quality/performance requirement designed to ensure that owners don't use lower quality lubricants than the engines require to run reliably. In short, yes, AMSOIL would meet the certification if it were undertaken.

Since it is recommended by AMSOIL in their product guide for this specific vehicle, AMSOIL will also warranty the oil and repair or replace any damaged equipment should the oil be found defective at the time of a failure.

All that being said, I'll contact AMSOIL next week and ask them to explicitly list MS-12991 in the product description to eliminate any future confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is really good information, and thanks for starting this thread.

I do have a very specific Fiat related question Before I get to that, I want to say that I have zero doubts that Amsoil is a superior product. When I first put it into my Alfa Romeo many years ago, it was so slippery compared to conventional oil that the engine's idle speed rose about 50-100rpm. Of course you won't see that rise in idle speed on a modern car because the ECU will prevent it, but the lubricating properties are still there.

My concerns with the Fiat relates to the Multiair system. When these cars first came out in Europe they had a lot of failures of the multiair units. It seems that those failures were due to people using incorrect oil. I have no idea if it was the wrong weight, or what, but it wasn't the recommended oil. In the US we never really had that issue. Probably because we learned from the Europeans.

The Multiair system has some really small passages that bleed off oil pressure to regulate valve lift. If they get clogged from oil coking deposits, it's not going to end well. Apparently it's very sensitive, which is why we can't use just any oil. I have no idea what to even look for to know if it's an issue or not, which is why I have been sticking with the factory's recommendation. Someone with an in depth knowledge of oil could probably tell us what to look for to determine if the oil will be just fine with Multiair.

Greg
 

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This is really good information, and thanks for starting this thread.

I do have a very specific Fiat related question Before I get to that, I want to say that I have zero doubts that Amsoil is a superior product. When I first put it into my Alfa Romeo many years ago, it was so slippery compared to conventional oil that the engine's idle speed rose about 50-100rpm. Of course you won't see that rise in idle speed on a modern car because the ECU will prevent it, but the lubricating properties are still there.

My concerns with the Fiat relates to the Multiair system. When these cars first came out in Europe they had a lot of failures of the multiair units. It seems that those failures were due to people using incorrect oil. I have no idea if it was the wrong weight, or what, but it wasn't the recommended oil. In the US we never really had that issue. Probably because we learned from the Europeans.

The Multiair system has some really small passages that bleed off oil pressure to regulate valve lift. If they get clogged from oil coking deposits, it's not going to end well. Apparently it's very sensitive, which is why we can't use just any oil. I have no idea what to even look for to know if it's an issue or not, which is why I have been sticking with the factory's recommendation. Someone with an in depth knowledge of oil could probably tell us what to look for to determine if the oil will be just fine with Multiair.

Greg
I can speak to those components. With the multiair system, you are going to have two root causes of failure.

A. The solenoids fail; this would be an electrical failure
B. The oil passages get gummed up.

If the solenoids fail, it won't matter what oil you're using; you'll have to replace them. However, I believe this would be the least likely scenario.

Next, and most likely on this is the deposits. Deposits are formed by oxidation, which occurs two ways; heat and time. Base oils are made up of lubricating hydrocarbons. Hydrogen as we know has a positive polarity, while oxygen has a negative polarity, so as the engine "breathes" over hot and cold cycles, even while parked, oxidation will occur. Heat is also a catalyst for oxidation, which we refer to as thermo-oxidation. The API SN certification requires a test be performed called TEOST 33C; ASTM D6335. This test is designed to simulate turbocharger operating conditions and measures the amount of high-heat deposits formed over a specific period of time. The test reports deposit in mg, with the maximum being 30mg to pass. Most ester based oils are in the single digits, and most PAO based oils are in the low teens. We can confidently conclude that a more stringent metric for thermo-oxidation is required under all of the aforementioned European approvals.

Unfortunately, TEOST 33C is not a reported metric by oil companies (and why would it be, we could actually use it to expose the lesser oils), so you have to draw conclusions based on knowledge of how certain base oils perform. In addition to base oil formulation, engine oils have antioxidants added that slow the oxidation process, which won't show up in an oil analysis report. Fortunately, we have one method for measuring this phenomenon. Polaris Labs oil analysis reports (which are re-sold by AMSOIL under the Oil Analyzers Inc private label), test for oxidation of the base oil. If the oxidation is within acceptable limits from its starting point (important to note, since Ester oils read high even when brand new), you can generally expect problem-free performance.

To tie this all back into what we need for the 1.4T Multiair, thermo-oxidation is of critical importance. An oil that has exceptional oxidation stability will keep those small oil passages free of deposits (as well as the turbo oil feed line), and will give you years of trouble-free performance. I believe that the issues reported overseas were caused by people using cheap group 2 conventional or diesel oils expecting them to be "good enough," and finding out the hard way what issues oxidation can cause.

Lube Magazine (a European magazine publication) wrote an article on ester base oils, and included a chart that presented a simplified evaluation of the performance of various base oils. I've attached that chart below, as well as a link to the article itself.

http://www.lube-media.com/documents/lube-tech/Lube-Tech 100 - Esters, The Most Versatile of Base Stock Technologies.pdf

Of some relevance is an oil analysis report I received very recently from a customer that uses this oil in his new VW GTI. That direct injected engine makes 303whp (tuned), and suffers from some fuel dilution as a result. As you can see from the attached report, oxidation was stable, and the only thing flagged by the lab was the viscosity shear caused by the fuel dilution. Note, engine break-in was still occurring when he put this oil in.

With regard to the multiair valvetrain's sensitivity to oil quality, I personally will not be the least bit concerned about this oil's ability to resist deposits and maintain viscosity.
 

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Just publish the 12991 certification, and I'm sold.
AMSOIL has a habit of not getting certified unless absolutely necessary (that stuff costs $$$), but if the oil meets a specification, they will publish compliance for that spec. I'm working on it.
 

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You want to LEARN about oil,go here.
Bob Is The Oil Guy | The Internet's Number One Motor Oil Site.
https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm
Not to boast or proclaim myself an expert, but very little of what I've learned about oil came from BITOG. I got very quickly bored of the misinformation spread around that forum, the oil bigotry, and fanboy drama. That's not to say that is what the forum is mostly comprised of, but there's enough of it there, especially compared to years ago. It used to be much better than it is now. I've found SAE case studies (which unfortunately are only paid) and white papers to be a valuable resource, as well as various publications such as MachineryLubrication.com, NORIA forums, Lube Magazine (in Europe), and an in-print publication of Lubes & Greases magazine, just to name a few. My research has been spent hunting down articles such as the following:

http://home.ufam.edu.br/berti/nanomateriais/8403_PDF_CH32.pdf

If I want to know more about ZDDP, for example, I look up STLE/SAE white papers that describe ZDDP decomposition tiers, and so forth. There are many very good technical resources out there for someone willing to take the time. I just feel that the good information found on BITOG is all too often blurred by the misinformation surrounding it, and the difficulty in identifying which of two conflicting pieces of information is actually correct. In other words, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction on public forums such as BITOG, so I encourage anyone willing to learn more about lubrication related subjects to lay a good knowledge foundation using an article such as the one linked above, and build on that using technical knowledge of specific aspects of lubrication.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It certainly sounds to me like Amsoil won't be an issue with multiair.

Regarding the oil fan sites, like BITOG, I find them worthless because it's too difficult to sift through the misinformation that's present along with the good info. Furthermore, the info that is good may not be current. For example, if they tested Superoil 138 6 months ago, and found out that's it's awesome, what does that mean? It means that it was awesome 6 months ago. Today it means nothing. These companies change their formulas all the time. Does anyone remember when they all removed zinc a few years ago and didn't tell anyone? Many people with old fashioned flat tapped cams learned the hard way.

Greg
 

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It certainly sounds to me like Amsoil won't be an issue with multiair.

Regarding the oil fan sites, like BITOG, I find them worthless because it's too difficult to sift through the misinformation that's present along with the good info. Furthermore, the info that is good may not be current. For example, if they tested Superoil 138 6 months ago, and found out that's it's awesome, what does that mean? It means that it was awesome 6 months ago. Today it means nothing. These companies change their formulas all the time. Does anyone remember when they all removed zinc a few years ago and didn't tell anyone? Many people with old fashioned flat tapped cams learned the hard way.

Greg
You're absolutely correct Greg. I tell people there's a great deal of information on the internet but very little real wisdom. Anyone has a say, and that can be dangerous. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't post this wordpress blog on any one of the Facebook groups I frequently visit. Not only is the information outdated, as you noted, but extreme pressure testing is not relevant to modern engines. Furthermore, the test methodology has very poor repeatability. Nonetheless, enthusiasts looking for some kind of comparison metric will herald this as a source of authority, so what is one to believe without a solid knowledge of automotive lubrication?

I'm glad you brought up the fact that oils reformulate. Back in 2009, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40 had a NOACK volatility (rate of oil volume loss as a result of vaporization, lower is better) of 11%. In 2013, it had a NOACK volatility of 6.8%. In Q1 of 2014, Pennzoil released their PurePlus GTL base oil. In their non-Euro "Ultra" formulation, it raised the volatility from 6.6% to 11.5%! This was published in their spec sheet for a short few months before it was removed. Pennzoil no longer publishes NOACK volatility specs, although one can infer from their marketing that it hovers close to 10%.

As a side note, I have a few comments regarding Zinc (ZDDP). ZDDP was not removed; it was reduced. Prior to API SM, we typically found between 1000 and 1400 ppm of zinc. API SM (beginning in 2004), and the current SN specifications are both mandated to 800ppm of Zinc. Some modern oils make up for this reduction by adding Moly (Molybdenum), which is also an antiwear additive that clings to metal surfaces to provide boundary lubrication (on that note, if anyone doesn't understand the differences between boundary, static, and hydrostatic lubrication, I can explain).
 

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One question I have after reading the article is whether any of those oil formulations compromise the required hydraulic aspect of oil for the Multiair system? Since the oil is used not only as a lubricant, but also as a hydraulic fluid, would some oils perform better in that regard than the ester oils do in many other regards?
 

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One question I have after reading the article is whether any of those oil formulations compromise the required hydraulic aspect of oil for the Multiair system? Since the oil is used not only as a lubricant, but also as a hydraulic fluid, would some oils perform better in that regard than the ester oils do in many other regards?
In my experience, as long as the viscosity doesn't thin too much, the hydraulic properties of the oil will not change from one base oil to another. That said, some oils may resist thinning under extreme heat better than others (the viscosity:temperature curve is nonlinear), but that's something the OEM has accounted for. To put this into perspective, oil is rated at 212F (second number). A 40 weight oil has a cSt viscosity of around 14.x. At freezing temp, a 5W-40 will have a viscosity in cSt of between 500 and 700 cSt, which is much "thicker," yet the multiair system's functionality is not compromised.

As long as oil pressure is maintained, there's nothing to worry about. Now, if the oil is overfilled, aeration can occur, which will cause issues.

It is worth noting that AMSOIL's option here is not an ester based oil. Based on volatility, I believe it to be a Group 4 PAO.
 

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Anybody use Valvoline?

One question I have after reading the article is whether any of those oil formulations compromise the required hydraulic aspect of oil for the Multiair system? Since the oil is used not only as a lubricant, but also as a hydraulic fluid, would some oils perform better in that regard than the ester oils do in many other regards?
What about this?
https://www.amazon.com/Valvoline-SynPower-Synthetic-Motor-5W-40/dp/B000GAP428

Does it meet FCA specs??? I can't find out if it does. Will it be ok to use if I change out every 5,000 miles, or one year
Whichever comes first.

Remember I drive like a Grandpa , which may be bad for this engine!! LOL
Thanks
Bill
 
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