Does Synthetic Oil Degrade Over Time?

Does synthetic oil degrade over time? All oil will degrade to some degree over time, but we need to compare the differences in degradation between conventional and synthetic oils. One of the main issues with most conventional oils is oxidation. Oxidation of motor oil is caused by oxygen, as one would imagine.

Around 20% of our atmosphere is made up of oxygen. It is the universe’s third most common feature. We’d all perish if it didn’t exist.

However, excess amounts of it will trigger issues within your engine.

What exactly is oil oxidation?

When oxygen is added to a chemical element, it undergoes oxidation.

Take, for example, an apple. Everyone understands that a sliced apple can soon turn brown if exposed to oxygen.

Another example of this is metal. In a matter of days, oxygen can cause rust to develop on certain metals. Have you ever heard your brakes grinding after leaving your car parked in rainy weather for a few days? That noise is your brake pads trying to scour rust from the rotors.

Motor oil is not impervious to oxidation. When oil reacts with oxygen, it undergoes an irreversible chemical transition that allows one or two electrons to be lost from the oil molecules. This can lead to a variety of issues, like…

  • Sludge and deposits forming, reducing engine performance and increasing the chance of engine failure
  • Oil viscosity will increase, reducing fuel efficiency
  • Additive degradation, which reduces the efficacy of the oil
  • Accelerated oil deterioration necessitates more frequent oil changes

Heat hastens the oxidation of oil

The rate of oxidation doubles for every 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) rise in temperature. This is not good news for drivers of modern turbocharged engines, which generate more heat than older vehicles.

Heat isn’t the only thing that accelerates oxidation; some metals, water, and acids will also hasten the process. Massive amounts of entrained air, also known as foaming, will do the same thing.

Can we stop the oxidation of engine oil?

No, we cannot. Nature is unforgiving, and all engine oil can oxidize to some extent.

However, we can significantly delay oxidation by using motor oils formulated with synthetic base stock oils and high-quality oxidation-inhibiting additives.

AMSOIL synthetic oils are made with base stock oils that have a saturated molecular structure, which means oxygen cannot bind to them. When contrasted with unsaturated traditional oils, AMSOIL lubricants offer superior oxidation and heat stability.

Furthermore, since AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are free of pollutants found in traditional conventional oils, their base structure does not intensify oxidation.

AMSOIL synthetic oils contain oxidation inhibiting additives of the highest quality. These additives are by nature sacrificial, which means that they are meant to deplete with time. Since AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are naturally more resistant to oxidation, their oxidation inhibiting ingredients last longer since they don’t deplete as quickly.

What’s the significance of this?

All of this adds up to a motor oil that…

  • Despite extreme heat and tension, lasts longer
  • Assists in keeping the engine cleaner and more powerful
  • Reduces the need for upkeep and therefore saves money in the long term

In reality, AMSOIL Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil has 28 percent more acid-neutralizing capacity than Mobil 1, allowing engines to run cleaner for longer periods of time.¹

So, though oxygen allows you to breathe, AMSOIL synthetic motor oil allows you to breathe easier because it protects your engine from oxidation and degradation.

¹Based 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.

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