Can Engine Oil Be Proven To Last 20,000 Miles?
Hello everyone and welcome, mole one annual protection. So this is an oil that they claim will last 20,000. Miles and I think one of the big challenges for us as consumers is you, walk into a part store you see all these different bottles all these different claims and it's very hard to know what testing, has actually gone on behind the scenes to know whether or not you can trust those claims so I've worked with Mobil 1 in the past talking about this product and I reached out to them again and said hey would you guys be interested and, actually, showing all of the testing, the formulation, what goes on behind the scenes so, that we can actually get a glimpse of you know why you make this claim how did you come to the conclusion that this oil can last 20,000, engine miles and next thing I know I'm spending two days at mobile ones engineering, and research facility, got an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes much of the testing, that goes into this and so that's what we're gonna be talking about in this video is the process, of you know reaching, this marketing, claim and what goes on behind the scenes so, super cool I'm really excited that we're getting this kind of behind-the-scenes look into, the world you know the engineering world the test world which I came from which, goes on behind the scenes that rarely you as a consumer, actually get to check out now something, I think that is extremely important to understand, initially, is that engineering, doesn't just you know dump a product in a bottle throw it to marketing and then say okay put some stickers on it make some claims very. Much so the opposite, happens so marketing does their research they determine, what product they want to develop and they tell the engineering, team hey can you guys make an oil that lasts 20,000, miles and then engineering, decides, to you know they formulate, a plan they, create, that oil and they they work through their plan to determine whether or not it can actually meet the marketing claim that the marketing team wants, to make so, that leads us into how the rest of this video is going to play out so it all starts with marketing saying hey we want you guys to develop a product that lasts for 20,000, engine miles then, formulation, engineers spend time you know trying to create that perfect formula which they think we'll be able to complete, that task that, marketing, desires then. They use that formula they put it through some lab screen tests, basically, these are more cost effective tests to chew then measure whether or not they should perform. Additional. Testing or if they should go back to you know their formulation. Some tweaks and see if they can do better in these lab screening tests then you get into much more expensive testing, so you want to be kind of sure of yourself before you get into that you perform engine testing you perform outside dynamometer. Testing, which they call Mads testing, and then, you can perform field, testing, and then once you have all of this data from. All of your testing, you can say okay did it actually last for 20,000, miles or did it not you've got all that data to prove your claim and then you can come out with that marketing claim so, we're going to work through each of, these the formulation, through the different levels of testing and how they reach that marketing claim so, my first stop at the engineering facility, was the formulation. Lab and essentially, when you look at a bottle of oil about 80 to 90 percent of it is made up of base oils and then about 10 to 20% of it it's made up of additives, now, the base oil is what gives a lot of the important properties such. As the viscosity of the oil how thick it is at high temperatures, how well it flows at low temperatures, and also, its volatility, so how easily, this oil evaporates of course you don't want the oil to evaporate because if it does then it just burns off in your engine and so, these are you know features, that the base oil provides but, the additives, you can enhance the properties of this oil now, Mobil 1 essentially, tests, all the different additives that are out there in the market and then they choose percentages, of each additive, which they find to be beneficial, for their formula, so, one of these additives is viscosity index improvers or, VI improvers, these are large molecules that. Prevent the oil from getting too thin while it heats up another. Additive, antioxidants. These are used to prevent the oil from oxidizing, or from breaking, down you, can kind of think of it like blueberries, or dark chocolate for humans basically.
These Are trying, to react with the oil to prevent heat and oxygen from. Degrading that o of minimizing. That effect of the oil breaking down so it lasts for a long time and the viscosity doesn't, change over time anti-wear. Additives these. Are pretty cool so what they do is they absorb, and they react with metallic, surfaces, so, they create a sacrificial, layer that's, constantly, being removed and replaced so. For example where you have your camshaft and your lifter which is used to open and close your valves, it'll, create, a layer on that rotating, camshaft and on that lifter that's, constantly, being removed and replaced that's, preventing. That metal from touching each other, and creating, anywhere, so of course in mobile one annual protection, that, additive, needs to be able to last for twenty thousand miles ash, list dispersants, are used to prevent sludge from accumulating so basically, what, these will do these dispersants, will attach to sludge, precursors, or deposit, precursors, and they'll, keep that sludge or deposit, suspended, within the oil rather than attaching, to for example the Pistons so, that you can filter it out or drain it out so, that you don't have that sludge and those deposits build up within the engine super, important, for piston, cleanliness, detergent. Somewhat similar to ash, lyst dispersants, their job is to keep the engine clean attached, to deposits, and prevent, those deposits from forming, on the Pistons things like that however, they're also used, to neutralize acids, so you have blow-by occurring, from combustion, and as, those combustion, gases pass by the piston, and react with the oil they can become acidic and so, the detergents, are there to help neutralize this. Reaction, and, not have an acidic oil within the engine and finally, we get 2d foments, which as the name suggests, among other things are used to prevent foaming so as that engine is spinning at very high speeds, of course, that oil is getting churned up and you don't want it to foam so, that's what that additive, is used for okay, so now that we've got an idea of what goes on with the experimental, formulation. Basically, what happens next is they take the desired percentages, of each of these additives and base oils that they want they, mix them all together they heat them to 82, degrees Celsius. For one hour and now they have a test sample and so, with this sample formula, they move on to lab screening, with that formula, to determine if it can pass the test that it needs to now, one of the many preliminary, tests, is called TS 33. C and this is a test which was developed by Chrysler, to help them predict, turbocharger, cleanliness whether they could expect with their engines using, specific, oils and so, in this case the.
Test Requires a stainless, steel rod and oil. Flows, around this stainless steel rod and that temperature. Varies, from 200 degrees Celsius to, 480, degrees Celsius, now it's not just a temperature, difference which is occurring the oil also flows, through a reactor. Vessel where it's bubbled with nitrous oxide, and oxygen on top, of an iron catalyst, which is added to the prior to starting the test all to, make this a test that's very challenging for the oil to pass so, the oil flows from the reactor, vessel to the test rod then back into the reactor vessel and the cycle continues now the test itself is made up of twelve cycles, which are nine and a half minutes each where that oil temperature, varies from 200, C up to 480, C then back down to 200, C and this is about a two hour test, so, you weigh the metal rod before the test and then you clean off the oil afterwards. And you weigh it again measuring, the deposits, which have accumulated on it and you also weigh an external, filter which is used to capture any deposits, which may have fallen off the test rod and in order to pass this test you have to have less than thirty milligrams of accumulated. Deposits, total and the example, we are looking at here is about 20 milligrams on this, rod which, would be passing the test with the healthy margin left, in there now, two additional, bench tests, of the many out there or an oxidation, stability test and a thin film oxidation, test both of these can help you learn about you know how does this oil react over, time will it last a long duration so, the first test this oxidation, stability test is a proprietary test, developed by Exxon Mobil basically. It involves heating the oil adding, air as, well as a catalyst, to help that reaction be, further degraded, as far as how long this oil can last and you measure the viscosity over. Time as, it's undergoing, this test and so, initially you know if they designed something, which. They, notice, that the viscosity raises. Too quickly over time then they reformulate, it and they basically just try to extend, out this viscosity curve, as long, as they can get it to go so, that it can last a long duration without, the viscosity changing. And that's you know you're not going to have the protection that you mean your engine so, initially, actually if you look at their curve for their actual product Mobil one annual protection, dips. Initially, and it's, possible, that a small drop in viscosity could, occur from the oxidation of VI improvers. But, basically if any larger molecule were to break down than. Initially that would reduce the viscosity now. Eventually you see that as that oil oxidizes. Larger, molecules start to form and these larger molecules, are what are starting, to increase that viscosity and then you can see eventually it gets into this kind of X rate where you start to get more and more larger molecules, and, you have a you, know severe increase, in viscosity so, you want to make sure that. The oil doesn't, do this too soon you want to make sure that it lasts for the engines oil drain. Interval, duration, the, second test here involving, oxidation, basically, what they do is they take a spinning, aluminum, disk and you circulate oil onto the center of that disk and then it spins out on the disk and this oil is at a high temperature and, the test is a very long duration and, so basically you just keep running it and you, start to see that the varnish, will start to appear and, then you know you can start have these deposits form on that spinning, disk now, as this carbon builds up this carbon acts as an insulator, so for scenarios like for the turbocharger, that turbo shaft you. Don't want carbon building up on it because it's not going to be able to reject that heat to the oil moving around it so, carbon acts as an insulator, so, it's pretty interesting to look at the difference between a high mileage synthetic, blend versus, a standard synthetic, and Mobil one annual protection, the, standard synthetic and Mobil one annual protection, passing, this test you can see some varnish on the standard, synthetic, but, you know not a big mechanical, difference, it's still going to work properly and then not too much varnish at all on the Mobil one and your protection, versus, looking at the high mileage synthetic.
Blend This actually fails the test and you can see significant, carbon buildup on it okay so at this point we have seen some of the tests which have gone on with the lab screenings, and now, they can move on assuming, all is going well and their formula is working within these lab screenings to the next step which is engine, testing the, first of two engine, tests which we're going to be talking about is AGM turbo test and this is a test which you must pass in order for GM to say that your product is compatible. With their engines and so, this is using a 1.4. Liter Ecotec engine. And you're basically analyzing, the turbocharger, for, any you know negative effects that may happen with that turbocharger. As a result of using it with a specific engine oil so this is a 500, hour test and it cycles, from mid to high rpm, and then the engine actually shuts off and it lets that turbocharger. Soak all of that heat soak into. That you know you don't have flow anymore for that oil so that oil is just sitting inside of that turbocharger, soaking, in that heat now there's no coolant, used in, tests, so the oil is there for lubrication, and it's also there for the cooling of the turbocharger and basically. As carbon, deposits start, to form within that turbocharger. Those carbon deposits act as an insulator, and you, can see this by measuring a temperature differential. Across, the turbocharger, so if you're not rejecting as much heat you could be building up carbon deposits within. That turbocharger. So there's very specific heat. Parameters, which, you need to be able to pass in, order to pass this test, measuring. That temperature, differential, and looking, for that carbon buildup now once the test is complete you, actually cut the turbocharger. In half and then inspect, the part so you're inspecting the turbo chef the bearings the internal components, and you're looking for where you're looking for varnish and you're, looking for deposits, and so this turbocharger, that we're looking at here split. In half is actually, the one that was used when testing, mobile one annual protection, another, engine test uses, a Toyota, 2nr, EFI engine and, this, test is designed to, examine lifter. Buckets and the, you know the interaction, between the, camshafts and the lifter buckets which are used to open the intake and exhaust valves, and. To see whether or not any wear occurs on that lifter bucket where you've got that very high pressure interaction. So this is a two hundred hour test and, the American Society for testing materials, sets the requirements, for this test and basically. How it works is the engine goes from idle up to 4,300. RPM and. It's doing this every six to seven seconds, and it's cycling. 24,000. Times now, on top of the engine there are two cooling jackets, which pass through the valve train and the coolant is at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and the reason this is done is to keep those valve train temperatures, low so, this kind of creates a similar situation to when you're starting your car and, you know you're basically just have ambient temps so, the starting of the car is where you're gonna have the most wear occur and so this test brings, down those temperatures, to, help accelerate wear, within the testing now after those 24,000. Cycles are complete, you measure the wear on the lifter buckets so they use a scanning, machine which takes a 3d image of the lifter and it actually measure the volume, of. Material, that has been removed from those lifter buckets you can evaluate that material, lost and determine whether or not it passes, this test okay. Moving right along now that we've passed the engine tests, we can move on to mads testing, MADD, stands, for mileage, accumulation. Dynamometer, stand, and this is where the testing starts to get really exciting, for me so there's eight outdoor, dinos, that, Mobil one has at this facility which, they can run vehicles, on so these are outside and they chose three different vehicles to test this on running, them to 120,000, miles with, 20,000, mile oil change intervals, so the first vehicle is a 2015. Lexus, NX 200t this. Has a two liter engine turbocharged. Direct-injection. And it uses zero w 20 motor. Oil the, next vehicle is a 2016. Ford Fusion. Se, which is a 1.5. Liter EcoBoost, engine direct, injection, and 5w. 20 motor oil and then, the final core is a 2015. Chevy. Malibu 2-liter, engine turbocharged.
Gasoline Direct. Injection and, this, uses 5w30, so, each of these using a different weight oil and you, know all of these are turbocharged, they're small engines they're direct injection, and the reason for choosing these vehicles is this is basically where, the industry, is headed so you're seeing a lot of small displacement, turbocharger. High boost engines so, these engines, have very high internal temperatures, and pressures and they're very hard on the oil as a result of being turbocharged. So that's why I Mobil one selected, these for, the testing, now the test itself is a pretty severe test cycle where they simulate city highway, driving. Up inclines, and driving, with a trailer, and so the way that they can you, know kind of simulate, these inclines, or trailers, is by using a brake on the dyno so, the car has to overcome the power to. Overcome that brake that's trying to slow it down now for all three of these vehicles every, 5,000. Miles the oil is tested, and inspected and, every 20,000. Miles the, oil and the oil filter are changed, out the, total duration of the test that lasts for 120,000. Miles so six stints of you. Know 20,000, miles on the oil and on the oil filter, now, after the hundred and twenty thousand miles are complete, there's a visual inspection of, the entire, engine all of the components, so, the engine is fully torn down and, all the components, are analyzed against, industry, standards, now the technicians, who are performing this analysis, are blind, as to what components. What engine oils were used, on these certain components, so they're just looking at it they have no idea if it's a competitive product or if it's mobile one annual protection, that they're looking at to make sure that there's no bias and their rating scale and so, this engine that we're looking at here is out, of the NX 200t torn. Apart and there's, a rating scale which they use to look at varnish to look at sludge to look at carbon deposits and, to analyze these parts so anything, that the oil touches, is analyzed. So, here we can see the block out of the Lexus the crankshaft, the, crank bearings, the connecting, rods the, Pistons, the camshaft, and the valve cover, now, in addition to the engine teardown, at 120,000. Miles engine, oil samples, are taken from the vehicles every 5,000. Miles and these oil samples, are analyzed under various, tests, so, two of the spectroscopy, tests. Which, this undergoes, are ICP. And FTIR. So we're gonna be talking about ICP. Or inductively, coupled, plasma spectroscopy. Now, this device uses a plasma, torch and it injects an oil sample, into that plasma, so the oil is converted, to an aerosol, and then vaporized atomized. And finally ionized, by the high-energy plasma, now. When these ions get excited, by the plasma they emit photons of, specific, wavelengths, to the left you can see a chamber, and this is essentially, a massive, image sensor, which records, the wavelength, of the light emitted, from the oil passing, through the plasma torch these, specific, wavelengths, are an indication, almost, like a thumbprint, for, what metals are present in the oil now, specific, elements, correlate, with specific, engine components, so you can learn if there's various, metals that are wearing too fast within the engine for example if you see too much aluminum, you could be seeing some piston where if there's, copper, there could be where in the piston rings the, bearings, the sleeves if there's, iron there could be where, in the engine block and the cylinders, if there's, nickel, there could be where in the bearings in the valves, and and, there's a long list of different elements, which, you can learn from and basically you want to see these all very well controlled and not increasing, not, massive, amounts of these where metals within the oil samples to know that the engine is running healthily, so it's pretty cool to actually look at the data see that the copper that the iron stay, well within their limits for the duration of the hundred twenty thousand mile test now, not only are you monitoring where elements during these five thousand mile intervals you're, also looking at the viscosity of the oil and making sure that it remains within its SAE grade, requirements.
For Those twenty thousand mile intervals and so, if they did this with each of the vehicles and they all stayed within the viscosity requirements. That they needed to even. With a duration and oil change interval, of twenty thousand miles also, during the five thousand mile intervals you're measuring the acidity, or measuring, the base numbers, you're measuring oxidation. You're measuring nitration, and all, of these have to remain within tolerances. For those twenty thousand mile intervals, for, one hundred and twenty thousand miles total and order, for it to pass this test, now they performed one additional, tests on those outside dynamometer, x' where they put half a million miles on a Chevy, Silverado, so once again using, twenty thousand mile oil drain intervals and doing, this for five hundred thousand, miles now, this was put on a highway cycle, which is less intense, but it enables them to put a lot more miles, on the car in a shorter duration and see how it performs in that scenario now if any of the components, which the oil touches. Were to fail they would end the test and an example of something which they did end up swapping out unrelated, to the engine oil the, transmission, needed to be replaced at three hundred thousand, miles but, none of the components related to the engine oil needed, to be replaced all of them last for five hundred thousand miles and then, you know they pulled the engine out to tear down and it inspects at half, a million miles so, aside from the teardown, they also did the interval testing, with this vehicle as well where they took oil samples, and they, made sure that you know the viscosity rating, it remained, within sae spec, for those five hundred thousand miles throughout. The oil drain intervals with twenty thousand mile intervals they, made sure where metals were kept in check the copper in the iron they, all stayed well within limits and they also monitored, for sludge in the deck so looking, at that every hundred thousand miles to make sure that the valvetrain was performing, smoothly that there wasn't sludge accumulating. So, a pretty impressive test, and five hundred thousand miles put on the vehicle and then of course once it was done the engine is completely torn down they visually inspect, all the components, make sure there's not sludge that there's not excessive. Wear that there's not excessive, carbon deposits which, have built up so, analyzing that engine after it has been torn down after those five hundred thousand, miles now. In addition to the Mads testing, Mobil 1 actually owns 91, lucky, cabs in Las Vegas so high temperatures, lots of idling, time things. Like that which they test their products they've been running that program since, 2004. And the whole idea of this video is to kind of give you an eclipse and it's certainly not an exhaustive list but a glimpse, of the testing, that goes on behind the scenes which, you generally don't get to see before, they come up with these marketing claims of what a product can do now, one of the big questions a lot of you were asking in the first video was are there actually oil filters, which can last 20,000. Miles and, indeed there are so basically, they're already filters, lasting, around 15,000. Miles and, Mobil 1 was doing testing to, determine you know do they actually last for 20,000, miles and they found that the media can actually handle it the filter inside can, actually handle that 20,000, miles the one thing that they did need to have change for these extended, filters that lasts for 20,000, miles is the actual rubber gasket, that seats against, your engine block so that material actually, needed to be improved to, last for those 20,000, miles but the media itself was, fine to actually filter on for, those additional 5,000 miles versus a 15,000. Mile oil filter, something, else that I think is important, to mention is that a year is a long time to, go without looking, at your car so, you know they're certainly not saying hey you don't need to touch your car for a year if your car burns a lot of oil then you still have to replace that oil that gets burned off you. Know there are maintenance things that you need to address within. A year, so it's not you know wise to just you know you put in your one-year oil and you just let it sit for a year and that's the only thing you ever have to think about you still need to keep up with your vehicle also important, if your vehicle is under warranty, the oil drain interval is set by the manufacturer, so you don't want to stray from that oil drain interval if your car is indeed, under warranty, so, this has been a ton, of information, I hope you guys have enjoyed as much as I have getting behind the scenes glimpse at what goes on in, developing, a motor oil if you guys have any questions or comments of course feel free to leave those below, thanks for watching.