Tag Archives: Motor Oil

Driven Racing Oil Makes Plans For PRI 2016

Scheduled for December 8 – 10 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, the PRI Show will bring together motorsports companies, buyers and media from around the globe. Driven Racing Oil™ will be located in booth no. 419. There the Driven staff will provide information on its wide-ranging line of synthetic and conventional lubricants, plus display its renowned racing products. New AT synthetic automatic transmission fluids, 80W-90 GL4 Gear Oil and Synthetic DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) Fluid will take center stage. Driven’s XP line of racing oils, BR break-in oils, GO gear oils and cleaners such as Race Wax, Speed Clean and Speed Shield will all be showcased as well.

More information is available at www.pritradeshow.com.

What’s In It? Driven Racing Oil KRT4-Stroke Karting 0W-20

Not only is kart racing one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the world, it is also one of the most technologically advanced. KRT 4-Stroke Karting 0W-20 from Driven Racing Oil is purpose-built for complex four-stroke kart engines running on either gasoline or race fuel. Ideal for Clone and Honda power plants, KRT uses a combination of advanced PAO, mPAO and TMP Ester base oils. This “trifecta” of synthetic base stocks provides the ideal combination of reduced friction, temperature stability and load-carrying capacity that these engines require.

KRT also uses proprietary anti-wear and friction-reducing additives to protect cams and lifters as well as piston skirts, bearings and other vital engine parts. However, these additives not only offer protection as they provide dyno-proven power gains of as much as .4 horsepower.

Because kart engines are splash-lubricated it is important have excellent air-release and low-foaming tendencies, so KRT was formulated to provide both of these key attributes as well.

In simplest terms, KRT 4-Stroke Karting OW-20 is designed to help kart engines make as much power as possible on each and every lap.

What’s In KRT 4-Stroke Karting OW-20 Oil?

Ingredient

Function

PAO, mPAO and TMP Ester base oils Provide fluid film to lubricate and cool the   engine components; reduce friction, provide temperature stability &   necessary load-carrying capacity
Anti-Wear & Friction-Reducing Additives Protect internal engine components from   adhesive wear due to metal-on-metal contact; increase HP
Dispersants Suspends dirt and combustion blow-by products   in the oil
Antioxidants Prevents the chemical breakdown of the oil
Friction Modifier Reduces friction between rubbing and sliding   parts
Corrosion Inhibitor Prevents rust and corrosion due to moisture   and acids that invade the engine from the fuel, combustion and atmosphere
Seal-Swell Agent Conditions the seal materials to prevent   leaks
Viscosity Index Improver Improves the viscosity characteristics of the   motor oil
Anti-Foam Agents Specially selected to provide the air-release   required for a splash-lubricated engine

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What’s In It? HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil

In the factory performance glory days of the late 1960s and early 1970s, most car manufacturers recommended 10W-40 viscosity oil for Big and Small Block muscle car engines. Driven’s HR Conventional 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil is the perfect choice for these classics, as it uses conventional petroleum base oils to provide excellent compatibility with “old school,” cork-and-rope seals. It treats cars with older engines the same way oils did when those immortal horsepower monsters rolled off the showroom floor. This oil is also designed with a secondary-style ZDDP which provides excellent wear protection for cams, lifters, rocker arms, distributor gears, pushrods, wrist pins and cylinder bores.
The oil features a 10W-40 multi-grade formula that provides for easier starting and less start-up wear than straight-grade or heavier-viscosity oils. It also includes the same anti-wear package that the U.S. military employs for storage and transport of combat vehicles and equipment. HR Conventional 10W-40 Oil features unique lubricant technology that prevents rust or corrosion caused by extended periods of storage – or by the use of Ethanol-blended fuels – making it perfect for classic American muscle cars that only see the street in ideal driving weather.

What’s In Driven’s HR 10W-40 Conventional Oil?

Ingredient

Function

Petroleum Base Oils Provides fluid film to lubricate and cool the   engine components
ZDDP Provides anti-wear, corrosion and additional   anti-oxidation protection
Anti-Wear Additives Protects internal engine components from   adhesive wear due to metal-on-metal contact
Dispersants Suspends contaminants and combustion   by-products in the oil to allow them to be carried to the oil filter.   Prevents sludge formation.
Antioxidants Prevents the chemical breakdown of the oil
Friction Modifier Reduces friction between rubbing and sliding   parts
Corrosion Inhibitor Prevents rust and corrosion due to moisture   and acids that invade the engine from the fuel, combustion and atmosphere
Seal-Swell Agent Conditions the seal materials to prevent   leaks
Viscosity Index Improver Improves the viscosity characteristics of the   motor oil
Pour Point Depressant Allows the oil to flow and pump in cold   weather to reduce wear at start-up
Foam Inhibitor Reduces the tendency of the oil to foam

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The End Of “Backwards Compatibility”

Since the beginning of the API engine oil licensing system, each and every new specification
has been considered “backwards compatible.” This is a fancy way of saying the newest oil is as
good as or better than the previous oil.

The exact statement made on API’s MotorOilMatters.com website is as follows:

“For automotive gasoline engines, the latest ILSAC standard or API Service Category includes
the performance properties of each earlier category and can be used to service older engines
where earlier category oils were recommended.”

Since the outbreak of failed flat tappet camshafts a decade ago, this “backwards compatibility”
has been called into question by engine builders, camshaft manufacturers and consumers.
Within the last year, an asterisk has appeared on the statement of “backwards compatibility” on
the Petroleum Quality Institute website (http://www.pqiamerica.com) that says the current API
SN and SM oil specs may not be suitable for some flat tappet engines.

That asterisk marks a significant shift in thinking. The stakeholders in the API (the vehicle
OEMs and oil companies) are slightly acknowledging that one oil specification cannot cover
the requirements of all gasoline engines ever built. That really does sound like a ridiculous idea
when you put it down in black and white.

Over this last decade of “compromised compatibility” these same engine builders, camshaft
manufacturers and automotive enthusiasts have all received an education on motor oil that
most of them did not ask for. The word “Zinc” took on new meaning in automotive circles.
Apparently “Zinc” was more than just an ingredient in your multi-vitamin, and if your motor oil
was deficient in the proper quantity and type of “Zinc” your camshaft would end up deficient of a few lobes.

In response, special “Zinc” additives and specially formulated “high-zinc” oils appeared on the
market in response to the situation.

However, most automotive enthusiasts and engine builders have been burned in the past
by “snake oils” that promise the moon but deliver mud in the eye, so the market was slow to
accept these products. Even today, many enthusiasts still doubt the idea that “new oils are bad
for old engines.”

HRMaybe the announcement by Porsche this April will change all of this and signal the death knell for “backwards compatibility.” The famous brand just announced its own line of “classic” motor oils designed for the needs of older engines. The text from the Porsche website reads
like a copy of what Driven Racing Oil said when it released its “Hot Rod” motor oils 8 years ago. Driven was the first company to market specially formulated break-in oils and high-zinc oils designed specifically for older engines.

Here is a sample from what Porsche has released:

“This engine oil has been developed by experts with the specific aim of meeting the demands
of air-cooled engines. The thermal load is higher than in water-cooled units, which means that
the engine oil has to work harder to cool the engine down. The traditionally high power output
per litre of the engines also results in high compression and high pressures. A compact and
lightweight engine design means that the connecting rods will be short in relation to the piston
stroke, which in turn means high lateral piston forces and correspondingly high demands on the
lubricating film stability of the oil. In short, the older flat engines in particular can’t just use any
old oil.

Modern oils use highly efficient detergent/dispersant agents to thoroughly clean the engine and
reliably remove dirt, which can be too much of a good thing for a classic Porsche engine. It is
true that additional deposits should be prevented and oil-soluble contaminants such as soot,
water and dust kept suspended until they are drained off through the oil filter or removed during
the next oil change, but at the same time it is important that the deposits which have built up
over decades are not suddenly dissolved and that seals are not corroded.

1Since not every classic Porsche is in everyday use, the engine oil also had to meet other demands: classic vehicles are often left stationary for long periods of time and only moved intermittently and for short journeys, which means that condensation can form in the oil if the engine does not heat up fully. Aggressive combustion residues can cause acidification of the oil fill, resulting in the corrosion of engine components. The alloys, metals and sealing materials which were used at the time are at particular risk. Porsche therefore paid particular attention to this aspect when developing its Porsche Classic Motoroil. The special formulation incorporates a high alkaline reserve, which neutralises any acids that may form. Additional corrosion inhibitors also protect vulnerable components, even during longer stationary periods.”

Does any of that sound familiar?

Hopefully the announcement by Porsche will create awareness that specialty oils are not “snake
oils.” In fact, oils designed specifically for the hardware and the application are better than a
generic, one-size-fits-all API specification. The sooner this idea is embraced, the sooner engine
builders, parts manufacturers and enthusiasts can stop worrying about the chemistry of motor
oil and just go back to using oil. Then, Zinc can just be the stuff in your multi-vitamin and the
stuff that keeps your cam happy.

Can Nanotechnology Make You Faster?

Scientists are advancing the chemistry of lubricants at an amazing rate. But be careful. Not all of these “advancements” are actually good for your engine.

By Jeff Huneycutt

When you say nanotechnology, most of us picture pointy-headed scientists in lab coats peering into microscopes and scribbling into their notepads. In the movies, nanotechnology is often portrayed as some miracle science the hero will use to keep volcanoes from exploding or cure all the zombies.

But nano just means small. In fact, it means one billionth of something. Normally, in science the unit of measure is the nanometer, which is one billionth of a meter, or 1/25,400,000 of an inch, depending on which side of the pond you live. Incidentally, your fingernail grows about one nanometer a second — which is both cool and kind of weird when you think about it.

Over time, nanotechnology has essentially come to mean working with chemicals or materials on a molecular level. And the successes in nanotechnology are definitely pretty cool. Nanotechnology has allowed such inventions as flexible body armor that helps our police force stay safe, lithium ion batteries that make portable handheld tools incredibly powerful and long-lasting, and even synthetic bone that surgeons used to help people recover from traumatic injuries. Heck, did you know that the carnauba (palm-tree wax) in your favorite car wax that keeps the swirls from showing up in your paint is only a couple nanometers wide?

But what has happened is that with each success in the nanotechnology sector, many of us have come to believe that anything labeled “nano” is practically a miracle in a bottle. Marketers have taken advantage of this, turning “nano” into a buzzword and slapping it on practically everything. But the truth is, nano only means small, it doesn’t always mean better.

Recently, two scientists, Boris Zhmud from Applied Nano Surfaces in Sweden and Bogdan Pasalskiy from Kyiv National University in the Ukraine, took a long, hard look at some of the newest nanoadditives being used in lubrication to see how they worked in motor oils. Specifically, they looked at a handful of nanoadditives that scientists have held up as the most promising in laboratory tests: fullerenes (sometimes referred to as “micro ball bearings”), nano diamonds, boric acid and PTFE.

Unfortunately, a running internal combustion engine is worlds apart from a typical clean room laboratory, and Zhmud and Pasalskiy found that these nanoadditives did not work nearly as well in what you might call real-world environments. In fact, in a presentation they made at a recent major tribology conference (scientists who research oil and other lubricants,) they said that one of the problems with the nanoadditives they looked at is the university researchers developing these nanoadditives often aren’t aware of other factors that can affect a lubricant’s performance outside the laboratory.

For a little more clarification we turned to Lake Speed Jr. of Driven Racing Oil. Speed has been around racing all his life, but he is also a certified lubrication specialist. That means he is one of the few people on the planet who can understand pointy-head science speak and translate it into “gearhead” for the rest of us.

“The nanoadditives have promise, but they really aren’t there yet,” Speed says. “Yes, in some applications they may have some benefit, but that doesn’t mean they are an improvement in every application. It’s just like I tell people all the time, there is no best oil. There is only the oil that works best for your application.”

What Speed warns against is falling for the marketing hype. “You’ve got all these different brands of oils to choose from, and while we’re trying to choose we see, ‘Hey! This one says it’s got micro ball bearings. That sounds like a good thing!’

“Well, there are nanoadditives that do act like very, very small ball bearings, and it is easy to visualize how ball bearings would work to cut friction. So you can see why the marketing department would jump on that concept. But what happens in the real world of your engine is that not all of those parts are smooth. And those particles that act like tiny roller bearings get caught in the crevices and jam up. Then everything starts loading up and starts getting in scraping and now you have damage to the components.

“It may work well in a lab in a straightforward test,” Speed continues, “but a running engine is a very complicated and complex environment.”

The same thing holds true for another nanoadditive with the very impressive name of “nano diamonds.” Nano diamonds contain extremely hard diamond-like particles that are also extremely small. The idea is that the nano diamonds embed into sliding surfaces, making them more resistant to wear.

Studies have shown that motor oils using a nano-diamond additive package actually do help cut friction at first, but over time the friction comes right back greater than before. This is because the nano diamonds act as a lapping compound. In a new engine they serve to knock off the rough edges quickly, which helps to reduce friction. But the nano diamonds never stop grinding away at the material, and you wind up with advanced engine wear in a very short time. Also, that wear produces extra metal particles which get caught in the oil and will wind up causing damage throughout the engine.

“We already have additives like ZDDP films or Moly that you can put into the oil that will have a similar surface-smoothing property to the nano diamonds to reduce friction–but they won’t destroy the surface finish,” Speed says. “Unlike the nano diamonds, ZDDP or Moly packages aren’t removing material to cut the friction, so there is no damage. And that’s the key difference. Even though it’s neat to say you have diamonds in your engine, we already have stuff that will do the same job much better. It just doesn’t have that space-age name.”

Another nanoadditive is known as PTFE. PTFE is actually a great additive for certain applications such as greases, dry-film lubricants and chain oils. It does a nice job of creating a film between sliding surfaces that often stop and start—known as “stick-slip.”

But while PTFE may be an excellent nanoadditive for the spray you use to lubricate your sliding glass door, it is a poor option for the oil in your engine. Among other things PTFE will clog an oil filter. It’s unlikely you will find a major brand motor oil using PTFE, but you should watch out for it in aftermarket engine treatment products.

Speed says that while there are issues with many nanoadditives, that doesn’t mean performance lubricant specialists like Driven Racing Oil aren’t keeping an eye on the horizon for nanoadditives that can be useful to horsepower enthusiasts.

“The key is to match the strengths of the nanoadditive to the application–which is true for any oil,” Speed says. “A great example is boron, which is a great friction reducer, plus it works well with other additives like Moly and ZDDP. The problem is the carrier for boron is boric acid, and an acid will corrode things. It is especially damaging if you have yellow-metal in the engine like brass or bronze bushings (typically found in lifter bushings and valve guides).

“So if you’ve added acid to the oil while trying to get boron in there, that means you will need more acid neutralizer to balance it out. And that means you’ve just thrown another additive into the mix that isn’t actually helping lubrication. It all comes back to having pros and cons to all these additives, and you have to see it in the totality of what it is actually doing.

“That’s why understanding your application and matching the properties of the oil to it is so important,” he continues. “Boron can actually be good in very specific applications. Say I have a Pro Stock engine and I’m running four passes before draining the oil out. In that situation using a motor oil with a boron additive might work well. The boric acid won’t have a chance to be harmful to the engine because it is changed so often and the engine’s lifespan between rebuilds is so short anyway. So if the boric acid gets me a little more horsepower, then I’m okay with that. In that situation you can make the additive work, but you wouldn’t want to use boric acid in an application where the oil isn’t changed extremely often.

“When choosing any motor oil, no matter what additives it may be using, the key is to look at the application first and let that dictate the chemistry. Only after you have determined what best meets your application should you look at the brand.”

Driven Racing Oil™ FR50 Synthetic 5W-50

Huntersville, NC The new FR50 synthetic from Driven Racing Oil™ is specifically formulated for the unique needs of Ford Coyote engines.

The Ford Coyote is one of today’s most popular performance power plants from the blue oval. Coyote-equipped Mustang GTs are widely seen on the street and strip throughout the country. However, these engines require a unique 5W-50 viscosity oil to run optimally in regards to variable valve timing systems while delivering the wear protection needed for performance cams. Driven Racing Oil has achieved this task in creating FR50—a full synthetic lubricant that features a shear stable formula to resist viscosity breakdown. Its low volatility formulation also guards against oil vaporization and foaming, resulting in reduced oil consumption and the prevention of inconsistent cam phaser performance. And like all Driven products, FR50 uses the revolutionary mPAO base for unmatched performance and protection in high temperature high shear environments.

 

 

All Oils Lubricate… But For How Long And Under What Conditions?

By Lake Speed, Jr. – Certified Lubrication Specialist at Driven Racing Oil

If you want to start an argument among car guys just bring up the topic of motor oil. Near religious fervor accompanies these “discussions,” but there never seems to be a resolution to the eternal question of “which is the best oil?”  Each person’s favorite brand seems to have provided “good luck” when it comes to lubrication. But how can this be?

02508The reason for the lack of a clear answer is two-fold. First, there is no “best oil.” The idea of a one-size-fits-all motor oil is a myth. All oils are application-specific in their formulation. “The best” diesel motor oil is still a terrible two-stroke oil.

Second, it is the wrong question to ask. As just described, oils are application-specific by nature.  What you really need to determine is which oil best suits your application.

Simply put, all oils lubricate. The most important question then is, “for how long and under what conditions can they do so?”

A perfect example is Castor bean oil. Castor oil has great lubricity, but it does not stand up to temperature extremes. As a result, it is an excellent two-stroke oil, but it would be a terrible diesel oil.

Another modern example is automatic transmission fluid. Each major transmission manufacturer now has specific viscosity and frictional requirements for their transmissions, and all of these specifications are impossible to meet with a single fluid.

But you are thinking that you’ve seen (maybe even used) Multi-Vehicle ATF and people have had “good luck” with it. Again, how can this be?

What you need to remember here is that you have to determine how long the oil will lubricate and under what conditions.

A Multi-Vehicle ATF may work fine in a mild climate under mild driving conditions, but will it still work towing a trailer in Arizona?

Harsh environments and severe service demand more of the lubricant, and an automatic transmission requires different properties than a diesel engine. So while a diesel motor oil can lubricate an automatic transmission, the question remains – for how long and under what conditions?  Obviously a diesel motor oil in an automatic transmission is a disaster waiting to happen. The viscosity is all wrong, so the transmission likely would not function properly at low temperatures. Purpose-built lubricants are designed to handle severe service in specific applications, especially in extreme conditions.

Please note that “extreme conditions” do not always mean towing a trailer through Death Valley, CA. In fact, sometimes grandma’s grocery getter in Green Bay is more “extreme” in terms of taxing the oil and the potential damage to the engine. Short trip driving can cause way more sludge than operating in desert environments, especially in cold climates where the engine oil struggles to get over 200°F.

That is where motor oils can get confusing. While a racing oil sounds like an oil that is perfect for extreme conditions, it is a bad choice for a daily driver. Using a racing oil in a daily-driven street car is not just overkill; it is just the wrong type of lubricant for a daily driver. Even if your daily driver is a pushrod V8, the racing oil NASCAR teams use in their pushrod V8 engines is not designed for the rigors of daily driving.

NASCAR engines run high engine speeds and high temperatures, both of which require generous amounts of exotic friction modifiers. While this chemistry is perfect for a race engine, these same friction modifiers that reduce wear and oil temperatures at 9,000 RPM also clog emissions system equipment in your daily driver at 3,000 RPM.

ThXP GROUP_newe examples are nearly endless, but the point is still the same. When you choose an oil for your transmission, motor or lawn mower, think about the application before you think about the brand. Once you think about what your application requires, you can then find oils that meet those requirements and are the correct viscosity for the application. Finally, you can choose a brand you trust to deliver the right chemistry in the right viscosity.

A great example of this process is what I do with my wife’s mini-van. To select the right oil I look at the owner’s manual and find what spec is required. In this case it is API SN/GF-5.

Next I look up the recommended viscosity. Her owner’s manual lists 0W-20 as the recommended viscosity grade, so now I choose a brand I trust to deliver API SN/GF-5 performance in a 0W-20 viscosity grade every time I open a quart.

I do the same thing when I select an oil for my four-stroke racing engine. I already know I need a racing spec oil instead of an API spec oil, so the next thing to determine is which viscosity grade racing oil I should use. Based on the operating oil temperature and bearing oil clearances, I see that I need to be running a 0W-20 viscosity.

While both engines ended up running a 0W-20 viscosity grade, the oils needed for each are chemically very different. However each lubricant is the best fit for its specific application. As a result, my wife gets good gas mileage and my race motor makes more horsepower.

Driven Racing Oil™ HR 10W-40 Hot Rod Motor Oil

Huntersville, NC New HR 10W-40 motor oil from Driven is engineered specifically for hot rods and classic vehicles. Its specialized ingredients reduce friction, provide anti-wear protection as well as extended oil change intervals.

The unique 10W-40 blend utilizes just the right amount of Zinc (ZDDP) in addition to U.S. military-spec rust and corrosion additives. This formula provides protection for roller camshafts and counteracts the corrosion and other damage that can be caused during storage periods. And because it is available in both conventional and synthetic forms, 10W-40 is the ideal choice whether you own a muscle car, European vintage sports car, or rotary engine. Plus, its careful balance of detergents and “fast burn” Zinc enables it to protect even the most aggressive camshafts.  Air-cooled engines generate extreme temperatures, but HR 10W-40 has you covered by protecting against the deposits, burn-off and thermal breakdown that can occur with this setup. Its competition proven formula, combined with its “no compromises” synthetic base that provides extended oil change intervals, make Driven HR 10W-40 the trust­ed choice of top engine builders.

Does Your Motor Oil Measure Up?

Shocking results of a study by the American Petroleum Institute finds that one in five bulk oils fail to meet their manufacturer’s advertised specs

By Jeff Huneycutt

Picture this scenario: You make a run to the grocery store and pick up a gallon of milk and a box of your favorite cereal, Count Chocula, for breakfast the next morning. Poor choices in a healthy diet to start your day aside, you are ready to enjoy a big bowl of chocolaty, sugary goodness when you pour the contents of the box into your cereal bowl and out comes – macaroni and cheese.

Now, you enjoy mac’n cheese as much as the next guy (or gal), but you are understandably a bit peeved that you didn’t get what was advertised on the box. After all, it’s your hard-earned cash and you deserve to get what you’ve paid for.

That example may seem a bit far-fetched, even ridiculous, but that is exactly what is going on in the oil industry today. Every year the American Petroleum Institute (API) purchases motor oil from many different locations and tests it to confirm the quality. Through its research the API found that oils bottled and sold in quart- and gallon-sized containers were almost always exactly as marked, but when it came to larger bulk quantities—sold in barrels and larger containers—the oil didn’t match the advertised specs an amazing 20 percent of the time.

And that’s not just a one-time blip on quality. The API says in a report recently published in the trade publication Lube Report that it annually tests approximately 200 bulk oil samples and the failure rate has been a consistent 20 percent for the last five years!

The API doesn’t give any details on exactly which oils were tested and how they failed, only that each oil said it met the API standards for consumer motor oil but didn’t. So although not every oil that failed the API testing would mean instant death for your engine, just like the macaroni example, you still expect to get what you pay for, right?

Still, you might be thinking, “This doesn’t affect me. I’m not some trucking company. I don’t buy oil in bulk and don’t know anybody who does.” But if you use an oil change service instead of changing your own oil you probably have oil purchased in bulk in your vehicle right now.

C3_GroupOne of the ways your local EZ-Lube is able to keep its prices down is by buying the oil it uses by the tanker load instead of the plastic quart-sized containers you are used to seeing. It gets pumped out of the tanker truck and into the facility’s own holding tank where it sits until you come by for an oil change. Contamination of those storage tanks is likely a major reason why 20 percent of the bulk oil in the United States doesn’t meet its advertised standard.

“If you go to your local oil change place and they aren’t opening up quarts of oil, then they are using a tank,” says Driven Racing Oil’s Lake Speed Jr. “If you get the discount deal, they may tell you what brand they are using—and it may be a very popular brand—but if they aren’t pouring it out of quart bottles, they are getting it from a tanker truck.”

So what can you do? Even a riverboat gambler wouldn’t accept a one-in-five failure rate. Fortunately, Speed says you do have a few options.

“First of all, if you still want to use an oil-change service, you can ask them to only use bottled oil in your car or truck,” Speed says. “They may charge you more, but the API study shows that the bottled oil is hardly ever wrong, and when it is it’s most often an off-brand discount oil.

“Second, you can change your own oil. Not only can you be sure that the job is done right, but getting underneath the car to drain the oil from the pan and getting under the hood to pour in fresh oil really gives you a chance to look over your car and spot potential problems. But I also understand that changing your own oil can bring some hassles with disposing of waste oil and making a mess and stuff like that, so it may not be worth it to you if we are talking about the family minivan.

“The third option is to bring your own oil with you to the oil change place. Some places may not want to do this because they make money on selling you the oil, but there are usually many oil change places in most towns so I bet you can probably find somebody willing to work with you. The advantage here is bringing your own oil allows you to choose the right oil for your car and you aren’t stuck with using whatever they happened to have stocked on the shelf.”

Speed brings up a great point that even if your local oil change place is using oil poured out of quart bottles—which can be considered trustworthy—you may not want it. This is especially true if your car or truck is a classic, a hot rod, or any performance vehicle with a high-horsepower engine. In this situation, the best oil for your vehicle’s needs may not even be an API-approved oil.

DRO XP1Speed stresses that if you have a unique, high-value car, then it deserves a unique, high-quality motor oil. We’ve already discussed two classes of motor oil, those that fail to meet the API spec and those that are API-compliant, but there is also a third class that should be considered. There are high-performance motor oils available that aren’t API certified because they actually exceed the specification. These specialist oils are blended for specific purposes such as racing, or premium protection for valuable classic muscle car engines and don’t make the compromises that meeting the API rules requires.

“You have to understand that the API spec was developed to make sure the oil meets the needs of the vehicle manufacturers,” he says. “The automotive companies have defined what they want for their OEM engines, and the API spec reflects that. The standard isn’t about producing better oil for performance; it’s about producing a motor oil targeted for the general driving population.”

If you are a performance enthusiast and you occasionally take your car to the drag strip or a track day at the road course, you may think you represent what the manufacturers consider a high-demand user of their engines.

But you are hardly even on their radar. What keeps them up nights is the grandmother who only drives a few miles to the store once or twice a week and five miles to see the grandkids on Sunday afternoons. The oil gets enough heat into it to draw condensation when it cools back down but never enough heat to boil off that moisture. It’s a recipe for creating damaging sludge in your motor oil, and that’s what the OEMs are worried about. The population of people driving like that is many times the population of performance enthusiasts.

The API standard is also used to protect the OEMs from costly warranty repairs. For example, changes to the API standard have lowered the acceptable amount of Zinc, or ZDDP, additive packages in certified motor oils because those chemicals can shorten the lifespan of catalytic converters. That part of the standard is only concerned with chemical content and has nothing to do with the performance of the motor oil. Because of that, it actually limits how much an oil manufacturer can do to create a high-performance motor oil that also meets the standard so that they can put the all-important API badge on the front of the bottle.

If you have a high-performance car, truck or motorcycle; a classic muscle car with a flat-tappet valve train; a race car; or enjoy maximum effort driving on track days, you will want to consider actually using a motor oil that’s not API-compliant in order to get the greatest performance and protection possible.

Driven Racing Oil is one brand of ultra-high performance motor oil that doesn’t have the API badge on the bottle. Making the changes necessary to get the certification would force the company to actually reduce the oil’s ability to maximize performance and protection in high-horsepower and racing engines. Driven was developed because the NASCAR engine builders at Joe Gibbs Racing had greater demands than current motor oils on the market could meet, and Driven’s entire lineup of oils still carries that high standard of performance.

XP GROUP_new“Our performance oils offer more than what API-spec oils can because the API limits things like phosphorus and sulfur, and those kinds of things which can limit catalytic converter life,” Speed explains. “That really limits what you can do with the oil in terms of anti-wear protection or friction modification. Our driving focus has always been to sell our customers oil that matches their engines’ needs as well as possible to help improve performance and win races. The API certification really isn’t designed to protect the all-out performance driver. That’s the type of driver we’re looking to help, so if creating a no-compromises performance oil to meet their needs means that oil won’t be API-compliant, then that’s what we are willing to do.”

So if you are driving a high-value car—and by “value” we mean both money and your own personal attachment to the vehicle—don’t make the mistake of assuming that a bottle of oil will provide your engine the best protection just because it has that “American Petroleum Institute” badge on the label. Your favorite machine is worlds different from all the grocery-getters and minivans on the road. Your pride and joy needs specifically blended oil and that probably means a high performance lubricant that exceeds the API’s specs.

Driven Racing Oil™ MX 10W-30 Synthetic Wet Clutch Racing Oil

Huntersville, NC – MX 10W-30 Synthetic Wet Clutch Racing Oil from Driven Racing Oil™ provides flawless wet clutch operation, high-temp and high-shear stability, friction-reducing additives and a ZDDP anti-wear package.

Developed for JGR motocross vehicles, this unique synthetic blend is designed to increase horsepower and deliver flawless performance for wet-clutch racing engines. Designed for high RPM motorcycle engines, MX protects high lift cams and bucket followers, and is formulated with proprietary anti-wear and friction reducing additives to fight valve train wear and deliver unmatched engine protection. Ideal for competitive motorcycle, ATV, UTV and mini sprint engines, this 10W-30 viscosity blend is compatible with pump gas, Methanol and high octane race fuels.