During our sales meeting, I came across an interesting fact: all the engine oil that is marketed as synthetic is not actually synthetic. A good definition of synthetic oil is “noting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin.” As most of you know, the American Petroleum Institute (API) ranks base stock in the following categories:
InNorth America, Group 3, 4 and 5 are marketed as synthetic oils even though Group 3 is actually a version of highly processed hydrocarbons (mineral oil). I believe the reason for that is because Group 3 is synthesized up to the level that it no longer qualifies as having a ‘natural origin’. Most of the synthetic engine oils in the market are either group 3 or group 4. So, why does LE use Group 3 synthetic rather than Group 4 synthetic?
It all goes back to what LE believes in: “No other brand of petroleum lubricating oil whatsoever, regardless of price, will be found superior in condition to Lubrication Engineers products at the end of any given period of use”. In order to create superior product, LE compared both Group 3 and Group 4 synthetic oils and put them to the test. While group 4 synthetics are better for high and low temperature (oxidation resistance & pour point) characteristics, group 3 synthetics have higher additive solubility.
I use synthetic oil in my car, and the main reason behind it is that I want to increase my drain interval. However, when I increase the drain interval, I also want to make sure that the additive package in that engine oil will last longer to protect the engine. Group 3 base oil with the ‘premium additive package’ allows us to increase the drain interval without worrying about engine protection. But be aware that a lot of synthetic engine oil manufacturers sell Group 3 synthetic with ‘conventional additive package’. This means that if the drain interval is extended, your engine will not get enough wear protection because the additive package has already been deteriorated. Also, in engine oils, the fluid must be changed due to contamination before it wears out due to oxidation. So, the question is whether actual value can be realized by using Group 4 synthetic with better oxidation resistance?
LE uses Group 3 synthetic oil because we believe it out performs any Group 4 oils (PAOs) in properties that actually matter for engine protection and longer drain interval.
Blog by Birju Shah