Beware of Automatic Transmission Fluid Additives

Amsoil Universal Automatic Transmission Fluid

ATF additives can alter automatic transmission fluid properties, causing degraded low-temperature performance, premature wear, corrosion and shudder problems.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) perform extensive testing to determine the lubrication characteristics required for specific transmission designs and applications. OEM engineering specifications outline the physical properties and minimum performance levels of the required fluids, and only a well-formulated automatic transmission fluid that meets these OEM specifications ensures proper transmission function and maximum service life.

In the past, a few major OEM specifications covered the transmission fluid requirements for the entire industry. Today, numerous different specifications have led to confusion and inconvenience for consumers, especially for those who own vehicles from different manufacturers. Installers face similar issues; keeping an inventory of different fluids may be confusing and expensive. To simplify matters and reduce costs, many transmission fluid installers rely on ATF additives to fortify used fluid, “update” less expensive outdated fluid or add an extra level of protection. In fact, a recent study revealed 53 percent of surveyed shops used additives to enhance “DEXRON®/MERCON®” ATFs.

Claims by ATF additive manufacturers lead consumers to believe the additives provide everything transmissions need to perform well and last longer. Despite such claims, however, most vehicle and transmission OEMs specifically warn against using them. Not only are the benefits usually short-lived, but the additives can actually degrade the performance of the automatic transmission fluid.

The following test data from industry studies demonstrates the shortfalls of a typical ATF additive in three critical performance areas. The data also identifies a situation where the ATF additives degraded the performance of the original fluid enough that it no longer met the requirements of the specification for which it was designed.

Frictional Performance
To function properly, the friction surfaces in an automatic transmission and locking torque-convertor must slip enough to engage smoothly and then firmly lock to transmit power without slippage. Well-formulated automatic transmission fluids contain carefully designed friction modifier additives that effectively promote this process over the recommended fluid life. If the required frictional performance level is not met, the clutches and other friction surfaces slip and lock intermittently under load, causing shudder that contributes to inefficiency and potential transmission problems.

ATF additive manufacturers attempt to address shudder issues by formulating their products with highly frictionmodified additives. As the modified SAE Severe Anti-Shudder Durability test (Chart1) shows, ATF additives may initially boost anti-shudder performance, but the benefit is short-lived. In less than an hour, the anti-shudder performance level of the base ATF treated with an ATF additive began to decline, and within 1.5 hours fell below the minimum performance reference line. In contrast, the ATF without an ATF additive maintained its ability to resist shudder for close to six hours.

The FZG Wear Test (ASTM D-5182) is used to gauge resistance to scuffing loads common in automatic transmissions. At each stage, a progressively heavier load is applied to a set of gears, and scuffing of the gears is evaluated. The lubricant protecting the gears will either pass or fail the load stage based on this evaluation.

The negative effect ATF additives can have on transmission fluid is clearly demonstrated by the test results (Chart 2). While the untreated DEXRON IIIH/ MERCON transmission fluid produced an FZG pass rating of 10, the addition of an ATF additive interfered with the original fluid’s designed protective properties and lowered the rating to 9. In contrast, AMSOIL Synthetic Multi- Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid produced an FZG pass rating of 12, surpassing virtually all OEM specification requirements.

Amsoil Low Viscosity Transmission Fluid

Cold-Temperature Performance
Vehicle manufacturers specify maximum cold-temperature transmission fluid viscosity limits to ensure adequate lubrication at startup and proper shift performance in cold weather. The Brookfield Viscosity Test (ASTM D-2983) is used to measure fluid viscosity at low temperatures. A measurement at -40°C ATF additives can alter automatic transmission fluid properties, causing degraded low-temperature performance, premature wear, corrosion and shudder problems. M A G A Z I N E JANUARY 2011 | 9 (-40°F) is a common transmission fluid specification requirement, and the result of the test is expressed in centipoise (cP). The higher the cP, the more the fluid resists flow.

The maximum Brookfield Viscosity limits at -40°C for four OEM transmission fluid specifications are indicated in Chart 3. The untreated DEXRON IIIH/MERCON transmission fluid alone met the DEXRON/MERCON Brookfield Viscosity requirement. However, when an ATF additive was added, it failed to meet the requirement, demonstrating clear evidence of ATF additives negatively interfering with the properties of automatic transmission fluid. AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF meets the Brookfi eld Viscosity requirements of all the specifications displayed in the graph, demonstrating that a premium-quality, multi-vehicle transmission fluid is the optimal choice when a single product must satisfy the requirements of multiple specifications.

AMSOIL INC. recommends against the use of ATF additives as they may cause a reduction in performance, protection and longevity of equipment, and can ultimately cause permanent damage to a vehicle’s transmission. The use of any aftermarket ATF additive will void the AMSOIL Limited Warranty.

AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Vehicle Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) and Synthetic Fuel Efficient Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATL) are highquality transmission fluids engineered to the highest performance requirements of multiple transmission fluid specifications. AMSOIL transmission fluids are multi-vehicle products that accomplish the objective of additives without degrading performance. They effectively reduce confusion, inventory requirements, misapplication and cost, while providing superior protection to help extend transmission life. AMSOIL ATFs are warranted by AMSOIL for use in a wide range of domestic and import vehicle transmissions.

Amsoil Anti-Shudder Durablity FZG Wear Test and Brookfield Viscosity Tests

A Part-Time Business With Full Time Service

Jeff Bottila unveils his new AMSOIL-stocked service shop
Jeff Bottila unveils his new AMSOIL-stocked service shop.

Dealer Jeff Bottila of Roy, Utah enjoys the freedom his AMSOIL Dealership allows him. Bottila maintains ground equipment for a major airline as his full time job, but also runs an AMSOIL Dealership known as “J B Lubricants.” His schedule keeps him so busy that he says he often “finds sleep to be an inconvenience.”

He has focused his Dealership on both commercial and retail accounts and on operating a lube service and fleet maintenance business. “I recently moved the business into a 1,200 square foot shop,” Bottila said, “and I joined the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce.”

Bottila believes that being a chamber member is a good idea for small business owners. “Chamber membership has already led to two oil change customers and five commercial accounts,” Bottila said. In its new location, J B Lubricants services over 15 AMSOIL accounts and maintains five equipment fleets.

Bottila attributes his enjoyment selling AMSOIL products to the freedom he feels by being his own boss. “I still run the business the same way as I always have,” Bottila said, “which is whenever I feel like it. I truly enjoy running my business, and I still get a chuckle every time I inform a customer that they don’t have to change their oil every 3,000 miles when they are using these products. I call my Dealership a part-time business with full-time service.”

Monster Energy Supercross 2011


The 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Tour kicks off in Anaheim, Calif. on January 8 and will be televised throughout the season on CBS and the Speed Channel. AMSOIL is the Exclusive Official Oil of Monster Energy Supercross and sponsors the AMSOIL/Factory Connection Racing squad that features star rider Kevin Windham and top Lites riders Justin Barcia, Blake Wharton, Eli Tomac and newcomer Wil Hahn.

All times Eastern. Schedule subject to change
(see for the latest schedule).
Anaheim I (Live) January 8 10 P.M. Speed
Phoenix (Live) January 15 9:30 P.M. Speed
Los Angeles (SX) January 23 12 P.M. CBS
Los Angeles (Lites) January 23 6 P.M. Speed
Los Angeles (SX) January 28 3 A.M. Speed
Oakland (SX) January 30 12 P.M. CBS
Oakland (Lites) January 30 6 P.M. Speed
Oakland (SX) February 4 3 A.M. Speed
Anaheim II (Lites) February 6 5 P.M. Speed
Anaheim II (SX) February 6 6 P.M. Speed
Houston (SX) February 13 12 P.M. CBS
Houston (Lites) February 13 4 P.M. Speed
Houston (SX) February 18 3 A.M. Speed
San Diego (Live) February 19 10:30 P.M. Speed
Atlanta (Live) February 26 7:30 P.M. Speed
Legends February 27 12 P.M. CBS
Indianapolis (Live) March 12 7:30 P.M. Speed
Jacksonville (Lites) March 20 5 P.M. Speed
Jacksonville (SX) March 20 6 P.M. Speed
Toronto (SX) March 27 5 P.M. Speed
Toronto (Lites) March 27 6 P.M. Speed
Arlington (SX) April 3 12 P.M. CBS
Arlington (Lites) April 3 6 P.M. Speed
Arlington (SX) April 8 3 A.M. Speed
St. Louis (SX) April 10 12 P.M. CBS
St. Louis (Lites) April 10 6 P.M. Speed
St. Louis (SX) April 15 3:30 A.M. Speed
Seattle (Live) April 16 10:30 P.M. Speed
Salt Lake City (SX) May 1 12 P.M. CBS
Salt Lake City (Lites) May 1 6 P.M. Speed
Salt Lake City (SX) May 6 3 A.M. Speed
Las Vegas (Live) May 7 10 P.M. Speed
Wrap-Up May 8 2 P.M. CBS

Amsoil Racer Jeremy Meyer

One of the main points of emphasis that I hear from new and potential marketing partners is that they are “seeing AMSOIL everywhere.”

While we might not be “everywhere,” we sure are in a lot of places these days and it’s rewarding to have people taking notice. The question is how are people taking notice?

In 2010, AMSOIL had exposure through motorsports sponsorships in more than 500 markets. From Southern California to Maine, AMSOIL was corporately tied to 1,290 race events and more than 5 million fans over the past 12 months.

On top of that, AMSOIL race teams, series and events garnered more than 400 hours of television on networks including CBS, NBC, SPEED and Versus.

With new series, events and teams being added for 2011, pretty soon “everywhere” will be a reality.

Amsoil Racer Kevin Windham

Amsoil University 2011


AMSOIL recently wrapped up 19 successful Regional Fall Sales Meetings across North America that generated a lot of excitement throughout the Dealer network. AMSOIL University 2011 will keep the excitement building.

Attendees of the Fall Sales Meetings were the first to learn complete details about new developments, including the reformulation of XL Synthetic Motor Oils and the introduction of OE Synthetic Motor Oils. AMSOIL University 2011 provides Dealers another opportunity to receive the latest news directly from corporate staff in addition to the valuable training AU is known for.

AMSOIL U includes classroom time and
social events. Many Dealers report seeing
their businesses grow after applying the
training they received.

This year’s event takes place May 15 – 19 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC), home of the new AMSOIL Arena. AU focuses on providing Dealers training in all aspects of operating and growing their businesses, including technical know-how, customer service and more. All attendees have access to daily forums where corporate staff will present new products, industry trends and more. Plenty of time is scheduled for meals and other social events that allow interaction with AMSOIL employees and fellow Dealers, including the Sunday social welcoming event, the Tuesday-night cookout and the President’s Dinner.

AMSOIL has again reserved a block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Waterfront. The hotel is located on the skywalk system that places Dealers a convenient, indoor walk away from the DECC.

Three different course tracks are available for each level of Dealer expertise.


Prerequisites: None

Coursework focus: Administration, Lubrication Fundamentals, Filtration, Dealer Basics, Engine Lubricants, Drivetrain Fluids and Engine Operation. This track is recommended for first-time attendees. It is the foundational information on which to build confidence and a better understanding of how to get the most from your AMSOIL business.


Prerequisites: Must have attended an AMSOIL University Core Technology Program, a C&F or CAT school or have sufficient field experience.

Coursework focus: Small Business Commercial Applications, Commercial Sales, Personal Administration, Service, Oil Analysis, Two-Cycle Lubricants and Grease.


Prerequisites: Must have attained Direct Jobber status. Previous completion of the Core Technology Program and Business Development Program is highly recommended.

Coursework focus: The Advanced Development Program focuses on opportunities for established Direct Jobbers, including market trends, Dealer coaching, promotional ideas, advanced technical updates and opportunities to share ideas with AMSOIL corporate staff.

Product Rebate: All AMSOIL Dealers attending AMSOIL University are eligible for a 10 percent rebate on orders placed the week (May 16 – 20) of AMSOIL U.

Early Registration Discount

Dealers interested in attending AU 2011 can receive an early registration discount of $50 until April 1, 2011.

Enrollment Cost Before April 1, 2011

  • Per Dealer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$397
  • Spouse Attending . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$196
  • Spouse attending only lunches and social events . . . . . . . .$50
  • April 1 to May 15, 2011 Per Dealer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$447
  • Spouse Attending . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$246
  • Spouse attending only lunches and social events . . . . . . . .$75

For complete information about AMSOIL University and to register, log in to the Dealer Zone, click on the Training Tab and click the AU registration link at the bottom of the page.

If you are not yet an Amsoil Dealer, Preferred Customer or associated with an Amsoil Dealer in anyway please fill out the Amsoil Home Dealership Application Form.

AMSOIL hp Injector® provides exceptional performance in Evinrude E-TEC engine lean-mix setting

Amsoil Vice Pesident Dan Peterson

Only a limited number of oils are proven effective in these applications.


With the beginning of each new year, many people think about what they can do to improve some aspect of their lives. AMSOIL is no different, except that it’s an ongoing process. We are always looking for ways to improve our products, and one of the ways we validate products is through field studies. The AMSOIL technical team recently completed a field validation study outlining the performance of AMSOIL hp Injector Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil (HPI) in Evinrude® E-TECTM engines. These engines are unique in that they offer an alternative, lean-mix setting that allows the engine to use less oil. Whether programmed to run at the standard mix ratio or reprogrammed to the lean-mix setting, E-TEC engines use sophisticated electronic equipment to monitor conditions like RPM and throttle position to determine the gas-to-oil ratio injected into the engine – similar to how electronic oil life monitoring systems determine when a car’s oil should be changed. In order to take advantage of the lean-mix setting, a customer must have his or her engine reprogrammed by an Evinrude dealer. The customer must also agree to use Evinrude Johnson XD100TM two-cycle oil exclusively. Of course, we know that hp Injector is up to the task, and to prove it, AMSOIL conducted a study at a SEA-TOW facility featuring twin Evinrude 250 hp E-TEC engines, one lubricated with hp Injector and the other with Evinrude Johnson XD100. SEA-TOW is a marine-rescue organization specializing in non-emergency calls for assistance, typically towing large vessels like sport cruisers and yachts. This is an ideal environment for testing hp Injector in reprogrammed E-TEC engines under heavily loaded conditions.

As part of the study, both engines were run for 28 hours on the standard oil injection setting and were then reprogrammed by an Evinrude dealer to operate at the reduced oil consumption setting for the duration of the study. The starboard engine’s oil reservoir was filled with AMSOIL hp Injector and the port side engine’s oil reservoir was filled with XD100 two-cycle oil.

The validation period lasted a total of 534 hours; approximately 240 hours were spent under heavy-duty service conditions when the SEA-TOW boat towed marine vessels. The engines were closely monitored for the duration, and upon completion, both were disassembled and rated by a certified independent rater from Intertek. Intertek of San Antonio, Texas is an independent company specializing in product and performance testing, including qualifi cation testing of lubricants. Intertek evaluated both Evinrude engines based on NMMA TC-W3 criteria for two-cycle marine engines, examining the condition of all engine parts and inspecting for wear and deposit formation.

Wear protection in critical areas, including the cylinder walls, was one of the main areas of interest. Although we expected hp Injector to perform well, the results exceeded our expectations.

Cylinder from HP Injector Lubricated Engine
This photo shows one of the cylinders from the hp Injector-lubricated engine. Note that the original cross-hatch pattern is still visible. The scratch marks above the exhaust port are the result of a mechanical phenomenon; they appear in the exact same spot on the XD100-lubricated cylinders.

As seen in the photo, the cylinders looked almost new and the cross-hatch pattern from machining is clearly evident. Blockage of the exhaust ports is rated on a 10-point merit scale; a rating of 10 indicates the port is 100 percent free of blockage. Scuffing of the cylinder walls is measured by percent, where 0 percent indicates no scuffing.

Both hp Injector and XD100 received high ratings. The exhaust ports of both the AMSOIL- and Evinrude-lubricated cylinders had few deposits. Both oils scored near a perfect 10. Neither set of cylinder liners showed scuffing of the cylinder walls. Both engines received a 0 percent wear rating in the cylinder wall area, indicating the oils provided statistically equivalent overall wear protection.

AMSOIL hp Injector and XD100 earned near identical merit ratings for hard carbon deposits, scuffing and/or staining in all critical engine areas, including pistons, connecting rods, cylinder head, crankshaft and main bearings. The physical condition of these parts demonstrates that equipment integrity in both engines was maintained at near identical rates, despite the reduced oil rate and severe service conditions. The evidence clearly supports the use of AMSOIL hp Injector in E-TEC engines programmed for reduced oil consumption.

Based on these findings, AMSOIL hp Injector will provide excellent protection for Evinrude E-TEC engines programmed for reduced oil consumption, and AMSOIL fully supports the use of AMSOIL hp Injector in place of Evinrude XD100 in these applications.

FAQ January 2011


I just finished reading “Letters To The Editor,” specifically the questions regarding the EAO09, 10 and 13 (November issue). What about the EAO57?

Gary Hooker

Amsoil: The EAO57 filter was replaced with the EAO51, which has most recently changed to the EA15K51. See page 11 for details on the new 15,000-mile Ea Oil Filter (EA15K) line.


The updated marketing plan for selling to out-of-line Preferred Customers requires the selling Dealer to complete and submit a Transfer of Commission Credits Form to AMSOIL INC. The only person who has a financial incentive for the transfer of commission credits is the sponsor of the Dealer or Preferred Customer, who is not doing any work on the transaction, and his or her upline. AMSOIL is asking Dealers to expense money for products, freight, and in some cases taxes, and then receive a 0 percent return on investment when those products sell to an out-of-line registered AMSOIL customer. Did anyone at AMSOIL consider this?

Thank you, Erroll Ivory

Amsoil: While this isn’t actually a new policy, but rather a change in who’s responsible for submitting the documentation, the overall benefits of the policy outweigh the negatives. It is intended to protect Dealers who have personal group members located outside their local areas, while providing viable business opportunities for new Dealers.

Remember, Dealers determine their selling price and have the option to add fees to cover costs of freight, inventory, warehousing, desired profits, etc. when selling to non-personally sponsored Dealers and Preferred Customers. Many Dealers also find such sales can help them achieve higher levels of discounts and excellent word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers. Of course, Dealers also have the choice to not offer this service if they don’t think it’s profitable.


What a great upgrade to the AMSOIL Dealer publication. Pipeline was a great start in the early days; I still have a few. Action News was a long due improvement; I still have a lot of old issues. However, AMSOIL Magazine is a much more professional publication. With its new cover, masthead and articles it provides a new look and more information.

Moving the Bulletin Board to the website was a great idea instead of dropping it altogether. Having a place where folks can find meeting locations is necessary; however, it did take up valuable space in the Action News that could have been used more productively.

Tech Talk is a good idea. We used to get technical information, but not under a special heading. Will Dan Peterson be writing all the articles or will other technical staff be contributing in their specialties? I especially like the idea of two editions, one for Dealers and a Preferred Customer edition. I hope both will be available for download from the website.

My major criticism with Pipeline, Action News and now AMSOIL Magazine is that we get them about halfway through the publication month; I got my December issue on 12/11/2010.

Lawson and Jennifer Stevenson

Amsoil: We’re glad you like the new publication. While Tech Talk is Dan Peterson’s column, it is likely other members of the Technical Department will contribute material from time to time. You will be happy to know Dealers can download both the Dealer and P.C. editions of AMSOIL Magazine from the Dealer Zone. Just click the “AMSOIL Magazine/Action News Back Issues” link on the Dealer Zone Menu.

Because AMSOIL Magazine is sent through bulk mail and AMSOIL has no control over how quickly it is delivered, Dealers receive it at different times, some earlier in the month and others later. Downloading the Magazine from the Dealer Zone provides Dealers a quicker option as it is often posted up to a week or more before it arrives in the mail.


I’ve been a Dealer for quite a few years. Although this isn’t my main source of revenue, I have my family and friends using AMSOIL products in their vehicles.

I have used the 0W-40 ATV oil in my sport performance ATVs since about 2006. I’ve found out that it has a little higher viscosity than the 10W-40 motorcycle oil which I think would be better for higher temps of the desert. After blowing up an engine, I started investigating more about the construction of an oil. I have worries about the shear stability of such a wide range of viscosity 0W-40. I understand some companies use these VII (viscosity index improvers) to get this kind of viscosity range.

The downfall is that these VIIs tend to breakdown quickly and lose the 40 weight viscosity (shear stability). I want to make sure this is the correct oil for me to use for long performance and reliability. I would like AMSOIL to provide better information about this ATV oil and do a white paper comparison to other ATV performance oils.

I change oil at 20 hours of use to sleep well at night. This oil might be great for the 4×4 ATVs, but our ATV club has mostly high performance sport quads (700/660 Raptors, etc.). Thanks in advance for more information.

Regards, Gene Carmickle

Amsoil: Good question, Gene, and thank you for the suggestion. We assume you blew up the engine prior to using AMSOIL. Yes, Formula 4-Stroke® 0W-40 (AFF) is the best choice for long performance and reliability in your ATV. You are correct about the use of viscosity index improvers to achieve a wider viscosity range. However, like other oil additives, the market offers a wide range of quality, and you can be assured that Formula 4-Stroke® 0W-40 is formulated with only the highest-quality, shear-stable viscosity index improvers, ensuring it maintains its protective viscosity and provides second-to-none protection and performance in both recreational and high-performance ATV applications.

2011 Street Rodder Road Tour Schedule Announced

Amsoil Street Rodder SeriesWhile still a few months from the official start date in May, the 2011 AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour schedule has been announced. Presented by Street Rodder Magazine, this will be the fourth year as title sponsor for AMSOIL. Editor Jerry Dixey will once again lead participants across the country to various events and car shows in a custom-built street rod. This tour never fails to turn heads as they cross the country, bringing nostalgia to those who lived in the eras when these vintage street rods were born.

As they hit the pavement, Jerry will keep those who aren’t along for the ride up to speed through regular blogs and articles for Street Rodder Magazine. See below for the full schedule, and plan on taking your street rod out on the open road this summer with the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour.

Fleetwood Country Cruize-in Tour
May 27, 28, 29 — NSRA Mid -America Nationals
Springfield, Missouri
June 3, 4, 5 — Fleetwood Country Cruize-in
London, Ontario, Canada

Vintage Air Tour
June 11 — Vintage Air Headquarters
San Antonio, Texas
June 18, 19 — LA Roadsters Father Day Show
Pomona, California

The Golden Shine Tour
June 20 — California Car Covers Showroom
Chatsworth, California
June 24, 25, 26 — NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals
Pueblo, Colorado

The Syracuse Nationals Tour
July 9, 10 — Eastern Seaboard area
July 15, 16, 17 — Syracuse Nationals
Syracuse Nationals

Shades of the Past Tour
Sept 3, 4, 5 — NHRA US Nationals
Indianapolis, Indiana
Sept 9, 10 — Shades of the Past
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The Lokar Midnight Tour
Sept 11 — Knoxville, Tenn.
Sept 16, 17, 18 — NSRA Nationals North
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Sherm's Custom Plating Tour
Sept 30, Oct 1, 2 — Los Angeles, California
Oct 7, 8, 9 — NSRA Golden State Nationals
Sacramento, California

NHRA Hot Rod Reunion Tour
Oct. 15 — Art Morrison Chassis
Fife, Washington
Oct 21, 22, 23 — NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion
Bakersfield, California

January 2011

Amsoil President A.J. Amatuzio

We received a letter recently from the owner of the AMSOIL snocross team, Steve Scheuring, that I am going to share with you. Steve and Team AMSOIL racer Robbie Malinoski received it from a fan who attended the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series race in Fargo, North Dakota. It illustrates the value the team brings to the table. It has nothing to do with winning or losing or performance on the track; it has everything to do with representing AMSOIL at the highest possible level. The letter:

My son and I were at the Fargo race today. It was very cold, and I thought it would help to warm up to walk the pits for a bit. It had been a few years since we had been at a race, and I had forgotten the thrills of the sights, sounds and smells of the speed and excitement. When I was young, my dad took us to an oval or cross-country race every weekend. I have tried to continue this with my son, but his basketball has hindered our travel.

During a stop by the staging area near the pit, we were standing near your trailer viewing the rush of sleds being made ready for the next race. We both must have looked frozen, and we were very surprised when Robbie Malinoski stopped by to ask if we would like to come into the trailer to warm up. You have no idea what this meant to a father and son. My son has not yet quit smiling. With this simple act of kindness you and your team changed his impression of racers, trailers and mechanics by showing a very caring human side to the young man. His phone battery ran dead as we left the track as he was texting and calling all of his buddies to let them know he was with you in your race trailer. After arriving home, he ran into the house to let his mom know he had changed his mind on his future profession from a carpenter to a race mechanic.

Even though more races and travels may lead to a more costly winter for Dad’s wallet, it is worth every penny. His 2003 REV will even have a number 4 (Malinoski’s number) on it. I know how busy your time is when at the track, but your kindness and caring today will never be forgotten. Thank you very much, and I wish the best of luck for you and the team for the rest of the year. After this year you may see a certain young man at the race track much more often with his dad.

Amsoil Racer Robbie Malinoski

What Robbie Malinoski and the AMSOIL crew did went unnoticed by the thousands of fans that day. It will not show up in the points standings and will do nothing to improve the team’s performance. But it did mean a great deal to a father and son, and it did reflect positively on AMSOIL. It enhances the image and reputation that we have worked so hard to establish.

It is not uncommon for a race team we sponsor to go the extra mile for us. We approach our sponsorships differently than many other companies do. Our goal is to build relationships that last beyond the terms of typical contracts. While other sponsors may come and go, we do not jump from one sponsorship to another. We have been with Steve Scheuring, for example, for fourteen years. We have sponsored the same supercross/motocross team for thirteen years. Our power boat racers, Terry Rinker and Bob Teague, have been with us for eight and five years, respectively. And off-road racer Scott Douglas will begin his sixth year driving for AMSOIL next season. Our teams appreciate our loyalty and go over that loyalty to us. Even my good friend Bobby Unser, who we no longer sponsor, of course, continues to promote AMSOIL at every opportunity he gets. We built a relationship, established the loyalty and it is still paying dividends for us. To our racers, an AMSOIL sponsorship means much more than just the dollars it represents.

So I thank Steve Scheuring, his team and all of the other racers who proudly wear the AMSOIL colors. They represent us well.

Amsoil President A.J. “Al” Amatuzio

A Look at Snowmobiles Exhaust Power Valves

Snowmobile 2 Cycle EngineMounted in the exhaust port of certain snowmobile models, exhaust power valves are devices designed to improve combustion efficiency at varying RPM. Improved efficiency increases horsepower and lowers exhaust emissions.

At low RPM the valves are in a closed position, allowing for more efficient combustion and minimizing the levels of unburned gases escaping down the exhaust port. At high RPM the valves are in an open position, allowing the motor to breathe more freely and improving the scavenging effect needed for efficient performance in two-cycle motors.

Exhaust power valve with deposit build-up
Exhaust power valve with
deposit build-up.

Because exhaust power valves are located in the direct stream of exhaust flow, deposits consisting of soot, carbon and ash quickly accumulate, requiring the valves to be cleaned regularly. If they are not cleaned, they may get stuck, and operators will notice a considerable power loss and/or bog-type operation.

In some instances, deposit buildup may be worse than others. There are several reasons for this:

The machine may be consuming more oil than is needed. Oil injection pumps vary the amount of oil injected based on the throttle position. As the throttle is opened, oil consumption increases. AMSOIL 2-Cycle Oils are recommended for use at 50:1 mix ratios, but if the sled is consuming more than one quart of oil per 12 gallons of gas, it is exceeding an average mix ratio of 50:1. The less oil the sled burns, the fewer the deposits that accumulate on the exhaust power valves. If you wish to have a sled’s oil injection pump setting checked, AMSOIL recommends bringing it to a local dealership so a qualified snowmobile mechanic can make the correct adjustments.

Another contributing factor to excessive deposit build-up is riding style. Snowmobiles operated at low speeds and/or steady RPM for extended periods of time will accumulate deposits more quickly than snowmobiles operated at higher speeds. Two-cycle motors do not operate at maximum efficiency at slower speeds, causing a large percentage of unburned fuel and oil to exit through the exhaust. This unburned material accumulates on exhaust valves and forms deposits.

Clean exhaust power valve
Clean exhaust power valve.

Also, since snowmobiles operated at low-level constant RPM do not frequently actuate the valve, it allows deposits to form more rapidly, requiring more frequent valve maintenance. Snowmobiles run at higher RPM operate more efficiently and can extend time between valve cleanings. Efficient operation results in increased combustion temperatures and more complete burning of the oil/fuel charge. Higher RPM also means the exhaust power valve is more frequently actuated, disrupting deposits and slowing down their accumulation.

Finally, the type of two-cycle oil used in a snowmobile can improve valve cleanliness and extend maintenance. Because they effectively fight deposit formation, AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Cycle Oils exhibit better overall performance than petroleum two-cycle oils. AMSOIL Synthetic 2-Cycle Oils also resist friction and heat more effectively, burn cleaner and can safely be used at 50:1 mix ratios.

Routine maintenance is important for snowmobiles equipped with exhaust power valves. However, maintenance can be eased through the following:

  1. Extending time between cleanings through the use of AMSOIL 2-Cycle Oils
  2. Monitoring and adjusting oil consumption as needed
  3. Cleaning the valves before they get stuck to allow for easier removal
  4. Using AMSOIL Power Foam to loosen the deposits

2011 AMSOIL Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge Announced

Though the 2010 AMSOIL Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge just wrapped in September, the excitement is already building for the 2011 challenge. The rules were announced at PRI last week, and AMSOIL is heading into its fifth year as title sponsor. Already, online forums are lighting up with responses from engine builders around the country eager to get their names in the hat. With only 8 spots to fill, prospective competitors definitely need to bring their A-game in order to catch the eyes of the editors making selections.

Amsoil Mopar Muscle Car

For those unfamiliar with this event, each year a new set of rules is laid out for builders to consider when constructing their engines. This year only B or RB-block engines will be allowed, with a max value of $5,500.00. If builders go over this amount, they will be assessed a penalty of 10 horsepower for every $100.00 they go over. This helps level the playing field amongst the seasoned engine builders who do this for a living and those who build out of their homes or garages. The price of parts plays a large part in the big picture, so even those without an abundance of money or parts have a shot and taking the title. The ideas builders must come up with to stay within the guidelines of this rule result in some of the most innovative engines ever created.

The purpose of the challenge is to give these talented engine builders a platform to showcase their abilities. Participants receive nationwide coverage through the Mopar Nationals in August, as well as articles covering the event in Mopar Muscle Magazine. This is a rare opportunity to reach thousands of Mopar enthusiasts in need of their end result. A well-built engine can open many new doors for participants.

As in years past each engine will be on display throughout the week at the Mopar Nationals in August, and from there they will be shipped off to the Comp Cams dyno testing facility in Memphis to determine the winning build. If you have the wherewithal to build a solid engine with the most power, this is the challenge for you. Find full details and the application at Mopar Muscle Magazine and watch the AMSOIL Promotions blog for future updates on the 2011 AMSOIL Mopar Muscle Engine Challenge.