Tech Talk July 2011

Dan Peterson Technical Development
Dan Peterson
Vice President
Technical Development

Frictional losses account for big part of fuel energy inputs.
Minimizing friction in the engine and drivetrain can boost mpg.

With prices at the pump hovering around $4 a gallon and projected to hit $5 a gallon, drivers are looking for solutions to improve fuel economy through every available avenue. Concerned drivers can do a number of things to ensure optimum fuel economy, including keeping tires inflated to the correct pressure, removing excess weight from the vehicle and backing off on the accelerator. Regardless, internal combustion engines are inherently very poor for overall efficiency. With so many moving parts constantly in close contact, much of the energy input is lost in the engine and more is lost downstream in the drivetrain components.

Fuel Loss due to Internal Friction
Frictional Fuel Loss Chart

In fact, very little energy from fuel ever reaches the wheels to propel the vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 62.4 percent of the fuel energy from your tank ends up as engine losses. Additionally, of the 18.2 percent of the original fuel energy that makes it to the drivetrain, 5.6 percent more is lost before it ever reaches the tires, due mostly to frictional losses.

So out of every one gallon of fuel you pump into your gas tank, 0.624 gallons disappear as heat and frictional losses, an additional 0.172 gallons is lost to idling and standby, and 0.022 gallons go to running car accessories like air conditioning. When it’s all said and done, you’re left with a mere 0.182 gallons to power the drivetrain. Of this very small amount of the starting gallon of fuel, an additional 0.056 gallons are lost to drivetrain friction, leaving only 12.6 percent of the starting gallon of fuel to turn the wheels. The remaining energy not consumed by aerodynamic drag on the vehicle body, rolling resistance of the tires, and brake losses goes to moving the vehicle. As a manufacturer of synthetic lubricants, reducing friction is a core part of most everything we do at AMSOIL. Because the combined energy losses from the engine and drivetrain use up 68 percent of every gallon of fuel, it makes sense that reducing friction by improving lubrication will have a measurable impact on overall fuel economy. So how does reducing frictional losses relate to a fuel economy improvement using this documented Department of Energy data?

If you could cut overall engine losses in the original scenario by, for example, 0.50 percent (62.4 percent to 61.9 percent), 18.7 percent of the energy would reach the drivetrain vs. 18.2 percent. If you cut losses in the drivetrain by the same 0.50 percent (5.6 percent to 5.1 percent), a total of 13.6 percent of the total fuel energy would be available to move the vehicle, compared to 12.6 percent from the original example. This results in a total fuel economy improvement of 7.9 percent. So a 2010 Ford Fusion that gets 24 mpg consistently in the city would get 25.9 mpg in this scenario by reducing frictional losses in the engine and drivetrain.

Vehicle manufacturers are and will continue to be under significant pressure to improve baseline fuel economy. In addition to implementing technologies like variable valve timing and lift, turbocharging, direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation, vehicle manufacturers are actively looking for engine lubrication improvements to squeak out any additional fuel economy improvement possible to meet CAFE requirements. New technologies are being developed in vehicle drivetrain systems as well, including continually variable transmissions (CVTs), automated manual transmissions (AMTs), dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) and AT step improvements, all focused on reducing the losses outlined in the example.

The constant common enemy still faced in all these technologies is friction, and synthetic technology is the main weapon to fight this battle. Synthetic oil molecules are more uniform and predictable in terms of overall performance because they are engineered to produce specific results. Conventional oil molecules are much less predictable and contain many different fractions. They are not engineered, and as a result, they do not perform as well as their highly engineered synthetic cousins. Since friction is always the enemy at AMSOIL, we continually research, formulate and validate the most advanced friction-reducing ingredients we find worldwide to create products that give consumers not only outstanding engine protection, but fuel economy improvements that leave money in their pockets to have fun on the weekends.

Top 5 Mistakes Amsoil Dealers Make

Steve LePage Region Amsoil Sales Manager
Amsoil Sales Manager
Steve LePage

Improve teamwork through face-to-face contact with personal group members.

AMSOIL University provides the ultimate face-to-face AMSOIL Dealer training.

Any coach will tell you that teamwork is the key to success, whether on the gridiron, the court or the diamond. The same can be said of building a successful independent AMSOIL business.

Sales define success for any business, large or small, so it only stands to reason that a company that provides and encourages quality sales training is going to stand out as a leader in its industry. I am proud to say that AMSOIL most definitely falls into that category. The key to good training is a positive attitude. Train “attitude first,” and start with yourself – lead by example. Be enthusiastic. Lead rather than manage.

Show your team how to do something as opposed to telling them what to do. Face-to-face contact with your team is the best way to build a lasting relationship with team members. One way to accomplish this is by conducting regular Dealer meetings. If you hold Dealer meetings, make them fun and upbeat. Be sure to recognize anyone who has reached a new level of achievement.

Amsoil University 2010
More than 350 Dealers received face-to-face training at
the Diesel Shop Talk segment of AMSOIL University 2010.

Encourage team members to share their success stories, but also allow frustrations to be shared and make time to provide solutions to those frustrations. Spend some time on product knowledge and sales strategies. And even though you’re the trainer, don’t be afraid to let members of your team brainstorm ideas and have a hand in the training. By showing that you value and respect their input, members of your team will be more likely to embrace your instruction.

Working trade shows can be another prime opportunity for face-to-face training. If you’re exhibiting at a trade show, encourage members of your team to work the booth with you. What better on-the-job training can you provide than showing firsthand how you connect with prospects? You could also allow a member of your team to tag along on one of your sales calls. If that’s not an option, encourage your team to role-play some sales scenarios. If you have a video camera, you may want to record those role-playing segments. Video can be a useful tool in determining what and what not to do. All of these training examples will help build stronger relationships with your team members and encourage teamwork.

While face-to-face communication is clearly the most effective way to train your team, it is not always possible. The important thing to remember is to connect with your team however and whenever possible. Many successful Dealers send out a monthly newsletter; others conduct live teleconferences. It may be as simple as sharing ideas via email or making a phone call to encourage accessing the Dealer Sales Training Tab in the Dealer Zone.

AMSOIL is preparing now for its most important Dealer training event of the year and your opportunity for some face-to-face contact with corporate staff, AMSOIL University. If you’re serious about being a team leader, plan to attend AMSOIL U and encourage members of your team to do the same.

This is your chance to lead by example, get to know your team better and demonstrate that you are still dedicated to training. Not only that, but it just plain works. Dealers who attend AMSOIL U greatly improve their odds of reaching the level of Direct Jobber.

AMSOIL prides itself in the many sales tools provided to help you build your business. We encourage you to take advantage of these tools and make training a big part of your business-building process. Remember, AMSOIL University is this company’s most important training event of the year. There is a commitment of time, travel and expense, but consider those commitments a sound investment in your future (an investment that can potentially be written off on your taxes). AMSOIL U is rapidly approaching, but you still have time to get on board.

Good Selling!

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Buy Wholesale, Direct from Amsoil!

Amsoil products are purchased by Amsoil Preferred Customers at wholesale price, without the duties of having a Dealership.

Preferred Customer Memberships are suggested for individuals who aren't always interested in the business opportunity, but need the cheapest possible prices on the most effective lubrication and filtration products for their vehicles and equipment. Preferred Customers pay the same low costs for Amsoil products that Amsoil Dealers pay.

What do you Get?

Ten dollars ($10) gets you a six-month trial Preferred Customer membership for buying Amsoil products at wholesale prices. ($15 for Canadian Accounts) Here is what Preferred Customers get:

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  • If you buy $100 of Amsoil products a year, this program saves you money!
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The best way to order the Preferred Customer membership is right in our Online Store by adding it to your cart.

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Amsoil Letters to the Editor July 2011

E-mail letters to:
Or, mail them to:
Communications Department
Attn: Letters
925 Tower Avenue
Superior, WI 54480
Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity; please include your name, address and phone number.

I believe AMSOIL should inform Dealers about drain intervals for customers who use E85 fuel. Since 2003 I have not seen any articles in the AMSOIL Magazine about this issue. I sent an e-mail in 2008 about this because gas prices were over $4 a gallon. Again this year gas has been over $4 a gallon and there are thousands of cars that can use E85 gas. Ford and GM are selling many of these types of cars every day.

I was told in 2008 to follow the OEM’s oil change recommendations when using E85 gas because engines run hotter and could cause the oil to break down faster. Also, what about using gas with 10% ethanol over a period of six months as this is the type of gas I buy in Florida. Here in Michigan I can purchase either regular gas or E85, and when gas prices get this high, I like to use E85 as it is usually over $1 a gallon cheaper than regular gas. What would happen if a customer using AMSOIL with the one-year/25,000-mile program purchased E85 every week during the year and didn’t know about using the OEM’s oil change recommendations?

John Young


Yes, AMSOIL recommends following the OEM-recommended drain interval when using E85 gas; this recommendation is stated on all the Signature Series labels. Use of gas with 10% ethanol does not affect drain interval recommendations. In addition to engines generally running hotter on E85, high concentrations of ethanol increase the likelihood of excessive fuel dilution in the oil which causes the oil to thin out and degrade faster. AMSOIL continues to investigate all issues related to E85 fuel.


Some potential commercial accounts I have encountered are frightened of the cost of AMSOIL lubricants, especially in larger volumes such as drums, even after I have explained to them all the hidden benefits of the product. In my opinion, AMSOIL should consider perks to new accounts in addition to them already purchasing products at wholesale pricing. For example, a farm signing up as a new commercial account and after qualifying purchases should perhaps get their choice of one case (or half case of bottles/tubes) of fuel treatment, grease or perhaps three oil sample kits, AGGRAND soil sample kits or other products that might spark interest in other areas of the great AMSOIL product line.

Lucas Durham


In addition to receiving wholesale pricing, commercial accounts also qualify for purchase and freight discounts. Offering further incentives would force either higher prices or reduced commissions. Selling prospects on the cost-effectiveness and many other benefits of using Amsoil products is ultimately the key to gaining new customers and encouraging existing customers to use additional AMSOIL products.


Are there any plans for developing AMSOIL apps for smart phones?

When talking with prospects, one of their first questions is “how much does it cost?” I try to have many of the items committed to memory, but invariably they ask about something that I don’t have memorized. And, I don’t always have a price list with me. Using the smart phone browser to sign into the current AMSOIL website is just not conducive to giving the customer a quick answer.

Another app that would be useful, when calling on a ROTS or commercial customer, would be the ability to scan the barcode of an item and create an order list, something similar to the quick order form functionality, only sized for a smart phone. Having the ability to create a quick list that I can use later to either create the order online or call the 800 number would be a great productivity aid.

Also, with the frequency of the price changes we are experiencing, having online access to the current and future prices would enable me to help the customer decide if they should go ahead and order more at the current price.

Gale Binder

Great job on the new beta Dealer Zone and mobile apps. I already had an opportunity to use the mobile apps today – the same day I got the notice that the new pages had been created to demonstrate the vehicle lookup guide to a new Dealer lead I was visiting. Not only was he impressed at the availability of the information and the amount of information there, but the fact that it was nearly instantaneous on my 3G smart phone. This new mobile app will prove invaluable whether I am at a booth in a trade show, at a customer site or just working from my truck.


Larry Hansford


The new AMSOIL mobile apps were introduced in June and will prove very useful for Dealers. AMSOIL will continue to explore the addition of further apps. Check out all the information on the new Dealer Zone and mobile apps on pages 10 and 11.

Passive Regeneration

Dan Peterson, thank you for your ongoing contribution towards the new trends in diesel oil lubrication. In the May 2011 Tech Talk column you mentioned “the technique for cleaning DPFs is called regeneration and is categorized as either passive or active.” You went ahead to explain “active regeneration.” I have scanned through the whole article and did not see your explanation of “passive regeneration.”

Thanks for your kind attention.

Victor Udechukwu


The column focused exclusively on active regeneration because it is a major cause of fuel dilution. Passive regeneration occurs when exhaust gases are of high enough temperature to cause soot in the diesel particulate filter to spontaneously ignite without the help of a fuel source to start the process.

From the President’s Desk July 2011

From the President's Desk

Amsoil President A.J. AmatuzioI received a phone call recently from a local man who has a few ties to AMSOIL. His name is Dave Esse. Dave is a high school hockey coach from a small community in the region and has had tremendous influence on many young men throughout the years. As a coach he is quite successful. Several of his players have gone on to have productive careers in the National Hockey League. Dave is also a local stock car driver. His success in that arena is not quite as noteworthy, but even with the small budget he has to work with he does manage to find the winner’s circle from time to time.

Dave’s mission was to meet me and express his appreciation for the support the company provides locally in a couple of areas. That local support is minimal compared to our large investment in national advertising, but it is significant nonetheless. When we met for lunch, Dave thanked me for securing the naming rights to the new AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota and AMSOIL Speedway in Superior, Wisconsin. Both venues have considerable impact on the region’s social and economic well-being, and as a hockey coach and stock car driver Dave made it clear how important he thought our involvement was.

The conversation eventually turned to AMSOIL products. Dave first became aware of them many years ago. His friend’s father had been an extremely successful stock car driver and team owner in the Midwest, and Dave and his friend spent many hours at the track. They would wander the pits, observing the mechanics and picking up tips where they could. Dave recalled the issues all the teams had with gears running hot. The mechanics would have to wear gloves or use old towels or rags just to touch the overheated gearboxes. That was not the case in his friend’s father’s pit. There was no need for protection. The gearbox was not hot to the touch. AMSOIL gear lube was the difference, his friend’s father explained, and Dave gained an education on synthetic oil.

Dave went on to describe a more recent experience. He attended a NASCAR race, and through his hockey connections was invited as a guest to the pit area. There, he had the opportunity to meet with the crew of a successful NASCAR team. Dave asked about the lubricants NASCAR teams used, and the crew admitted that “brown-bagging” tactics were not uncommon. Despite commitments to use particular products, teams would conceal their oils of choice in nondescript packaging and add the fluids to the race vehicles behind closed doors. Regardless of what it said on the container, the crew explained, it was not uncommon to find AMSOIL in the container.

Neither of these stories is new to me. Three-time Indy 500 winner and racing legend Bobby Unser had the exact same experiences over 35 years ago. Bobby first discovered AMSOIL products when he contacted me with a problem. The rear end in his Pike’s Peak car was giving out after every run. It was an old unit and parts were impossible to find. Bobby’s crew was forced to fabricate parts continuously. Ultimately, I sent him some AMSOIL gear lube, and the rear end quit breaking. He could now run the entire season with absolutely no need for repairs. From that point on Bobby always spoke about how his crew could touch a gearbox fresh off the track because the gears ran so much cooler with AMSOIL.

And Bobby, too, was guilty of brown-bagging. He tells the story of a race-day preparation when he was approached by a corporate big-shot. The guy was irate because he had seen Bobby’s crew putting AMSOIL in the vehicle. Under contract, Bobby was committed to another product. When the big-shot was done blowing off steam, Bobby looked him straight in the eye. “Look,” he said, “I get paid to win races, so stay out of my business. This is how I win races.” The central theme to all of this is product quality. From the start, those who know lubrication have turned to AMSOIL. We have earned our reputation through performance, not slick advertising or evasive marketing campaigns. AMSOIL lubricants truly can make a difference. Bobby Unser and countless others discovered that many years ago.


Jeremy Meyer

Each year, AMSOIL receives more than 500 hours of television coverage through its race and event partnerships. The coverage spans major networks, including CBS and ABC, as well as high-tier cable networks like ESPN, SPEED and Versus.

A few of our partnerships also allow AMSOIL to rebroadcast these television shows on Simply click the Media link at the top of the page. From there, you will see several icons that allow you to watch the entire 2010 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL (including Scott Douglas’ AMSOIL Cup win), the complete 2010-2011 AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series and ATV 24/7.

These shows are some of the bestproduced race programs ever assembled, and if you missed the original airings, you now have the chance to watch great racing from the comfort of your own home 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The 2011 AMSOIL-sponsored Diesel Power Challenge was held May 3-5 in Denver, Colo. Defending champion Dmitri Millard and his 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD squared off against three Ford, three Dodge and three GM trucks selected from among hundreds of entries.

The competition kicked off with a long day of dyno testing, where Millard posted the top numbers (1,314.8 HP / 2,391.7 lb/ft torque). Day-two events were conducted at Bandimere Speedway in western Denver. Joel Saunders and his 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 won the 1/4-mile drag racing competition (11.267 seconds @ 125.62 mph). The five-ton trailer pull took place in the afternoon, where Rocky Horn and his 1997 Ford F-350 powered by a Cummins engine finished on top (10.244 seconds @ 72.38 mph). With the field narrowed to five, the final challenges included a 150-mile fuel economy test. A 50,000-pound sled pull was held north of Denver at Keenesburg Fairgrounds. When the dust cleared following this final event, points were calculated and the drivers assembled for the awards presentation.

Newly Tolf and his 2004 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD tied for fourth with Andy Parker and his 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty. The fuel economy test served as the tie-breaker, and Parker was awarded fourth and Tolf fifth. Saunders earned the third-place trophy, Dustin West and his 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 captured second and Horn was named the 2011 Diesel Power Challenge champion, earning $500 in AMSOIL products and recognition in the pages of Diesel Power magazine this fall.

AMSOIL is the Exclusive Official Oil of the Diesel Power Challenge. Complete results of the competition will be featured in upcoming issues of Diesel Power magazine and

Barcia Claims Lites East Championship and KEVIN WINDHAM EARNS FANS CHOICE AWARD


amsoil racer justin barciaThe AMSOIL supercross team headed to the season’s final event in Las Vegas with a chance to wrap up both the Lites East and Lites West championships. After taking his third win of the season in St. Louis, Justin Barcia had a firm 20-point lead over Dean Wilson in the Lites East standings, while teammate Eli Tomac strung together six straight podiums, including two wins, to close the gap on Lites West points leader Brock Tickle to just two points.

Barcia quickly grabbed the hole shot in the East final and opened up a sizeable lead. Although a mid-race crash dropped him to third, Barcia continued his strong riding to take his ninth straight podium and cruise to the championship.

“I’m lost for words right now,” said Barcia after the race. “It hasn’t set in yet that I’ve won the championship. It’s been an awesome season. The racing has been crazy all year and I’ve had a lot of fun. I have an awesome team behind me that has given me 100-percent support every race. This is a moment I will remember forever.”

In the West final, Tomac and Tickle kept one another in sight throughout all 15 laps. Although Tomac held the upper hand throughout the majority of the race, Tickle made the pass on lap 13 to finish second and take the championship. Tomac finished fourth in the final and second in the points standings. AMSOIL is the Exclusive Official Oil of Monster Energy Supercross.


Amsoil Racer
Kevin Windham

Team AMSOIL supercross rider Kevin Windham led the Las Vegas main event for much of the race before James Stewart rode over his head, crashed in the whoops section and essentially took him out. Windham suffered a spleen injury and was unable to finish the race. Despite the rough night, Windham continues to be the most popular rider in the sport, and he was presented with the Feld Motorsports Fans Choice award at Sunday night’s awards banquet.

Windham plans to compete in the 2012 supercross season, and may enter a few Outdoor National events this summer.