Cost Comparison: Petroleum Oil vs Synthetic Oil


Putting together a Dan Watson article comparing petroleum oil vs synthetic oil, I came across this summary comparison that looks at the cost savings of synthetic oil vs petroleum oil in terms of direct savings as well as the indirect savings realized by increased fuel economy.

Cutting to the chase, you can save over $500 a year ($100 less if you spend time to change your own oil) using Amsoil Synthetic Oil vs Petroleum Oil in your diesel truck. The following figures are based on a Duramax diesel truck driving 24,000 miles annually.

Petroleum Oil Annual Cost for Oil Changes:
Synthetic Oil Annual Cost for Oil Changes:
Annual Lubrication Cost Savings Using Synthetic Oil
Petroleum Oil Annual Fuel Cost
Synthetic Oil Annual Fuel Cost
Annual Fuel Cost Savings Using Synthetic Oil
Total Annual Saving (including labor) Using Synthetic Oil

EPA announces that Carbon Dioxide is a Pollutant

Climate and Energy

President ObamaToday the EPA announced a finding that recognizes carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant that threatens human health.  This act is dependent on the Clean Air Act formerly passed by Congress.  In doing this, the EPA can now regulate the emissions from any business that emits CO2.  In setting limits on CO2, the EPA can and will fine any company that exceeds amounts set by the Federal government.  The EPA and the Whitehouse are fully aware that Congress is not likely to pass the Cap and Trade Tax bill that is stuck in the Senate.  Today's EPA action is the Whitehouse are thumbing its nose at Congress and the American people in order to make the president look good at the upcoming Copenhagen conference on global warming.

This act is not only fallacious on its merit but a blatant act of tyranny.  When a government acts clearly in opposition to the democratically elected representatives of the people it becomes a government of the government, for the government and by the government; in other words, a tyranny.  Congress must reassert its authority to oversee the Executive Branch by voting to amend the Clean Air Act to exclude CO2 as a pollutant.  Unelected bureaucrats are not given dictatorial powers under the Constitution of the United States and it is incumbent on the Congress to honor their oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States.

In light of the revelations on "cooking the numbers" to make global warming an acceptable fact, it would seem prudent to slow down and take a second look at exactly what is going on with the climate and then consider further action if needed.  I have written about the difference between man-made global warming and natural global warming in maxxTorque and if you have not read the article, please read it (link requires membership).  My greatest concerns are now coming to life and I see the beginning of the end of a great nation.

All that you and I can do is to write our Senators and Representatives and demand they act in the best interest of this nation and not chase junk science.  Fifty percent of all electricity in the US is generated by coal fired plants and this carbon dioxide act will cause them to pay immense fines that will cause devastating rate hikes for all their customers.  I have outlined these facts in previous writings, so I will not restate those here, but I will say that my worst fears are playing out and I am getting just plain mad; it appears “Lunacy Reigns”!


Duramax Programmer Tuning: Buyer Beware!

Duramax Diesel

Duramax Programmer Tuning:  Buyer Beware!

Most of us will admit to having just enough knowledge to be dangerous on some subject. For aspiring diesel tuners, the availability of tools like EFILive and HPTuners can make it enticing to tweak a few trucks on the side and make a little money doing it. Fact is, diesel tuning is not quite as straightforward as getting a sample tune off the internet and trying it out. Some of those sample tunes can easily break something. Anyone with a little web savvy can set up a website advertising their tunes and run a business out of their own home and start doing tuning, having just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

To be quite honest, that is the biggest reason I got into tuning in the first place. Having a good understanding of both Diesel and gasoline powertrain management systems, I couldn't stand the idea of not knowing what a power programmer or tuner had changed. I would rather do the job myself, knowing exactly what was going on. As I gained experience, I discovered that most tuners (and aftermarket power programmers) are not quite what they are cracked up to be. I learned that there only a few that I would actually trust.

So how can a customer make an informed decision, especially if the customer is not well educated on tuning?


Lubricants: Cost Versus Price


Thanks and appreciation to all the readers that have stuck with us in our transition to this new online format.  For the print folks, we will be explaining how you can get a print version of the magazine.  But in essence, we are following the growing number of magazines that are using the amazing web to reduce or completely eliminate print.  Stick with us and you won't regret it, we have many great things coming down the pike.

Here is a Cost-Versus-Price lube example:

Always remember to analyze cost vs price when purchasing lubricants.  The price is on the product when you buy it, but the cost is the price distributed over time (miles).

  • Price: Product A price is $3.00 per quart and Product B price is $9.00 per quart. The price of Product B is three times the price of Product A.
  • Cost: Product B is rated for 15,000 miles and Product A is rated for 4,500 miles. So, the cost of Product B over 15,000 miles is $9.00 per quart while the cost of Product A is slightly higher at $10.00 per quart over a 15,000-mile period.

The important thing to take away from this example is that even though the price of Product A is significantly higher per quart ($9 vs $3), the cost of Product A is actaully lower over 15,000 miles because Product A will only have to be changed once in 15,000 miles while Product B will need to be changed more than three times in the same 15,000 miles. A dollar per quart may not seem like much but my comparison only accounts for the oil costs and not the additional labor necessary to change the oil more than three times for Product B instead of just once for Product A. When you factor in that labor, the cost savings of Product B becomes significant.

This is a simple principle but a critical thought process for smart buying.

This note is the beginning of a running commentary on items of interest in all aspects of lubrication, filtration, fuel additives, and automotive care and upkeep.  If anyone has a comment or question on my post here you will be able to pick up that question in the Forums as an existing thread or start a new one to solicit my response.  In the Forums you will also be able to see opinions or comments by other readers.  In this blog area I will simply post informative info or make comments on automotive / lubrication topics.


The Best Duramax Diesel Ever Built — For Now

Duramax Diesel

I often am asked the question, which is the best Duramax diesel to buy? I usually provide a range of answers, based on the strengths of the various Duramax engines. Here is a quick run-down of the strong points of each generation of Duramax diesel:

Top Duramax Diesel for Fuel Economy

This one is easy – the original LB7 Duramax. It's produces the best fuel economy of any of the Duramax engines. The big question is: why? Well, that gets a bit complicated to answer, but suffice to say that there are 2 major reasons. Firstly the conventional wastegated turbocharger on the LB7 allows free-breathing under light to mild loads, whereas the VVT turbocharger on the newer engines seems to require more drive pressure, robbing the engine of some efficiency. Secondly, the compression ratio of the newer Duramax engines has been lowered in an attempt to help control NOx emissions.

So why don't I drive an LB7? Firstly, I can tune the newer engines with EFILive to produce similar fuel economy numbers as the LB7. Secondly, the LB7 has old-school 15 second glow plugs which I find an annoyance. Also, living in a cold-climate, I appreciate the automated high idle in the newer engines. Thirdly, although injector reliability has been improved, I'm still not keen on buying a used LB7 with the possibility that there has already been some injector damage done.


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