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Here's How Amazon's Motor Oil Stacks Up Against Big Name Brands

Jalopnik logo Jalopnik 2/12/2019 Elizabeth Werth
a wooden table© Screenshot: YouTube

Ever since Amazon Basics announced it’s selling its own generic brand of synthetic motor oil, the big question has been “but how good actually is it?” Now, people to conduct their own at-home tests to see how Amazon’s oil compares to the big brands we know and love.

Research

A recent video by Project Farm on YouTube pits Amazon Basics Fully Synthetic Motor Oil against Valvoline 10W-30 Conventional Motor Oil and Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Motor Oil to see how they compared in a series of at-home tests.

The oils are run through four different tests. First is a measurement of cold temperature oil flow. Second is a test to measure the amount of wear that takes place on a bearing over ten minutes. Next is how much oil is lost after exposure to 400 degree heat for two hours. And, finally, there’s a cold flow test after the oil had been exposed to heat.

Before you watch the video, there are definitely a few things to keep in mind. First, this is an at home test. Project Farm does a great job on minimizing any potential outside variables that would impact the test (when heating the oil, for example, he makes sure to rotate the oils around an electric griddle in case one area of the griddle is hotter than another), but, with all tests conducted outside of the lab, not everything can be 100 percent perfect.

Replay Video

And second, Project Farm conducts the test only once. As all kiddos learn in first grade science, the key to an accurate experiment is being able to repeat it multiple times and get the same result. That said, it’s a hell of an interesting video and serves as a great starting point for anyone else who wants to run their own at-home tests.

In the end Mobil 1 knocked it out of the park on the lubricity test, but the Amazon Basics oil consistently flowed faster after being exposed to cold temperatures. The Valvoline oil tested here didn’t really compare.

Do with that information what you will, but keep in mind that this experiment could use some more testing before the results can be considered conclusive. All things considered, though, this is a pretty good starting point for some more in-depth comparisons.

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