When you look across the shelf at all of the different types of motor oils, it can be a little overwhelming trying to understand the differences from one to another. And believe it or not, there are actually many differences between them. However, all motor oils start out as one of five different types of base oils as defined by the American Petroleum Institute (API). The big differences come into play after motor oil manufacturers take the base oils, add different combinations of additives to them, slap a label on it and put it on the shelf. So what exactly is the difference in the five basic groups of base oils, after all, that is what really separates an entry level motor oil from a quality motor oil.
A group I base oil is the lowest quality of the five groups. Group I base oils typically have a viscosity ranging between 80 and 120. They are typically solvent refined and have an operating temperature as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the solvent refining process, there is typically a mixture of irregular hydrocarbon molecules resulting in a higher level of friction within the oil. Because of this, a group I base oil is primarily used in less demanding applications.
Similar to group I oils, a group II base oil’s viscosity also ranges between 80 and 120. The major difference is in the refining process, as a group II is manufactured by hydrocracking which breaks down the larger hydrocarbon molecules left in group I oils. Although group I and group II base oils are similar in price, a group II greatly out performs a group I making it much more common in the market today. This is what is used as the base in most conventional oils.
A group III base oil is typically used in what most people refer to as “synthetic oil”. With a viscosity rated above 120, group III oils offer an even greater level of protection than groups I and II. Refined through a process known as severe hydrocracking, which uses greater heat and pressure, results in a much more pure base oil.
Our Green Diamond Full Synthetic oil is group III based. All our oils contains the patented FR3 Nano Technology to provide the absolute best level of protection to your diesel engine. The FR3 Nano Technology infusion provides protection, longevity, and performance gains that standard synthetic oils will not allow.
Although there are differences between the first three groups of base oils, making the jump to a group IV is a far greater improvement than any of the others. A group IV base oil is also referred to as a PAO (Poly-alpha-olefin). With an extremely high viscosity index, great low temperature flow and top of the line oxidation stability, a group IV base oil is about as tough as it gets.
Our Blue Diamond line of oils are 100% group IV PAO-based. For extreme applications, they can withstand high temps and extreme shearing conditions. Blue Diamond can be ran up to 3 times longer than the manufacturer’s recommended specifications. With the combined use of a Frantz Bypass Oil Filter, scheduled oil analysis program, and Hot Shot’s Secret TBN Booster, your oil can last up to 100,000 miles.
While groups I-IV make up the majority of base oils, group V is more of a “catch-all” for all other types of base oils. Properties such as silicone, polyester, PAG (polyalkylene glycols) & biolubes are commonly found within group V. These group V base oils are typically mixed with other oils to achieve a desired end result, but are not among the most desired as a stand alone option.
Each one of these base oil groups have different qualities, and are intended for use in various applications. And just because a Group IV PAO is a superior quality oil compared to a group II, doesn’t mean it will always be the better option in certain applications. Each application is unique and it is important to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on which type of oil to use and when. However, it is always beneficial to understand the different groups of base oils when choosing the best oil for you.
Hot Shot’s Secret has a variety of engine oils and additives to choose from. Whether you’re looking to replenish additives or you’re in need of a total oil refresh, we’ve got you covered. Browse our five-star oil products today!