We see it a lot with racing fans: You want the same oil protection in your own car as your favorite race car team and/or driver uses. They use a specific brand in their racecars, and you likewise want the peace-of-mind that you’re protecting your “daily driver” the same way. Consider there are significant differences between regular oil and racing-specific oil. Racing oil is not simply made for better protection under severe conditions. It’s a different formulation, entirely, designed with racing in mind.
Designed for “Severe Duty”
Undoubtedly, your daily commute is “punishing” to both you and your engine. Engine heat and stress result from sitting in daily rush hour traffic. Your engine oil is the first line of defense to protect your engine’s vital components.
Unlike stop-and-go commutes, however, racing engines are designed specifically to maximize horsepower and durability for limited times during racing events. Your daily commuter is designed to minimize emissions and offer enough power to reach highway speeds efficiently. In short, your “work car” is built to be durable for common driving situations. To say they are “two different environments” is an understatement.
How Racing is Different
Racing engines handle the extra pressure and heat generated from the extreme racing event. That may be a short distance at maximum throttle. Or it could be hundreds of miles with varying speeds. In either case, racing oil in the engine handles severe conditions of the race situation.
If you’ve ever watched off-road racing, some of the top trophy trucks produce 900 horsepower (or more). That amount of power can cause engine temperatures to 300ºF (149ºC) during a race. In comparison, your commuter truck ranges in temperatures between 195ºF and 220ºF (90ºC – 104ºC). Your street-worthy car or truck never sees the same temperatures as a pure racing, off-road truck. 300ºF in your commuter would damage the engine, irreversibly.
The differences in the two oils aren’t just temperature-related. Motor oil oxidation (oil breaking down chemically due to excessive heat) doubles with every 18ºF (10ºC) increase in oil temperature. Standard oil breaks down too quickly under racing conditions. Racing also adds extreme shearing forces in the pistons and rings at high RPMs. Likewise, the pressure around the camshaft lobes opening the valves reduces the oil viscosity and film strength. Racing oils handle these temperatures and pressures, whereas regular oils don’t.
Should I Use Racing Oil in My Car?
You might think it logical that if racing oil can handle the stresses and punishment of racing, it should be perfect for your daily commute. However, racing oil actually hurts your engine more than helps it. In other words, although turbocharged and direct-injection engines run hotter than conventional engine designs, don’t order a case of AMSOIL DOMINATOR® Synthetic Racing Oil for your commuter car.
You must change racing oil more often than standard oil, synthetic or not. In other words, racing oil breaks down faster due to time passing, rather than severe operating conditions. Most race teams change oil after every race. You wouldn’t change the oil in your car after every drive through rush hour traffic.
Your “daily driver” synthetic oil works with different characteristics based on your commute:
Better wear protection during continual low speeds
Most of these benefits come from the additives included in the blend of synthetic oil. Antioxidant additives prevent thermal breakdown in increased heat and longer use. Likewise, detergent additives keep your oil passages clean and flowing. Racing oils often have friction modifiers to maximize lubricity and increased horsepower, but they sacrifice durability as a byproduct.
Bottom Line: Use the Right Synthetic Oil
Use racing oil only for racing. Synthetic oil meant for normal use is balanced to offer many advantages that a racing oil doesn’t provide. If your car or truck needs a 5w30 engine oil, AMSOIL 5w30 synthetic oil offers the balance for cleaner emissions, higher fuel economy, and anti-wear protection. Today’s synthetic engine oils can be used well beyond 3,000 miles between oil changes without compromising lubrication or performance.
Partnering those with superior AMSOIL EA Filters will keep your oil performing at its best also. If you need help with determining a complete maintenance plan for your vehicle, Buy Great Oil is here to help with a complete package of products. Buy Great Oil, your local AMSOIL dealer, also provides guidance to make the vehicle maintenance easier.