Is Motorcraft oil good? UOA's consistently say yes, but what is in it that makes it so good?
Ford has consistently held for the years the top spot for R&D spending in the world. http://spectrum.ieee.org/images/dec05/images/rdf1.pdf
Ford powertrain engineering works very closely with its suppliers to insure there is a quality standard that is consistent with their product specifications.MC 5w20 Base Oil (MSDS): http://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricants.com/Main/msds/us173219us.pdf
HIGHLY REFINED MINERAL OIL 8042-47-5D 60-100%
ZINC COMPOUND 7440-66-6Z 0.5-1.5%
Let's start with the base oil. Highly refined base oil could be Group II/II+ or III, but more importantly is its purity and lubricating properties. Castrol, Valvoline, etc that are synthetic use Group III HC derived base oil CAS#64742-54-7 (DISTILLATES (PETROLEUM),HYDROTREATED HEAVY PARAFFINIC. http://msds.ashland.com/msds-ext/msdsDow...archHC&id=4
So what is the difference between 8042-47-5 and 64742-54-7? One thing we know is that the quality of a hydrotreated derived synthetic base oil depends on its purity, viscosity index, and level of saturation (hydrogen/no double bonds).
Finding this information was very difficult, but found some ecological studies based on motor oil.
So click on the link and go to pg. 42. http://www.petroleumhpv.org/docs/lube_oils/lubeoils_robustsummary_March%2024%20.pdf
Here you will see both of these base oils compared by their Physico-chemical properties (HBO = 64742-54-7/Synthetic GrpIII) (WTO 8042-47-5). Note:
The pour point listed under WTO should be -15C. You can see this in the report on pg. 5 or pg.82 attachment 1 and also on the Conoco/Phillips site.
Notice on pg. 43 the 60% distribution of paraffins for WTO relative to HBO. This is a property you want in a lubricating fluid (Van der Waal/London Forces). Next notice that WTO contains no aromatics due to the harsh/severe hydrotreating relative to HBO. Another property of superior lubricating fluid and purity. Finally, notice that WTO does not contain impurities Furfural, S, N, etc. In fact, WTO is not toxicologically significant. Because of its purity, it can be pharmaceuticas/food grade upon certification.
Impurities in conventional lubricants leave deposits in engines. WTO is pure, more pure than HBO which is what most synthetic motor oil are based.
Motorcraft site also mentions the purity of this base oil. Unusual because very hard to find motor oils that use this base stock outside of Conoco/Phillips, Petro Canada.
The hallmark of a synthetic is its inherent VI. Click on http://www.petroleumhpv.org/docs/lube_oils/lubeoils_testplan_March%2024%20Final%20.pdf
Go to pg. 8 physical properties. Here you will see the KV for HBO & WTO.
VI for WTO (8042-47-5) b]108[/b]
VI for HBO (64742-54-7) 97
So the base oil in MC5w20 has a higher VI than the synthetic base oil that most other synthetics utilize.
Now, I am aware that there are formulations and base oils are only part of the equation. But the effort is only to demonstrate the difference in base oils used by Motorcraft and the other synthetics.
Then there is the additive package. Notice that Motorcraft is using some other form of Zn? ZDDP competes in certain base fluids (esters). May also explain the use of Boron; again Motorcraft is not using the standard Boro-Nitride. Perhaps some of the newer sophisticated organic AW/EP additives. I believe Ford is giving every effort to go as green as possible and is developing some new technologies.
I'm convinced that MC5w20 is more of a bargain that we thought it was for $11.50/5 gal. container at WM. So if it's that good, then why isn't priced higher. There is no marketing advertisement of Motorcraft oil, cuts into FCSD margins in order for Ford to push 5w20.
Q. Does the difference in price between Motorcraft® SAE 5W-20 and SAE 5W-30 really reflect a better oil?
A: Yes, Motorcraft® SAE 5W-20 is a better oil than Motorcraft® SAE 5W-30. However, in response to Dealer Council Ford Motor Company has priced Motorcraft® SAE 5W-20 Premium Synthetic Blend Motor Oil exactly the same as Motorcraft® SAE 5W-30 Super Premium Motor Oil if you purchase it in BULK, 55-GALLON DRUMS, or the 5-QUART JUG. Only individual quart bottles of Motorcraft® SAE 5W-20 cost more than Motorcraft® SAE 5W-30. Again, the better base oils, and increased additives such as friction modifiers and anti-oxidants used to formulate for the performance levels in the SAE 5W-20 do cost more, and reflect the significant increase in performance.
By the way, I don't work for Ford. I just think they have a great product.
So what do you all think? Does this make sense? I used to work as a research scientist (chemist) at SWRI, so I find this stuff fascinating but lately has taken too much of my time.