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#4630534 - 01/10/18 01:54 PM Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality
mbacfp Offline


Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 837
Loc: California
Very simplistically, is an oilsí lower NOACK mainly attributable to base oil quality (PAO) or is more representative of an oilís additive package?

I guess I am also asking if an oils' lower NOACK is attributable to more PAO vs additives, then the more PAO based oils offer more Noack stability throughout an OCI vs additive based?

Just curious how it all works.


Edited by mbacfp (01/10/18 01:55 PM)
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#4630544 - 01/10/18 02:00 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10922
Loc: Idaho
Noack is the base oil blend. It is like running a 0W oil for cold pumpability worrys when you live in the Tropics.
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#4630547 - 01/10/18 02:00 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
Solarent Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 945
Loc: Toronto ON
Volatility is generally a reflection of a higher concentration of light base oil cuts of any type (ie 2 cSt vs 3cSt or 4cSt). It can be impacted by the base oil mixture, the choice of VII and the use of some esters. Dilution also can impact the volatility over the life of a drain, but the NOACK test does not take this into account. The most common way to lower an oil's NOACK is to rebalance the base oil mix in the formula, but there are much more important performance properties than NOACK.

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#4630611 - 01/10/18 02:46 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41759
Loc: New Jersey
Don't try to assume that PAO magically makes something better.

Viscosity, molecular weight, and volatility should be loosely linked.

So there's really a matter of tighter viscosity ranges, of less volatile molecules to keep NOACK down. That generally means smaller viscosity spreads of heavier (larger) molecules, that still exhibit good cold flow properties.

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#4630623 - 01/10/18 02:59 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
PandaBear Online   content


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 14209
Loc: Silicon Valley
It is usually the spread between the numbers on both side of the W of the weight.

Valvoline Synpower for example in 10w30 and 5w20 has lower Noack (i.e 7.6 and 8.0) than 0w20 and 5w30 (i.e. 11+), because a more uniformed, medium chain oil has lower noack than a blend with both light and heavy chain. The lighter chain base oil evaporate during usage.
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#4630680 - 01/10/18 04:20 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: PandaBear]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3966
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
It is usually the spread between the numbers on both side of the W of the weight.

Valvoline Synpower for example in 10w30 and 5w20 has lower Noack (i.e 7.6 and 8.0) than 0w20 and 5w30 (i.e. 11+), because a more uniformed, medium chain oil has lower noack than a blend with both light and heavy chain. The lighter chain base oil evaporate during usage.


This is really interesting, I went to peek at the Synpower info and the link for the the PDS takes me to a page for Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic oils with the term Synpower not in evidence. Also interesting is that this sheet is dated 10/12/17, replacing info from 9/22/17...often these sheets don't change for years.

Whatever products these may be, the 0W20/5W20 NOACK losses are 11.1/7.6%, 5W30/10W30 are 9.3/8.0%. Definite advantage to the higher W grades in both cases, particularly for XW20 (nearly 50% higher relative loss for the 0W20 compared to 5W20).
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#4630691 - 01/10/18 04:48 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7130
Loc: Marshfield , MA
Geez, I actually understood most of that. Thank you. You guys are wicked smart. grin2
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'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
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#4630704 - 01/10/18 05:06 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: Virtus_Probi]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4219
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Originally Posted By: Virtus_Probi
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
It is usually the spread between the numbers on both side of the W of the weight.

Valvoline Synpower for example in 10w30 and 5w20 has lower Noack (i.e 7.6 and 8.0) than 0w20 and 5w30 (i.e. 11+), because a more uniformed, medium chain oil has lower noack than a blend with both light and heavy chain. The lighter chain base oil evaporate during usage.


This is really interesting, I went to peek at the Synpower info and the link for the the PDS takes me to a page for Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic oils with the term Synpower not in evidence. Also interesting is that this sheet is dated 10/12/17, replacing info from 9/22/17...often these sheets don't change for years.

Whatever products these may be, the 0W20/5W20 NOACK losses are 11.1/7.6%, 5W30/10W30 are 9.3/8.0%. Definite advantage to the higher W grades in both cases, particularly for XW20 (nearly 50% higher relative loss for the 0W20 compared to 5W20).





VSP seems to being going away in favor of VAS but now this news of VME is confusing as all get out.
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#4630817 - 01/10/18 07:12 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24574
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Do note that Mola explained once here about blending an oil with a very low Noack without necessarily having a high end base stock to do so.
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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#4630920 - 01/10/18 09:01 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1345
Loc: toronto
I remember that too, something about using additives to increase NOACK, but never saw how that's done. That was during the couldn't believe the PQIA's PYB results era- he didn't like us assuming it was GTL based

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#4630952 - 01/10/18 09:56 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: JHZR2]
Marco620 Offline


Registered: 02/25/14
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deplorable Kansan,HK fan!
I agree,buying a grp 3 is fine and works as well in 90 percent of all situations.
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#4631609 - 01/11/18 03:37 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
burla Offline


Registered: 11/07/16
Posts: 253
Loc: sonoma
Put down NOACK and pick up HTHS if you want to know about base oils. The extra heat in the hths weeds out the inferior bases, if you are simply trying to find oil that doesn't break down under heat and load. Now, many applications might see benefit from high hths, but the trend is to actually have low hths for gas mileage. In that case the low hths wouldn't mean inferior base oil, just a base that was made for gas mileage or some other spec. Soon the oil formulations will be pretty similar when gf-6 drops, best strategy just to find a cheap group 3 like m1 costco deal. You may find variances that you like, but will it be worth double the cost when you can get m1 for 4 bucks a qrt, not to my pocket book.

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#4631619 - 01/11/18 03:46 PM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: burla]
Solarent Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 945
Loc: Toronto ON
Originally Posted By: burla
Put down NOACK and pick up HTHS if you want to know about base oils. The extra heat in the hths weeds out the inferior bases, if you are simply trying to find oil that doesn't break down under heat and load. Now, many applications might see benefit from high hths, but the trend is to actually have low hths for gas mileage. In that case the low hths wouldn't mean inferior base oil, just a base that was made for gas mileage or some other spec. Soon the oil formulations will be pretty similar when gf-6 drops, best strategy just to find a cheap group 3 like m1 costco deal. You may find variances that you like, but will it be worth double the cost when you can get m1 for 4 bucks a qrt, not to my pocket book.


I completely disagree with everything you say here. Oils are now being deliberately formulated with LOWER HTHS and this is one of the major drivers in upgrading base oil quality in most formulations. Too much HTHS and all you are doing is wasting energy. There is wisdom in the adage - as thin as possible, as thick as necessary.

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#4632042 - 01/12/18 12:29 AM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: burla]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24574
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: burla
The extra heat in the hths weeds out the inferior bases, if you are simply trying to find oil that doesn't break down under heat and load.

What about old school monogrades, which have rather high HTHS but nothing spectacular by way of base stock?
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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#4632242 - 01/12/18 09:18 AM Re: Understanding NOACK and Base Oil Quality [Re: mbacfp]
robertcope Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 999
Loc: TX
I'll stick to Red Line 10W-30 with a low NOACK (6) and reasonably high HTHS (3.5). Seems like the best of both worlds and it's what Honda recommends in my performance cars.

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