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05 January 2012 @ 02:26 am
Superior products from Superior, Wisconsin make a superior vehicle...  
The plan was simple enough. The number crunching, not so much. But, if you will bare with me, I will show you how I am saving over $150 a year driving the same vehicle in the same way, just by making some some better choices.

When I purchased the Official Test Vehicle, I took it on a long drive and got some baseline numbers for performance and fuel economy. Since then I have made a handful of changes, most having to do with lubricants. My numbers are based on the same 3000 mile trip taken a year apart. Here is the rundown...

Baseline with conventional oil:
High MPG = 22.12
Average MPG = 18.6
0-60 = 9.5 seconds

New readings with Amsoil products:
High MPG = 22.15
Average MPG = 19.7
0-60 = 8 seconds

While the high end number isn't much different, the average is an increase of 1MPG. This may not seem like a lot initially, until you factor in what that translates to in 1 year. Going with a nice round figure of 20,000 miles a year, that is a fuel savings of about 60 gallons per year. The average price I paid per gallon over the last year is $3.42. Therefore, I can save $205 annually.

Of course, there are costs involved with getting that number, and I won't gloss over them. I want you to see some real money numbers, not the kinds of numbers that the government likes to throw out there. So lets get into savings versus costs.

First there is the oil and oil filter change. The funny thing here is that I've actually saved more money here. Using the cheapest oil and filter available from a national chain auto parts store and changing the oil every 3,000 miles, I would be paying about $76 a year. More if I went with a name brand conventional oil and filter. But using the Amsoil Signature 0w-30 (their most expensive oil) and an Amsoil Ea Nanofiber oil filter and changing the oil once a year (as recommended... no joke), I pay about $68. So, $205 plus the additional savings of $8 (and the time saved by changing oil less often) brings us to $213 saved annually.

From this point forward, my comparisons will continue to be between the products I am currently using versus the least expensive product from a national chain auto parts store. I will also be rounding the chain store price down and the Amsoil price up. Just to be generous to the competition.

Now we move on to the air filter. If you figure you have to change the paper cellulose filter once a year, that would annually cost about $11. On the other hand, the Amsoil Ea Nanofiber air filter at $35 is a 100,000 air filter. Which translates to 5 years before needing replacement. That makes the Amsoil filter's cost $7 per year. This gives us an additional savings of $4 per year, bringing us to $217 saved annually.

Things will now turn in the opposite direction.

First there is the transmission fluid (yes Virginia, you are supposed to change the transmission fluid). This is something a lot of people don't think about, but is supposed to be done. Normal change interval for trans fluid is about 50,000 miles (or, in this example, 2.5 years). Going conventional, that is a cost of about $21 per year. Amsoil ATF has proven to last twice as long without breaking down, so you only need to change it every 100,000 miles. This would cost about $28 per year. Taking that away from the total, we are at $209 saved annually.

Another often dismissed fluid is the rear differential gear oil. I see some widely varying numbers on this, some as low as 15,000 miles. Amsoil's recommended change interval is 50,000 miles. In this case we will give that to the conventional oil as well (though we shouldn't) simply on the grounds that many people never change gear oil. So, conventional at 50,000 would cost about $4 annually. Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 would be about $12 annually. Taking that away from the total brings us to $201 saved per year.

Now, you may wonder why we should be willing to pay a higher price for those last two items. The reason it that synthetic oils from any company are proven to cause less wear on parts. Less wear equals fewer repairs in the long term. Amsoil products out perform other synthetic oils when it comes to lessening wear. And though our examples are comparing conventional oil prices to Amsoil prices, if you were to choose another synthetic oil, the gap between them would narrow in price, but the Amsoil would still out perform.

We are now done with routine fluid and filter changes and will move on to additives. You will notice that Amsoil does not have ANY oil additives, as they believe that if the oil is formulated right, it shouldn't need any (stay AWAY from products like Slick 50, bad juju). They do, however, sell fuel and coolant additives, as these are things that they don't have quality control over.

Adding a bottle of Amsoil P.I. (Performance Improver) to your gas tank twice a year will cost you about $24. While this is a benefit to your fuel system and will assist in increasing fuel economy, I will not not compare it to another product, as it is not considered routine maintenance. The price just comes off of the total, leaving us with $177 saved annually.

Adding a bottle of Amsoil Dominator Coolant Boost to your cooling system when you do a flush and refill at the 75,000 mile mark (3.75 years) will cost less than $12. This translates to about $3 annually, bringing us to $174. Once again, I will not compare this product to another, as it is not considered routine maintenance. It does on the other hand allow your car to heat up quicker in winter, and helps keep the operating temperature cooler year round.

$174!

That's retail pricing mind you. A "Preferred Customer" or an Amsoil Dealer can get the Amsoil products at wholesale price, which translates to an additional saving of:
$15 on the oil change
$20 on the transmission fluid
$3 on the gear oil
$3 on the air filter
$6 on the fuel additive
$0.60 on the coolant additive (less than a buck, we won't bother to add in)

That equals an additional savings of $47. Which puts my final total (seeing as how I am an Amsoil dealer) to an annual savings of $221. And to be fair, we will subtract my dealer registration fees (preferred customers fees are less), which puts us at $191 per year. Just by doing routine maintenance with quality products and additives made in the U.S.A.


Now that all of that has been done, it's time to start making other performance upgrades. In the next year I plan to do a tune up with NGK Iridium spark plugs (we sell these too), Taylor spark plug wires (we don't sell these), stock replacement distributor cap and rotor, stock replacement fuel filter, Goodyear Gatorback serpentine belt (we don't sell these either), and probably an MSD Blaster ignition coil (nope, not that either). I have no clue how these will effect the fuel economy if at all, but who knows.
 
 
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