Is Cheap 2-Stroke Oil Better?
Russ Chastain 07.30.20
(Image: Screenshot from video)
When it comes to two-stroke gasoline engines, which require oil to be mixed with the gasoline, there are two schools of thought. One says to buy the best oil you can get, and some go as far as insisting on oil with the same brand as the engine. Other folks figure “oil is oil,” so they buy whatever is cheapest.
These cheapskates save a bunch of money by doing so, unless they’re shortening the life of their engine. But are they? Project Farm tests cheap Wal-Mart oil against Amsoil that costs about 4 times more.
The first test shows that the Amsoil racing oil certainly does provide better lubrication than the cheap Super Tech stuff.
The flash point comparison shows that Amsoil burns more easily, and this seems to hold true in his next test, which shows that more of the Amsoil gets burned in the engine. So far, the expensive stuff isn’t looking too bad, especially considering that gas mixed with it ran the engine about 16% longer than the Super Tech. That could add up to serious fuel savings in the long run.
Corrosion is another area where the costly oil shines. With the Super Tech oil providing very little corrosion protection and the Amsoil doing great.
In his longest and most thorough test, he runs a pair of small generators with lean 100:1 gas:oil mixes, and the Amsoil produced lower engine and exhaust temperatures throughout most of the test. That can really help extend the life of an engine.
When he opens them up, though, he finds almost-identical wear — and the Amsoil consistently produces more carbon buildup inside of engines. And we don’t see the dramatic difference in runtimes, with the Amsoil engine running just one minute, 22 seconds longer than the Super Tech engine.
Interestingly, both engines have MORE compression after the run test.
Which is the winner? You be the judge. Super Tech costs less and keeps the engine’s internals a bit cleaner, while the synthetic Amsoil tests much better for lubricity and corrosion protection and seems to run cooler.
Am I going to change my oil-buying ways? Maybe. What about you?