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The Original Synthetic Motor Oil

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Latest News and Information in the World of Lubrication

Reprinted from The Direct Line & The Action News

January through March 2008

Past issues of Auto Technology & Lubrication News

Performance & MPG News
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March 15, 2008
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AMSOIL, Off-Road Racing and NBC

Official Oil partnership puts AMSOIL live on network television

Scott Douglas
AMSOIL Super Team driver Scott Douglas will be surrounded by High Definition NBC and SPEED Channel cameras in 2008.
Scott Douglas
Douglas celebrates one of his six wins last season.

In the early winter months of 2005, AMSOIL set out on a mission to become the top motor oil company in Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR). That year saw the emergence of the AMSOIL/Kumho Tires Super Team, a group of the sport's premiere short-course off-road racers. The AMSOIL drivers began stockpiling wins and podium finishes and challenged the biggest names in the sport for the championship crown.

Long-time AMSOIL-sponsored driver Mike Oberg, the 2006 CORR Rookie of the Year, will make a full-time return to the series this year. The Eagle River, Wis. native will be a major contender in the Pro 2 class and will be looking to get his hands back on the Jason Baldwin Memorial Cup that he won in the winner-take-all final race of 2006. Oberg is one of only two men ever to drive a twowheel drive truck to a win in a "Cup" race that also features a full field of Pro 4 (4wd) trucks.

"AMSOIL has been great for our program the past few years," says Oberg. "Our goal is to return to CORR and win a championship. The sport is growing and there are a lot of new faces on the starting line, but we've won there before and we'll win there again."

AMSOIL Super Team driver Scott Douglas has dedicated his entire off-season to the goal of winning the Pro 4 championship, which he missed by only 22 points in 2007. The El Cajon, Calif. native ran two series last year, picked up six wins and finished on the podium 13 times. The 2006 Borgwarner Cup winner will be looking to add to his win total in 2008.

Mike Oberg
Mike Oberg brings his hard-charging style back to CORR in 2008.
2008 CORR Schedule
Los Angeles April 26-27
Las Vegas May 17-18
Los Angeles June 7-8
Chula Vista July 26-27
Los Angeles August 16-17
Chula Vista September 13-14
Las Vegas October 25-26
Chula Vista December 6-7

See the AMSOIL Corporate Website for NBC and SPEED Channel broadcast schedules.
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"We have been working hard on the AMSOIL Ford F-150 all winter long," says Douglas. "We are focusing on getting off to a great start in 2008 and making a push for another championship. We had a bad start last year after crashing hard on the first weekend for the second straight year, but we now have two great trucks heading into the year and will be back on top again."

The patience and persistence AMSOIL has displayed over the past three years will be paying off in a major way in 2008. In February, AMSOIL agreed to a three-year deal with CORR to become the Exclusive Official Oil of the off-road series.

"AMSOIL believes in the vision and ambition CORR has demonstrated over the past few years," says AMSOIL Race Program Manager Jeremy Meyer. "They have the top competition, the best television package and the resources to push off-road racing into an exceptional period of growth and excitement for years to come. Along with all of our corporately-sponsored race teams, the addition of CORR boosts an already successful racing program."

Drivers, sponsors and fans continue to be drawn to the unique style of racing CORR offers. Current NASCAR superstar Jimmie Johnson began his racing career competing in the series. In 2008, athletes like Supercross champions Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Johnson will be racing full-time in this roughand- tumble series.

The extra name recognition on the track is also helping CORR market itself off the track. In 2007, the series broadcasted all of the Baldwin Cup qualifiers and finale on NBC Sports. Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach of NASCAR fame will provide the play-by-play and analysis for the 131.2 hours of NBC coverage this season. CORR also announced that both the NBC and SPEED Channel coverage will include live, High Definition broadcasts, and the NBC coverage will jump from 60 minutes to 90 this season.

"As our television coverage has proven to be the pathway for growth in brand visibility and increased spectatorship, sponsorship has been our backbone for stability within the industry," said CORR C.O.O. Cissy Baldwin. "The vision and commitment of AMSOIL to its brand is as strong as the unwavering dedication CORR has to the expansion of our sport, making for a viable partnership. After years of sponsoring several of our thriving teams, we are proud to further enhance the visibility of AMSOIL by welcoming them as The Official Oil of Championship Off Road Racing."

The 2008 season begins April 26-27 at the Los Angeles County Fairplex, just 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The Pro 2 and Pro 4 points races from the event will air live on the SPEED Channel, with the Cup races airing on NBC in May. For television schedules or to learn more about the Super Team and CORR, visit the AMSOIL Corporate Website.

Products the Pros Use

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Two new AMSOIL products have been developed with off-road racing in mind. Severe Gear® Synthetic SAE 190 and Severe Gear® Synthetic SAE 250 Gear Lubes are premium-grade, extreme-pressure gear lubes engineered specifically for the demands of severe racing conditions. These new products effectively provide a barrier cushion between metal surfaces that absorbs impact.

"The new Severe Gear provides us with the extra protection we need when we are slamming our full-size 800 h.p. trucks over jumps and into rock-filled corners at more than 100 mph."

Scott Douglas, AMSOIL Super Team driver

Team AMSOIL Autograph Session

Prior to the March 15 AMA Supercross race in Minneapolis, Minn., AMSOIL is hosting an autograph session at the AMSOIL Sandbox Arena in New Richmond, Wis. Featuring Team AMSOIL superstars Kevin Windham, Josh Grant and Trey Canard, the event will be held on Friday, March 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. More information can be found at the AMSOIL Corporate Website.

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Snowmobile Sales Rise

Early season snow this winter was beneficial to the snowmobile industry. A national survey conducted for Powersports Business reveals U.S. snowmobile sales were on the upswing. In fact, 49 percent of dealers reported increased sales over last season, with an average growth of 41 percent. The January survey of 151 dealers in 23 states also showed increased sales of parts and accessories, with nearly 70 percent of dealers reporting substantially higher or somewhat higher sales over last season.

Snowmobile Sales Survey Results
Up from last season 49%
Down from last season 26%
Same as last season 25%
High Quality Base Oils Essential for High Quality Lubes

According to "The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication," high quality base oils are essential in the blending of high quality lubricants. "An inferior base oil cannot be converted into a premium product simply by the inclusion of an additive. Using a poor-quality oil on a continuing basis and attempting to overcome its poor lubricating qualities with some special additive is illogical. Better to determine the manufacturer's recommendation as to the minimum API service rating required and then regularly use a blended lubricant of a higher service classification than originally recommended, if an improvement in lubrication is the objective." AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are manufactured with superior quality synthetic base oils and premium additive packages that provide second-to-none protection and performance.

Motorcycle Sales Continue to Increase

The demographics of the average motorcyclist have changed, and they want to buy products from knowledgeable retailers.

Available in many sizes and forms, including cruisers, touring bikes, sport bikes, choppers, dirt bikes and scooters, motorcycle popularity continues to soar. In fact, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), new motorcycle sales have increased every year since 1992. Of the 1.1 million new bikes purchased by U.S. consumers in 2005, 70 percent were on-highway models, while the rest were off-highway and dual-use models. Parts, accessories and clothing also comprise a large portion of sales in the retail motorcycle industry as bikers spend billions of dollars to upgrade the looks, comfort, speed and usability of their bikes.

When it comes to buying motorcycles, parts and accessories, bike owners look for retailers who are familiar with the industry and well acquainted with the latest trends and popular products.

"New vehicle sellers have a real advantage in this industry," says Norm Paulson, a former vendor who currently tracks the industry. "That's an indication of how much the motorcycle market has changed. Sales took off in the 1990s as many baby boomers, with money freed up after their children left home, began looking for new 'toys' or some form of transportation that was different. Also, with the booming economy, many younger riders began looking at motorcycles, too.

"Owning a motorcycle pretty quickly became a symbol of affluence. Just owning the bike wasn't enough. These new buyers wanted their bikes to look original, ride better and be safer. They turned to dealers for suggestions on options and parts."

When it comes to buying motorcycles, parts and accessories, bike owners look for retailers who are familiar with the industry and well-acquainted with the latest trends and popular products. They are also increasingly flocking to the Internet, where they find access to a wide variety of product options.

"Internet sales have penetrated and impacted almost every retail market," says Paulson. "They probably will affect the motorcycle market more than others, because motorcycles are easier to work on. Your average motorcyclist is far more apt to do work on his vehicle than an automobile owner, and is just as comfortable using the Internet as they are installing complex parts."

Once portrayed as social dropouts, the image of the average motorcycle owner has changed drastically in the last 30 years.

According to MIC data, the average motorcycle owner is a 41- year-old male with a median household income of $55,850. More than half are married, more than half attended college or other post-graduation education and more than half work in professional, managerial, technical or craftsman positions.

Men continue to make up the majority of riders (almost 90 percent), but the trends are rapidly changing each year. While the median age of bikers was 28 years in 1985, that number has been steadily rising ever since, with riders 40 and over comprising 53 percent of the market in 2003.

Paulson points to ever-rising gasoline prices as a reason for growing motorcycle popularity. "What was once just for weekend riding has become standard weekday transportation," he says. "That opens up greater demand for parts and service. It also means more demand for casual riders - guys who are riding to work with a sport coat, tie and briefcase carefully stowed away."

Superior Protection for Motorcycles
Spring is just around the corner, and that means thousands of riders are gearing up to take their motorcycles out of storage to hit the open roads. AMSOIL offers premium synthetic motor oils for motorcycle applications, ensuring equipment runs trouble-free throughout the riding season. AMSOIL Ea Motorcycle Oil and Air Filters, Heavy Duty Metal Protector and Gasoline Stabilizer provide additional protection for motorcycle applications.

Team AMSOIL Continues its Winning Ways

Canard wins in Indianapolis; Canard and Windham sweep both classes in Daytona

Team AMSOIL rookie supercross racer Trey Canard earned an impressive win in his first major AMA Supercross race in Atlanta on February 23, and he was looking to add to his points lead at round two of the Eastern Lites series in Indianapolis on March 1. An excellent start in the main event put Canard in the early lead, and although he temporarily lost it when he and defending champion Ryan Villopoto tangled, he quickly recovered, regained the lead and earned his second straight win. Teammate Josh Grant finished 12th, while Kevin Windham finished fifth in the supercross class.

The third round of the Eastern Lites series was held on March 7 on the rain-drenched track in Daytona, Fla. Despite the muddy conditions, Canard took control of the race from the start, and despite falling once, captured his third straight win. Grant finished 19th. With four rounds remaining in the Eastern Lites series, Canard owns a perfect record and a 24 point lead in the points standings, while Grant holds 12th in the points standings.

In the supercross class, Team AMSOIL racer Kevin Windham got off to a strong start, fighting through the mud and into second place by the end of the first lap. Although he temporarily slipped into third when he was forced to stop for new goggles, he quickly regained second and proceeded to take the lead and the victory when race leader Chad Reed's bike quit running on the last lap. With seven rounds remaining, Windham holds second in the overall points standings. The wins by Windham and Canard in Daytona marked the first sweep by a non-factory team in the history of the sport.

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Windham (left) and Canard (right) both earned wins on the muddy Daytona track.
Supercross Points Standings
1) Chad Reed 223
2) Kevin Windham 200
3) Andrew Short 154
4) Davi Milsaps 149
5) Tim Ferry 137
6) Nate Ramsey 123
7) Josh Hill 110
8) David Vuillemin 102
9) Nick Wey 89
10) Paul Carpenter 87
Eastern Lites Points Standings
1) Trey Canard 75
2) Ryan Sipes 51
3) Ben Coisy 47
4) Ryan Villopoto 44
5) Nico Izzi 42
6) Martin Davalos 33
7) Billy Payne 31
8) Tyler Bowers 30
9) Branden Jesseman 30
10) Jake Moss 28
March 01, 2008
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Bosch and Getrag Introduce Hybrid Drivetrain Concept

Bosch and German transmission manufacturer Getrag recently developed and unveiled a new hybrid drivetrain concept featuring a dry dual-clutch transmission linked to an electric rear axle. The hybrid systems incorporate Getrag six-speed PowerShift transmissions and Bosch electrical architecture for the alternator, electric drive system and power electronics. According to Getrag, the systems feature lighter and less complex electric components, with many parts common to the PowerShift transmission in nonhybrid powertrains.

GM Coolant Leak

Certain 2005-07 GM full-size SUV models equipped with auxiliary heaters, including Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, Chevy Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon, may leak a significant amount of coolant from the rear of the vehicle. According to GM, a probable reason for the leak is a worn or compromised auxiliary heater hose quickconnect. GM offers a special repair kit with two O-rings, a retaining clip, a midspacer and instructions to fix the quickconnect, allowing customers to avoid replacing the entire rear heater hose setup.

Infiniti Oil Leak

According to Infiniti, some 2001-03 QX4 trucks with four-wheel-drive may leak oil from underneath the middle portion of the vehicle. A likely reason is a defective pressure port plug on the upper left side of the transfer case. An upgraded plug is available, but requires removal of the transfer case to change.

Reasons for Bearing Failure

AMSOIL synthetic greases provide superior protection for bearings.

Worn-out bearings can usually be blamed on either inadequate lubrication or improper installation or adjustment, and it is important to pinpoint the reason for failure before starting repair procedures. The bearings on the passenger side of a vehicle often fail before those on the driver side because they are exposed to more standing water in the gutter.

Worn-out bearings can usually be blamed on either inadequate lubrication or improper installation or adjustment, and it is important to pinpoint the reason for failure before starting repair procedures.

In order to harden the metal, most bearing components are heat-treated. However, because heat treatment can only penetrate so far into the metal, spalling becomes a problem once bearings wear to the softer metal underneath the heat-treated layer. Spalling causes the metal to come off in flakes.

When bearings overheat, many greases break down, leading to scoring and etching of bearing surfaces. Water and corrosive elements can also create this condition, and spalling often follows. A lubricant that is burned or oxidized can leave a dark coating on bearing surfaces, while excessive pre-load with tapered roller bearings can have the same effect. Excessively hot bearings can also cause deformed cages and seals, leading to bearing lock-up.

Seals play an important role in extending bearing life. If contaminants get inside, they can create wear patterns known as bruising. Because used seals can leak and contaminate brake linings or cause bearing failure, it is important to avoid re-using them.

Quality differences among bearings also have a direct effect on their longevity. Bearings that use low-quality steel and receive inferior heat treatment will wear and spall more quickly than high-quality bearings.

Because even a small distortion in a seal can lead to shortened bearing life, using a high quality set of seal drivers is important when installing serviceable bearings, while use of a high-quality grease also effectively extends bearing life. Unit hub assemblies, on the other hand, are maintenance-free units that are pre-set, pre-greased and pre-sealed. In order to avoid damaging the axle nut threads and shocking CV joints, OEMs and bearing manufacturers recommend using a torque wrench for bearing installation.

AMSOIL Synthetic Grease

A common practice that often leads to premature bearing failure is overtightening of adjustable tapered roller bearings. These bearings are never pre-loaded when located on the front of rear wheel drive vehicles, and they're snugged with no more than 15 to 20 ft. lbs. of torque while rotating the wheel to ensure the bearings are seated. The adjustment nut is then loosened 1/6 to 1/4 turn and locked in place with a cotter pin.

Endplay should be around 0.001 to 0.005 inches. Although there should be no play on most front wheel drive cars, up to 0.010 inch of play in the front bearings of rear wheel drive vehicles may be acceptable.

The bearing adjustment procedure for front wheel drive vehicles with adjustable tapered roller rear wheel bearings is usually the same as with rear wheel drive vehicles (zero pre-load), although some models do require a slight pre-load.

Formulated with top-of-the-line synthetic oils, lithium complex thickeners and premium additives, AMSOIL synthetic greases offer unsurpassed protection and performance in extreme operating conditions, protecting bearings against spalling, scoring and wear.

D J Eckstrom
DJ Eckstrom
Ross Martin
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Team AMSOIL Dominates Snocross and Supercross Races

The weekend of February 16-17 proved to be a dominant weekend for Team AMSOIL as snocross racers D.J. Eckstrom and Ross Martin won the Pro Super Stock and Pro Open finals and supercross racer Kevin Windham also earned a first place podium finish.

Team AMSOIL Snocross Racers Earn Pro Super Stock and Pro Open Wins
Entering the Ski-Doo Grand Prix de Valcourt in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada on the weekend of February 16-17, Team AMSOIL/Scheuring Speed Sports snocross star D.J. Eckstrom had collected podium finishes in three of the first four Pro Super Stock races of the season and held second in the overall points standings.

Knowing first place in the Pro Super Stock standings was within his grasp, Eckstrom went right to work in Valcourt, qualifying first for the main event. In the final, Eckstrom found his line and took over the lead within the first few laps, earning a convincing victory and vaulting himself up to first in the points standings with two races remaining on the schedule. Teammate Shaun Crapo finished the race in fourth, while Team AMSOIL/Judnick Motorsports racer Ross Martin earned a third place podium finish. Martin holds second in the overall points standings, while Crapo holds sixth.

In the Pro Open class, Martin raced strong and took the win. He currently holds second in the overall Pro Open points standings. While Eckstrom and Crapo qualified on the front row for the final, each was forced off the track during the first turn, and they finished eighth and 11th respectively. Eckstrom holds fourth in the points standings, while Crapo holds eighth.

The snocross season resumes March 7-9 at the BIR National in Brainerd, Minn.

Kevin Windham
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Trey Canard
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Windham Wins in Houston, Canard Wins in Atlanta

Team AMSOIL supercross star Kevin Windham entered round seven of the 2008 AMA Supercross season in Houston, Texas with three podium finishes and a hold on second place in the overall points standings. Starting near the front in the final, Windham got off to a strong start and took over the lead when Davi Millsaps crashed on the second lap. Once taking the lead, Windham refused to let it go, winning his first supercross final of the season and strengthening his hold on second place in the points standings.

In the Lites class, Team AMSOIL racer Jake Weimer started strong and fought for a strong third place podium finish, while teammate Dan Reardon finished sixth. Reardon currently holds sixth in the overall Western Lites points standings, while Weimer holds 14th. The Western Lites series will resume April 26 in Seattle. Attention focuses now on the Eastern Lites series, where Team AMSOIL racers Josh Grant and Trey Canard will compete for a championship.

Team AMSOIL continued its winning ways at round eight of the supercross season in Atlanta, Ga. on February 23. With a strong second place finish, Windham earned his fifth podium of the season and crept closer to Chad Reed for first place in the points standings. In the first round of the Eastern Lites series, Team AMSOIL racer Trey Canard earned a win in his first major AMA Supercross race. Teammate Josh Grant finished seventh.

February 15, 2008
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2008-2_diesel_motorcycle (8K)
Fred Hayes and HDT USA set two new diesel motorcycle land speed records at Bonneville last September.

Bikes Boost Land Speed Records in Bonneville

Records become official for AMSOIL-sponsored team

Fred Hayes knows a thing or two about record-setting runs. The president and CEO of Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT USA) headed to the 2007 Bonneville BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials with eight world records and four national motorcycle land speed records in his back pocket. Hayes wanted a few more to hang on his wall and asked AMSOIL to help him get there.

Hayes and HDT USA set two new national and international records at Bonneville last September. Those records were recently certified by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and are now considered official. Rider Bryon Schmidt set a new record in the 750 MPS D class of 103.321 miles per hour, breaking the old standard of 101.617 mph. Hayes also collected a record of his own in the 750 MPS DB class, driving his bike 110.432 mph to eclipse the old record of 105.147 mph.


API CF-4 Specification Set to Expire

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has declared its 18-year-old CF- 4 diesel oil specification is obsolete, and it will officially expire on June 30, 2008. Effective July 1, no diesel oil product containers may display "CF- 4" within the API trademark. Instead, API is encouraging oil companies to upgrade their products to meet more recent specifications. Most licensed products formulated to meet the CF-4 specification alone are sold outside of the United States. The API CI-4 and CI-4 PLUS specifications are the dominant diesel oil categories in the United States, while products meeting older specifications such as CH-4, CF-4, CF and CE hold barely 10 percent of the market.

Bearing Tip

According to the "Basic Handbook of Lubrication," single-shielded, singlesealed and open ball bearings are supplied without grease, are protected against corrosion by a preservative oil and must be filled with grease prior to installation. "The preservative does not need to be washed out of the bearing. Of note, your bearing supplier may stock only double-sealed/shielded bearings. When you order a singlesealed/ shielded bearing, you may get a double-sealed/shielded bearing that has had one seal/shield removed. In this case the bearing will be packed with grease. Consider in this case, cleaning out the grease and replacing it with the grease that you will use in that motor."

Market Continues Movement Toward Synthetics

Quick lubes are in position to increase margins, while helping customers protect their investments and save money.

Fuel economy and emissions regulations for passenger vehicles have become increasingly stringent in recent years, forcing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop more efficient, cleaner engines. These hotter-running engines require higher quality, lower viscosity motor oils capable of resisting shear and oxidation. While most conventional oils are formulated to meet the minimum performance standards for these vehicles, the increased protection and performance benefits offered by synthetic motor oils have been catching the attention of a growing number of OEMs, customers and quick lube operators. In fact, synthetic lubricants have experienced growth of around eight percent over the past few years.

Government regulations will continue to force improvements to vehicle engines, increasing demand for the protection and performance only synthetic lubricants can offer.

While many vehicle manufacturers currently suggest using synthetic motor oils, it is likely the day will come when their use is standard across the industry. Government regulations will continue to force improvements to vehicle engines, increasing demand for the protection and performance only synthetic lubricants can offer. In order to remain competitive, it will be necessary for quick lube operators to offer synthetics to their customers.

Although AMSOIL synthetic motor oils have offered customers the benefits of extended drain intervals for over 35 years, the rest of the motor oil market has just begun to respond to OEM and customer demands for longer drain intervals. In addition, the incorporation of oil life monitoring systems on many modern vehicles has helped customers become more receptive to the idea of extending drain intervals. While extended drain intervals can lead to lower car counts at quick lubes, many savvy operators have discovered they can make up for it by offering higher-margin synthetic motor oils.

Many customers don't understand the features that make synthetic lubricants superior, but they are interested in learning their choice of motor oil can help them protect their investments and save money. This presents an excellent opportunity for operators to promote the benefits of AMSOIL synthetic motor oils and position their businesses as solution providers. In order for quick lube accounts to effectively upsell their customers to AMSOIL products, it is essential the staff understands and is able to articulate the benefits to customers. AMSOIL Dealers can play an important role in the success of their quick lube accounts by ensuring they are are up-todate on AMSOIL product information and ready and able to present logical arguments promoting their use to customers.

AMSOIL Synthetic XL Motor Oil

AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oils
AMSOIL XL Synthetic 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30 and 10W-40 Motor Oils provide quick lubes with higher profit margins, while offering customers extended drain intervals, excellent protection and performance and improved fuel economy.

Wix Cabin Filters

Replacing Cabin Air Filters

The purpose of a cabin air filter is to filter contaminants from the incoming air, protecting the occupants, the interior and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems of the vehicle. To maintain their effectiveness, cabin air filters should be changed every year.

The first step to replacing a vehicle's cabin air filter is finding it. The vehicle's owners manual can be consulted to find its exact location. In most Ford models, it can be found under the hood in the cowl area. In most Chrysler models, it can be found under the dash. In GM models, it could be under the hood, under the dash or behind the glove box. In Toyota, Lexus, Nissan and most Honda models, it is behind the glove box.

Some disassembly may be necessary to replace a filter mounted under the cowl at the base of the windshield. It may require removing a plastic cowl cover. Before removing the old filter, be sure to prevent any contaminants from falling into the HVAC inlet duct by cleaning the area surrounding the filter. If the filter is located behind the glove box, the glove box may have to be removed before replacing the filter. On some vehicles, cabin air filters can be reached from under the dash and pulled out of a slot in the HVAC unit.

Many installation instructions for WIX cabin air filters are available on the AMSOIL corporate website: (Opens in a new window)

AMSOIL carries the entire line of WIX high-efficiency cabin air filters for passenger cars and light trucks, offering excellent addon sales opportunities for AMSOIL Dealers. WIX cabin air filters feature a multi-layer design that traps microscopic airborne particles, while an activated carbon layer effectively absorbs gases and odors.

Twin Air ATV Air Filters

Reduce ATV Engine Damage

According to ATV Sport, "regular air filter maintenance is on par with oil and filter changes as one of the most important things ATV owners should do to reduce engine wear and prevent damage. If an air filter is neglected, air flow to the engine will be choked off and cause less power output."

The reduced power output usually causes drivers to squeeze the throttle harder, forcing the engine to work harder and suck dirt through the filter and into the combustion chamber, where it scuffs cylinder walls, grinds intake valves and locks up the timing chain and crankshaft bearings.

ATV Sport recommends checking foam air filters before every ride and servicing them as necessary. Although there aren't concrete guidelines dictating when filters should be serviced, ATVs driven in especially dry and dusty conditions should have their filters cleaned and re-oiled before the next ride.

AMSOIL offers premium Twin Air Filters, tack oils and cleaners. for dirt bike and ATV applications. Twin Air Liquid Power Filter Oil provides a high-tack shield that effectively traps dirt, grit and dust, while Bio Liquid Power Filter Oil is the first biodegradable air filter oil that works in all riding conditions, preventing dirt, dust and water from entering carburetors. Both are available in spray and liquid forms.

Available in spray and liquid forms, Liquid Dirt Remover is formulated to quickly cut through Liquid Power, loosen dirt and flush filters clean, while Bio Dirt Remover is a granular watersoluble cleaner that can go right down the drain without clogging or harming the environment.

February 1, 2008
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Cummins to Use SCR

In order to meet 2010 Environmental Protection Agency emission standards, Cummins Inc. plans to incorporate selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems on its medium-duty on-highway engines. "SCR enables us to extend our power range while maintaining excellent fuel economy, maintenance intervals and overall low cost of ownership," said Dave Crompton, vice president and general manager, Cummins MidRange Engine Business. SCR technology makes use of the chemical urea and a catalytic converter to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The urea is injected into the exhaust as it leaves the diesel particulate filter (DPF), where the exhaust heat breaks the urea down into ammonia. The exhaust (with ammonia and NOx) then enters the SCR chamber, where it reacts with a catalyst to form the final exhaust products of water and nitrogen.

Oil Top-Off Tip

According to Noria Corporation, most large motors that include bearings with oil reservoirs must have the oil topped off through pipe plugs located on top of the bearing housing. However, as top-off oil is poured into the reservoir, it must first pass over the threads of the pipe plug, washing any dirt, metal and other contaminants into the reservoir. "To cure this, screw a short pipe nipple into the opening and cap it off with a pipe cap. When oil is added now, it no longer passes over the active threaded area, helping to keep your top-off oil clean."

Severe Gear® Goes Racing

New Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 and SAE 250 Gear Lubricants round out the Severe Gear lineup.

Two new premium high viscosity gear lubricants have been added to the Severe Gear lineup. New Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 (SRN) and SAE 250 (SRT) Gear Lubricants are recommended for off-road truck racing, rock racing, rock crawling, tractor pulling, funny car racing and dragster racing applications that require heavier viscosity gear lubricants.

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 and SAE 250 Gear Lubricants are specifically engineered for high horsepower, high torque conditions where centrifugal gear lube sling-off is encountered.

Off-road truck racing applications encounter high speeds, heavy loads, shock loading and centrifugal sling-off. Drag racing vehicles, including funny cars and dragsters with high 3,000 to 8,000 horsepower engines, launch so quickly from the starting line that the gear lube flows away from the front of the differential, starving the pinion gear and bearings of essential lubrication protection. Because rock crawling and rock racing vehicles must maneuver over rocks and obstacles with little ground clearance, racers often incorporate differentials designed with the pinion on top instead of the bottom, causing pinion gears and bearings to operate with little lubrication protection. In addition, rock crawling and rock racing vehicles often operate in precarious positions, including sideways and upside down, causing lubricants to flow away from gears and bearings and leaving them to operate with no lubrication at all.

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 and Synthetic SAE 250 Gear Lubricants are premium grade, extreme pressure gear lubes. They are formulated with shear stable, heavy synthetic base oils for "high film strength" and extra heavy treatments of additives. Their synthetic formulations provide improved flow over conventional oils, reducing viscous drag and power loss. Severe Gear SAE 190 and SAE 250 Gear Lubes provide a barrier cushion between metal surfaces that absorbs impact. AMSOIL proprietary extreme pressure additives form an iron-sulfide barrier coating on gear surfaces for the ultimate line of defense against wear, pitting and scoring.

Synthetic SAE 190 Gear LubeSynthetic SAE 250 Gear Lube

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 and SAE 250 Gear Lubricants are specifically engineered for high horsepower, high torque conditions where centrifugal gear lube sling-off is encountered. These tenacious formulations cling to gears and bearings for the best possible protection during shock loading, high G-forces and where pinion gears are installed at steep angles. Custom Severe Gear Synthetic Gear Lubricants provide exceptional reliability and extended gear life.

• Protect gears from shock loading and tire shake
• Resist sling-off from G-forces and high speeds
• Cling to gears in high pinion style differentials and at steep angles
• Promote cooler operating temperatures
• Protect against rust and corrosion
• Extend gear and bearing life

Applications and Service Life
AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic SAE 190 and Synthetic SAE 250 Gear Lubricants are excellent for severe differential applications, including off-road truck racing, rock racing, rock crawling, tractor pulling, funny car racing and dragster racing. Other severe duty applications include heavy duty trucks and equipment where increased lubricant film is necessary. These oils are recommended for use in hypoid gear differentials and other applications requiring a high viscosity, API GL-5 gear lube. Where limited slip performance is required, use AMSOIL Slip- Lock® limited slip additive. Change Severe Gear SAE 190 and SAE 250 Gear Lubes as conditions dictate. Where extended drain intervals are desired, monitor by oil analysis.

January 15, 2008
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AOCA Investigates Misleading Warranty Notice

The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) recently investigated the origin of a misleading and unlawful warranty notice found under the hoods of certain Chrysler vehicles in Ontario, Canada. The AOCA determined the notice, which stated that using non-genuine Mopar lubricants and parts could void the warranty, was printed and attached to the vehicles by a local auto dealer. "We were quite convinced Chrysler had nothing to do with putting these together," said AOCA Executive Director Steve Christie. "They just wouldn't take that risk, I'm sure. It appears there is only one dealer in Canada that we're aware of, and I'm sure that will be corrected shortly. We wanted to stop it now because it's misleading to the consumers. We haven't seen it in the U.S."

Fuel Economy a Top Motivator For Vehicle Maintenance

According to a recent survey by Opinion Research Corporation for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), motorists consider fuel economy a more important motivator for vehicle maintenance than they did five years ago. Sixtytwo percent of consumers indicated fuel efficiency is an important reason for vehicle maintenance, compared to 42 percent five years ago. "Having a safe and dependable vehicle have long been the top motivational factors influencing consumers (sic) vehicle maintenance decisions, but getting better gas mileage is catching up as a driving force," said AAIA president and CEO Kathleen Schmatz.

January 01, 2008
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Ford Focuses on Quality

According to its annual reliability survey, Consumer Reports proclaims Ford vehicles showed marked quality improvements in 2007, with 41 of 44 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brand vehicles rating average or better. The results validate Ford's efforts to boost quality in recent years. "The reliability of their cars has steadily improved over the years and is showing consistency," said David Champion, senior director of the Consumer Reports auto test center.


Prevent Lube Contamination

Preventing contamination of lubricants is an important step in every contamination control program. According to Noria Corporation, "the cost of excluding a gram of dirt is probably only 10% of what it will cost you once it gets into your oil." Common and preventable ways contaminants enter lubricants are through new oil, ventilation and breathers, seals, wear generation, service and manufacturing debris, filter dumping and wash-down sprays and solvents.

Oil Analysis Tip

According to Robert Gelow, equipment condition specialist at Colorado Springs Utilities, it can be helpful to mark the bottle caps of oil analysis bottles when taking a large number of samples. "This procedure enables you to go directly to the correct sample bottle without having to search through the entire box looking at labels to find the right one," says Gelow. "This saves a lot of time and helps eliminate using the wrong bottle."

Truckers Seek Maximum Fuel Economy

Practiced regularly, several proven steps will boost fuel economy in over-the-road trucks.

Fuel economy is a hot issue in the trucking business, often representing the difference between success and failure for many owner-operators. Not only are diesel fuel prices constantly increasing, but factors such as congestion, weather and less-fuel-efficient new diesel engines affect owner-operators' fuel economy numbers and bottom lines. According to a recent survey, 10 percent of respondents indicated their big rigs receive 8 mpg or better, while experts claim even higher fuel economy numbers are achievable through savvy operating practices and use of technology such as cruise control. Overdrive magazine provides the following tips for boosting fuel economy numbers in over-the-road trucks:

Not only are diesel fuel prices constantly increasing, but factors such as congestion, weather and less-fuel-efficient new diesel engines affect owner-operators' fuel economy numbers and bottom lines.

Slow Down
Speeds exceeding 60 mph start to cut into a truck's fuel economy. Every 1 mph past 60 mph cuts fuel efficiency by a tenth of a gallon per mile.

Efficient Driving Habits
According to Cummins, the most efficient drivers get 30 percent improved fuel efficiency over the least efficient drivers, while a German pilot program claimed to achieve an average 40 percent fuel economy improvement in heavy duty trucks after teaching drivers basic skills such as optimal shifting, starting and braking.

Basic routine maintenance, such as engine tuning, can improve fuel economy numbers. Keeping tires aligned and at their proper air pressures is a standard maintenance area that yields the most significant fuel economy benefits.

Reduce Idle
Although environmental laws are already taking aim at excessive truck idling, improved fuel economy is another reason to put an end to this practice.

Reduce Drag
According to Cummins, every 2 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag yields about 1 percent improvement in fuel economy. A truck running at 65 mph requires 264 horsepower to overcome the physical forces slowing it down, and 55 percent of that is expended on wind resistance. Simple add-ons such as integrated cab-high roof fairings, redesigned bumpers and mirrors, lowrolling- resistance tires, gap reducers and side skirts for trailers can work to reduce drag and improve fuel economy.

Plan Routes
Slowing driving speeds in order to maximize fuel economy provides truckers with incentives to carefully plan their routes to ensure on-time delivery. This also provides opportunities to minimize delays and wasted miles.

AMSOIL Synthetic Diesel Oils

The use of AMSOIL synthetic diesel oils is another excellent way for owner-operators to reduce fuel expenses, while also improving equipment performance and reliability. Independent tests show the use of synthetic lubricants can increase fuel efficiency by two to five percent, while many AMSOIL customers report even larger gains.

AMSOIL Diesel Oils

Larger, More Expensive ATV Sales on the Upswing

2008_atv (23K)

Although it is currently a troubling time period for new ATV sales, larger and more expensive models have been weathering the storm and providing stability to the market. Sales of side-bysides, special edition models, 2-up machines and big bore ATVs have all shown healthy gains recently.

Arctic Cat has seen increased sales of its big bore ATVs with displacements of 650cc and greater. According to Arctic Cat marketing and communications manager John Tranby, the models are popular with older and more affluent customers who have not been affected by the slowing economy.

According to Polaris ATV product manager Gary Laskin, his company's biggest sellers have been side-by-sides and 2-up ATVs. "Two-ups are really the one part of the ATV business that has a very strong upward trend," says Laskin. "It's a trend in the United States, and it's even stronger once you include Canada."

Although 500cc machines represent the best-selling displacement category in the industry, the big bore segment (machines above 600cc) is currently only about 20 percent smaller, while side-byside sales are estimated to be over 100,000 units annually.

"Big bore sales have definitely been a bright spot for us," says Steve Nessl, Yamaha marketing manager for the ATV and sideby- side group. "Despite the economic reasons behind the turn, and the industry-wide reasons, we're still moving along and doing fairly well."

Reggie Poe, sales manager of Hillbilly Cycle Sales in West Virginia, attributes strong big bore sales at his store to the demanding local terrain and the increasing popularity of the segment. "If it's 500cc or bigger, it sells a lot better than anything else," he said.

According to Poe, big bore customers tend to spend more on accessories and modifications, including wheels, tires, winches and exhaust systems. "The guys who normally come in looking for the smaller ATVs, or just midsize ... are more your hunters and farmers looking for something that's a piece of equipment," he says. "The guys looking for the big bores are jacking them up and putting [big wheels and tires] on them, some bling-bling and are going out in the middle of a mud hole. It's a different attitude."

Formula 4-Stroke® Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil

Limited edition models, with expensive painted plastic and cast wheels, have been another industry bright spot. "It's an odd thing ... when you're talking about a somewhat depressed industry," says Nessl. "The most expensive ones are selling well while the price-point friendly [units] are sitting on the floors a little longer than they should."

Formula 4-Stroke® Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil

AMSOIL Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil (AFF) provides superior protection and performance in high performance, recreational and work/utility ATVs. Its broad 0W- 40 viscosity range and wax-free formulation provide excellent protection in both hot and cold temperature extremes.