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Comparison of SynLube to Mobil 1

Here are comparisons of

SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life®

to "other" Brands of Synthetic Oils.

Mobil 1

Mobil 1


Mobil 1 is a brand name developed by the Mobil Oil Company and is now marketed by ExxonMobil.

The brand now includes semi-synthetic motor oils, oil filters, synthetic grease, transmission fluids, and gear lubricants

Original Concept

In 1970's while Multigrade Motor Oils were available, the majority of Motor Oil sold was SAE 30 Monograde with SAE 40 also being popular in hot climates and for older oil consuming engines.

The predominant oil change interval recommendation was "3-months or 3,000-miles", which ever occurs first.

The main idea behind "synthetic" Motor Oil was, that a single multi-grade Motor Oil can be used in all vehicles and in all climatic conditions, without frequent oil changes; this was the "Original Concept" behind the "1".

Meaning that ONLY ONE (1) Motor Oil will be needed for absolutely ALL Applications, anywhere !


Mobil oil Corporation was the first company to introduce lubricant based on PAO basestock chemistry.

In 1973 Mobil began marketing of synthetic motor oil for use in automotive engines in Europe.

Mobil 1 was first test marketed in USA in August of 1974 as a Multi-grade SAE 5W-20 viscosity "Synthesized Engine Lubricant".

After initial test marketing in few localities in USA, the test marketing was expanded to 8 major cities in September 1975.

The Mobil 1 was introduced nationally in USA in April 1976.

The initial version based on PAO basestock chemistry was advertised and promoted in 1976 as "The oil that saves you gas".

1976 Mobil 1 print ad

The SAE 5W-20 viscosity was about 32 years ahead of it's time as none of the 1970's engines were designed to utilize such low viscosity Motor Oil.

In 1977 Mobil Oil dropped the retail price from previously over US$5.00 per US Quart to just US$3.95 and added 15,000-miles extended mileage use claim, which however was limited to just one year.
And the advertising slogan now gained: "...saves you oil changes".
Further the product was now labeled as "Synthetic Motor Oil", as apparently very expensive market research in focus groups all over North America has shown that consumers on average did not have any clue what "Synthesized Engine Lubricant" was to be used for.

1977 Mobil 1 print ad

Also in 1977 Mobil 1 distribution was extended to Canada, Japan and additional countries in Western Europe.

Delvac 1, also PAO based Motor Oil, intended for heavy truck fleets was also introduced in 1977 in USA.

While Mobil Oil spent reportedly over $40 million in advertising and promotion of Mobil 1, the oil quickly developed reputation for high oil consumption, premature engine wear, and causing oil leaks in older engines.

Mobil Oil in response to these problems reformulated the Mobil 1 in 1980 into higher viscosities such as SAE 5W-30 and even SAE 15W-50 for "performance" vehicles.
This formulation was referred to as "Second Generation" was supplemented with Neopentyl Polyol Ester (PE).
The PE improved additive solubility and increased seal swell, thus combating the annoying oil leaks.

In 1981 for the First time Mobil 1 Motor Oil shows the SF-CC designation on the top of the oil can, but the Mobil 1 is NOT "API Licensed product" and does NOT feature the "API donut".

1981 Mobil 1 top

The PAO basestock formula also proved inadequate in keeping additives in suspension, so by 1984 the "100% Synthetic Motor Oil*" was "asterisked" on the "front" label; while fine print on "back label" revealed: "Exclusive of additive carrier oil ".

1984 Mobil 1 rear label detail

Now with the substantial addition of petroleum to keep the additives in suspension the extended mileage use claim was now extended to 25,000-miles, which however was still limited to only one year.
It was also "asterisked" in all print advertising, with yet another disclaimer, that informed NEW and DIESEL car owners to follow the manufacturers recommended oil and filter change intervals.

1984 Mobil 1 print ad
1984 Mobil 1 print ad Disclaimer Detail

Ever wondered why Mobil 1 was originally marketed in very nice shiny "chrome" looking all metal cans, while all the other oils were supplied in cans made from "paraffin impregnated paper" with thin metal top and bottom plates ?
Well, the PAO was a very good solvent for paraffin and all the test marketing batches of Mobil 1 made back in 1974 leaked in just few weeks or days. The fail rate was 100%; eventually !
The use of such "fancy" all metal oil cans - which were so durable that they are still surviving in 2013 without any rust or leaks (and we do have few of them), was very very expensive. They were costly to make, and were not prone to cost reduction with volume increase, just the opposite the prices of the material have reportedly almost quadrupled since the first introduction of the Mobil 1 metal can. It was not just the metal can that was expensive, the printing of the "label" information directly onto the ultra smooth metal was both problematic and very expensive as well.

Mobil Oil also had another problem, after very optimistic projections for the sales of Mobil 1 have not materialized, Mobil Oil had excess unused capacity for PAO production. That is until someone at Mobil Oil got a really brilliant idea of how to use up all that unneeded PAO, that is make plastic bottles out of it !

This was then a very radical idea, that was perceived as "really stupid waste of rare chemicals" - to make a throw-away plastic bottle that would last up to hundred years in a land fill; well just "insane" !

But guess what, more than any influence of converting motorists to use "Synthetic Oil" in their engines, Mobil Oil has managed to forever change the oil packaging industry!

Of course today almost everywhere in the world all oils are sold in "plastic bottles and jugs"; thanks to Mobil 1.

So unintended consequence of slow adoption of "Synthetic Motor Oil" based on PAO for use in engines, resulted in 100% adoption of using plastics made with PAO for a packaging of technologically obsolete petroleum products. Without "really trying" - it universally succeeded, and is still "the way to do it"; till today.

The Mobil 1 in a round plastic bottle was introduced in 1985.

1985 Mobil 1 print ad

Also in 1985 Mobil Oil produced various advertisements that border lined on "truth" and implied what was an absolute fiction; such as the use of Mobil 1 in "Space Shuttle Engines".

1985 Mobil 1 print ad

In 1986 Mobil, only in Europe introduces Rally Formula Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil: SAE 5W-50

Mobil's synthetic piston engine oil was used in the historic Voyager lightweight aircraft flight in 1986.

In 1987 Mobil 1 for aircraft called Mobil AV 1 is now available commercially in USA at all stations that sell Mobil Aviation Gasoline.
A one-quart "easy-pour" "sky-blue" bottle available as SAE 20W-50 Motor Oil sells for around US$5.

1992 Mobil AV 1 bottle

This "100% SYNTHETIC* PISTON ENGINE OIL" was also "asterisked" on the "front" label; while fine print on "back label" revealed: "Exclusive of additive carrier oil ".

1987 Mobil AV 1 bottle rear detail

In 1988 all the claims about extended mileage use of Mobil 1 and prolonging the oil drain intervals were gone from the back label as well as from all the print advertising.

1988 Mobil 1 print ad

In 1989 Mobil introduces Synthetic Gear Oil (GO) SAE 75W-90 and while devoid of the "asterisk" on the "front" label; fine print on "back label" revealed: "Exclusive of additive carrier oil ".

1989 Mobil 1 GO bottle rear detail

1989 also sees the change in the packaging and the "round" bottle is now being replaced with the "easy-pour" bottle that was first used for the Mobil AV 1.
Now the "Formula" is being sold in these bottles, which are silver-gray in color. Any claims about extended mileage use of Mobil 1 and prolonging the oil drain intervals were gone from the back label as well as from all the print advertising.

1989 Mobil 1 print ad

In 1992 Mobil introduces Advanced Formula Mobil 1 motor oil: SAE 5W-30, 10W-30 and 15W-50

The most notable failure of Mobil 1 to protect engines that used leaded gasoline was in Aviation Piston Engine applications, where sludge build-up in engines and variable propellers is well documented.

1992 Mobil AV 1 bottle

As a result on June 10th, 1995 Mobil Oil announced that it had decided to permanently withdraw its Mobil AV 1 - 100% synthetic oil from the market, and was recalling existing stocks of AV 1 from its distributors.

In 1996 Mobil Oil started to give Mobil 1 to any interested Automobile OEM for FREE and even paid for costs of Engine Oil Cap with the Mobil 1 logo on it, as long as they agreed to permit use of their cars in Mobil 1 advertising campaigns.

PORSCHE, however initially ONLY in USA, was the First OEM to sign such agreement.

1996 Mobil 1 print ad

Also in 1996 Mobil Oil started their first publically accessible website:

Since the merger with Mobil Oil in 1999, ExxonMobil markets the Mobil 1 Brand Lubricants.

In 1999 ExxonMobil introduces Mobil 1 "Tri-synthetic" version of their motor oil
The third "secret" ingredient was Alkylated Naphthalene (AN).

The FREE for all giveaway not just continued but intensified under ExxonMobil brand management of Mobil 1

Product that was previously unthinkable, such as Mobil 1 "semi-synthetic" Motor Oil was introduced in 2000.

This also in 2000 is followed by Mobil 1 SAE 0W-30 RACING Synthetic motor oil.

But for ExxonMobil having multitude of different viscosity grades (counting 7 by this time) was not enough !

The next additions were: Mobil 1 for "older cars"; Mobil 1 for SUV; Mobil 1 for V-twin Motorcycles; etc.

By 2000 most print advertisements were now almost totally devoid of any performance and durability claims, and only featured the FREE uses of Mobil 1 by various racing teams, and Automobile OEMs.

2000 Mobil 1 print ad

In 2002 Mobil 1 becomes a Synthetic motor oil with SuperSyn anti-wear technology.


Mobil 1 introduces "Extended Performance" Synthetic motor oil with 15,000 mile advertised service life.


Mobil 1 adds "disclaimers" onto the back label of "Extended Performance" Motor Oil with 15,000 mile advertised service life; and now advises users to follow the OEM oil drain intervals (same as for petroleum oil) on all vehicles under warranty.

In 2008 ExxonMobil introduces Mobil 1 High Mileage SAE 10W-30 Motor Oil for "older" cars.

2008 Mobil 1 print ad


Mobil 1 adds additional "disclaimers" for "Extended Performance" Motor Oil with 15,000 mile advertised service life; and as per information published on now requires users to change the motor oil at least once every 12 months.


Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck SAE 5W-40 Mobil 1 Racing SAE 0W-50 Mobil 1 Racing SAE 0W-30 Mobil 1 High Mileage SAE 5w-20 Mobil 1 ESP Formula SAE 5W-40 Mobil 1 ESP Formula SAE 5W-30 Mobil 1 High Mileage SAE 5W-30 Mobil 1 High Mileage SAE 10W-40 Mobil 1 High Mileage SAE 10W-30 Mobil 1 Extended Performance SAE 5W-30 Mobil 1 Extended Performance SAE 10W-30 Mobil 1 SAE 5W-30 Mobil 1 SAE 5W-20 Mobil 1 SAE 10W-30 Mobil 1 SAE 0W-40 Mobil 1 SAE 15W-50 Mobil 1 SAE 20W-50 V-Twin Mobil 1 SAE 10W-40 Racing 4T Mobil 1 Extended Performance SAE 5W-20

This is the variety of Mobil 1 Motor Oils available in USA !

Remember the "Original Concept" ?


This for sure is a case of deja vu !!!

Proven protection for 1 full year*
*Or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Introducing the once-a-year oil change. New Mobil 1 Annual Protection ultimate full synthetic motor oils feature breakthrough lubricant technology that provides protection for one year between oil changes or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first - guaranteed.**

** Please follow the recommendations in your owner's manual while your car is under warranty.

2017 Mobil 1 Annual Protection

Apparently someone forgot that Mobil 1 had oil that lasted 25,000 miles way back in 1984 !!!

Website went on line in 2001, a website solely dedicated to the Mobil 1 brand, however its performance is rather surprisingly marginal as for example web traffic ratings are about 23 times better.

When you consider that ExxonMobil spends millions per month on advertising the web traffic to is surprisingly low!

As per available data from a reliable source visitors to the site spend approximately 25 seconds on each page view and a total of 36 seconds on the site during each visit.
32% of visits to are referred by search engines.
The site has a bounce rate of roughly 72% (i.e., 72% of visits consist of only one page view).


Over the years Mobil 1 was reformulated many times and various sub-trademarks were used to reflect the "change", such as:

Oil Change Interval

This is exact copy of current recommendation from Mobil 1 website:

Oil change intervals can be as short as 3,000 miles or as long as 15,000 miles on some new cars. We recommend that you follow the oil and filter change frequencies shown in your owner's manual.
With Mobil 1's high-performance reserves, you can have the confidence to go the full mileage or time frame recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Mobil 1 is especially suitable for the latest vehicles with extended drain intervals or vehicles with oil monitoring systems that vary oil drain intervals.

Oil Change Interval - Disclaimers

This is exact copy of current disclaimers listed on Mobil 1 website:

  1. an oil change must be completed every twelve (12) months.
  2. the 15,000 miles is only applicable to Mobil 1 Extended Performance (10,000 miles for all other Mobil 1 products)
  3. Be advised that if your vehicle is covered by a warranty, you should follow the vehicle's oil life sensor or the oil change interval recommended in your owner's manual to avoid a disruption in your vehicle warranty. Follow your owner's manual if the vehicle is operated in any of the following severe services: racing or commercial applications including taxis, limousines, etc.; frequent towing or hauling; extremely dusty or dirty conditions; or under excessive idling conditions.


ExxonMobil offers two Limited Warranties:

For Mobil 1

For Mobil 1 Extended Performance

What are the inherent problems ?

Realistically based on all the current recommendations and Warranty disclaimers from ExxonMobil related to Mobil 1 use, one should drain it as often as conventional petroleum motor oil.

Therefore the cost of using Mobil 1 is about 2 to 3 times higher per mile than the use of conventional petroleum oil.

With the exception of vehicle operation in extreme hot or cold climatic conditions, there are no apparent or proven advantages over petroleum motor oil.

While in 1974 Mobil 1 may have been the pioneer in the promotion of Synthetic Lubricants to the motoring public, today as part of ExxonMobil it is on par in performance with conventional current API service category oils, but at triple their price.


Mobil 1 Synthetic Oils currently cost over $6 per U.S. Quart and up to $10 per U.S. Quart.

For current Retail Prices for Mobil 1 Motor Oil see our dedicated web page:
Synthetic Oil Prices in USA


Each Motor Oil Change generates 4 to 6 Quarts of Used Motor Oil and 1 Used Oil Filter!
Over the useful life of most vehicles about one Drum (55 gallons) of Dangerous Used Motor Oil are generated, which need to be disposed of properly. In many States in USA Used Motor Oil is classified as "Hazardous Waste".

ExxonMobil does not offer any collection or reprocessing for Mobil 1 and therefore it must be disposed of in the same way as conventional petroleum motor oil.

Use of Mobil 1 therefore does not offer any environmental benefit over the use of conventional petroleum motor oil.

Health and Safety

Since about 1990 all bottles of Mobil 1 products have following WARNING on them:

Continuous contact with used oil has caused skin cancer in laboratory animals.
In case of contact wash thoroughly with soap and water.


In USA 4% of consumers use Synthetic oil in over 9 million vehicles
(60% of them use Mobil 1, as per ExxonMobil claim)


$70 to $105 per oil change
$1,600 to $2,400 per vehicle life.

A premium of $600 to $1,400 per vehicle life !

(when compared to Premium Quality Conventional petroleum Motor Oil with same API Service Category ratings and same oil change interval)

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While ExxonMobil does not publicly release any sales data for Mobil 1 branded products, there is very little doubt by Lubricant Industry experts that indeed Mobil 1 is the most recognized "Synthetic" Oil Brand in the World.

At least in USA, Mobil 1 products are found in every Auto Parts Store, every Mass Merchandiser and even at many Service Station Convenience Stores as well as most Truck Stops.

So as far as volume of sales and proliferation in USA, Mobil 1 "synthetic" Motor Oil, is the leading brand.

Is Mobil 1 profitable for ExxonMobil ?
May be, but it is actually doubtful that even the ExxonMobil CFO knows for sure, and there of course are no verifiable facts as to sales volume or profitability ever published in Annual Reports for ExxonMobil shareholders.

API SA Click the Left button for link to web page that explains the different types of oils that are labeled as SYNTHETIC even if they are actually made from petroleum crude!
And how such "deceptive" practice had evolved and why it is propagated by "marketers" of Motor Oil.

SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life®

Allows Extended Oil Drain Intervals ...

... or NO Drain !

What is it ?

SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life® are 100% man-made Syn-Sols and NO petroleum is used in the production.
Five different Synthetic Fluids provide for superior performance and three different colloidal solids in sub-micronic size provide the actual lubrication and surface separation. Since this mixture is chemically inert the oil can be used for up to 50 times longer then conventional lubricant. That usually means NO oil changes over the useful life of most vehicles.

What are the inherent problems ?

HIGH Production cost is the only relative disadvantage as typical Syn-Sol costs are in $20 to $35 range per quart.
The rare chemical compounds that are used for production are available only in a very limited quantities.

Why is it used ?

The superior lubricity reduces friction and therefore significantly improves mechanical efficiency.

In gasoline car engine tests the fuel savings ranged from 4.5% to 6%and in diesel truck engine tests the fuel savings were from 5% to 8%, when compared to ASTM HR-2 (SAE 20W-30) Petroleum Motor Oil.

In NORMAL operation in most vehicles you can safely drive for up to 15 years, 150,000 miles or 4,000 engine hours without an oil change!

That means convenience and savings.


In USA about 67,750 customers use

SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life® in over 192,000 vehicles.

Since the start of marketing of SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life® for Automotive use in USA in 1985, it has been successfully used in over 750,000 light duty and over 120,000 Heavy-Duty (Diesel) engines Worldwide.


Typical price is in $20 to $32 per quart range.

See PRICE LIST for current pricing.


$150 to $260 per oil change
$350 to $900 per vehicle life (with ADD OIL).

SAVING of $1,250 to $1,500 per vehicle life !

(when compared to Mobil 1 or Mobil 1 Extended Performance)


While each Motor Oil Change generates 4 to 6 Quarts of Used Motor Oil and 1 Used Oil Filter.

SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life® can be returned for Credit or Refund for the volume returned to SynLube Incorporated!

Over the useful life of most vehicles about one Gallon of Used Motor Oil is generated, which when returned to SynLube Incorporated for re-processing eliminates the need for proper disposal.

The generation of "Hazardous Waste" is therefore completely eliminated when SynLube™ Lube‑4‑Life® is used instead of Motor Oil (both Synthetic or Conventional).

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