Seven Lessons of the Million Mile Van

Seven Amazing Lessons from the Million Mile Van

How can you double the remaining life of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, differential, and power steering?  That’s easy.  How can you triple your vehicle life?  Not hard.  How can you quadruple your car or truck’s life?  Simple: just learn how it has already been done, and duplicate it.  Below, the Million Mile Van provides a well documented example of how it was done, and we explain why it works.  Duplicating it is up to you – but we can help.

On May 8th of 2000, a business-owner providing a cross-country expediting service bought a new 1999 Chevrolet Express 3500 van, and began delivering shipments across the United States as an “expediter”. Several months later, after talking to another expedited freight shipper at a truckstop, he changed over all of his drivetrain fluids and lubricants to AMSOIL – with already 68,000 miles on his van. Over 900,000 miles later, with about a million miles on the van, the engine suddenly stopped running. John had to quickly swap his engine, but by this time he had become an AMSOIL dealer so he contacted AMSOIL, who paid to have the original engine shipped to a certified Lubrizol engine tear-down rater.

Frankly, this is one of the most valuable stories in automotive history. The report of the full engine teardown and measurement of the Million Mile Van engine components has become legendary in small circles. (Warning: the condition and photos of the inside of that Amsoil-protected engine are shocking.) But unfortunately, the big valuable lessons from the van’s life, which went on beyond 1.2M miles with the original untouched transmission, are not all obvious to most people who read the report. Plus, the story of the rear differential was a valuable nugget left out of the report. And sadly, the vast majority of vehicle owners have still never even heard of the Million Mile Van. (Several people you know would really appreciate it if you forwarded them a link to this page!)

So, from a former Senior OEM headquarters engineer, here are

Seven valuable lessons and proofs from the Million Mile Van:
AMSOIL provides 75% Better Protection 400x300_75ASL

  1. It’s not too late for your vehicle to change to AMSOIL lubricants and filters and get great advantages. The Million Mile Van used standard petroleum and factory lubricants, and standard filters, until AMSOIL synthetics were installed throughout the van with 68k miles on the odometer. And yet, in the engine teardown a million miles later, only three components were outside OEM tolerance for new parts. THREE components. Let’s eliminate the defective valve keepers which wore out “prematurely” because they were never hardened (the supplier’s quality system missed that required step), halting valve function and causing the engine to stop. The other two “worn” components were outside the OEM tolerance window by only 1%. One percent.  Based on the teardown results, the engine could have been reassembled with new valve keepers, and run another million miles without issue. And yet, the engine suffered for the first 68,000 miles with standard lubricants and filters.
  2. Transmissions do NOT have to fail. The van’s transmission received new AMSOIL transmission fluid and a new filter every 150k miles, and went beyond 1.2M miles without ANY repair work whatsoever.  Transmission replacements/rebuilds cost $1000 – 5000 and mean at least two days downtime.
  3. Differentials do NOT have to fail. The differential is a sub-story that was not included in the official report. But when I interviewed John and asked him about it, John reluctantly shared that he initially changed it over to AMSOIL Severe Gear synthetic oil at 68,000 miles but forgot to put it on his maintenance schedule. At about 470,000 miles, the needle bearings went out and had to be replaced. Following that repair to the differential, the next 700,000+ miles were traveled on the same 150k mile AMSOIL Severe Gear synthetic fluid change interval with the transmission – without any more differential problems.
    Rear Differential with upgraded aluminum coverFree Special Bonus: your differential should last 500k miles or more.  Here’s how to prevent diff failure
    Don’t imagine that this is a common occurrence!  I called one of my friends who is a GM headquarters engineer and relayed what I had discovered about the differential – because I wanted to get his opinion. When I told him that the differential went down at 470,000 miles on the odometer after a change to AMSOIL at 68,000 miles, he “lost it”: “that’s incredible – the differentials NEVER make it to 400,000 miles no matter how many times you change the fluid!” He couldn’t comprehend it – “that’s incredible… that’s absolutely amazing”.   [P.S. – what do you think are the odds that GM would want to use AMSOIL for their factory-fill on their differentials when the GM warranty ends at 100k miles or less?]  Differential rebuilds/replacements cost $600 – 3500 and mean at least two days downtime.
  4. AMSOIL’s premium synthetic engine oils do not cause catalytic converter failures. (There is an internet rumor to that effect, based purely on false assumptions because AMSOIL uses an optimal amount of ZDDP rather than a cheaper minimal amount that the API decided to create as a restricting maximum for Starburst trademark licensing, without SAE agreement.) We know it’s a non-issue because there was never any issue with the van’s CAT after more than a million miles with AMSOIL’s premium engine oils… and also because major state, regional and national fleets with hundreds of millions of miles have no catalytic converter “poisoning” happening when using AMSOIL’s premium synthetic engine oils.
  5. AMSOIL’s 25,000 mile oil-drain interval is REAL, and conservative: that’s exactly what John did with his Million-Mile Van. (p.s. 3,000 mile oil drains are fraud.)  Was John nervous about 25,000 mile oil changes?  YES, he was.  But he followed the recommended AMSOIL changeover procedure, and after his first 25,000 miles he sent in an oil sample for lab analysis: the lab said that the results showed he could have used the oil for 45-50,000 miles before it needed changed, just by changing the AMSOIL oil filter and topping it off!  His nervousness was gone.  What do you think?  Was his peace of mind (from oil sample analysis) a mistake, or was it worthwhile?  (The Texas State Highway patrol’s change to AMSOIL 20,000 – 25,000 mile oil changes over 7 years ago generated excellent results with substantial savings, which motivated many Texas municipalities to make the change as well.)
  6. AMSOIL’s synthetic greases are also high-performance. John used AMSOIL synthetic racing grease for his grease fittings, at every 25,000 mile engine-oil change. His first ball joint was replaced at over 400,000 miles!AMSOIL is devoted to protection
  7. The Million Mile Van demonstrates the true technology performance that’s available to anyone in the US or Canada, confirming the extensive test-data and many fleet studies using oil sampling analysis and engine tear-downs: AMSOIL lubricants and nanofiber filters virtually eliminate wear, reducing it in most cases by 90% or more.  If you have 75,000 miles or less on your vehicle, the Million Mile Van is proof that you can probably still get 500,000 – 1 million miles on it without major mechanical problems, if you follow a good AMSOIL-based plan and smart maintenance like we’ve outlined here. (Yes, we’d love to help you.  And no, AMSOIL’s premium synthetic engine oils do not cause gasket leaks or oil-seal leaks – that’s a myth.)

How is all this possible?  The bottom line is that the Million Mile Van was benefiting from the 3 greatest secrets of vehicle maintenance.

Here is YOUR critical question: if you knew that you could multiply the remaining life of your vehicle’s engine, transmission, differential and suspension system by THREE TIMES (yeh, that’s conservative) by changing to AMSOIL technologies, wouldn’t you want to do that while spending less time and money annually than you do now?

If you think you can get another 25,000 miles out of your vehicle, why not turn it into 75,000 miles and save up to pay cash for your next one?

Think about the real costs of your vehicle operation, and add up real savings. AMSOIL merely seems expensive because we are conditioned to look only at the price of a quart, and the price of a filter. Per mile annually, AMSOIL is usually a cheaper oil-change. On top of that savings, fleet and user vehicle changeover of the entire drivetrain (transmission, engine, and differential) usually results in fuel economy improvements of 3 to 10%. Take a few of your fuel receipts, average them, and make an annual estimate of your total fuel cost. Then multiply by 0.05, for 5%, as a conservative rough estimate of your fuel savings.

John’s Million Mile Van fuel-economy went up by 1 mpg, and his oil changes reduced by over 75%, netting him 0.2 cents/mile in oil and gas savings.  If you drive 15,000 miles a year using AMSOIL in your engine, differential and transmission, your equivalent total savings is about $300.

Finally, in most cases, John would have replaced his expediting van at least one or two times over that million or 1.2 million miles. How much money did he save in not buying one or two vans?  Yet at the same time, his reliability did not suffer!  John is convinced that AMSOIL was the secret enabling him to put over 1.2M miles on the van without missing a single delivery!

Did your company “farm out” fleet maintenance because it was getting too expensive to do it internally?   An AMSOIL approach changes those numbers dramatically.

Save up to 25 percent and get exclusive offers as an AMSOIL Preferred Customer PLUS exclusive help from a former OEM headquarters senior engineer

I challenge you:

Apply these seven lessons to your own fleet, regardless of size, and see how much time and money you save with the optimal designs of AMSOIL’s synthetic oils and filters!  For a simplified perspective, consider the 3 greatest secrets of vehicle maintenance. Share this page with friends, and if they’re skeptical they can go here.  Consider the secret of becoming a Preferred Customer through Ultimate Synthetic Oil to buy at wholesale, have it delivered to your house in roughly 3 days, and get our free personalized expertise for your vehicle, goals and needs.  Start here to find the real secrets in caring for your vehicle, and what products you need for it.  Or download your own AMSOIL e-catalog.

And if you have a fleet of dozens or hundreds of vehicles, consider this:
Since adopting AMSOIL synthetic lubrication and filtration technologies, Guardian Pest Control’s fleet quadrupled in size without adding an additional mechanic.  This again proves time savings, reduced failures, and far more reliable uptime with much less “fire drill” scrambling to compensate for “down” equipment. Those time savings also allow valuable increased staff resources to be aimed at improved customer response and profitability, at no additional cost!

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UltimateSyntheticOil promotes the AMSOIL Filtration and Lubrication Gold Standards in the United States and Canada

If you want to buy AMSOIL Products, visit our vehicle maintenance page, or the AMSOIL On-Line Store or download a clickable pdf e-catalog

If you are an AMSOIL user who thinks it’s time to share the secret with others, consider the huge and unique advantages of becoming an AMSOIL Dealer with OUR group.

AMSOIL oils, fluids, filters and fuel additives for cars, trucks, snowmobiles, marine watercraft, farming, construction, offroad and racing applications

AMSOIL has been in business since 1972 and was the first company in the world to develop an API (American Petroleum Institute) rated synthetic lubricant for automotive applications. They coined the phrase “extended drain intervals” 40 years ago with 25,000 mile drain intervals, and ever since then they have been defining the leading edge of lubrication technology, innovation and performance.  No other company in the world offers 25,000 and 35,000 mile oil changes, and AMSOIL guarantees their product performance. No-one else does that. AMSOIL is the Gold Standard in lubrication and filtration, and amazingly, their superior-performance products are cheaper to use.  The fact is, if you’re not using AMSOIL lubricants and filters, you’re wasting money.

We are here to help you and are at your service to assist you in your advanced technology lubrication and filtration needs.  We hope you will allow us to show you a proven better way.  We have many satisfied customers using AMSOIL products in their commercial, trucking, and fleet vehicles, as well as personal, family and recreational vehicles. And now, you know the AMSOIL secret, too.  Welcome to the AMSOIL family.

AMSOIL is the undisputed leader in synthetics………….banner2

Since 1972, AMSOIL Synthetic drivetrain LUBRICANTS have proven to be the highest performance engine oils, greases, transmission fluids, and hydraulic and differential gear oils on the market.
But the other key issue is nanofiber filtration
We cover oil filters, air filters and other fluid filters like NO-ONE else can.  AMSOIL offers the highest performance, most cost-effective, most comprehensive filter line on earth.  Consider air and oil…


Until now, Nanofiber filtration technology has been used exclusively in medical, aerospace, electronics manufacturing, and heavy duty applications, including the US ARMY Abrams M1 tank.   AMSOIL Ea Filters are the first and only filter line to bring this technology to the auto/light truck market.

EaO nanofiber oil filters provide unmatched full-flow filtering efficiency to 98.7 percent at 15 microns, and 50 percent at 7 microns.  This translates to a 70% reduction in engine wear rates, tripling remaining engine life while giving longer filter life and lower pressure drop for better cold-start performance: the only filtration that gives you the best performance in every category!  Compare that to the filters lining the auto-parts shelves, which don’t tell you their common 7,500 mile/6-month design life and either won’t tell you what micron level their efficiency rating is for, or they claim a micron particle size without stating an efficiency: deceptive, meaningless numbers.

Additionally, consider bypass filtration systems for commercial and fleet applications in cars and light, medium and heavy trucks which can filter particles down to less than one micron and are 89% efficient at 1 micronmaking oil changes virtually unnecessary and virtually eliminating engine wear.  (A standard full-flow oil filter can only filter to 20 microns with any reasonable efficiency, but 5-25 microns is widely accepted as the wear-particle size range.)  Easy to install, these oil filter systems have been proven by millions of miles of over-the road trucks, construction equipment and fleet service. And we use these on our personal diesel pickup trucks: my Duramax 2500HD has over 70,000 miles since the last oil drain, the oil analysis looks perfect, and the appearance of this diesel oil looks like a gas engine with 3,000 miles on the oil.


The MOST IMPORTANT filter on the M1A1 Abrams battle tank is its’ nanofiber air filter.On Patrol Abrams M1A1 Battle Tank beats the dust with Nanofiber Filtration Technology
The MOST Important filter on YOUR vehicle is also the air filter.

It’s far better, and easier, to keep wear particles out of the engine than it is to attempt filtering them out of the engine oil.  Yet filter companies and vehicle manufacturer’s are strangely silent about actual air filter performance and engine needs.  Now AMSOIL offers world-leading breakthrough Ea air filters with exclusive nanofiber technology.  Based on battlefield-proven air-induction systems used in military ground and air vehicles, this high-technology filtration is now available for consumer use!  Ea filters are guaranteed for 4 years, 100,000 miles.  The engineering rule of thumb for damaging wear particle size is 5 to 25 microns.  Incredibly, these filters are 100% efficient at removing particles of 3 microns, and are 80% effective at removing particles of a 1 micron size.  This means that NO WEAR PARTICLES CAN GET PAST OUR Ea AIR FILTERS!  AND, they’re less expensive to use than ANY other air filter.

For Power Sports applications, AMSOIL offers a line of oiled-foam filters.  These filters provide better performance than oiled-gauze air filters, and are used almost exclusively in most off-road applications including baja, dirt-track racing, and motocross.

For light to heavy trucks, both gas and diesel engines, AMSOIL’s partnership with Donaldson provides you with the best performance and most cost-effective air filtration systems in the world.  These include both Powercore and Nanofiber technology filters.  We have the full line of  Donaldson Filters Now Available , including nanofiber air, fuel, water, oil and hydraulic filters, with exclusive performance warranties (no one else in the industry offers filtration performance warranties).  Contact us for specific recommendations, or see our Diesel Page.


  • AMSOIL products saves you time and money.  With recommended extended drain intervals, AMSOIL performance typically costs LESS per year than conventional oil changes.
  • The only 25,000 mile/one-year motor oils in the world.
  • The only 25,000 mile/one-year engine oil filters in the world.
  • A vehicle lubrication solution with far less environmental impact, using an estimated 87% less oil and 5-10% less fuel !
  • The only oils and filters with a warranty for GUARANTEED performance!
  • Exceeds the most stringent performance specifications of all major U.S. and foreign automotive and truck manufacturers.
  • Provides up to four-times the wear protection of other motor oils.
  • Increases the mileage life of your vehicle.
  • Improves fuel economy.
  • Increases at-wheel horsepower.
  • Lowers transmission and differential operating temperatures and delivers better shifting, even in heavy towing.
  • Lowers fleet maintenance costs by lowering the costs of both scheduled maintenance, and mechanical repairs.
  • Lowers fleet capital costs by dramatically extending vehicle service-life.  (Fleet vehicle mileage typically extended 20 to 100%.)
  • Diesel oil and filtration products designed to deliver more than 1,000,000 miles for over-the-road trucks before engine overhaul.
  • Used by many national racing teams, fleets, police departments, fire departments, ambulance fleets, construction firms and trucking companies.



DMT Technical operates as part of a group of highly skilled team of OEM Engineers and Lubrication and Filtration Specialists.  In fact, we are the ONLY such group on the internet, as well as the largest AND fastest-growing AMSOIL Dealer organization in the nation.  You too, can join our group when you become an AMSOIL Dealer and take advantage of all that we offer as you use products in your own vehicles or begin your own AMSOIL business. You cannot find a more knowledgeable and skilled group of Dealers anywhere.

In addition, as a Dealer in our group you will receive exclusive unlimited product, technical and business support from the only group of Truck and Automotive Engineers and Lubrication Specialists on the net.  That’s priceless – yet free – vital support that can make a huge difference to a growing business.

We do not run our business purely on the internet. We also have numerous commercial, industrial, trucking, excavating, construction, logging, police, racing and many more accounts that we support and service on a regular basis. We have several fully stocked warehouses and fully equipped shop facilities. This provides us with excellent knowledge of the products, equipment and the business and the ability to respond immediately to any of your needs. We will use this knowledge and experience to help you get started so you too can achieve your goals.

We possess the skills, desire and knowledge to answer questions, solve problems, improve efficiency, reduce downtime, maintenance costs and increase the durability and life of all of your vehicles.

Read what our thrilled customers have to say about us. Read through our website. Contact us with any questions. If you decide to become an AMSOIL Dealer you will be joining, in our opinion, the most skilled AMSOIL group there is. We will help you get started and provide you with the tools and information in order to be successful in this business or with technical and product assistance to use AMSOIL products in your own vehicles.

To get additional information:

We offer several options to receive information on AMSOIL. We welcome the opportunity to work with you personally as your servicing AMSOIL Dealer.  Our AMSOIL Dealer Group is led by former OEM Truck/Automotive Engineers and Lubrication Specialists with over 20 years experience each, who can provide you with unparalleled and valuable advice. This exceptional benefit is unavailable elsewhere. 

Please, and we will send you exclusive comprehensive info on products, technical and business factors. If you are serious about AMSOIL products and the business opportunity this is the best option. You will receive extensive technical and business support from both myself and my other OEM Detroit, Michigan Truck/Automotive Engineers and Lubrication Specialists with over 20 years experience each. We look forward to helping you learn about AMSOIL.

Or for a smaller, general information package (which includes a catalog and Dealer application) you can request information via any of the links below.  Please note that your information is always held in confidence per our Privacy Policy, and will never be sold, loaned or otherwise distributed.

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To visit the AMSOIL Corporate Website for Product and Business Opportunity Information

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AMSOIL United States and Canada the Filtration and Lubrication Gold Standards

Brian Dobben - former Senior OEM Engineer, USA and Canada Amsoil Synthetic Oil dealer - premium oils and filters

Ultimate Synthetic Oil – AMSOIL Products

Garner, North Carolina  27529

Phone: (419) 551-4792