Oil Analyst Sites.

ocelot1ocelot1 Member Posts: 101
edited March 2014 in Honda
I was wondering if you people who use oil analysis could compile a list of sites to use on the intenet. I'm willing to take the leap into analysiszm. Tony


  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Their sample report only seems to list acceptable and unacceptable. It does not seem to give the actual ppm for each wear metal.

    Is that sample correct or is more information provided then just acceptable. Love their warranty program, how can one go wrong with oil analysis and 4000 mile changes. They cannot lose!!!!
  • ocelot1ocelot1 Member Posts: 101
  • bcarter3bcarter3 Member Posts: 145
    Reports list PPM and they explain their findings in laymen's language. $18.75 per sample.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    After figuring I'd never bother to have my oil tested, I picked up an oil test kit I found locally ($20) ... but it was the Titan kit and I see that the information I'll get is somewhat vague. Evidently, they are trying to sell the idea that you can diagnose problems ahead of time using careful analysis of the oil. This is only partly true.

    I see their point, but I won't be a regular user as it is far too expensive. Plus, I'll want more detailed results if/when I go this route again. Only with actual numbered data can you track the trends properly.

    Seeing that I use Redline oil and will be draining it after only around 7,000 miles, the results should be just about perfect. I guess we'll see ...

    --- Bror Jace
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    What will you do if say the irons come back high. (Hope this doesn't happen) Do an analysis on new Redline, or switch to Mobil 1?? And do another analysis?? I dunno-ignorance may be bliss-too much information that you can't really do anything about. I think one of the most useful things it can tell you is the glycol content. However monitoring your coolant level could show you that. Lead is OK because bearings aren't that out of control-especially if you can do them without pulling engine.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Hard to read much into one analysis as every engine wears differently. A sample of RedLine out of the container probably has some wear metals in it as well as silicon. So, unless those are known it is difficult to know what your engine is doing. Also true of additive package. Thus, analsyis is TREND analysis. After say 6 analysis results can you see where your engine is going and what is normal wear. Plus, some values are constants and others are relative. Iron level at 15pp for 3000 miles is great and so is 45ppm at 9000 miles. No abnormal wear. Now, total solids as a % of volume at <.5% is fine at 3000 but 5% at 9000 would be way too high. Silicon at 30ppm at 3000 is fine, but most labs flag anything over 35 ppm of silicon regardless of mileage.

    I usually sample the OEM oil at first change which is always high in silicon (gaskets etc) and some wear metals as engine is breaking in. Takes abouot 20,000 miles for particle counts to calm down
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    adc100 and armtdm,

    The reason I considered doing an analysis was because of some info I read on an Amsoil jobber's site. He portrays some serious problems with a couple Redline samples as determined by analysis. You can take a look at what I'm talking about here:


    Now, I know it's just one site and anyone can say anything on the 'net and some of what's out there (maybe a lot) are outright lies. What I read also goes against all the anecdotal evidence I have ... the most powerful of which is that so many serious racers swear by Redline Oil. Given that Redline is this guy's competitor and given that I'm not sure why I should be concerned by the presence of molybdenum (an excellent high-pressure wear preventative) in my motor oil, I got kind of spooked when I saw his data. It shows Redline not only not being a super-premium oil, but seemingly 'defective'.

    So, I'm going to see if Titan flags anything on their report and last night I sent away for a Blackstone Labs kit. Hopefully I'll get that one in time for an oil change planned for the 8th or 9th of December. Filling 2 - 4oz bottles shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

    The results should be interesting in a number of ways. Will Redline show any obvious degradation? Will the two testing companies more or less agree with each other? When I get the results I'll post them here and ya'll can see and comment.

    If the Redline motor oil shows any serious degradation (TBN number, etc ...), then the 5W30 I'll be putting in my car in another week or so will probably be the last I'll buy. I'll simply switch back to Valvoline Synpower or Mobil1 for this as well as all future motors and use Redline strictly as a gear oil. Of course, I'll be sharing this data with them if it looks really bad. >;^)

    My car runs very well and I know I'm not losing coolant. The car went the first 90-100,000 without needing a drop of top-off oil after an oil change but in the last 10-15,000 miles, consumption has increased to about 1 quart every 7,000 miles. I'm currently at 111,000 miles.

    armtdm, I hear what you're saying about a single test not meaning much but I'm not really willing to have every sample of my oil tested ... it's just too expensive and I really don't mind changing my oil & filter twice each year. I only have 1 car to worry about, for the most part. I'm really doing this to see if there are any obvious problems with Redline's street motor oils. It's useful for me to pay $20-40 for a couple tests to give me piece of mind ... or to tell me not to pay Redline's premium prices and stick with the mass-market brands I already know work well.

    I hope I'm just jumping at shadows ... but we should see soon enough.

    --- Bror Jace

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Just looked at the site you referenced. He should not be posting that stuff after only one sample! First, the only scary point to me was the low TBN which I would question. The other numbers are meaningless based upon my 9 years of analysis results on at least 7 different cars and reams of print outs. Here is why. We don't know whether these wear metals are normal for this engine. They could be perfectly normal,. every engine is different in how it wears, non of my analysis reports on different engines are similar. So 45 ppm of iron, hell, for a new engine this may actually be low but it is certainly not high. I have had several reports with at least that amount of iron. Now if you see the iron content going up and the silicon level is high you know you have wear. High silicon with no wear is no issue. Again, to me the levels posted are not high. I currently test 5 cars, at least one has iron below 10 ppm consistently at 7,500 miles. Another, will be in the 20-30 ppm range consistently etc. As to the moly, well, RedLine may use this more then others. I use Amsoil which has less the <.5 of moly consistently in my samples although I did have one last year with a much higher number.
    Personally I think RedLine is a great oil, for me too expensive and hard to get but I do use their gear oil as it performs better then Amsoil.
  • bobistheoilguybobistheoilguy Member Posts: 270
    as armtdm mentioned, a base line is needed if oil analysis is to be performed.

    a good example of why this is needed is that some oils actually use silcon as a anti foam additive. so higher levels of silicon isn't always a bad thing but to know for sure, u must do more than one tests as he pointed out.

    as for redline, the mos2 used is a great barrier lubricant but because of the excessive amount they use, in long extended oil drain ranges you'll find it can cause higher levels of oxidation thus depleteing the tbn faster. which i suspect was the case here since i could not see the report u were reffering to i'm haveing to guess from your statements.(they apparently pulled that page) one reason it works well for racers is they never run thier oil 3-5-or 7500 miles. they change it long before the base oil has time to be attacked by the acids and blowby gases in race engines. this one reason why what works for racers isn't a good indication that it will work for normal duration oil changes in personal cars.

    bob in jville.

    another oil analysis company that provides personal information about your report as well as the report and not a vague computer print out is dyson analysis.

    here is the site.


  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Thanks armtdm, for the vote of confidence in Redline and pointing out the potential problems with that guy's data. That info DID spook me a little, though, and I don't mind spending a little to verify that the oil I put in my car is actually as good as its enviable reputation (and price tag) suggests.

    I remember someone else posting oil sample results on this forum over a month ago and they had an American V-8 which showed some high levels of iron, etc ... (if memory serves). I think part of the 'problem' lies with the large, US auto manufacturers. They've known for quite a while that the older V-8 engine designs are quite robust and often outlast the rest of the car. So, some mechanics have told me that they've skimped on their blocks and machining since the 1980s. While the basic V-8 design remains quite reliable, less-precise machining/castings could easily account for higher counts of particulates in the oil.

    The only oil analysis my Honda Civic's gotten so far is me looking into the container I just drained the oil into and swishing it around as if I were panning for gold in the middle of some stream. I'm looking for tiny metallic flecks like I've seen in other's used oil before (sometimes heavy concentrations!) but so far, I've never seen the same in my own. >;^)

    Thanks Bob, for your input. Redline goes on and on about tailoring their street and race oils differently so I'd assume they'd take moly's side effects into account when they came up with their street formulas. I guess we'll see ...

    Also, it's possible someone dumped their racing oil in a street-driven car.

    --- Bror Jace
  • ocelot1ocelot1 Member Posts: 101
    Well I'm in the process of trieing some of these sites,I'm sending samples to two different labs to how they vary if any. Thanks for all the info.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Really interested to see if the two labs give different results. Please post when you get them
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    Brorjace, read your post a couple back about the 100k hurdle (he he!)
    You said that the vehicle had previously not used much if any oil but recently had started using some, You may want to check the plugs just to compare them to see if all look the same or if there is just one that is carbon'ed up more than the others...would let you know if you have a single issue or just normal wear. I've always figured that Bessie needed a stiffer (thicker) drink after the hurdle anyway....
    I'd also agree that for the oil analysis to do ANY good it would have to get a baseline and be done routinely so one could track the performance of the oil control that is being watched....and if any warranty questions (or soon after warranty questions) came up the history of the tests would be some good (probably required) evidence if any oil questions came up, mfg'rs may say you "spiked the oil and caused some kind of damage ...)
    see y'all
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Rando, I'm not really looking to blame Redline or any other oil company for the oil consumption in my vehicle which is merely at 1 quart in about 6-7,000 miles. Not bad for a car with over 100,000 miles on it. Some vehicles are triple that when new. When I recently pulled the plugs for cleaning and gapping, they all looked very clean and dry.

    I thought I started to notice some consumption last winter with Valvoline Synpower 5W30 ... but it was so slight that it might have been the inaccuracy of reading the dipstick. I switched to Pennzoil dino 10W30 for 20 days (to clean it out) and then dumped that stuff. Went back to Valvoline Synpower 5W30 for a few months (4,500 miles) and the slight oil consumption was no longer in doubt ... but the car was leaving a fine oil slick on the bottom of the pan now so I couldn't tell if it was burning or leaking. I switched to Redline 10W30 in July and I have added a quart of Redline since then. The evidence of slight 'leak' dried up completely but consumption remained about the same. The oil level is currently in the middle of the two marks and if I wasn't about to change my oil in another week, I'd probably add another several ounces to bring it up to max. Just so you know, my Civic's capacity is only 4.0 quarts, 3.5 quarts for a change including the filter.

    I'm really just trying to make sure that Redline is actually worth the extra money I'm spending on it. If I get some warning signs that show the oil is overdue for a change after 'only' 5 months and 7,000 miles in my motor, I'll simply switch back to something else this spring like Mobil 1 or Valvoline Synpower ... whichever I can find on sale. If consumption increases, I might abandon synthetic altogether in favor of Valvoline Max-Life for the remainder of the vehicle's life.

    I'll probably only keep it another year or two max anyway. Despite the fact that the car runs flawlessly, I've had the itch for something faster for years ... >;^)

    --- Bror Jace
  • gregb882gregb882 Member Posts: 75
    Did you use the Pennzoil dino oil to clean out your Civic engine for any particular reason other than it was less expensive and you were going to dump it in a short time? Thanks
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    And to add to the previous question,,,how dirty was the PENZZZ after the 20 days?
    You're right about the consumption not being bad, not bad at all really for using 5w/10w-30 especially..I was saying at that age a little thicker oil may be about due anyway, but it doesn't seem like it's a problem anyhow, just a point to ponder,,,,
    You want to go faster? hey my truck goes all the way up to 60, even better downhilllllll
    see y'all
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Rando, to answer your question, the Pennzoil dino was an earthy amber after only 20 days ... evidence that I had some dark slime hiding inside my motor somewhere. I'm sure I still have some there even today ... I just don't want to go to extreme measures to remove it.

    Well, I changed my oil (at 5 months and 7,200 miles) and got a sample for Titan. It'll be on its way Monday. Let's see how quickly they get back to me. Not only will they send you your results in the mail, but they'll also fax them to you as well. They stipulated that I needed a sample fresh out of the pan. Since I already had their kit, this was easy to accomplish.

    I wrote to Blackstone Labs 10 days ago and they are back-logged with sample test kit requests. They said I could take a sample ahead of time ... and send it to them when I received their kit, presumably some time in the near future. I was careful to use a clean container (a clean and dry vitamin bottle - no residue) and I'll be sure to shake it up well when I transfer it to Blackstone's sample bottle.

    The difference between the two procedures was interesting ... and a little odd.

    --- Bror Jace
  • zr2randozr2rando Member Posts: 391
    My truck capacities shows that engine oil is 5 qts (99 s10 ZR2 p/u 4.3v6), Until the other day I thought it was the same as my older Blazer which is 4.5 qts. Up until the last oil change I was adding 4.5 at change time and it was always slightly below the top of range (no oil burning so stays that high during change interval)..
    Couple weeks back I forgot and put full 5 qts in and ran it to check for leaks, and realized I was slightly over full...
    Looked clear on the dipstick when I checked it, but I thought I'd drain a little just to see how much overfill there really was (how much was staying in the motor even though I really let it drain until it drips no more. It holds about 1/3 of a qt in the motor it seems, and the stuff I drained into a mayo jar actually had some relatively dark amber color to it just from that 2-3 minutes of running...
    You probably did a real good thing letting the oil clean up for the 20 days.
    I think I'm gonna add some CD-2 detergent for the last 1000 miles of this change ...the truck has 45000 miles on it now, was using CastrolGTX before and Havoline from now on
    see ya
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I got my oil test lab results back from Titan Labs. They have a neat feature where they will fax AND snail-mail the results to you. During this interval I used one Filtech OEM Honda filter (the last one I had).

    I know these results are fairly vague and could even be described as 'dumbed-down' but they look promising nonetheless:


    Car: 1995 Honda Civic DX Coupe
    Engine 1.5L SOHC, 16V
    Mileage: 111,204
    Oil: Redline 10W30
    Miles on sample: 7,230
    Days on sample: July 10 - December 9

    Oil weight within limits? = Yes
    Water in oil? = No
    Fuel in oil? = No
    Anti-freeze in oil? = No

    All the metals tested for were within the "Acceptable" rating: chromium, copper, iron, lead, tin, aluminum, silicon (dirt).


    The other possible ratings for metals were "Borderline" and "Critical" but they didn't apply to my oil sample, thankfully.

    I did finally get a test kit from Blackstone Labs. Right now, they are back logged with requests and have about a 2 1/2 week delay in shipping out the kits.

    So, I've sent a sample of the same oil to Blackstone Labs for testing. It'll be interesting to see a more detailed analysis of this sample ... and see if their numbers agree with Titan's ratings.

    --- Bror Jace
  • mdecampsmdecamps Member Posts: 115
    I have had an analysis done through Titan labs. You have to write on your form that you want them to send you a "PPM Report." This is the report with actual numbers on it instead of the "dummy" report. Give them a call, you may still be able to get it for that analysis. I have a sample of one if you would like me to scan it and email it to you.

  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Thanks Mdecamps, I looked carefully before I sent it but I didn't see that option. Are you sure they're still doing it?

    I got my Blackstone results in the mail on Saturday. Wow, those guys are fast. I'll type them up and post them later today or tonight but overall they're pretty good.

    --- Bror Jace
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    Blackstone Lab results on the same oil sample:

    Honda 1.5L 4-cyl
    Redline 10W30 oil
    Filtech OEM Honda filter
    7,232 Mile Interval (July to December)

    During the interval I used 1 quart of Redline 5W30 to top off the level. Crankcase capacity is 4.0 quarts - taking 3.5 quarts for an oil & filter change.

    Notes from Blackstone: Universal averages show typical waer metals for an oil from this type engine after a routine oil run. Your oil was in use 7,232 miles, easily longer than a routine oil run for the type, (average for this type engine is 3,100 miles) and we found upper end wear normal but lead and copper, from the lower end, reading high. The sodium may show a trace or so of anti-freeze in the oil but this is not certain. This was 10W30 synthetic engine oil with no gas or moisture in it. Use 5,000 mile oil use for next sample to recheck wear and sodium. TBN was 4.5

    The following are the parts-per-million readings followed by universal averages in parenthesis.

    Aluminum: 3 (3)
    Chromium: 1 (2)
    Iron: 18 (28)
    Copper: 11 (8)
    Lead: 19 (5)
    Tin: 1 (1)
    Molybdenum: 448 (7)
    Nickel: 1 (0)
    Manganese: 0 (2)
    Silver: 0 (0)
    Titanium: 0 (0)
    Vanadium: 0 (0)
    Boron: 14 (17)
    Silicon: 14 (17)
    Sodium: 75 (28)
    Calcium: 2539 (751)
    Magnesium: 84 (466)
    Phosphorous: 1210 (649)
    Zinc: 1312 (776)
    Barium: 0 (9)

    Flash Point: 400
    Fuel: 0.5%
    Sustained viscosity @210 67.4
    Antifreeze: ?%
    Water: 0.0%
    Insolubles: 0.5%

    Obviously, Redline uses molybdenum as a high-pressure anti-wear additive even in their street oils. The same goes for the high levels of zinc and phosphorus. I'm guessing the calcium is an anti-foaming additive? Possibly the sodium as well?

    I think I'm gonna back the interval down to 6,000-6,500 miles and test again using 5W30 and a Hastings filter. That's what's in the car now.

    --- Bror Jace
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Not sure I agree with the lab if they are basing their averages on the 3,100 mile oil change. The copper ppm of 8 for 3,100 miles would equate to 19 for 7,232 miles which is higher then what you have and lead would be 12 ppm for 7,232 miles and you are slightly higher at 19. Again. many labs fail to look at the mileage on the oil but go by their average and if they used the 3,100 mile average that is not correct. Wear metals should occur evenly over mileage so IMHO your analysis was pretty good. Iron low, silicon low.

    What were the copper and lead ppm in other analysis and miles?
    Interesting though on the moly, Amsoil uses almost none, redline quite a bit.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    I wasn't sure what to make of their 3,100 mile remark ... but assuming you interpreted it correctly, it's VERY encouraging ... especially considering that I ran the heck out of my little car during that time interval. I take it to 5,000 rpms at least a couple times every day (usually on on-ramps) and I made a few high-speed trips to the West Point Military Academy (at least 1 hour at 85mph sustained) as well as the Thousand Islands region (450 miles in 1 day) during that time.

    I think I'm gonna e-mail them about that 3,100 mile standard and see if your interpretation is correct. The differences are significant.

    Does Amsoil use similar amounts of zinc and phosphorous? Do they use some other anti-wear additives?

    Funny thing about the Moly. Bobistheoilguy said something about this additive making the oil deteriorate over time. I paid $10 extra for these guys to tell me that my Total Base Number (TBN) was 4.5

    Um, exactly what does that mean? >;^)

    --- Bror Jace
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    Well, looking at old analysis with Amsoil their zinc is in the 1600-1900 ppm, phosphorous, 1500-1700 range and calcium 3000-3600 but sodium is usually under 10 and moly is less the .5 This is after 7,500 miles or so. The numbers can vary considerably though.

    TBN is a measure of the overall ability of the oil to lubricate, "measures the alkaline reserve remaining in the crankcase lubricants to neutalize acidic by products of combustion" In synthetics the TBN initially is in the 10-13 range. the belief is that when the TBN gets down to 50% of original or falls below 2 it can no longer do its job. I don't pay the extra amt for the TBN anymore. Bob can probably explain this better.
    Honestly, after 7,232 miles on my Toyota I wish that I had the numbers you got, really good compared to my averages but every engine is diffferent and mine has 140,000 now. For example, my last report was 7,530 miles, lead 42, copper 10 and iron only 5 but my lead has been running up and down for a few years now.
  • mdecampsmdecamps Member Posts: 115
    The PPM report is still available. They don't advertise it. I called them and they told me to write "please send PPM report" with my sample. If you call them at 1-800-848-4826 they should be able to hook you up. If I remember correctly, they can only generate one type of report (either dummy report or PPM) per sample. Even with the PPM report they tell you if anything is out of range. Good luck.

  • mdecampsmdecamps Member Posts: 115
    Send me your email address. Mine is [email protected]

    I will send you a copy of my report.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I just sent in an oil sample for my Dodge Aires (Mitsubishi 2.2 liter engine) and got these results back. Using Quaker State Syn Blend. 3,000 miles over 7 full months. The engine has 170,000 miles on it.

    I had forgotten, but, just 1 month before the oil change I replaced the aluminium valve cover and put in a new gaskett.

    The Universal averages are in parenthesis.

    Aluminum: 14 (5)
    Chromium: 2 (6)
    Iron: 37 (39)
    Copper: 31 (15)
    Lead: 12 (9)
    Tin: 1 (1)
    Molybdenum: 4 (9)
    Nickel: 1 (1)
    Manganese: 18 (0)
    Silver: 0 (0)
    Titanium: 0 (0)
    Vanadium: 0 (0)
    Boron: 20 (21)
    Silicon: 28 (12)
    Sodium: 91 (190)
    Calcium: 1564 (774)
    Magnesium: 684 (604)
    Phosphorous: 1049 (824)
    Zinc: 1132 (942)
    Barium: 1 (9)

    Flash Point: 395
    Fuel: <0.5%
    Sustained viscosity @210 63.4
    Antifreeze: ?%
    Water: 0.0%
    Insolubles: 0.5%

    They added this comment. Silicon and sodium can show anti-freeze in the oil, depending on the type coolant and oil in use. If that is the source in this sample, it probably would not be enough to harm the engine. No moisture found and this oil does not appear to be moisture damaged. copper could from bronze or brass engine parts, but could be an oil additive. Alulminium, ckommon to pistons, was high, reading near three times normal. It is possible to have a contamination problem at the upper end where little gets down into the used oil. TBN was 3.5.

    My questions:

    Could the installation of the new Valve Cover be the cause of the increase in Aluminium and Silicon? The air filter was clean after 3,000 miles.

    What is TBN, and is 3.5 good or bad?

    Assuming that the copper is caused by engine wear what can be done to minimize it?
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    mdecamps, thanks for the test results. My e-mail address is a really easy one to remember: [email protected]

    armtdm, thanks for the comments. I see that Amsoil uses more zinc and phosphorous as anti-wear additives while Redline uses a little less of those but adds molybdenum as well. The trace of moly you are getting may be from piston rings.

    I e-mailed Blackstone Labs regarding the intervals. I also asked them about the TBN number. let's see how they interpret my TBN of 4.5.

    --- Bror Jace
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    armtdm, regarding the average of 3,100 miles on my oil report and how it compares to my oil change interval, this is the response I received from Blackstone:

    "The universal averages are based on all the samples we have run for that type of engine. If information about miles on the oil was supplied, then that is averaged as well. If you run the oil longer than average, we expect wear to read higher, though generally, iron is the only metal that will be directly proportional to miles on the oil. As you run the oil longer, we look at three things; insolubles, wear and TBN. If insolubles increase above the limits, then we suggest changing the oil and/or filtration. We don't generally worry about iron reading above average, but if the other metals (aluminum, chrome, copper, lead and tin) start to show a dramatic increase, then we'll tell you to change the oil."

    On the issue of TBN, Blackstone Labs said the following:

    "The TBN (Total Base Number) measures the amount of active additive left in the oil. If the TBN drops down below 2, then we'll tell you to change to the oil. In gasoline engine oil it generally starts around 8-9 and drops as the oil is used. Your reading of 4.5 is still okay, though the oil is starting to lose it's active additive."

    --- Bror Jace
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I got the TBN numbers for Quaker State and Valvoline Oils. Surprizingly, they varied only by .1 or .2. Here are the rounded BASE TBN numbers.

    Conventional 7
    Blended 8
    Synthetic 9
  • dcdudedcdude Member Posts: 7
    You can find a list of oil analysis sites at the Corvette Portal: http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/portal/index.php?sid=987868492&t=sub_pages&cat=46
  • 58vw58vw Member Posts: 12
    what decisions or changes result from these data? I love numbers and information but only if it changes something.

    I just bought a NEW 2002 Eurovan, weekender, noticed the high rpm about 3 to 3.5K during test drive on the freeway so they're spinning that engine to haul the big box. Hence maintenance is important, I want to euro to outlast me.

    Hence: In my situation would you guys get testing, and at what intervals and for what purpose, expecting to save what kind of money?

    Many thanks in advance

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    As a user of about 10 years about the only real use of oil analysis for the average driver is to establish a good mileage point to change the oil. Beyond that even if wear metals are excessive there is not much you can do, or if glycol is present, it is probably too late to do anything about it. If you are going to change your oil everty 3000 miles don't waste your money on analysis, just change the oil.

    For me, I just like to keep track of the wear and establish a change interval. On the several cars I have and do use it on I have yet to spot a problem but I just like seeing it. The cost doesn't bother me nor does the cost of synthetics. I just like to go overboard. However, it has formed an opinion for me on oil filters (three best are Mobil 1, Amsoil and Pure One) air filters (only OEM work best, even better then foam) and I have some data to back those beliefs up. But, for most people that is worthless info and I understand that.

    You would need a baseline, say at the first oil change but there will be some high numbers due to engien breakin. I do it once a year either at the oil change (on some cars I change oil once a year, or every other change for those I go about 7,500 between changes.
    Oil analysis is trend analysis, only after getting back 2-3 samples can you starrt to form an opinion, thus, can be expensive.
  • wtdwtd Member Posts: 96
    I'm reposting this for some on the synthetic oil topic. I had the analysis done by blackstone labs. Vehicle is a 98 chevy ext-cab Z-71 with 5.7L and 32,738 miles on it at time of analysis. Oil was 5W-30 Mobil 1 with 5,069 miles on the oil. I was using a UPF52 AC-Delco gold series filter. Here are the comments from Blackstone labs:

    WAYNE: Universal averages show typical wear metals for an oil from this type engine after 3,000-4,000 miles use. All wear in this sample matched up well with those averages except lead, which shows excessive bearing wear at 55 ppm. Silicon is also high and typically indicates poor air filtration, especially if this engine has not recently been opened for service. No fuel dilution or anti-freeze was found which would have caused the high wear. Suggest dropping back to 4,000 miles and resample. Hopefully wear will improve.

    here are the results with the universal averages in paranthesis.

    aluminum 4 (8)
    chromium 2 (2)
    iron 17 (46)
    copper 6 (25)
    lead 55 (20)
    tin 6 (4)
    molybdenum 3 (40)
    nickel 1 (1)
    manganese 1 (2)
    silver 0 (0)
    titanium 0 (0)
    vanadium 0 (0)
    boron 49 (42)
    silicon 46 (35)
    sodium 6 (26)
    calcium 804 (1501)
    magnesium 1339 (576)
    phosphorus 582 (842)
    zinc 752 (1011)
    barium 0 (0)

    sus [email protected] F 62.3 (55-61)
    flashpoint 395 (>365)
    fuel % <0.5 (<2.0)
    antifreeze % 0.0 (0)
    water % 0.0 (<0.05)
    insolubles 0.4 (<0.6)

    Truck had intake manifold gaskets replaced about 7,000 miles before analysis with one oil change in between which could have caused high silicon levels.

    I have used Mobil 5W-30 conventional oil from the time truck was new untill about 14,000 miles when I switched to full synthetic 5W-30 Mobil 1.

    One reason I don't think oil has held up well is that most of the anti-wear additives were lower than average. I will be retesting soon but with only 3,000 miles on the oil change.
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    armtdm, I agree with you about oil analysis. I find the results interesting but would never do it every 7-10,000 miles. It's just too expensive and if you are interested in seeing how long you can possibly go between oil changes, you are probably kidding yourself. You're better off spending your money on oil and oil filters.

    I'm going to get my oil tested at my next change this spring/summer and assuming my results are similar, that'll be it for the rest of this vehicle's life. I'll stick with the same brand of oil and interval until I get rid of it.

    wtd, thanks for posting your results again. Yes, if you lug your motor, I might suspect Mobil 1's reduced high-pressure wear preventatives (ZDDP) for your higher levels of lead. You might remember that I've had a problem with Mobil's decision to cut back on this stuff. I hope your next result comes in better. Keep us posted.

    Oh, and silicon might be used by Mobil as an anti-foaming additive. Have you had the air filter serviced on this truck before? Your head gasket replacement is another likely cause.

    --- Bror Jace
  • vetteryanvetteryan Member Posts: 21
    What do you guys think of my analysis- this was my 1st one:
    1993 Geo Prizm (Corolla)
    118,000 miles
    8,150 miles one oil (7 months)
    40% highway driving
    Amsoil 10w30
    3 quart capacity
    1 quart makup oil
    changed filter (pure one)at beginning and after 4,000 miles
    I use an Amsoil oiled-foam air filter
    Aluminum: 0
    Chromium: 1
    Iron: 15
    Copper: 9
    Lead: 7
    Tin: 0
    Molybdenum: 8
    Nickel: 0
    Manganese: 0
    Silver: 0
    Titanium: 0
    Vanadium: 0
    Boron: 0
    Silicon: 36********* flagged for observation
    Sodium: 0
    Calcium: 3214
    Magnesium: 382
    Phosphorous: 1157
    Zinc: 1536
    Barium: 0

    TBN: 2.86ml
    Fuel: <2
    viscosity 100degree celcius: 10.1Cst
    Water: Nil
    Solids: 4.0% volume******flagged for observation

    Hydroxy .057
    Antiwear loss .967
    Oxidation .806
    Nitration 1.874
    Oxidation/sulfate .000

    Says to continue using and track/trend data

    Company is PdMA 1-800-476-6463
    They even give you a picture of the wear metal in your oil magnified 400 times

    Thanks Guys, you are a wealth of infomation!

  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I have reams of print outs on Amsoil 10W30 on multiple engines.

    Moly has only come back once at around your number and I don't know why, usually <1 ppm. They do not use moly for a high pressure additive so why the 8 is confusing . Red Line does though!

    TBN is very low and I would be concerned. Wear metals are all excellent.
    Your % of solids are extremely high indicating dirt which would correspond with the higher silicon on a car with your mileage (not from gaskets) However the iron PPM is good so not much wear if the silicon is, indeed, from dirt

    By the way, Amsoil 10W30 has about 15ppm of silicon as an additive in the event you did not know this. I have this in writing from their chemist. So, subtracting the 15 your silicon count is more like17 ppm. Personally, I have tried the foam filter, my oil analysis indicated to me that the OEM filter on my Toyota did a better job of filtration then the foam for what it is worth. Plus, they eventually fall apart!

    Further with a TBN under 3 (started out over 10) it has lost over 50% of its value, a key inidcator of remaining life and getting close to under 2 which most people would say is minimum. Dump the oil and change it IMHO!
  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    vetteryan, overall, your analysis looks decent except for a few trouble spots. TBN being as low as it is isn't the end of the world but it's a little disconcerting, at least. As pointed out by armtdm, the silicon can come from dirt, gasket material and is added to some oils as an anti-foaming agent.

    Your molybdenum is up and that would suggest to me ring wear ... unless you've used some fairly exotic oil or additive in the past that had moly in it. If you had used Red Line in this test, your moly would be in the hundreds (mine was 448ppm). Add the two together though (silicon and a trace of moly) and I'd suspect ring wear from dirt getting through your foam filter. Many rings have chrome and/or moly in their metal ... but your chrome level was low. Anyway, you'd think that with using two Pure-One filters, they'd have trapped more of the metals and solids, eh?

    I don't know how efficient foam filters are ... but you might want to clean and generously re-oil it ... or go back to paper for the next test.

    K&N touts their oiled cotton gauze as better than either resin-impregnated paper and foam ... but you'd expect them to. I have a K&N cone filter on my car and it was on the entire time I used my Red Line oil, the sample tested above. BSL even commented that my air filtration seemed to be working well ... and it's been around 30,000 miles since I last cleaned my filter. My silicon level was 14ppm.

    --- Bror Jace
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    Why don't we have the named changed to just Oil Analysis? It's more accurate now.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    Last time I checked 5W-30 Mobil1 site the TBN for this weight was 9. You have a 66% reduction. I wouldn't go any longer on that oil.
  • wtdwtd Member Posts: 96
    Your welcome. I didn't lug this engine as it has an automatic transmission and most of my miles were highway miles. My air filter at the time only had 19,000 miles on it and still looked clean and the air filter indicator still indicated the filter was good. I actually had the intake manifold gaskets replaced instead of the head gaskets not that it makes much difference.

    My personal opinion is that Mobil had went the route of Castrol and other off the shelf synthetics and has more hydrocracked oil in it than it used to and less PAO. I have some old typical data info for Mobil 1 and their specs then were better than they are now. If my next analysis is not any better, I will think about switching oil brands and maybe going back to a regular conventional or synthetic blend.

    There is no reason why I should have excessive lead levels in this truck as I have taken excellent care of it since new and have never abused it. My opinion is that the oil has not been up to the job. Before this analysis, I changed the Mobil 1 every 3,000 miles. I just did the 5,000 mile change to see if analysis would support going this long and it did not. My faith in Mobil 1 has been shaken.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I do not recall if you had analysis on this engine when and if your used a dino or blend. So to say that the lead is high for this engien (not what the ave is but for this specific engine) you will have had to have an analysis prior to Mobil 1. Again, the higher lead could be ave for this engine. Like DNA, and fingerprints no two engines ever ever wear alike!
  • vetteryanvetteryan Member Posts: 21
    Thanks for the interpretations. Based on these, I am going to re-oil my amsoil filter(I don't think I oiled it too heavily when I washed it last time)and cut back my interval based on the low TBN. Do you think cold temperature in the Mid west winter make the air filter oil less tacky-thus less effective?

    I thought that as long as TBN was above 0 it would still neutralize acids. I do, however, understand your recommendation to change it due to the fact that before long the TBN will be zero. I have just changed it to the newer Amsoil formulation that say on the bottle that it exceeds the new API SL GF-3 specs. Do you guys think this new/more robust additive package would allow for a similar oil change interval of 8-9,000 miles with filter change every 3,000?

    Thanks again

  • bobistheoilguybobistheoilguy Member Posts: 270
    since there are so many questions about oil analysis, i set up a page on what,why,how,and everything you want to know about analysis.

    goto http://www.bobistheoilguy.com and select the section called oil analysis located on the bottom left side of page.

    hope you find it of use.

    bob in jville.

    Member STLE

    Lubricant Specialist


  • brorjacebrorjace Member Posts: 588
    vetteryan, I use my factory air box and paper filter in the winter. I figure an extra large gulp of ridiculously cold air wouldn't necessarily be good for my motor and I don't want my K&N cone getting clogged up with salt anyway.

    I doubt the foam is having trouble with the winter air ... but I know very little about foam filters. Honda power equipment often uses a sparate piece of foam in front of their paper filters as a way of catching the big chunks in a cleanable piece of the element. I like this idea.

    I have no info on Amsoil oils. You might want to check with armtdm or wherever you get your Amsoil from ... a jobber and if the shop/dealetr is fairly clueless, I'd e-mail Amsoil directly ... and make them accountable for the products they sell. I got into a discussion with an Amsoil user on another forum and he stated that at least one of their grades was a blend of PAO ... and an ester. But is that polyol or some other diester? Either way, I'd assume that this is their top-of-the-line oil. Who knows what their blends have in them?

    Conventional wisdom is that a TBN below 2.0 is trouble and it means that your oil has lost its ability to protect your motor.

    I have heard for some time that K&N air filters (oiled cotton gauze)might be sacrificing some micro-filtration efficiency for greater flow. The theory goes that this is fine for a race car that needs to be free-breathing for short periods at a time but poor for a car the owner will want to keep their engine for 100,000 or more miles.

    Well, my test results show that silicion (sand) did not make it's way into my engine even over an extended drain interval. For the first time in 112,000 miles, I stuck my hand downstream of the filter into the plastic intake tube and swabbed the area. All I found was a light, fine coating of a reddish oil dust ... almost like oily talcum powder. I assume the reddish powder was a combination of ultra small dust and the red filter oil that you get with the filter as well as cleaning & recharging kits.

    --- Bror Jace
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