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Old 06-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Used oil analysis from Blackstone Labs - BMW 5w-30

Here's my UOA, including a TBN which measures the remaining useful additives (necessary for determining whether to extend your oil change intervals or not).

This is with approximately 7500 miles on BMW 5w-30. Engine had about 106k at the time of the change.
Driving style is usually very conservative, primarily highway cruising at 75-85 on the interstate; however I also had one Autocross day in there.
Air filter is an STP off the shelf at Autozone.

I used Mobil 1 0w-40 at this oil change, and will send in a sample of that when I change it at 7500 miles.



P.S. Yes, they noted that it was a 2.5L M54, but I don't think that's material for a UOA.
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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have you done one of m1 0w-40 b4? be interested in seeing the comparison
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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thats a pretty good idea. how much does an analysis cost like that? and do you just sent a quart of used oil to them?
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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that would be a very satisfying comments section to get back, nice

edit: every time i see the blackstone logo i can't help but think of cold stone...
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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Thats pretty neat. So for your case, they recommend oil change at 10,000 miles. is BMW 5-30 same as Castrol syntec 5-30?
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:50 AM   #6
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It would be interesting to compare BMW oil to another brand between changes. This is so cool, you could really start to spend a lot of money running these analyses after every oil change.

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Old 06-24-2009, 10:59 AM   #7
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have you done one of m1 0w-40 b4? be interested in seeing the comparison
There is one done by jeffro3000 posted somewhere in this forum. Similar engine, similar mileage on both the car and the oil. Here's it is if he doesn't mind:

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Old 06-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I used Mobil 1 0w-40 at this oil change, and will send in a sample of that when I change it at 7500 miles.
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have you done one of m1 0w-40 b4? be interested in seeing the comparison
Nope, not yet. I just started using the Mobil 1. Will send in a sample after 7500 miles, should be a couple of months.

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thats a pretty good idea. how much does an analysis cost like that? and do you just sent a quart of used oil to them?
$22.50 for the basic analysis, $10 more for the TBN which estimates the amount of useful additives left in your oil. When the additives run out, it's time for a change. So if you want to know if you can extend your oil changes, you have to get the TBN... so, $32.50.

They need about a half cup of oil. On their website you can request a sample-collection kit - they send the kit for free, you fill it up and send it back with your payment. You'll want to catch the oil mid-stream as it's draining out (don't worry, it's pretty easy). Don't get the first bit or the last bit that comes out, and don't send the stuff that has already gone into your catch pan.



My primary purpose was just to make sure my motor is wearing properly - no extra lead (bearings), aluminum (block, head, etc), or iron (valvetrain etc) in the oil. Also that it's running properly (insolubles) and no internal leaks (water/antifreeze). The TBN analysis was secondary; I don't really expect to extend my oil change interval from 7500 to 10000. My OCD likes to be able to match up the oil changes with the SIA in the dash, and 7500 works just fine for that.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:12 AM   #9
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according to blackstone's website the sample kit is free and the analysis is 22.50 plus shipping. The FAQ is a comical read.

I got beat to the punch. Good to know about adding the extra analysis. I might do this my next oil change.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:13 AM   #10
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My primary purpose was just to make sure my motor is wearing properly - no extra lead (bearings), aluminum (block, head, etc), or iron (valvetrain etc) in the oil. Also that it's running properly (insolubles) and no internal leaks (water/antifreeze). The TBN analysis was secondary; I don't really expect to extend my oil change interval from 7500 to 10000.
Makes sense.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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Wow that looks pretty good.

If you can get away with 10k intervals, i'd do it. There's an SAE paper that shows decreased levels of wear as oil ages, up to a certain point of course. In your case, this point is obviously beyond 7500 miles. Of course, still send in the M1 at 7500 for comparison purposes.

As you can see from my UOA, the M1 is less resistant to shearing. It starts out at a 14 though, so it has room to fall.

So far, from the analyses i've seen, it seems like BMW oil or GC (castrol syntec 0w-30) are the best choices for the e46 engines. Both oils are nearly identical in viscosity, and are showing more stability than the M1.



PS - I'll be sending in another sample of 0w-40 soon, at around 8k miles before i switch to GC. I'll post it up as soon as i get it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nathancarter View Post
Here's my UOA, including a TBN which measures the remaining useful additives (necessary for determining whether to extend your oil change intervals or not).

This is with approximately 7500 miles on BMW 5w-30. Engine had about 106k at the time of the change.
Driving style is usually very conservative, primarily highway cruising at 75-85 on the interstate; however I also had one Autocross day in there.
Air filter is an STP off the shelf at Autozone.

I used Mobil 1 0w-40 at this oil change, and will send in a sample of that when I change it at 7500 miles.



P.S. Yes, they noted that it was a 2.5L M54, but I don't think that's material for a UOA.

I'm very interested to see the results of the M1 0w40.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:13 PM   #13
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subscribe to see the result of M1 0w40.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #14
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Best analysis is from Terry Dyson

http://www.dysonanalysis.com/
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:18 PM   #15
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Looks good so far. One thing to keep in mind is that if you do an analysis right after changing to M1, there will be a residual effect from the BMW oil. Best to do a complete interval with the M1 before having it analyzed (second interval with M1) so it doesn't skew any results. Changing to different oils with differing basestocks, additives etc, can cause a cleaning of residual metals and dirt that could be misinterpreted as abnormal wear or oil incompatibility. Best to give it a chance to settle in before doing another UOA.

BTW, do you live near the ocean?
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:20 PM   #16
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Best analysis is from Terry Dyson

http://www.dysonanalysis.com/
S, you beat me to it.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:33 AM   #17
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Looks good so far. One thing to keep in mind is that if you do an analysis right after changing to M1, there will be a residual effect from the BMW oil. Best to do a complete interval with the M1 before having it analyzed (second interval with M1) so it doesn't skew any results. Changing to different oils with differing basestocks, additives etc, can cause a cleaning of residual metals and dirt that could be misinterpreted as abnormal wear or oil incompatibility. Best to give it a chance to settle in before doing another UOA.

BTW, do you live near the ocean?
Thanks for the advice, point well taken.

I wasn't too worried about mixing the minimal amount of remaining BMW 5w-30 with the new fill of M1 0w-40, but I hadn't thought about the possible detergent effect of the different oil. I'll wait for the second drain to send in a sample of the M1 - probably about 7-8 more months with my usual driving habits, though I'll probably rack up 2500 miles in June alone.


I don't live particularly near the ocean - it's at least ten miles to the nearest salt water and that's a little inlet run by the Port of Tampa. The nearest decent beach is at least 30 miles away, unless you count the crappy dredged-up-beaches on the sides of the Courtney-Campbell Causeway.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for the advice, point well taken.

I wasn't too worried about mixing the minimal amount of remaining BMW 5w-30 with the new fill of M1 0w-40, but I hadn't thought about the possible detergent effect of the different oil. I'll wait for the second drain to send in a sample of the M1 - probably about 7-8 more months with my usual driving habits, though I'll probably rack up 2500 miles in June alone.


I don't live particularly near the ocean - it's at least ten miles to the nearest salt water and that's a little inlet run by the Port of Tampa. The nearest decent beach is at least 30 miles away, unless you count the crappy dredged-up-beaches on the sides of the Courtney-Campbell Causeway.
Glad you're taking it into consideration. I've seen plenty of UOAs after an oil switch that have puzzled/scared/angered the owners because of the residual cleaning. Second UOAs seem to restore faith and settle them down. Post it when you get it done. Consider Dyson Analysis too. He gives alot more detail than what BStone does and has comments/remedies about cause and effect. Worth every penny IMHO. He will also do interpretations from the results done by any lab as well, but prefers a small lab in Texas (he has no affiliation or interest, just trusts their testing).

I asked about proximity to the ocean because of the sodium level. Sodium is a common oil additive that depletes as its used. Elevated numbers in small degrees usually come from areas where road salt is used and the resulting dust gets ingested and shows up in UOAs. I had doubts as to FDOT's use of road salt so I took a stab that you lived near salt air. Nothing to worry about and just a curiosity on my part. Motor on.

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Old 06-25-2009, 07:15 PM   #19
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nathan, too bad you didn't get a "Nice." in your comments. based on that, i'm switching back to m1.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:55 PM   #20
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Where's Totallynuts when you want him?
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