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Old 07-21-2009, 04:49 PM   #1
jeffro3000
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Mobil 1 0w-40 Used Oil Analysis: Part 2.

I sent in a second sample from this fill of oil at about 8k miles, and it seems the oil and engine wear are both fine. I'm trying to see how long the oil really lasts in my car, and so far it seems that it's past 8k miles. The reason i'm trying to determine the maximum amount is because of this SAE article that was posted up awhile back:

http://www.sae.org/technical/papers/2007-01-4133

The article states that engine wear reduces with longer intervals. However, this benefit will be outweighed by the negative aspects of used oil at some point, the point i'm looking for. This will be the oil change interval which reduces engine wear to an absolute minimum.

Changing the oil before this point would result in the process having to start over again. For the first 3k miles or so, the benefits of the tribochemical films formed (as stated by the article) are not yet present, and the magnitude of wear would be increased.

BMW's interval of 15k miles may not be as far-fetched as many people assume.



Also, here's a link to a similar analysis with BMW oil. My previous analysis is included on the current result. It was at 5400 miles. The far left column is the most recent sample.


I'd appreciate it if some of the oil gurus could provide some insight also .
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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Based on your results, what are you planning to do next in terms of additional testing for the oil in your crankcase or thoughts on when you plan to do your next oil change?

Assuming you feel the cost of the oil analysis is worth the information gained, I'd suggest you re-test the existing oil at about 11,000k miles.


.

Last edited by bmwbun; 07-21-2009 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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Havent decided yet.

One thing is, the oil has gotten thicker since the last sample, which is bad from what i've read. Apparently it happens because the effects oxidation and such have surpassed the effects of shearing.

On the other hand, TBN is still good, insolubles havent changed, and fuel dilution hasnt increased by enough to be relevant.

Last edited by jeffro3000; 07-23-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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So is this a better oil than bmw oem 5w30?
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:11 PM   #5
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So is this a better oil than bmw oem 5w30?
Doubt it. I think either one is equally good.

The BMW oil seems to have a more stable viscosity. It starts out at about a 12 and doesnt even fall all the way to an 11. M1 however went from a 14 to just over 12, but the TBN of mine is higher at 8k miles than nathan's OEM oil was at 7.5.

After this change i'll be using Castrol 0w-30, which is pretty close to the OEM oil. They both run thinner than Mobil 1 0w-40, hot and cool.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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So changing the oil too frequently can actually be harmful to the engine because it doesn't allow for the tribochemical films to form?
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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So changing the oil too frequently can actually be harmful to the engine because it doesn't allow for the tribochemical films to form?
Thats what it looks like. 10-15% lower friction with 12k mile old oil vs fresh oil.

Apparently they observed benefits as early as 3k miles, and up to 15k, where they stopped testing.

I'm trying to maximize the time with less friction and stay away from those initial 3k miles as much as possible.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
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So changing the oil too frequently can actually be harmful to the engine because it doesn't allow for the tribochemical films to form?
this is old, yet important news!
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Intresting. I do feel that my engine runs smoother and idle's better when i change my oil at every 5k miles with OEM BMW oil.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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Some observations -

Industry insiders will tell you that there are a few different ways to study the useful life of oil (just the oil life - not friction, not viscosity). Looking at TBN only is one way, and 3.0 or more is usually indicative of healthy oil. The increase in viscosity is somewhat small and could possibly fall within measurement error. If you look at the 'acceptance' band, it is fairly wide.

On the change of viscosity, it was noted that BMW oil is more stable with time. Europeans attach a lot of importance to their oils, and a standard shear test is part of the certification process. The OEM oil is evidently designed to lose viscosity less over time when beaten up by the engine parts.

On the viscosity of new oil, it may be erroneous to conclude that new oil is less friendly to the engine than used oil. While the friction may be more, the viscosity is what contributes to the load carrying capacity of the main and rod bearings. So more friction actually means better protection against engine firing loads. This is why you find high output engines (typical of the Europeans) to use heavier oil like 5-30, 0-40, 10-60 etc. as opposed to 5-20 that is more common. In any case, the friction change is too small to show up in real-world mpg numbers, so you can feel better when you have new oil in your engine.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #11
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I love threads like this.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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Intresting. I do feel that my engine runs smoother and idle's better when i change my oil at every 5k miles with OEM BMW oil.
As opposed to what? Leaving it in 6k miles? No offense, but "feeling" a difference in intervals sounds ridiculous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammk View Post
Some observations -

Industry insiders will tell you that there are a few different ways to study the useful life of oil (just the oil life - not friction, not viscosity). Looking at TBN only is one way, and 3.0 or more is usually indicative of healthy oil. The increase in viscosity is somewhat small and could possibly fall within measurement error. If you look at the 'acceptance' band, it is fairly wide.

On the change of viscosity, it was noted that BMW oil is more stable with time. Europeans attach a lot of importance to their oils, and a standard shear test is part of the certification process. The OEM oil is evidently designed to lose viscosity less over time when beaten up by the engine parts.

On the viscosity of new oil, it may be erroneous to conclude that new oil is less friendly to the engine than used oil. While the friction may be more, the viscosity is what contributes to the load carrying capacity of the main and rod bearings. So more friction actually means better protection against engine firing loads. This is why you find high output engines (typical of the Europeans) to use heavier oil like 5-30, 0-40, 10-60 etc. as opposed to 5-20 that is more common. In any case, the friction change is too small to show up in real-world mpg numbers, so you can feel better when you have new oil in your engine.
Ok, so what you're saying basically is that viscosity isnt really a good indicator of when the oil needs changing, right? Since different parts of the engine react differently to viscosity change.


I guess I'm leaning towards making the switch to GC now, and sending in another analysis at around 10k on it. I've pretty much established that 7.5k is a little on the early side and 5k is out of the question. From now on it'll probably be a work in progress type thing with a yearly analysis. I really hardly even drive 10k miles per year anyways.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jeffro3000 View Post
From now on it'll probably be a work in progress type thing with a yearly analysis. I really hardly even drive 10k miles per year anyways.
I love it when members do stuff like this and share their results with the rest of us. Really useful and informative stuff. Thanks, jeffro3000, and nathan carter!
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:01 AM   #14
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Jeffro, I say you should just follow BMW's countdown-to-service timer with some BMW Synthetic 5w-30 and just totally bust the myths that BMW's intervals are too long.

I'm going to miss doing oil changes since I do under 10k a year. Then again, that means more money I can spend on tires, brakepads, and rotors.

Thanks for posting the results!
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:26 AM   #15
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So when oil comes out black, what is in the used oil to make it black? Obviously I don't see the oil coming out after 7,500 miles the same as when it was new. What harm does darker oil do? I use Mobil1 0w-40 as well but I've always changed at the have intervals of what the car told me.

I guess also how long does an OEM oil filter acutally last for before it becomes hazardous to the engine with normal/spirited driving?
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:39 AM   #16
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So when oil comes out black, what is in the used oil to make it black? Obviously I don't see the oil coming out after 7,500 miles the same as when it was new. What harm does darker oil do? I use Mobil1 0w-40 as well but I've always changed at the have intervals of what the car told me.

I guess also how long does an OEM oil filter acutally last for before it becomes hazardous to the engine with normal/spirited driving?
As for the oil color part, color determines nothings. It is just very fine soot from combustion that the detergents in the oil have "captured" and are suspending in the oil. Apparently oils without detergents will stay clean looking much longer because they don't clean out deposits in the engine.

http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm#Th...k%20Oil%20Myth
http://www.oilsandlube.com/oil-color.htm
etc...

And I don't see a paper filter failing or clogging up in a 15,000 mile service interval. But that's just my guess.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:08 AM   #17
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So during the winter fall/winter months my car basically sits in the garage, what should I be doing differently versus someone who continues to use their car during this time?
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jeffro3000 View Post
Ok, so what you're saying basically is that viscosity isnt really a good indicator of when the oil needs changing, right? Since different parts of the engine react differently to viscosity change.


I guess I'm leaning towards making the switch to GC now, and sending in another analysis at around 10k on it. I've pretty much established that 7.5k is a little on the early side and 5k is out of the question. From now on it'll probably be a work in progress type thing with a yearly analysis. I really hardly even drive 10k miles per year anyways.
That sounds like a good plan. Oil does break down naturally with time, so it's not advisable to leave it sitting in your engine for more than 12 months. If you don't do more than 10 k per year, a time-based schedule would apply - no more than 12 months. Keep us posted when you get the 10k sample analyzed, it would give a third point on the curve.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:07 AM   #19
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I change mine every 9k with a filter change at 3k, 6k, and of course 9k.

Curious, wouldn't this "soot" cut or throw the ratio of the oil off? Silly analogy, but I know when I am cooking dinner with oil, the more ingrediants I add for the amount of oil I initially use determines how much the food burns. Like marinade, for example, cuts the oil down and with burn the food quicker.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:17 AM   #20
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So if BMW's claim is right about oil intervals, may be they are right in trans. fluid (last a life)?!
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