Tonight on GRM LIVE!: Used Oil Analysis

Grassroots Motorsports LIVE! Starts In:

motionmailapp.com

Assessing your internal engine health can be difficult without a full teardown, but one of the best ways to find out what’s going on inside your engine is by analyzing the composition of your used motor oil.

Tonight on a special Monday edition of Grassroots Motorsports Live! Presented by CRC Industries, Lake Speed, Jr. from Driven Racing Oil and SpeeDiagnostix joins us to discuss just what can be learned from analyzing your oil, and how that data should affect how you treat your engine.

We’ll even give away a couple oil diagnostic kits to some lucky viewers.

Join us live on the Grassroots Motorsports Facebook Page and YouTube Channel at 9pm eastern with your questions and comments.


Powered by SlickText.com

Join Free Join our community to easily find more news.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/11/19 10:00 a.m.

This should be... interesting. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/11/19 10:06 a.m.

I will definitely be on tonight. I am curious how they can determine much with their limited testing. 

NermalSnert
NermalSnert Reader
2/11/19 10:10 a.m.

Curious as well. Wondering about starting oil analysis on an engine at mid life or better.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/11/19 10:16 a.m.

In reply to NermalSnert :

There's value in it, depending on what you want/trying to do. It's great for extending oil drains or for long term trending to monitor wear. It's not as valuable in a vehicle with a 4qt capacity as it might be on something with 10 gallons, but there's value. I have customers that used it to find their personal sweet spot for OCI's then sample once a year to make sure nothing is getting crazy. One nice gentleman had 700+k on a 4.8 GM doing this. 

NermalSnert
NermalSnert Reader
2/11/19 10:19 a.m.

"One nice gentleman had 700+k on a 4.8 GM doing this." Holy e36 M3! And, good info. Thanks!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/11/19 10:23 a.m.

sadly that one sent a rod through the side of the block.... but I think at that mileage on a light duty engine, metal fatigue is just unavoidable at that point. you can only heat up, cool down and swing around for so long!

NermalSnert
NermalSnert Reader
2/11/19 10:26 a.m.

Heating up, cooling down, and swinging around is starting to tire my ass out now, too. :)

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
2/11/19 12:21 p.m.

I'm also thrown for a loop that GRM live isn't on a Wednesday this week. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
2/11/19 5:22 p.m.
captdownshift said:

I'm also thrown for a loop that GRM live isn't on a Wednesday this week. 

if we can't laugh, we have nothing

Yeah, it feels weird here, too. Like driving by your school in the summer. But we adjusted our schedule this week to accommodate our guest, who's only in town for a couple days. I may pop in Wednesday just to say "hi" though.

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
2/11/19 7:05 p.m.

I'll be throwing scandavian flicks through the snow to get back in time. Though I should be working on a cover letter. 

te72
te72 Reader
2/11/19 11:01 p.m.

I do oil analysis on our entire fleet, just to monitor wear levels. Benefit to me, I get it for free through my work, otherwise figure out an extra $20 per oil change if you want the info. It's taught me when I need to clean my air filter, when my cruising tune is too rich (as is the Supra's case, plan to work on that this spring / summer), among other things.

 

Of particular note, and perhaps the most valuable aspect to oil analysis, the ability to extend the drain interval. In perhaps the most impressive display of oil longevity I've personally seen, my wife's 2006 Mazda3 with the 2.0 MZR engine. We have run Mobil 1 0-20 in it for as long as I can remember, she rarely lets it warm up much before setting off, we don't treat it as some super special car, apart from just taking care of it, fixing what needs fixing... usually. I let her drive on it a bit longer than I usually do last year between oil changes, and she put 15,161 miles on it on the same batch of oil. Didn't burn any, didn't have to add any that I can recall. The report after sending in a sample?

 

" NORMAL WEAR METAL READINGS. OTHER ANALYSIS READINGS APPEAR TO BE ACCEPTABLE. NO PROBLEMS PRESENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SAMPLE. CONTINUE SAMPLING AT THE NORMAL INTERVAL. OIL AND FILTER CHANGE NOTED"

 

Yeah, I'll take that. The report includes a ppm amount on 17 elements, as well as water / antifreeze presence, and viscosity at 100° C. It's good info once you learn to read it. =)

 

Would I do it on every car in the fleet if I didn't get it for free? Probably not. But on my Supra, a car with an engine that is still in sorting phase, and one that I have a stupid amount of time, effort, and money tied up in? Oh yeah. That one would be worth the extra cost.

 

About the only cars I would recommend running a sample on in the realm of more normal cars would be ones that are exhibiting signs of strange operation, fluid loss, or bad reputations for oiling or bearing issues. Other than that... I'd probably only run it on the fun and fancy stuff myself, and stick to a reasonable oil change interval. Quality filtration helps too. Not trying to advertise for any particular brand here, as nobody is paying me to, but in the event someone asks what filters or oil I run, I tend to use Donaldson filters on all our cars, and everything from Mobil 1, Rotella T6, to Redline, depending on the car.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/12/19 7:30 a.m.

Passed out before 9 last night. Woke up at midnight with the laptop asleep and the light still on... .son of a .....

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/12/19 8:11 a.m.

ok, I'm 20 minutes in and I need to correct a few things...... Oxidation is NOT how you determine oil life (at least not by itself). If you have a starting Ox level of 10 and you're at 40, something BAD is happening. You shouldn't see Ox rise more than a few points over the life of the oil in normal operation. You SHOULD be watching wear, base number along with viscosity and ox/nitration to determine oil health. If you are only waiting for the oxidation to increase to change the oil, you've likely waited way too long. 

Silicon.... just because it's there does not mean its dirt. If you have high Si, and it IS dirt, you will have corresponding wear to go with it. If you have 100+ppm of Si, and you have no Al to go with it and no increase in other wear, it's not dirt. Most true dirt will have about a 3:1 ratio of si to Al and it will create a lot of wear fast. 

I don't know if they got to it or not, but there are other tools that you can use to determine if your high results are actually wear or not. You can do Analytical Ferrograms that analyze the wear under a microscope. This is especially helpful when you're trying to determine if that high copper is actually bearing wear or just a chemical leaching from oil coolers. Also good for determining wear types, and severity.  Filter Debris is also an option, but not an inexpensive option. IT's typically reserved for larger equipment to help determine failure etc. Where an AF can run $60-100, an FDA can run over $300. Not something that is cost-effective on automotive engines typically, but if you're running a $20k race engine it can be helpful. 

te72
te72 Reader
2/12/19 10:03 p.m.

Bob, might you be THE oil guy? I'm sure you know the forum I'm referencing.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/13/19 7:07 a.m.

In reply to te72 :

Well, sorta. It is what I do for a living. Got suckered into getting my CLS and OMA from my employer. I head our Analytical Ferrography program and dabble in the FDA's and handle most of our coolants now too. We all have our specialties in here (we have 10 analysts), some specialize in turbines, some in industrial machinery, some in coolants (I got suckered there too). Mine is engines/transmissions/drivetrain in the automotive side. 

te72
te72 Reader
2/13/19 11:59 p.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

That's good to know. I dabble a bit in the field as a side interest to my main hobby, but I don't know that it is something that I would make a profession out of myself. I'm more a numbers / accountant type, and haven't seriously looked into chemistry in probably 20 years now. Sounds like you have a lot of first hand experience with this stuff, perhaps GRM should have had you on the show!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/14/19 6:55 a.m.

trust me, no one wants to see my mug if they don't have to!

te72
te72 Reader
2/14/19 11:27 p.m.

Haha, face fit for radio I take it? Can't have it all I suppose!

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/15/19 10:57 a.m.

I’m lucky enough to be born with a face for radio and a voice for books. 

te72
te72 Reader
2/16/19 7:37 p.m.

And a wit sharp as a tack I see. =)

 

On the plus side, we are made the way we're meant to be. If I had quick wit, combined with the sense of humor and the natural disregard for "too soon" or "too far" that I've been given, I'd probably have gotten slapped a LOT more over the years.

Our Preferred Partners
mL7ibVbeK4uiLGdwSFrmIYppIeIfRXdeDN3aPXAQaD5SLHHC3pJ2NrdIlk6Vz0Za