Amsoil on UOA- Are we wasting our time?

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quote:
Used oil analysis is not always a useful tool to compare one oil to another, as each and every engine is different. Even if you had engines that were exactly identical in every way, operating conditions could not be reproduced. Oil analysis is intended more for giving you a picture of what is going on inside your engine, and if the product you are using is safe for continued use. Let's take iron wear as you had mentioned as an example (you are correct 20 PPM vs. 6 PPM IS insignificant). An increase in PPM of iron may not have anything to do with the oil at all! But, it could be related to many other things such as faulty components, dirt ingestion, internal coolant leaks, fuel dilution, severe duty, and on and on....... In looking at thousands of analysis reports you may be able to get somewhat of an idea of what oil outperforms other oil, but even then, there are so many variables to consider that there is no way to control these tests outside of a laboratory environment. Therefore, comparing oil analysis reports of used oil is not a totally accurate way of determining the performance of one oil over another. Although, it is an excellent way of seeing how the oil is performing in a single given application, and that is what oil analysis is intended to do! Thank you, Ed Kellerman Manager, Amsoil Tech Services
So Amsoil and Redline BOTH agree that oil analysis is NOT a good way to measure wear or compare oils. Tear downs obviously are superior. Now with different oil chemistries from RL/M1/Amsoil in different engines, it's very difficult to measure what we are seeing. Even if trends are taken, oils like RL will keep wear metals off the surface that normally wouldn't show up with other oils. So really oil analysis benefits those that want to make sure nothing unusual is going on inside the engine, such as coolant leaks etc. Maybe this is why we never hear of anyone wearing out an engine bc of the oil. [Wink] [ April 20, 2004, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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My Mom always told me when I hear something to consider the source. Oil experts outside of oil companies might give you a more accurate answer. I think both these companies make excellent products but their job is to sell their oil.
 

buster

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I'm just not sure if spectrographic analysis, for $20 a shot, can tell you what oil is better in ALL cases. It's hard to say. Back to back in the same car/conditions etc., maybe, but there is even doubts about that. I think if you get a Dyson report, that absolutely can help bc he knows what he is looking at. So as mentioned before about UOAs, a big part of it is who is doing the interpretation. [ April 20, 2004, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by TR3-2001SE: My Mom always told me when I hear something to consider the source. Oil experts outside of oil companies might give you a more accurate answer.
Particularly when you consider Amsoil is the one that promotes the 4-ball test as meaningful. [ April 20, 2004, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: rugerman1 ]
 
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Hmmm, I think his last sentance is very interesting and applicable:
quote:
Although, it is an excellent way of seeing how the oil is performing in a single given application, and that is what oil analysis is intended to do!
So, Ed is saying that oil analysis in the context of a given engine is a good way to gauge how the COMBINATION of engine and certain oils works together. Thus if I run oil ABC for Y miles in my well broken in Z engine and then compare the results to oil DEF in the same engine and under the same conditions I should be able to draw some conclusions from reasonable interpretation of the data. For example, if oil DEF showed 2x higher wear metals across the board as compared to ABC and if that result was repeateable then I could reasonably conclude that oil ABC was doing a better job of minimizing engine wear in a given application than did oil DEF. This is hardly a condemnation of the use of oil analysis as a tool for judging an oil, and it seems to be the way most people on BITOG are using oil analysis with respect to judging an oil's quality. As for the notion that Redline somehow keeps wear metals in suspension which all other oils "leave on the surface" .... prove it. To quote Carl Sagan: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". I've yet to see one iota of evidence for this particular claim about Redline. John P.S. The only widely published oil wear related engine tear down study was done years ago by Consumer Reports ... and when critics don't like the results published they then find reasons to **** all over CR's methodology. [ April 20, 2004, 08:40 PM: Message edited by: jthorner ]
 

buster

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quote:
As for the notion that Redline somehow keeps wear metals in suspension which all other oils "leave on the surface" .... prove it.
Thats the problem, we can't. We can only theorize with RL and take the racing world's opinion of RL racing oils, which speaks volumes. Not sure about their street oils though. I could flip this around though and say prove that your low wear UOA isn't showing all wear metals and that your engine is wearing more then you are seeing. [ April 20, 2004, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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quote:
...oil analysis is NOT a good way to measure wear or compare oils. Tear downs obviously are superior
I may agree with the main points of the original thread, but the assertion in the quote above seems dubious, at best. I would be very interested to know the theory behind this statement? Let me start the discussion by saying that a torndown engine is very obviously subject to the same lack of experimental controls as an oil sampled one. Furthermore, how can anyone say that a measurement of, at best, half a thousandth of an inch, is more accurate than parts per million? I can't personally make the case that PPM is more accurate, but I don't believe the opposite is a given either. [ April 20, 2004, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: TooManyWheels ]
 
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Let Me say this "I think that synthetic oil is far better than dino oil. I had an Ex-wife back in 1984 who ran a vehicle of mine out of coolant due to a pin hole in radiator and never told me about the leak till too late. After taking the engine apart, did she say any thing. All parts that got lubed with oil and where it flowed oil, it all looked like new, this engine was lubed with a new type oil (a SYNTHETIC OIL). That tells me that the oil did well. I use Amsoil and their Oil And Air filters since 2000.Take it from there ..
 
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What he is saying is that if you take oil A in car B and oil C in car D and try to make a comparison, you're not getting the full picture. Even if the car's are the same, there are differences in driving styles and other maintenance issues that could affect the UOA. One car could have the majority in highway miles while the other sees only stop-and-go driving. One could have an improperly seated or dirty air filter that is letting dirt get in or has a internal coolant leak while the other doesn't. I would even venture to say that no two engines are alike internally. How many times have we seen someone complain of engine failure at fairly low miles and have someone else have high miles on the same engine?
 

Leo

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I'd use UOA just to make sure everything is ok, not to nickpick down to every last ppm of metal. If somethings is say, >100ppm, then u can start to wonder if you drive your car too hard or think about switchin oils, like some boys do [Wink]
 
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I think the majority of oil analysis is done for large commercial & marine engines where they oil sump contains 20 or more quarts of engine oil and they test the oil every so many hours to see when to change the oil. I think in that case the oil analysis is very valid.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by buster: So Amsoil and Redline BOTH agree that oil analysis is NOT a good way to measure wear or compare oils.
I have been saying that for a long long time.
 

buster

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Mike I give you credit as I do remember you saying that. [Cheers!] Then we have Patman worrying about decimals like 3.2 ppm of Fe vs 4.5. [Razz] We all have a little OCD. [Wink]
 
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20%. That is the repeatability. We've been over this before. Anything less than 20% difference is insignificant. Just because some can't properly interpret causal factors, does not mean UOA is useless for comparing wear or oils.
 
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