Changed oil yesterday, it came out like brown water

Messages
243
Location
Noblesville, IN
This is my first post, been searching and reading for several months, but my first problem. Great board by the way. I was running Pennzoil High Mileage 10w30 in my Ford Explorer for the first time, I did the 2 treatments of auto-RX already, and the first oil change after the auto-RX I ran Chevron 10w-40 ISO-PURE or whatever it is in that standard blue bottle for 1.08 at WalMart. 3000 miles with that, ran great, for some dumb reason I saw that Pennzoil high mileage oil was going to be better or the same or something, I guess the high mileage marketing took me for a ride but here is what happened. my wife and I went on vacation about 300 miles after I changed the oil to Pennzoil HM, ended up driving approximately 2000 miles in a bit over a week, some of the driving was through mountains, 100+ degrees heat index outside, city driving, but mostly highway around 2500-3000 RPMs. oil pressure was lower for at least the 2nd 1000 of the miles, so back home finally I ran it for another 2 weeks and just yesterday the check oil light came on, now granted I checked the oil several times on the road because I noted the pressure was less, and it always read fine, just as it did yesterday with the check oil light on. so no idea what to do, I dumped some old bottle of Mobil 10w40 I had in our garage in the crank case to see if may it was low and it just didnt show up right on the stick. The light went off, so I decided its time to change the oil a couple hundred miles early. when I got back from Walmart popped open the oil drain plug and the stuff rushed outta there like coffee, very thin and fast flowing. I am guessing it was low and the oil was so thin it was splashing up on the dipstick still reading high. Does not seem like this Pennzoil HM oil holds up very well. The Chevron did much better granted it was a 10w40 but I figured the HM should be close to a 10w40 anyways. Now I have never driven any other oils in this truck in those type of conditions I did, but I am not going to be buying that oil again. I put in Pennzoil Long Life 15w40 to see how that works out for me, if it is no good, I am going back to Chevron. any comments or ideas why the HM oil would have broken down to water like oil in less than 3000 miles?
 
Messages
3,333
Location
Bolivia
Too bad you didn't save some for analisis. That's the best way to tell what happened. Just in case, monitor your oil closely during the next few weeks - it isn't always the fluid that is to blame.
 

Al

Messages
19,250
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Sounds like you may not have been as careful as you could have been checking the level. You probably ran the thing low and the oil probably totally got battered. Check it on the level when the vehicle is completely cold. Make abslutely sure the level is o.K. Go here: Dyson/Blackstone Oil analysis This is a service that Terry Dyson provides in conjunction with blackstone oil analysis. He will provide a writup with the analysis. I would do this analysis at no more than 2K miles. Might be well worth your money.
 

MattPersman

Thread starter
Messages
243
Location
Noblesville, IN
see that is where I messed up, always testing it warm, never done it cold. You make a good point. I will run about 1500-2000 miles and send it to Dyson for testing/feedback thanks for the help bud!
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Yeah Matt, I really don't think we can trust our eyeball judgment when the oil drains out. Best to do an analysis to be sure. The Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle oils are formulated to be slightly thicker (within the same weight) than 'normal' oils. If anything, you pressure should have gone UP. Other than that, they have an ester blended into the oil as a seal conditioner ... about 10% - 15% and this stuff will be very thermally stable and won't shear down easily. Also, in general, you'll have to pay more attention to oil level, etc ... in order to figure out what's going on with your motor. Minimize the variables. [I dont know] --- Bror Jace
 

Al

Messages
19,250
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by MattPersman: thanks for the help bud!
You're welcome. Just keep reading here on this site-I'll learn a lot. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
389
Location
Stallings, NC
Explorers usually have factory oil coolers and they do pretty well in terms of holding enough oil for the engine size... some of the new ones hold 5.5 quarts. Having said that, the oil should have been fine comopared to a car that doesnt have an oil cooler on it.
 
Messages
22,493
Location
Apple Valley, California
quote:
Originally posted by MattPersman: [I am guessing it was low and the oil was so thin it was splashing up on the dipstick still reading high. [/QB]
Are you checkin the oil with the engine running? [Confused]
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
What engine is in that Explorer? If it is based on the old 3.0 Colgne and later 4.0 V6 then that engine always liked a thicker oil any ways. 10w30 under heavy moutain driveing at hwy speeds under summer heat was probably just too much for the oil. Combine this with low oil condition and that is alot of punshiment for the oil to take.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
I don't know what your talking about, but I've used Penz 10/30 HM in my Dad's 4.3L Blazer, and I think it has the best oil pressure of any oil I've tried, excluding Penz 15-40 LL. I've tried several 10w-40s, and the oil presure is clearly not as high after about 1500 miles. If you look at Pennzoils specs per their website, their 10/30 HM is a 12 CS at 100C, so it will probably average a higher viscosity over the life of the drain interval than a 10w-40, which has time and time again sheared to around 11-11.5 at 100C as per several UOA posted on this website. There has also been at least two UOA of penz 10/30 HM which showed it's viscosity still strong in the upper 11s at 100C after 3,000 miles. I'd either sample and quit guessing about it, or just change oils for piece of mind. I've been thinking a nice alternative to the HM oils is mixing half 10w-30 with 15w-40 of the oil brand of your choice. [Smile]
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
I don't buy the philosphy that the oil level has to be checked cold, but I do believe it has to be checked carefully - especially if it's checked hot. I make it a point to always check it on the LEVEL, and only after the car's sat for several minutes. And, when I do pull the dipstick, I wipe it immediately, re-insert it, pull it again, and only then check where the oil level is on it. I, too, suspect you were actually low on oil. Else, why would the idiot light be coming on, and extinguish after pouring in another quart? Uh-oh... How's your coolant level? [ September 15, 2003, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
 
Messages
353
Location
somewhere in Jersey
FWIW, If the OEL is the same as my old 88 gt ragtop, it will be triggered when it is a quart low. I did not bother to check the oil level anymore(200k+ miles), just waited for the OEL to flash(which was ~1k interval) to add another qt.
 

MattPersman

Thread starter
Messages
243
Location
Noblesville, IN
I was not checking the oil when it was running, after it was just running yes, but usually it was ok to do that, like at the gas station. pull up start pumping and then check the oil, like a minute or 2. actually I found out what my oil pressure problem was, I replaced my oil pressure sender on the block and now its fine. I guess I just burnt through that 10w30 HM oil for some reason. never happened before.
 
Messages
127
Location
Greenbrier, Tn
What year Explorer was that and what engine?? Since at least around 1990 most Fords do not have an actual oil pressure gauge. It is more of an idiot light with a needle attached to it. When the oil pressure exceeds a predetermined point (7 psi??) it will activate the needle and it will always go to the same position. I added a gauge to my F-150 because of that. My mechanical gauge goes to 85 psi when cold and idles at 40 psi when warm while the factory gauge always stays in the same place regardless of temperature. Always at the bottom when the engine is off and halfway up the scale when warm. Does your oil pressure gauge fluctuate with engine speed???? Food for thought.
 
Messages
3,468
Location
Austin, TX MSA
quote:
Originally posted by seldont: What year Explorer was that and what engine?? Since at least around 1990 most Fords do not have an actual oil pressure gauge. It is more of an idiot light with a needle attached to it. When the oil pressure exceeds a predetermined point (7 psi??) it will activate the needle and it will always go to the same position. I added a gauge to my F-150 because of that. My mechanical gauge goes to 85 psi when cold and idles at 40 psi when warm while the factory gauge always stays in the same place regardless of temperature. Always at the bottom when the engine is off and halfway up the scale when warm. Does your oil pressure gauge fluctuate with engine speed???? Food for thought.
Ya, my 2000 F-150 does this too. The gauge is always parked right in the middle irregardless of conditions. Cold, hot, WOT, idle; doesn't matter. Supposedly on F150online's forums there is a part number for an actual sending unit that will make the gauge functional.
 
Messages
541
Location
Virginia
I'm with Ray H on this, how's your coolant level? Usually the oil will turn grey with coolant but flowing the way you described sounded like a water problem. I know some older explorers could develop head gasket leaks, just happened to a friend of mine. He dumped tons of water in his oil. If your coolant water is brown (rust) then maybe the oil was brown instead of grey. I bought a used F150 and the water was completely brown. Had to flush twice to get it bright green again. Keep us posted.
 
Messages
1,397
Location
Katy, Texas
quote:
Originally posted by seldont: It is more of an idiot light with a needle attached to it.
Off Topic..... THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD BY A JEEP!!! It's gauge acutally works! Just messin with ya.... On Topic...... I think that since your engine has been running on 10W40 for so long, it just looked thinner when you drained it and on top of the Pennzoil HM being thinner, you really abused the heck out of it. [ September 24, 2003, 11:10 PM: Message edited by: JeepZJ4.0 ]
 
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