Does this tell me anything about my engine?

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Feb 15, 2004
akron, oh
A few weeks ago I purchased a 1998 Camry with just under 38K on the odometer. The first thing I did was switch to synthetic oil for the engine and the transmission, using the T-tech service for a total tranny fluid exchange. I also flushed the coolant and replaced the brake fluid. We made a 760 mile trip this past weekend. I was curious to see how clean the engine oil was after almost 800 miles of use. I was pleased to see it still looked like it came out of the bottle. I didn't have any service records for the car so I was hoping that the look of the oil might tell me something, or is it too soon, or does it say nothing at all?  - [ February 16, 2004, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: jim_a ]
Well-if it didn't use any oil ant looks clean thats a good sign (IMHO) it shows you progably don't have any blowby. Thats pretty subjective though. [Smile] [Welcome!]
Just curious, I have a 99 camry 6 cyl that was purchased with 80000 miles. I also had no previous information and immediately changed to synthetic. Is it a 4 or 6 cylinder? I also popped out the cheap PVC valve and replaced it. There is a question about the sludge, I am opening the valve covers this weekend. But so far, so good.
Funny, I thought of a Rorschach test too when I took the picture. [Smile] Guitarrocks, mine is a 4 cylinder engine. Let me know how yours looks when you open it up. Hpisavage21, wrong! It's Target paper towels. But they are as good as Bounty. [Wink]
Allow one drop to fall on a business card and allow to dry on a flat surface. You can then start to get an idea of how dirty the oil is becoming over time. Deep dark circle or a glob in the center is going to far.
Jim, while some will say it's impossible to tell anything from the oil's color...other's will get a woody when it turns black from auto-rx. Looks good to me...what synthetic, what grade, how long are you keeping it in there? 800mi is too short to tell anything....if consumption is in check you should be fine up to 5k.
Just a theory, and it depends on the engine and transmission maintenance, but you MAY find the lubes turning dirty before 2K which MIGHT indicate some varnishing and crud being cleaned by the high ester-content oils. Keep checking the dipsticks and let us know the lube's appearance.
Dr. T, I'm running Redline 5w30 in the engine and Redline transmission fluid. The change interval is a big question for me. I have a beater 1988 Nova with 205K on it. It needs a new strut and tires if I want to keep running it as a work car. I only live 2.5 miles from work and live in the rust belt. If I start driving the Camry to work I will change it earlier than if I keep running the Nova and use the Camry for weekends and trips where I can get the engine and oil up to temp.
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