Ford 3.5L at 31k miles / SuperTech 5w-20 at 11.8k miles

Status
Not open for further replies.

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I just went back to my other computer and pulled up my files on this engine series ... I have 663 unique UOAs on this engine series now.

While this is the first UOA for my one engine, I pretty much understand how these engines respond in the overall marco-market, with all it's variation of brands/grades/ambient conditions/drivers/etc.

- Fe wear at 3k mile intervals; 2.2ppm / 1k miles
- Fe wear at 5k mile intervals; 2.0ppm / 1k miles
- Fe wear at 7.5k mile intervals; 1.6ppm / 1k miles
- Fe wear at 10k mile intervals; 1.6ppm / 1k miles
- Fe wear of my unique sample at 11.8k miles .... 0.8ppm/1k miles. (this data is my sample only; the others above are from the 663 samples)

Let's further consider the following for those who care about oil health:
- The vis was fine.
- The contamination was low.
- The insolubles were very low.
- The FP is fine.
- The under-valve-cover view is good through the fill port. (I'm not pulling a valve cover at 30k veh miles just to risk contaminants getting in)
- There's no evidence of coolant disappearing from the degas bottle, nor any trace of coolant in the oil.

Because the insolubles and other contamination was very low, we can conclude that the vis is still in grade because things are clean. Sometimes when a thin oil gets thinner early in an OCI, it will then thicken later from oxidative thickening. But because insolubles are so low, even after almost 12k miles, it's reasonable to conclude that the oil didn't thin then thicken; it simply stayed in grade from decent filtration and a clean combustion process. The 663 UOAs I have show that this engine is clean running; the insoluble average after 10k mile OCIs is still only 2.4 !!! It means the combustion process is clean and the oil doesn't get too hot, even for a lowly conventional oil. But none of that really matters ovearll.

WEAR RATES are what matters. And when wear rates are continuing down, all is good.

I'm confident I'm making an informed, well-considered decision to extend my OCIs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
323
Location
CA
I think you are making a calculated risk based on very limited data plus a set of assumptions. You are also working with only one example and this is a situation where you are familiar with the engine's history, driving conditions and its typical behavior.

While this may be reasonable given the unique circumstances, I don't think this approach should be applicable to all users.
Have you seen his UOAs on his old Mercury villager? Also ran ST conventional to over 10k on a car that had 200k+ miles. I think he knows what he’s doing
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
323
Location
CA
I don't understand the decision to own a newer vehicle and then buy dino oil to save like 2 bucks, and then push the OCI further out. But it is your vehicle, so rock on.
It’s experiments and minds like this that help us better understand things. If nobody experimented or broke outside the boundaries and “played it safe” or used syn for “extra insurance” then we would all be among the sheep.

Why use a grenade launcher to kill a fly when a rolled up newspaper can do the trick? At the minimum he’s saving resources and time.
 
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
323
Location
CA
@dnewton3 is this the newly labeled “synthetic blend” st? Any idea who blends this? How did your oil look in terms of color? How about odor? Any makeup oil?
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,139
It’s experiments and minds like this that help us better understand things. If nobody experimented or broke outside the boundaries and “played it safe” or used syn for “extra insurance” then we would all be among the sheep.

Why use a grenade launcher to kill a fly when a rolled up newspaper can do the trick? At the minimum he’s saving resources and time.
I think experimenting is great and it's appreciated, but doing this and then trying to convince everyone that they're being ridiculous is they don't go over a year on their own vehicle, even with some unknowns is what I disagree with. I know he doesn't agree with anyone that he can't see on paper in "the outputs" but that doesn't mean we all agree with his opinion, but we will be ridiculed if we don't.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
@dnewton3 is this the newly labeled “synthetic blend” st? Any idea who blends this? How did your oil look in terms of color? How about odor? Any makeup oil?
Nope - old stock of the true conventional. Color and odor were normal for used oil. Only .5 qrt in 11.8k miles for make up oil.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I think experimenting is great and it's appreciated, but doing this and then trying to convince everyone that they're being ridiculous is they don't go over a year on their own vehicle, even with some unknowns is what I disagree with. I know he doesn't agree with anyone that he can't see on paper in "the outputs" but that doesn't mean we all agree with his opinion, but we will be ridiculed if we don't.
If one feels ridiculed, then I owe someone an apology.

I will defend my positions fervently, however.

What I'll never understand is why folks will pay for UOAs, and then promptly ignore the data that's in them. UOAs will tell you about oil health and engine health. Knowing the status of the oil for the sake of the oil is meaningless; the job of oil isn't protect itself - it's to protect the engine. It's MAIN goal is to reduce friction (wear). Sure, oil cleans and cools, but those are not it's main priority. UOAs are the cheapest, quickest way to ascertain a reasonable view of the engine health. So when folks pay for UOAs, then ignore the data that indicates wear rates are low, and dump oil anyway ... well that's not only a waste of oil but also a waste of the money paid for the UOA. It's doubling down on waste.

Sure - we've all heard the "it's cheap insurance to change oil early" excuse. And that's what it is; it's an excuse for a behavior pattern that has no rational basis. Changing oil at 5 miles? Why not 4k miles? Wouldn't that be "safer insurance"? Why not 3k miles; it's safer than 4k miles, right? To what end does this stop??? All these milage limits are arbitrary guesses. These practices are PM; preventative maintenance. In a manner of speaking, they may be "preventing" a problem by making sure the oil is reasonably fresh. But they are also preventing a good return on investment; they are wasting lube. When wear rates are dropping lower as the OCI matures, then how in the blazing Hades can it be "cheap insurance" to change oil more often which results in a HIGHER wear rate??????? Riddle me that, please; explain to me how more frequent oil changes which actually escalate the wear rates, and cost more money, is somehow better? Shorter OCIs not only increase wear rates, but cause one to spend more money. And that is someone's idea of "cheap insurance"? Would you buy homeowner's insurance if they said "Well, if you pay us more often we'll increase your costs and offer you less protection." ??? Would you buy tires if the sales guy said "if you change tires more often, you can spend more money AND get less traction." ???

IF AND ONLY IF we didn't have data, then perhaps short OCIs would make sense, only as a precation against the unknown.
BUT WE HAVE DATA; TONS OF IT !!! We have scads of data that proves beyond any doubt that for most any normal application with a healthy engine, the wear rates DROP as the OCI matures. The "cheap insurance" mantra is predicated on the lack of knowing otherwise. But we don't live in the 1970s any longer. We are far more educated in terms of what we know about lubrication and equipment wear rates. Well, at least some of us are.

I practice another form of PM; predictive maintenance. I look into the engine series history; what are the macro market indicators in terms of problems and wear rates? Then I do my own UOAs and see where my unique engine falls in line with normal expectations. Using tools like UOAs is a very quick, inexpensive way to get a solid (not perfect, but good) understanding of how the engine is wearing.

- In our old '95 Villager, I ran several OCI experiments out to 10k and even 15k miles, all with good wear rates. We got this new, and ran it out to 240k miles before rust took it's toll and we sold it cheap to a deserving young single mother. That engine ran 95% of it's life run on dino oil, and probably the last 100k miles on long OCIs. (UOAs on this site)
- In our '05 and '07 Grand Marquis, I ran 10k mile OCIs with both syns and dinos and got excellent low wear rates; no difference between the lubes. In particular, my wife's 2005 MGM had gone more than 100k miles on 10k mile OCIs, and when it was wrecked (240k miles or so) it was still turning in excellent wear rates.
- Now with my '18 Taurus I've shown that 12k miles on dino oil is no problem, and 15k miles is probably my next step. (UOA on this site)
- I think I'm up to around 20,000 UOAs in my database; I've got LOTS of data to understand how wear rates exist in relation to OCI duration.

My point is that I put my money where my mouth is; I walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. I have my own personal anecdotal evidence, and reams of macro-data evidence to back up my claims. I don't ridicule people for doing what they want to do; that's their perogative. But I do challenge them when they state or imply things like "shorter OCIs are cheap insurance", or "longer OCIs are a risk", when the data CLEARLY exhibits these statements to be false.

If someone wants to change oil frequently, that's fine by me. Go for it! Whether it's a mileage limit or a calendar limit, doesn't matter to me. But if that same person then states it's somehow better, that's where I get interested to make the challenges to the claim. If it comes off as ridicule, then that's on me and I owe someone an apology. But I won't apologize for correcting misinformation and baseless claims.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,139
If one feels ridiculed, then I owe someone an apology.

I will defend my positions fervently, however.

What I'll never understand is why folks will pay for UOAs, and then promptly ignore the data that's in them. UOAs will tell you about oil health and engine health. Knowing the status of the oil for the sake of the oil is meaningless; the job of oil isn't protect itself - it's to protect the engine. It's MAIN goal is to reduce friction (wear). Sure, oil cleans and cools, but those are not it's main priority. UOAs are the cheapest, quickest way to ascertain a reasonable view of the engine health. So when folks pay for UOAs, then ignore the data that indicates wear rates are low, and dump oil anyway ... well that's not only a waste of oil but also a waste of the money paid for the UOA. It's doubling down on waste.

Sure - we've all heard the "it's cheap insurance to change oil early" excuse. And that's what it is; it's an excuse for a behavior pattern that has no rational basis. Changing oil at 5 miles? Why not 4k miles? Wouldn't that be "safer insurance"? Why not 3k miles; it's safer than 4k miles, right? To what end does this stop??? All these milage limits are arbitrary guesses. These practices are PM; preventative maintenance. In a manner of speaking, they may be "preventing" a problem by making sure the oil is reasonably fresh. But they are also preventing a good return on investment; they are wasting lube. When wear rates are dropping lower as the OCI matures, then how in the blazing Hades can it be "cheap insurance" to change oil more often which results in a HIGHER wear rate??????? Riddle me that, please; explain to me how more frequent oil changes which actually escalate the wear rates, and cost more money, is somehow better? Shorter OCIs not only increase wear rates, but cause one to spend more money. And that is someone's idea of "cheap insurance"? Would you buy homeowner's insurance if they said "Well, if you pay us more often we'll increase your costs and offer you less protection." ??? Would you buy tires if the sales guy said "if you change tires more often, you can spend more money AND get less traction." ???

IF AND ONLY IF we didn't have data, then perhaps short OCIs would make sense, only as a precation against the unknown.
BUT WE HAVE DATA; TONS OF IT !!! We have scads of data that proves beyond any doubt that for most any normal application with a healthy engine, the wear rates DROP as the OCI matures. The "cheap insurance" mantra is predicated on the lack of knowing otherwise. But we don't live in the 1970s any longer. We are far more educated in terms of what we know about lubrication and equipment wear rates. Well, at least some of us are.

I practice another form of PM; predictive maintenance. I look into the engine series history; what are the macro market indicators in terms of problems and wear rates? Then I do my own UOAs and see where my unique engine falls in line with normal expectations. Using tools like UOAs is a very quick, inexpensive way to get a solid (not perfect, but good) understanding of how the engine is wearing.

- In our old '95 Villager, I ran several OCI experiments out to 10k and even 15k miles, all with good wear rates. We got this new, and ran it out to 240k miles before rust took it's toll and we sold it cheap to a deserving young single mother. That engine ran 95% of it's life run on dino oil, and probably the last 100k miles on long OCIs. (UOAs on this site)
- In our '05 and '07 Grand Marquis, I ran 10k mile OCIs with both syns and dinos and got excellent low wear rates; no difference between the lubes. In particular, my wife's 2005 MGM had gone more than 100k miles on 10k mile OCIs, and when it was wrecked (240k miles or so) it was still turning in excellent wear rates.
- Now with my '18 Taurus I've shown that 12k miles on dino oil is no problem, and 15k miles is probably my next step. (UOA on this site)
- I think I'm up to around 20,000 UOAs in my database; I've got LOTS of data to understand how wear rates exist in relation to OCI duration.

My point is that I put my money where my mouth is; I walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. I have my own personal anecdotal evidence, and reams of macro-data evidence to back up my claims. I don't ridicule people for doing what they want to do; that's their perogative. But I do challenge them when they state or imply things like "shorter OCIs are cheap insurance", or "longer OCIs are a risk", when the data CLEARLY exhibits these statements to be false.

If someone wants to change oil frequently, that's fine by me. Go for it! Whether it's a mileage limit or a calendar limit, doesn't matter to me. But if that same person then states it's somehow better, that's where I get interested to make the challenges to the claim. If it comes off as ridicule, then that's on me and I owe someone an apology. But I won't apologize for correcting misinformation and baseless claims.
I understand where you're coming from, however uoa's can be done to prevent an unexpected failure and not necessarily because someone wants to stretch out an oil change. Many of us that don't share your opinion on stretching out oil changes have our opinions from working in garages and seeing first hand damage from lack of oil changes. Here in Canada it's not very convenient to get uoa's done and that's the only reason i haven't gotten one yet.
What are your thoughts on sludge? Is actual sludge okay if wear rates are still low?
Here are a couple of the pics I posted recently of my Silverado when I replaced the valve cover. Oil changes were by the oil life monitor for most of its life with conventional, then 3-4k for several years and then full synthetic the past couple years since I bought it.
IMG_20211030_125552.jpg
IMG_20211031_144636.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Messages
3,864
Location
Austin, TX MSA
This is a Blackstone UOA? You say mix of city and highway, just how long are these highway trips? Long enough to burn off all fuel beyond a shadow of a doubt? What about heat cycles? Mix of city and highway is one thing, but what if it was never turned off for a high number of hours a day? You would have less heat cycles in that circumstance.

The outlier I see here is the flashpoint. 440 FP is pretty uncommon for used oil in general, even higher weights.

I dunno, I'd still want the TBN, but it seems to be working for you. The limiting factor is, not so much your use case, but that, I would not recommend it to others what you are doing without having more data.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Given it's a Blackstone UOA, the FP value is, shall we say, a bit flexible ... Their method isn't as exact as others.

3k miles of this OCI was a trip to AZ and back, but that was mid-OCI. Some trips were more "mid-length" such as 100-200 miles one way; that maybe represents another 2k miles or so. But the bulk of this was moderate DD use, with some trips into town as short as 5 miles. The car typically always comes up to temp; how long it's at temp is just a function of the trek I'm on for the day.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
2,260
When I look at UOA’s I mainly look at the TBN, and that’s because I’m really interested in one indication of the oil’s ability to hold onto it’s additive package. I’m not really looking for engine “wear”, because most engines can physically handle extended drains, especially newer lower mileage engines. The metal, the bearings, the cylinders, rings. All that, when lubricated with oil, at operating temperature, under normal driving conditions, handle “wear”. For the most part.

Instead I’m looking for “clean”. I’m interested in soot, carbon buildup, sludge and anything that will prevent, or cause an oil control ring sticking in its lands. That’s what I care about nowadays. Because THAT’S the biggest issue in my mind with engines today. Low tension rings not being able to do their job after they can’t expand out and control oil consumption, and THEN eventually cylinder wall wear.

And I don’t really care about the bearings anymore, because unless there’s a clogged oil supply hole on the crank, they’re going to be lubed and happy (not knowing or caring what type of oil it is or how long it’s been in there). I guess extended drains will cause the sludge necessary to clog supply to a bearing, but that would take years of neglect and quite honestly, those rings will become the issue long before those bearings (on most engines without an inherent design flaw).

Now, maybe I’m wrong? Maybe it doesn’t matter what you do - these low tension rings are going to get stuck - and it doesn’t matter if you changed the oil at 5,000 using a high quality synthetic, or at 12,000 miles using Walmart conventional. If that’s the case, then yeah, go with the cheaper alternative, because we’re all going to suffer the same fate anyway. Save the cash and go to Aruba, BUT IF the shorter intervals and better oil prevent the ring sticking? I’m doing that, and going to Aruba.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
When I look at UOA’s I mainly look at the TBN, and that’s because I’m really interested in one indication of the oil’s ability to hold onto it’s additive package. I’m not really looking for engine “wear”, because most engines can physically handle extended drains, especially newer lower mileage engines. The metal, the bearings, the cylinders, rings. All that, when lubricated with oil, at operating temperature, under normal driving conditions, handle “wear”. For the most part.

Instead I’m looking for “clean”. I’m interested in soot, carbon buildup, sludge and anything that will prevent, or cause an oil control ring sticking in its lands. That’s what I care about nowadays. Because THAT’S the biggest issue in my mind with engines today. Low tension rings not being able to do their job after they can’t expand out and control oil consumption, and THEN eventually cylinder wall wear.

And I don’t really care about the bearings anymore, because unless there’s a clogged oil supply hole on the crank, they’re going to be lubed and happy (not knowing or caring what type of oil it is or how long it’s been in there). I guess extended drains will cause the sludge necessary to clog supply to a bearing, but that would take years of neglect and quite honestly, those rings will become the issue long before those bearings (on most engines without an inherent design flaw).

Now, maybe I’m wrong? Maybe it doesn’t matter what you do - these low tension rings are going to get stuck - and it doesn’t matter if you changed the oil at 5,000 using a high quality synthetic, or at 12,000 miles using Walmart conventional. If that’s the case, then yeah, go with the cheaper alternative, because we’re all going to suffer the same fate anyway. Save the cash and go to Aruba, BUT IF the shorter intervals and better oil prevent the ring sticking? I’m doing that, and going to Aruba.
Interesting theory: Let's discuss

If there is data to support your assertion, I would be interested to see it; there is at least some theory worthy of investigation there. BUT ...
I would need to see conclusive proof of correlation at a minimum. IOW, a value of X.x TBN would equate to Y.y reading of insolubles counts, and/or soot levels. If there is no correlation, then we can't have causation. So if you have data which reputably can show this ( here's an example):
If... a TBN of 2.3 always would be equal to inxolubles of .38, and a TBN of 5.0 would equal .15, then we could have a slope drawn to know the approximate reaction of one to the other. And to really be crecdible, we'd need three correlation points, in case it's (more likley) a curve. So TONs of data would be needed because you'd not only want to know the average values at those three points, but also you'd need enough samples to understand the variation as well. Here, I don't think macro data would be as helpful; you'd want micro data from one engine. That means at a minimum, you'd want 30 UOAs using the same oil brand/grade/spec. You see where this is going??? It would take far too much money and time to prove correlation existed, before you could even make a hint of causation.

Further, it again falls into my "inputs vs. outputs" topic. Why try to prove the input/output correlation with a massive investment of time and money, when you can just get a soot test, insoluble test, and PC counts????? Why try to show how the input affects the output, when you can just go get a DIRECT output reading of the metric you want to know????? To prove merit in your theory, you're going to have to get the output data anyway. Why try to find a correlation from an input, when you already have the output in your hand?????

Your approach is interesting, but it's taking the long, bumpy road to get to the same destination, trying to imply the answer, when you can simply pay for a PC or soot test, or get the insoluble test (included in the BS basic UOA) and get the knowledge first hand.

The insoluble count on my UOA here is very, very low, even after 12k miles. I popped out the oil-fill cap, and it's clean as a whistle inside the valve cover; impressively so. Why would knowing TBN tell me more than those two things I already know?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
2,260
Interesting theory: Let's discuss

If there is data to support your assertion, I would be interested to see it; there is at least some theory worthy of investigation there. BUT ...
I would need to see conclusive proof of correlation at a minimum. IOW, a value of X.x TBN would equate to Y.y reading of insolubles counts, and/or soot levels. If there is no correlation, then we can't have causation. So if you have data which reputably can show this ( here's an example):
If... a TBN of 2.3 always would be equal to inxolubles of .38, and a TBN of 5.0 would equal .15, then we could have a slope drawn to know the approximate reaction of one to the other. And to really be crecdible, we'd need three correlation points, in case it's (more likley) a curve. So TONs of data would be needed because you'd not only want to know the average values at those three points, but also you'd need enough samples to understand the variation as well. Here, I don't think macro data would be as helpful; you'd want micro data from one engine. That means at a minimum, you'd want 30 UOAs using the same oil brand/grade/spec. You see where this is going??? It would take far too much money and time to prove correlation existed, before you could even make a hint of causation.

Further, it again falls into my "inputs vs. outputs" topic. Why try to prove the input/output correlation with a massive investment of time and money, when you can just get a soot test, insoluble test, and PC counts????? Why try to show how the input affects the output, when you can just go get a DIRECT output reading of the metric you want to know????? To prove merit in your theory, you're going to have to get the output data anyway. Why try to find a correlation from an input, when you already have the output in your hand?????

Your approach is interesting, but it's taking the long, bumpy road to get to the same destination, trying to imply the answer, when you can simply pay for a PC or soot test, or get the insoluble test (included in the BS basic UOA) and get the knowledge first hand.

The insoluble count on my UOA here is very, very low, even after 12k miles. I popped out the oil-fill cap, and it's clean as a whistle inside the valve cover; impressively so. Why would knowing TBN tell me more than those two things I already know?
Without being familiar with particle count tests, the cost, what exactly they can tell (what it is they’re counting and how those numbers compare to others), I don’t know if the cost=worth while. Am I wrong?

And without that^^information we are only left with wear...and you already have my feelings on that. Or TBN/TAN and the general thought of what those two things mean to oil, it’s additives and the cleanliness of an engine (and it’s oil rings). Am I wrong? Could be.

I don’t know a ton about your engine, but I know 30 something thousand miles is nowhere near enough to provide evidence of anything (by looking in an oil fill cap opening). And quite honestly, being able to tell anything about much of anything at all. It’s a new engine. I have seen THESE engines go very far with downright near abusive maintenance schedules (or lack of). With the only thing condemning them a failed water pump. I personally know (and serviced) a few of them. Guy who would drive 700 miles a week and go 7,000-10,000 using house brand Carquest synthetic. They don’t use much oil between changes. I don’t know if they use low tension rings or not. And I don’t know if your particular engine is direct injected or not (his weren’t). With him it didn’t matter. He fried his transfer cases in both instances (2 different Ford Edges).

And that’s probably a good point^^. A good engine will handle quite a bit, to a point, and then something else will end the life of the vehicle. But it’s still interesting. I’m contemplating going further on my oil changes myself right now, but I would only stick to synthetic while trying to. I’m probably going to start a thread on it about my particular car. Curious to see/hear opinions about my particular engine.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Thread starter
Joined
May 14, 2007
Messages
9,443
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Well that's part of my point. This Cyclone engine series has a history of running very clean and not having issue with coked rings, low compression, etc. Additionally, of all the vidoes I've seen of these engines apart for the water pumps, there's never been signficiant sludge build up in any of them. As long as the oil didn't get contaminated by coolant, these things run and stay very clean.

With TBN, if you don't align it with some measure of "clean" (soot or insolubles; again, massive data would be needed), then what's the point? How much TBN is enough? How little TBN is not enough? If you can't prove that some value of TBN in the lube equates to a desire result in the engine, then it's pretty much moot - it's just an artibrary value of emotional choosing. I've seen some UOAs where the engines were heavily contaminated with sludge, but the TBN was still good. I've seen UOAs where the TBN/TAN had not crossed over, but the wear was high. I've seen plenty of UOAs where the TBN/TAC did cross over, yet the wear was great. I've seen UOAs where the TBN was fine, but the piston rings were totally coked and compression was terrible. I've seen TBN reports which was very low, but the engine was in great shape. My point is that there's no solid evidence that TBN of value X.x relates directly to a result of some cleanliness level.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
1,351
Location
montreal ,canada
If one feels ridiculed, then I owe someone an apology.

I will defend my positions fervently, however.

What I'll never understand is why folks will pay for UOAs, and then promptly ignore the data that's in them. UOAs will tell you about oil health and engine health. Knowing the status of the oil for the sake of the oil is meaningless; the job of oil isn't protect itself - it's to protect the engine. It's MAIN goal is to reduce friction (wear). Sure, oil cleans and cools, but those are not it's main priority. UOAs are the cheapest, quickest way to ascertain a reasonable view of the engine health. So when folks pay for UOAs, then ignore the data that indicates wear rates are low, and dump oil anyway ... well that's not only a waste of oil but also a waste of the money paid for the UOA. It's doubling down on waste.

Sure - we've all heard the "it's cheap insurance to change oil early" excuse. And that's what it is; it's an excuse for a behavior pattern that has no rational basis. Changing oil at 5 miles? Why not 4k miles? Wouldn't that be "safer insurance"? Why not 3k miles; it's safer than 4k miles, right? To what end does this stop??? All these milage limits are arbitrary guesses. These practices are PM; preventative maintenance. In a manner of speaking, they may be "preventing" a problem by making sure the oil is reasonably fresh. But they are also preventing a good return on investment; they are wasting lube. When wear rates are dropping lower as the OCI matures, then how in the blazing Hades can it be "cheap insurance" to change oil more often which results in a HIGHER wear rate??????? Riddle me that, please; explain to me how more frequent oil changes which actually escalate the wear rates, and cost more money, is somehow better? Shorter OCIs not only increase wear rates, but cause one to spend more money. And that is someone's idea of "cheap insurance"? Would you buy homeowner's insurance if they said "Well, if you pay us more often we'll increase your costs and offer you less protection." ??? Would you buy tires if the sales guy said "if you change tires more often, you can spend more money AND get less traction." ???

IF AND ONLY IF we didn't have data, then perhaps short OCIs would make sense, only as a precation against the unknown.
BUT WE HAVE DATA; TONS OF IT !!! We have scads of data that proves beyond any doubt that for most any normal application with a healthy engine, the wear rates DROP as the OCI matures. The "cheap insurance" mantra is predicated on the lack of knowing otherwise. But we don't live in the 1970s any longer. We are far more educated in terms of what we know about lubrication and equipment wear rates. Well, at least some of us are.

I practice another form of PM; predictive maintenance. I look into the engine series history; what are the macro market indicators in terms of problems and wear rates? Then I do my own UOAs and see where my unique engine falls in line with normal expectations. Using tools like UOAs is a very quick, inexpensive way to get a solid (not perfect, but good) understanding of how the engine is wearing.

- In our old '95 Villager, I ran several OCI experiments out to 10k and even 15k miles, all with good wear rates. We got this new, and ran it out to 240k miles before rust took it's toll and we sold it cheap to a deserving young single mother. That engine ran 95% of it's life run on dino oil, and probably the last 100k miles on long OCIs. (UOAs on this site)
- In our '05 and '07 Grand Marquis, I ran 10k mile OCIs with both syns and dinos and got excellent low wear rates; no difference between the lubes. In particular, my wife's 2005 MGM had gone more than 100k miles on 10k mile OCIs, and when it was wrecked (240k miles or so) it was still turning in excellent wear rates.
- Now with my '18 Taurus I've shown that 12k miles on dino oil is no problem, and 15k miles is probably my next step. (UOA on this site)
- I think I'm up to around 20,000 UOAs in my database; I've got LOTS of data to understand how wear rates exist in relation to OCI duration.

My point is that I put my money where my mouth is; I walk the walk and don't just talk the talk. I have my own personal anecdotal evidence, and reams of macro-data evidence to back up my claims. I don't ridicule people for doing what they want to do; that's their perogative. But I do challenge them when they state or imply things like "shorter OCIs are cheap insurance", or "longer OCIs are a risk", when the data CLEARLY exhibits these statements to be false.

If someone wants to change oil frequently, that's fine by me. Go for it! Whether it's a mileage limit or a calendar limit, doesn't matter to me. But if that same person then states it's somehow better, that's where I get interested to make the challenges to the claim. If it comes off as ridicule, then that's on me and I owe someone an apology. But I won't apologize for correcting misinformation and baseless claims.
For some members the message (s) will never get through. What really gets them is when they're told about lower wear rates as the oci extends out, sometimes up to 15k miles.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2015
Messages
1,351
Location
montreal ,canada
I understand where you're coming from, however uoa's can be done to prevent an unexpected failure and not necessarily because someone wants to stretch out an oil change. Many of us that don't share your opinion on stretching out oil changes have our opinions from working in garages and seeing first hand damage from lack of oil changes. Here in Canada it's not very convenient to get uoa's done and that's the only reason i haven't gotten one yet.
What are your thoughts on sludge? Is actual sludge okay if wear rates are still low?
Here are a couple of the pics I posted recently of my Silverado when I replaced the valve cover. Oil changes were by the oil life monitor for most of its life with conventional, then 3-4k for several years and then full synthetic the past couple years since I bought it.
View attachment 81679 View attachment 81680
There must be dozens of labs that will analyze your oil. Probably a dozen just in Alberta alone. There are a couple here in Montreal I believe. Doesn't really matter where you live there should be one relatively close by.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,139
For some members the message (s) will never get through. What really gets them is when they're told about lower wear rates as the oci extends out, sometimes up to 15k miles.
Is it not possible that wear rates are higher initially as slightly higher cleaning rates are happening with the fresh oil? I personally don't think it's a case of "not getting through", more of a case of we've seen a lot of sludged up ruined engines just from people extending conventional oil changes as far as dnewton does. Can you destroy a good engine by changing oil early? No you can't. Can you destroy it by changing it late? Absolutely it is possible and it's happened many times.

If I get a sample it's mainly going to be to check for coolant or fuel contamination, not because I'm going to stretch it out longer. I change it when it's convenient and typically at the end of a good long drive.

Also, part of the reason for continuing early changes is to clean out the sludge left by the previous drivers, which I posted pictures earlier in this thread.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top