Is a good oil just a good oil ?

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Dec 12, 2002
Or is it the engine/driving conditions that make an oil shine in an application ? In the used oil analysis section, we see some shining examples of wear numbers. I was particularly impressed with the BMW on Delo 400. Is it the oil or the conditions that give the great results ? What I mean, is if you did an analysis of every oil test to date, picked the oil that performed the absolute best out of all of them, stuck it in any vehicle, would any other oil possibly have a chance at bettering the wear numbers ?
You raise an excellent point! There are so many factors which affect engine wear that a very good oil could look bad in one report and shine in another. And vice versa. If someone took the absolute worst oil made and ran it in a car strictly on a long highway trip, in 70F weather, with no full throttle driving and no heavy loads, this oil might show the best oil report on here of all. But yet it's not indicitive of what everyone else will see. That's why it's good to see a huge number of reports, to see what the trend is. If one oil is very good, like Schaeffer oil, Amsoil, Redline, then they tend to show many many great reports. Just seeing one or two reports on other oils isn't really enough to know 100% for sure if they are good. It's better than nothing though. If you truly want to know if one oil is better than another in your own car, run each oil for 2 or 3 intervals and analyze, then compare the results. Use the exact same oil filter, and try to drive the same way. Make sure you're not comparing results in the cold weather to that in warm weather, as the cold results will look worse (I know it doesn't get cold in Australia though, I'm speaking generally here)
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