Is an Oil Analysis a waste of money??

Messages
296
Location
Eldora, Colorado 9000'
When an Oil Analysis costs just as much as an oil change/filter, why not just change the oil? I'm guessing it's more of a hobby for some people. But, I would rather spend my money on the changes! Anybody else?
 
Messages
1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
Oil analysis is totally and absolutely a waste of money. Might as well burn a $20 bill Unless, of course, the analysis finds anti-freeze in your oil, and you can get it fixed for a whole lot less than an engine replacement. Or you discover fuel contamination because of a bad injector, and get that fixed instead of replacing an engine. Or you find abnormal metal wear, and are able to trace it to a failing component, which can be fixed for $600 instead of replacing an engine for about $4000. Or you are interested in determining if you can extend the oil drain interval, possible saving a couple hundred bucks. Yep, total waste!
 

tpi

Messages
200
Location
So. CA
The analysis can provide a guideline for your own unique circumstances, provided you have some kind of routine way you operate your car. I'm looking at having my Camry's oil analyized after 8K-10K miles on a synthetic and if looks healthy with some margin of safety, will go ahead and make that my interval with only infrequent subsequent analyisis. Lets face it how can a manufacturers interval account for all the variables of automotive use? Some people do 500 cold starts per 1000 miles, others do 10. Some identical vehicles have used double the fuel per 1000 miles based on operational conditions. Hot or cold, clean or dusty air...
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by Grossomotto: When an Oil Analysis costs just as much as an oil change/filter, why not just change the oil? I'm guessing it's more of a hobby for some people. But, I would rather spend my money on the changes! Anybody else?
You can change your oil every 1000 miles if you like, but you'll never really know what is going on inside your engine until you do analysis (be it good or bad). Analysis might just save you a bunch of money down the road...
 
Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
for most people on this board, it is just a hobby. some of these people have probably spent enough money on analisis, they could have bought a new engine by now!
 
Messages
3,704
Location
Chattanooga, TN
quote:
Originally posted by Dick in Falls Church: Oil analysis is totally and absolutely a waste of money. Might as well burn a $20 bill Unless, of course, the analysis finds anti-freeze in your oil, and you can get it fixed for a whole lot less than an engine replacement. Or you discover fuel contamination because of a bad injector, and get that fixed instead of replacing an engine. Or you find abnormal metal wear, and are able to trace it to a failing component, which can be fixed for $600 instead of replacing an engine for about $4000. Or you are interested in determining if you can extend the oil drain interval, possible saving a couple hundred bucks. Yep, total waste!
To play the devils advocate. Anti freeze in oil, well, if you don't know you have a problem because you keep adding coolant every week then you have larger issues to deal with! Injector problems will also have other outward signs that you should recognize other trhen fuel contamination in a UOA! Abnormal wear, takes multiple UOA with a trend to determine this and in all probability there is absolutely nothing you can do about it and the engine will still last 100,000 plus miles. Extending intervals, yep, valid reason but only vaild if your driving conditions stay the same. If you change jobs, drivers etc. you have to start all over with the UOA to detemine another interval. SO, other then a hobby you make up your own mind!
 
Messages
404
Location
Palatine, IL
quote:
Originally posted by Grossomotto: When an Oil Analysis costs just as much as an oil change/filter, why not just change the oil? I'm guessing it's more of a hobby for some people. But, I would rather spend my money on the changes! Anybody else?
Becuase some people run Bypass and Preoilers which raise the total sump capacity from 6 quarts to about 8 or 9. And Combine that with a quality synthetic oil like Amsoil HDD 5W-30 and thats over $50 for the oil change..
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,011
Location
Guelph, Ontario
Even though I like to tell my wife I'm spending all this money on oil analysis mainly to help track any potential engine problems, and to see how the oil is performing, to tell you the honest truth the big reason I like doing oil analysis is because it's a lot of fun! I know it probably would sound crazy to the average person but it's true. For the cost of two UOAs I could cover the cost of one oil change, but I still plan on doing UOAs at the end of every OCI that I do.
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
Side benefit? The Hardcopy UOA's sent to you can be used as additional proof of proper engine maintance during the warranty period. (If your not going to the dealer and paying out the wazzo for oil changes).
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
quote:
I guess my point was aimed at extended drain. Why not just save the money and change the oil?
Well, I thought that I was in the "overkill" range with a 9.5 quart capacity and dual filters. My first analysis shock (and dimayed) me when it indicated that the oil was all but shot @ 9k. If I hadn't done it ...I would have gone on in blissful ignorace believing that I was doing a great job as the steward of my engine's health. On the other hand ...I think most people on this board are OCI WIMPS!!!! You can count the extended drain (and to many of the membership here exended drain is considered anything over 3k/3m [Big Grin] ) UAOs without having to take your shoes off. This crowd I feel is just indulging themselves with some wallet relief. (In some cases ...it's nature's way of saying that you make too much money. [Big Grin] ). They typically have no idea how well their oil will perform in an XtOCI and appear to fear some mythical threshold as though it would apprecialbly degrade their engine's life span to do ONE truly EXTENDED OCI to see what the results are. Go ahead ..check the UOAs ...most are 5k or under. That's NOT an extended drain interval by any stretch of the imagination.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,011
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Go ahead ..check the UOAs ...most are 5k or under. That's NOT an extended drain interval by any stretch of the imagination.
True, and I'm guilty of posting a lot of UOAs on here under 5k. It's a bit ironic when you think about it, but a lot of the reason I haven't done longer OCIs since I begun doing UOAs is simply because I'm so eager to see my next report! [Smile]
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
I can change my oil for less money than getting a UOA. I guess that means if I just half my change interval I'll be spending the same amount of $. Provided nothing major goes wrong in my engine that I wouldn't notice until long after the damage is done. And I won't learn a D%mn thing about oil, filters, internal condition of my engine, etc, etc. either. I consider any money spent to learn anything money well spent. Plus, I'm with Patman and some of the others. I enjoy doing it.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,011
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Mike: I wonder how many test their drinking water?
I'm constantly getting those water sampling test kits sent to my house, but they are sent from a company that sells you spring water, so obviously they have a business interest there and I don't fully trust their tests. I use a Brita, I'm safe. I wonder what the flow rating is on the Brita filters?? [Big Grin]
 
Messages
3,023
Location
USA-Michigan
I wondered if those were any good. I have used a Aqua Brite for many years. We are in a small well system, less than 10,000 customers. They once got it from Lake Superior but that became to costly due to the distance. I traveled over 30 yrs in my job as a DOT surveyor (retired '02) and would not drink the water in most places. I was in CA years ago visting and drank the local water, was sick for 3 days with the trots.
 
Messages
250
Location
Phoenix, AZ USA
quote:
Originally posted by Grossomotto: When an Oil Analysis costs just as much as an oil change/filter, why not just change the oil?
Prepaid analysis kits from MTM/OilGuard cost $9; add postage and we can call it $10. See http://www.oilguard.com/oil_analysis_prog.php . Eight quarts of M1 0W-40 and a filter cost me about $47. With Porsche listing 20,000-mile oil-change intervals, I drained at c. 10,000 miles and did an analysis. Next time, I'll analyze at 12,000 without changing the oil. Spending the $10 is indeed saving me money and giving me more info about how my engine and oil are doing.
 
Messages
555
Location
south texas border
got my well water tested...better than city. And lots of healthy minerals to keep you on schedule [Big Grin] ..hmmm....wonder if I can parallell 10 of those water filters and put them on my car 1 micron filtering..that should be good, parallell setup should take care of the flow [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
738
Location
Suburban St. Louis
quote:
Anti freeze in oil, well, if you don't know you have a problem because you keep adding coolant every week then you have larger issues to deal with!
Last year I replaced my water pump. I had been regularly adding coolant for months until the leak got very bad because my water pump leaked. I knew that. I didn't know if some of it was also going into my oil. In my case, I didn't do analysis, but could reasonably have done so. Besides... how much coolant does it take to mess up your oil ? And how noticeable is the loss ? Probably better to detect it at the "sub-clinical" level before you see it.
 
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