Make the right conclusions from UOA

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Nov 17, 2003
New Hanover, PA
Like many here, I have been scouring through the UOA section looking for the right combination of vehicle, engine, and grade of oil so I can make informed decisions about what oil to use and how long to keep it in service...ect. I guess that recently I am coming to the conclusion that if I want to make any real "informed" decisions about what oil to use and how long to keep it in service, I need to do UOA on my vehicles... That way I know that my driving habits and conditions are factored in... Does that make the rest of the UOAs essentially useless for me????
Not necessarily "useless". Of course the variables are myriad, but wear trends are helpful, especially, iron, copper and lead data. The lesson here is that engines are a law unto themselves, and UOA results are helpful and can provide real information about what is going on inside your engine.
a single uoa done on youre truck is almost meaningless sence it wont be trended. you really, really need to do a trend analisis to be able to use a uoa for anything usefull in terms of wear numbers.
Well ..the UOAs of others have "suggested" certain things. The main thing that I've learned is that without a UOA you're just guessing of what works with your engine with your usage . You've also got to keep in mind that they are a limited tool to the extent that, in some instances, there is NO SOLUTION to a poor engine design or design characteristic ...just the most "effective" way of compensating for it (my engine, for example is a known "iron hog". It will always be an iron hog ..just less of an iron hog if I use UOA properly). That is, although you may be able to "read into it" a little for some expanded insight (Terry D. for example) ..some things do not have a perfect fix. Without it, however, you can't balance the costs. I find most UOAs here useless only the extent that no one seems to really be interested in extended OCI. Your typical UOA is between 3-5000 miles ..hardy anything beyond (or even up to) the OEM OCI recommendation they don't do a thing for me.
I would say the most useful aspect of doing several UOA's is catching potentially devastating problems early, the one that comes to mind being a coolant leak.
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