Question from a new guy

Just wondering what this oil analysis is all about. I realize it will show how well the oil is holding up, but doesn't the filter remove the metals & other contaminants? This seems like it would be even more true with a bypass filtering system. I guess the simple question is - how do we know the oil is protecting without pulling the filter / filters & have them analyzed also? Question #2. Which lab seems to do the the best job? What does everybody think of Oil Analyzers, Inc. [ March 10, 2003, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: medic ]
 
Messages
3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by medic: Just wondering what this oil analysis is all about. I realize it will show how well the oil is holding up, but doesn't the filter remove the metals & other contaminants? This seems like it would be even more true with a bypass filtering system. I guess the simple question is - how do we know the oil is protecting without pulling the filter / filters & have them analyzed also? Question #2. Which lab seems to do the the best job? What does everybody think of Oil Analyzers, Inc.
First off:: [Welcome!] To answer your question you can sample your oil without draining by using a sucker device that you stick down your dipstick tube. It costs about $25 or so. Second, Oil Analyzers is good, except I dont' believe they are doing the testing anymore as they are farming the work out to Cleveland Tech. I havent' used them yet, but will probably order a couple of kits here soon as I'm due for a sample. BTW, are you the same medic from the F150 site?
 
Messages
3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by medic: This seems like it would be even more true with a bypass filtering system.
Forgot this one. As far as analysis being necessary, well I believe it is really important to see how your vehicle/oil choice is working for you. Even if you only pull a sample once a year, you can possibly spot potential problems long before they actually become a problem. Things like bad air filtration, head gasket leaks, poor combustion/fuel injection and other problems. Also you can tell if the oil is holding up and doing a good job, things like oxidation, fuel diluation, nitration, TBN, viscosity and such can help you evalute your oil choice and drain interval. Hope this helps.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,706
Location
Iowegia - USA
Medic, Oil filters only take out particles of solids of certain sizes and some of the more insoluble sludge components. The oil has elemental contaminants which the filter cannot remove, since many of the contamainants are in chemical solution, and not suspension. In addition, oil analysis tells you what the additive concentrations might be and how much acid fighting reserve you might have. Coolant leaks from bad headgaskets potentially can be detected before you ruin an engine. A head gasket replacement would cost far less than a complete motor overhaul. High silicon content could show poor air filtration or poor induction system sealing. So UOA definately has a place in the overall maintance scheme. [ March 10, 2003, 03:32 PM: Message edited by: MolaKule ]
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
The inexpensive analysis that most of us use is spectrographic FT-IR, fourier-transform infra-red, which only picks up particles smaller than 5-um. Most of the full-flow oil filters filter no smaller than 10-um. A bypass filter could, I think, skew an FT-IR analysis. It could make analysis results seem better than they are. Ferrographic analysis is a microscopic particle-count analysis that works on larger particles. One of the site sponsors, AVLUBE, offers this type of analysis for $90. Oil Analyzers Inc is one of the better labs. Check out AVLUBE's $15 kits and their new $18. kit that includes TBN. [ March 10, 2003, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Jay ]
 
Messages
529
Location
Manitoba, Canada
I just GOTTA chime in on this one. See my item about Redline-10 months, at http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000344 The plain dino oil after the by-pass filter had a huge 200 micron rust booger in it after just one month, how it got there I still don't know. The RedLine was way better after 14,000 KM than the dead dino was after 1000. Plain-ish FT-IR came back fine after 5 and 8 months, and after 10 months I had the expensive tests done. I thought that the used RedLine would come back "fine" and wanted that to be compared to dead dino after just 1 month, had that done with the same expensive tests, also had 2 "tainted virgin" samples (lotta money just to find out I'm an idiot. Maybe I'll say I already knew that and ask for my money back) But I digress... As you read around you will see that many here are of the opinion that many oil filters are really lousy and they can definately let in particles of 10, 20, 30 microns or more. A LOT more if it goes into by-pass or a pleat or two does something goofy. It's frequently just flimsy paper. Mola is Kule, great guy, knows his stuff like Hank Hill knows propane, that's an understatement. What he said is 110% correct. Some here have been in labs studying samples over 10 years. Some will scoff at 10 years and say "newcomer" because they have 20 years or more. If there was nothing to it we'd know by now. It can be a VERY exacting science. UOA, I am told, dates back to when choo-choo's stopped being steam powered. That was some time ago! A new Diesel locamotive must be very expensive and need to last a long time, the railways wanted to make sure. UOA has also proven itself with trucking, and fleets / police / taxis / fire departments...the list goes on and on. I think the worst thing I can say about UOA is that I hit an icy patch and did a 180 that PTL caused no damage. For about 1/2 second I thought that if I had hit a pole, no one would care about my by-pass filter and stellar UOA results [Embarrassed] Most of all, Medic, [Welcome!]
 

medic

Thread starter
Messages
1,739
Location
Bradford, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Thanks for all the replies. The reason I'm asking is that I will be switching to a synthetic oil within the next week or two & I'm going to take full advantage of the extended drain intervals. I want to send in my old Castrol for Analysis & obviously I want to keep an eye on the new oil to see how well it holding up with the extended drain intervals. Yes msparks, same guy
 

medic

Thread starter
Messages
1,739
Location
Bradford, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Yup, oil is a very heated item on F150online. I think I'll leave all of my oil questions over here. There are a few more people on this site that think outside of the box when it comes to oils. [HAIL 2 U!] Plus I'm gonna need some major help figuring out how to read my first few samples. [I dont know] I've learned quite a bit about oils in a few days of wandering around here, but I have a long way to go. Looking at a few of these analysis results I'm begining to wonder if synthetics are worth the $$$. I have learned that bypass filters seem to do a great job.
 
Top