Should I change my oil?

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14
Location
Wichita, KS
I have had a fill of M1 T&TD 5/40 in my LS1 Firebird for about a year and half. This car gets driven and fully warmed up about once a week. The oil has about 1500 miles on it. The conventional wisdom is to change the oil no matter what after about a year, but I hate to dump a sump full of good oil. Should I change it?
 
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13,235
Location
North Carolina
how far do you drive it? there is a difference in the engine being up to temp and the oil being up to temp. Either way at 18 months i'd dump it for fresh.
 
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702
Location
Portland, Oregon
Push it till feb or march IMO. There'll be less moisture contamination accumulating in your fresh oil if you put the winter wear on this old batch. Seems like a quality oil so it should take it okay, or at least for much of the winter. 8 oz of MMO may do some good too, again IMO.
 

RevGTO

Thread starter
Messages
14
Location
Wichita, KS
Hadn't heard of the "oil drop test" until now. Looked it up and performed the test and it looks good. No dark outer ring and the color is a even light amber. Like the second picture on the site minus the outer ring>
 
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261
Location
MS
Yep, let it set over night and check it tomorrow for a better look...but it sounds like your oil is still in good shape.
 

RevGTO

Thread starter
Messages
14
Location
Wichita, KS
It had been several hours when I checked it. After overnight, it had spread out some more, but its characteristics were the same - a consistent light amber with no ring or sludge separation apparent.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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8,590
Location
Indianapolis, IN
You want to change out an expensive HDEO PAO after 1500 miles in a gasser? I guess I'm just becoming too stodgey in my old age, but that is what I define as a "huge waste of money". You are free to do so; no one here is going to take that away from you. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. Just why are you running that oil anyway? With such a short annual OCI, any decent dino oil should hold up just fine. If you want to know if you can stretch out the OCI duration, then do a UOA and find out for sure (include TBN). I suppose someone might say that's a waste of money, but apparently money is not an issue at your household anyway. Why ask us when you can tell us after getting your UOA back?
 
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23
Location
Alabama, USA
As long as it looks good I would run it to 3000 miles. If the color starts looking a little funny change it. UOA will tell you everything if you know what your looking at. Go by your local Caterpillar dealer and ask for a SOS sample bottle. I pay $12.00 for my samples which includes postage. It takes about a week to get the results. The normal sample test does not include a TBN but does include oxidation and nitration and will tell you everything you need to know.
 

RevGTO

Thread starter
Messages
14
Location
Wichita, KS
Originally Posted By: dnewton3
You want to change out an expensive HDEO PAO after 1500 miles in a gasser? I guess I'm just becoming too stodgey in my old age, but that is what I define as a "huge waste of money". You are free to do so; no one here is going to take that away from you. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. Just why are you running that oil anyway? With such a short annual OCI, any decent dino oil should hold up just fine. If you want to know if you can stretch out the OCI duration, then do a UOA and find out for sure (include TBN). I suppose someone might say that's a waste of money, but apparently money is not an issue at your household anyway. Why ask us when you can tell us after getting your UOA back?
Did you even read my post? Where did I say I WANTED to change it? In fact, I stated that I "didn't want to waste a sump full of good oil." Thanks for the lecture, but your problem is more than being "stodgy." Too many beers? Alzheimer's? Refocus and concentrate. Words mean things. Why am I running this oil? Not that I need to answer to you, but to ease your mind ... I had several quarts sitting around when I bought the car and so I bought a couple more and used it. Do some reading on LS1's and oil. If you pay close attention, you may actually learn something. I asked on here to get some informed and helpful opinions. I received some - other than yours. The oil drop suggestion was free and a good indicator of the oil's condition. Contrary to your suggestions, I didn't want to throw around money senselessly on a UOA. Thanks for a useless post.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
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8,590
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Then allow me to quote myself in part, in brief: "If you want to know if you can stretch out the OCI duration, then do a UOA and find out for sure (include TBN).... Why ask us when you can tell us after getting your UOA back?" I apologize if I came off strong, but OTOH this is about the one-millionth post we see where synthetics are used is short duration OCIs, and people worry as if synthetics are the minimum, and dinos are simply never good enough no matter what the occasion. Is that your mantra? I don't know. But your limited facts stated in the initial post certainly leave you open to that presumption by the rest of us. I acknowledge that you didn't want to dump it; you stated that. But then in the very next sentence you asked if you should dump it. You didn't limit the conversation in any way, so you got an open response from many of us. Wasted oil is wasted oil; does not matter to me what brand/grade/base stock it has. I abhor waste. OTOH, it doesn't bother other people at all. To each his own. My point is this: there are quite literally thousands of posts on this site based upon supposition, and your post just falls right in line with all those others. This site used to be about dedicated people in search of truth and facts, and it has become proliferated with people simply wanting to banter and "what if ..." scenarios. I'm OK with that; it's a free and open forum as long as we all follow the forum rules. But, when you open up a thread with a topic based not upon facts, but rather upon opinions, you should NOT be suprsied when you get an opinion that offends you; it's not wrong, just different. You didn't solict facts; you solicited opinions. That's what you got. If you want facts, then go to the UOA section. As I recall, about two years ago, there was a UOA post where a guy ran Mobil 1 in his dad's Tundra for 10k miles and FOUR YEARS. He did a UOA and everything came back good. There are some UOAs that show going well past one year can be easily done. I, myself, do two and three year OCIs on some of my low use equipment. FACTS reside in the UOA sections. You can either glean info from those that already exist, or you could actually break out of the "what if" mold, do a UOA, and contribute to the database. Further, the "one drop" oil test is, at the very least, at bit ambiguous, and could trend towards total bunk. Oil on a blotter really cannot tell you much at all. Here is a direct quote from one site I found: "ONE-Drop measures the amount of sludge in the oil." Not one mention of any other ability; just "sludge". There are millions of UOAs world wide that show perfectly good oil that would be "dark" or "black" on that blotter test. Oil color is NOT a sole condition for an oil change. Oil color can only tell you one thing; the oil is either new or it isn't. But it cannot indicate whether the oil is actually good or not. Further, I cannot find any proof or even suggestion that an "oil drop" test would address things such as fuel, coolant or dirt contamination. Also, the "one drop" oil test cannot tell you about wear metals at all, although I suppose if you could see metal particles on a "one drop" blotter, you'd have a REALLY big issue, because if you can see metal particles with the naked eye, you've got engine problems that FAR surpass oil color. Coolant, fuel, insolubles, silicon, TBN, wear metals; those type things can be well defined in a UOA, but your naked eye isn't going to pick up any of those things on a "one drop" blotter test. You can put your faith there if you choose, but my advice to all these reading would be to do a whole lot more research and cognitive, rational thinking before trusting a "one drop" test for oil condition. I cannot fathom why a person who would spend $$7 or more per quart of syn oil would find $10-15 for a UOA to be unreasonable. Blackstone costs more, but there are plenty of reasonable sources for UOAs that can be had for a very decent price. Part of my point in my first post was in implication that syn's don't pay off in short to moderat OCIs. If you cannot find any logic in spending money on a UOA, then where does one find logic in using syns and questioning their longevity? Syns and UOAs go hand-in-hand; that is the whole point. You must greatly extend the OCI to get your ROI. If you don't do that, there really is no sense in using either a UOA or a syn for "normal" circumstances. I'll accept that I have some culpability in taunting you, and for that I publically apologize. But you must accept that you opened up yet another "what if ..." thread with minimal data, solicited opinions, and then got mad when someone didn't provide an agreeable answer. The only way to know FOR SURE is to do a UOA. That is about as simple and factual as it gets. And that was contained in my first post.
 
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Messages
932
Location
Monroe,CT
Originally Posted By: RevGTO
Originally Posted By: dnewton3
You want to change out an expensive HDEO PAO after 1500 miles in a gasser? I guess I'm just becoming too stodgey in my old age, but that is what I define as a "huge waste of money". You are free to do so; no one here is going to take that away from you. But just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should do something. Just why are you running that oil anyway? With such a short annual OCI, any decent dino oil should hold up just fine. If you want to know if you can stretch out the OCI duration, then do a UOA and find out for sure (include TBN). I suppose someone might say that's a waste of money, but apparently money is not an issue at your household anyway. Why ask us when you can tell us after getting your UOA back?
Did you even read my post? Where did I say I WANTED to change it? In fact, I stated that I "didn't want to waste a sump full of good oil." Thanks for the lecture, but your problem is more than being "stodgy." Too many beers? Alzheimer's? Refocus and concentrate. Words mean things. Why am I running this oil? Not that I need to answer to you, but to ease your mind ... I had several quarts sitting around when I bought the car and so I bought a couple more and used it. Do some reading on LS1's and oil. If you pay close attention, you may actually learn something. I asked on here to get some informed and helpful opinions. I received some - other than yours. The oil drop suggestion was free and a good indicator of the oil's condition. Contrary to your suggestions, I didn't want to throw around money senselessly on a UOA. Thanks for a useless post.
You asked for opinions on an internet forum, you got em. Now you wanna complain and bash because you got one you didn't like??? Well it seems you need to grow thicker skin or keep to your circle of friends that tell you what you want to hear all the time.
 
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28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
^^ I'm usually pretty good at picking up dry humour, but I'm not sure if that's it or not. wink Aside from that, I'm assuming this vehicle is long out of warranty. I don't recall anymore if this vehicle had the synthetic spec or not. Can you fill us in on that, RevGTO? It seems to me it did, although I'm certainly not sure, and you will have easier access to the manual and the knowledge than I will. I, too, would be leaning towards the notion that 1500 miles on a good synthetic is too short, considering you do regularly bring the oil up to proper temperatures. I understand that manufacturers do push a time interval as well as a mileage interval, but that's as much a desire for the manufacturer to cover their own behinds, anyway, during warranty. They know darn well that someone will buy a garage queen and idle it once a week for five minutes, never turning a wheel, and then complain two years down the road that they have sludge and there's no miles on the oil.
 

RevGTO

Thread starter
Messages
14
Location
Wichita, KS
Listen, guys, I don't know how such a simple question evolved into all this. I don't post up on here much as you can see; don't assume I'm a newb. I've had UOA's done and I understand their benefit. That being said, I'm not an oil expert either. I really had a simple question: the conventional wisdom (included in factory owner's manuals) is that OIL MUST BE CHANGED ONCE A YEAR no matter what. I question that. I have a sump full of expensive oil with very few miles on it. I don't want to dump it. So I was asking for some opinions on that subject from the the most oil-knowledgeable source I know: BITOG. All was good until one response that was condescending and ad hominem. Maybe you guys get questions like this all the time and are sick of it; I understand that from other forums I'm on. I have a Blackstone bottle sitting in my garage ready to go. I could have gone that route. Just wanted to get some opinions, that's all.
 

RevGTO

Thread starter
Messages
14
Location
Wichita, KS
Originally Posted By: Garak
^^ I'm usually pretty good at picking up dry humour, but I'm not sure if that's it or not. wink Aside from that, I'm assuming this vehicle is long out of warranty. I don't recall anymore if this vehicle had the synthetic spec or not. Can you fill us in on that, RevGTO? It seems to me it did, although I'm certainly not sure, and you will have easier access to the manual and the knowledge than I will. I, too, would be leaning towards the notion that 1500 miles on a good synthetic is too short, considering you do regularly bring the oil up to proper temperatures. I understand that manufacturers do push a time interval as well as a mileage interval, but that's as much a desire for the manufacturer to cover their own behinds, anyway, during warranty. They know darn well that someone will buy a garage queen and idle it once a week for five minutes, never turning a wheel, and then complain two years down the road that they have sludge and there's no miles on the oil.
No, the LS1's (except in Corvettes) did not call for synthetic. LS2 - yes.
 
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