UOA On Brand New Engine - Many Questions

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Jun 24, 2003
Palatine, IL
My brand new Volvo S60R (turbo, 300HP, 2.5 litre, I5) has 1,200 miles, and I am hoping that the engine is pretty much broken in now. Should I bother with a UOA on the factory oil? If so, at while mileage, and what will I learn from this?

Any comments on when the 1st oil change should be done? I am told that Volvo fills their cars with Castrol blend. I will be putting Amsoil S2K 0W30 in for the winter (already have enough for two changes).

Any comments regarding running Amsoil S2K 0W30 during the summer months? Is this too thin of an oil?

Thanks, DH
Don't know the Amsoil specs off the top of my head, but on a turbo Volvo, I like the idea of a thick 30-weight to 40-weight.

I'll pick German Castrol 0w-30.
I think it will take a bit longer for that engine to really break in.

Originally posted by Patman:
FWIW, if it were me I think I'd run the factory fill to 3k, then do a UOA just for curiosity.

I'm sure Patman did 6 oil changes by 3K miles

Personally I would change the oil now. About the only real benefit of doing a UOA at this early stage is to spot a coolant leak. Wear metals are all over the place and who cares how the factory oil held up.
I changed the oil in my truck @ 500 with dino, @1500 with dino and @3000 with synthetic, I changed early and often during break in some may also apply to you

my truck was made in march and sold in October, only accumulated 22 miles in the 6 months and probably never got up to a good temperature to boil off all the water that gets trapped in the oil from the atmosphere, the oil looked and smelled bad
the motor is making a lot of metal wile breaking in
who knows what the factory uses but I am sure it is cheap
there can be a lot of trash in the motor when it is made from casting sand drill/mill shavings cutting fluids dust/dirt good Idea to get it out early and often during break in

I would do the UOA just to have some refrence and to watch the metals drop as it breaks in

[ October 21, 2003, 07:40 AM: Message edited by: RavenTai ]
I do one at the first change only as a reference point. Your commnet about the engine being broken in, sorry. My experience is that it will take 12,000-20,000 miles for the wear metals to achieve a normal wear pattern. Until then you will see abnormal levels of silicon from seals and gaskets, iron and depending on the engine, copper. So in this initial 12,000-20,000 miles if you do UOA what you are looking for is a downward trend as the engine achieves its operation mode for the next 180,000 miles.

Originally posted by Al:
I'm sure Patman did 6 oil changes by 3K miles

Hehe, the old me definitely would have!

But after seeing so many factory fill UOAs on here where there aren't too many wear metals, I wouldn't worry so much about doing my usual 500 mile oil change anymore. I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable going beyond 5k though (and BMW's idea of going 15k on the factory fill is simply insane!)
What does the owner's manual say about break-in oil, change intervals and grade?
DR T. The manual calls for changes every 7,500, including the first change. Dealer recommends the first change at 3,750. On my prev Volvo, the dealer made a big deal about not using Syn for the first 10K miles, and claimed that was directly from Volvo. This manual highly recommends Syn oils. IMHO, the Turbo alone warrants Syn.

moribundman & Spector - Regarding break in, I guess it depends on the definition. I consider the engine broken in as far as the need to baby the engine. I agree, from a UOA perspective, this engine is not broken in yet.

RavenTai - I ordered the car, so the only time she sat was during transport (several months?). Got here with 6 miles on the odo, and I drive her 20 miles each way to work every day (mostly highway), with very few short stops. I also will let the car run when running in for a quick errand, such as when I get my morning coffee on the way to work (one block from home, so the car does not see significant throttle until fully warmed). This engine should have a good life compared to the average commuter engine.

Jelly - My research suggests that RedLine 5W30 would be an excellent oil, but I already have the Amsoil. I am on the fence on this issue as I could put the Amsoil in the wife's Murano and order some RL. Also, no GC in my area, and I refuse to use an oil that is not readily available, so that is not an option.

I would like to change the oil before Mid December when the temps start to really drop. The odo should read around 3K by that time, so I will simply plan on changing the oil in early to mid december. I will do a UOA to serve as a baseline (and for grins and giggles). After that, I will probably change the oil every 6 months, or 10K miles, which ever comes first. I will probably due a UOA every 5K just to make sure I am on track. Keep in mind that this car will see a lot of highway miles, so 10K miles in this instance should be equivalent to 5K-7K for many other people.

Thanks, DH

[ October 21, 2003, 11:24 AM: Message edited by: DockHoliday ]
Really not much point in running a sample unless you suspect something is wrong.
The AMSOIL Series 2000 0W-30 runs just fine all year long in my Volvo turbo, 2 Saab turbos, daughter's Volvo turbo, other daughter's Saab turbo. (and it has done so since the oil came on the market many years back)
I don't think a UOA on the factory oil is of much use. I think it doesn't matter when you switch to synthetic, but I do think the factory uses good oil. European cars usually do..and it's only when N.A. owner's get their filthy hands on them and use cheapo A1 oils.

That said, my dad ruined a `84 240 Turbo by using 30 weight oils....I would recommend a 40 weight minimum....eg. M-1 0-40 perhaps...
I'm with Al on this.... there will be metals, silicon, and other things in the first sample that makes it meaninless unless to see a coolant leak or something rare(one of the samples I got back this morning for a customer was an almost new 2002 toyota pickup with anti-freeze in the oil).
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