UOA results when failure is occuring or iminent?

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Apr 10, 2004
Phoenix, AZ
Hello everyone,

I've been doing UOA on my vehicles intermittently for almost 25 years now. I found this board a year ago and have been "hooked" on it ever since. A thought has occurred to me after reading dozens of UOA reports on this web site: Has anyone ever done a UOA on an oil where the engine was currently experiencing a major internal failure, like a bad bearing, thrown rod, etc.? I've seen some reports showing internal leakage (like Antifreeze in the oil). I'm not talking about those - I'm just curious what the PPM readings on key metals like copper, iron, lead, and aluminum would look like when a real internal failure was in progress. I see people expressing real concern, for example, when someone has double-digit readings of Copper, or perhaps over 20-30ppm on Iron, Aluminum, etc. Obviously, exactly what metals register abnormally high depends on the composition of the part failing, but what would you expect the readings to be on these key metals for an actual bearing failure or other key internal failure?
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