Used oil color?

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186
Location
michigan
I just purchased my wife a 2000 Olds Bravada and changed the oil as soon as we got it even though it was not black. Now I am running Mobil clean 5000 with a Napa gold filter. I plan on doing oil changes every 5000 but I just checked the oil after 4000 and it still looks almost new? Now is this good or bad? Can I go 6000 miles between changes? All my other vehicles I have ever owned the oil was black after 3000 miles. I was always told that this was good because it means the oil is is catching all the [censored] and suspending the particles? So if after 4000 miles if the oil looks almost new does that just mean that this motor is running really clean and not producing as much carbon and other harmful deposits? I bought this from a Doctor, it was his wifes truck and they always changed the oil at Valvoline every 3000 miles. It had 96,000 on it when I bought it and now it is at 100K. After 4000 miles it has not used a drop of oil.
 
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Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
If the oil color is looking clean after 4k miles, it means the engine is clean and the engine condition is in excellent shape. You should change oil at 5k miles this time and do an UOA to see if you can extend the OCI with dino to 6-7k miles.
 

disturban

Thread starter
Messages
186
Location
michigan
Sounds like a plan...I already have the Blackstone Kit for the UOA. But yes 5000 miles I will have it checked and post results on here and see how much farther I can go.
 
Messages
1,589
Location
NC
I recently had a blazer that the intake manifold leaked into the oil and caused alot of sludge in the engine. After repairing it, i filled it up with super tech 10w30 and flushed it after 200 miles. The oil looked very clean but it was only 200 miles. I then filled it up with the same thing and ran it 2k miles. The oil on the dipstick was just starting to turn a slight darker color. It was still golden color just a little darker. I thought this was strange being that i just had the engine apart and know that there is sludge in there. After the 2K flush i filled it up with some HDEO Rotella 15w40 and now after 500 miles the oil is about two shades darker than the ST after 2k miles. i have always herd that dark is good for the same reasons you stated above so it leads me to believe that the HDEO is cleaning up better.
 
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1,714
Location
CA.
I'm thinking darker oil means it is cleaning better too. Dad is finishing up on an A-Rx rinse, second treatment rinse phase. He is about 1700 miles into it with Formula Shell oil and the oil looks like new. I find that odd having read all I could about A-Rx unless his 170,000 mile Ford engine was clean to begin with? Or the Formula Shell doesn't do much in terms of cleaning? In all fairness he has treated that engine to MMO towards the end of the OCI for about 500 or so miles. He has done this for many years. AD
 
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12,979
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
My wife has an 01 RX-300(3.0 V6) w/> 60K I have an 04 Altima 2.5S(2.5 I4) w/< 40K Both vehicles are driven under the same conditions(mostly stop&go w/ some highway) and I use the same oil/grade in each. Although I don't do UOA's on either vehicle, this is my take on the color of the oil. *The RX-300 oil remains golden to carmel through 3000miles and turns darker beyond that. By 4000miles(6mo) the oil is still looking more like maple syrup but not black. *The Altima oil turns dark within a week and darkens even further as the miles tick by. By 4000miles(6mo) the oil is black. This has been this way since new! I realize that if we traveled on the highway more often(the way we did when the kids were home) the oil would stay cleaner looking longer
 
Messages
1,084
Location
Florida, USA
 Originally Posted By: Char Baby
My wife has an 01 RX-300(3.0 V6) w/> 60K I have an 04 Altima 2.5S(2.5 I4) w/< 40K Both vehicles are driven under the same conditions(mostly stop&go w/ some highway) and I use the same oil/grade in each. Although I don't do UOA's on either vehicle, this is my take on the color of the oil. *The RX-300 oil remains golden to carmel through 3000miles and turns darker beyond that. By 4000miles(6mo) the oil is still looking more like maple syrup but not black. *The Altima oil turns dark within a week and darkens even further as the miles tick by. By 4000miles(6mo) the oil is black. This has been this way since new! I realize that if we traveled on the highway more often(the way we did when the kids were home) the oil would stay cleaner looking longer
I think your experience is accurate, and the fact is that different engines affect oil differently (not just the model of the engine, but how it has been broken-in and treated, etc). To give a more extreme example, I once purchased a Honda lawn-mower (cost just a little less than a Civic) and a Sears edger with a Briggs & Stratton engine (new ones may be better, but this was about 20 years ago). The oil in the Honda would stay reasonably clean and light during the entire mowing season, while the B&S edger engine oil would turn black in about one hour after an oil change. Now, this may be an extreme example, but some engines are just better than others (or are in better condition than others). Those who say that blacker oil is better (because it is doing a better job in removing dirt, etc), are making gross generalization IMO, that are not always true. In some cases, the oil itself may have effected the amount of dirt (or combustion blow-by) that has occurred in the engine, so they are cleaning up after their own mess. But it depends on the circumstances and varies by engine.
 
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