VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil.

JTK

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My question is for anyone familiar with the newer Nissan direct injected VQ35DD engine, like found in ~2017+ Maximas, Pathfinders and Muranos. Do you notice what seems like these engines blacken the engine oil very quickly? Like within 1-2K miles? I've got about 2900mi on my most recent oil change and judging from how the oil looks on the dipstick, it to me looks like you're checking the stick on an old diesel engine the oil is so black! I know color means nothing, but I know the non-direct injected VQ35DE in our 2016 Quest didn't blacken the oil badly at all between the ~5000mi OCs I did on it. I found this to be the case shortly after we took ownership of our 2019 PF SV model with ~24K miles on it back in Oct 2019. It was an ex-rental. The vehicle was taken in by the local Toyota dealership and they had changed the oil just before I bought it. After a few weeks I noticed the oil looked disturbingly black and not really trusting the dealer oil change, I changed it myself in the beginning of November. The Toyota dealer had used a cheap Napa Pro Select filter and unknown oil. I changed it with a Nissan filter and Napa full synthetic 5w30. Nissan recommends 0w20 for all later model VQ35 engines. In the case of our 2016 Quest with the older VQ35DE, the OM also recommended 0w20, but said you can use 5w30 for severe service. This is why I'd prefer to stick with 5w30 for the new PF as well. Could it be DI fuel dilution? The engine looks spotless from what you can see under the oil fill cap. It runs silky smooth and is averaging ~19mpg day/day and much better on straight highway travel. I fear going beyond an old school 3K mile oil change interval on this.
 

MolaKule

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Our PathFinder was also an off lease. It took at least 5 oil and filter changes before the oil could go 3-5k without going black at less than 2.5k. And it seems most dealers use a 5W30 mineral oil such as Valvoline Maxlife from their Bulk Oil Tanks. While on lease I don't think oil changes are done on schedule and have a loosey-goosey fluid change schedule. And while on lease, people don't drive these cars like you and I do. I use a synthetic 5W20 for winter service and the oil no longer blackens at less than 5k.
 
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JTK

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That could be the case. Thing is, our 2016 Quest was also an ex-rental that we bought with ~32K miles on it and it too only showed 1 OCI on it's carfax when we bought it. It never blackened the oil like this 2019 Pathfinder does. I suppose I could loosen the purse strings and do a UOA. LOL
 
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My DI ecoboost turns more black than brown, like my other port injection vehicles. Apparently DI creates more soot in the oil which is more like a diesel. Perhaps it's just this?
 
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The black is from soot formation. Driven Racing Oil has a series of videos on YT that describe how soot is formed, and how it can be prevented: Direct Fuel Injection Part 4 Sure, it's marketing for their line of oils, but there are other oils on the market with similar formulations for DI engines. For example, Valvoline Modern Engine Oil, available in 0W20, 5W20, and 5W30 grades. I have used the Valvoline ME 5W30 in my Infiniti VR30DDTT with great success - positive UOAs and dark honey-colored oil at 5k mile OCIs.
 
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My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by chunt
My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.
Thanks chunt. Not that I don't appreciate everyone's input here, I was hoping to hear from another VQ35DD owner like yourself. How frequent have you been doing oil changes on your 2018 Pathfinder? I've got ~2950mi on the current oil/filter and was hoping to get my hands on our PF to change it today given the weather is OK.. Of course it's out and about at the moment.
 
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Originally Posted by JTK
Originally Posted by chunt
My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.
Thanks chunt. Not that I don't appreciate everyone's input here, I was hoping to hear from another VQ35DD owner like yourself. How frequent have you been doing oil changes on your 2018 Pathfinder? I've got ~2950mi on the current oil/filter and was hoping to get my hands on our PF to change it today given the weather is OK.. Of course it's out and about at the moment.
The Dealer changed the oil in my Pathfinder with bulk 5W30 before I purchased it. I changed that within a week or two after I brought it home and have been doing 5K OCI's since with 0W20, mainly Penz Plat.
 
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Originally Posted by MolaKule
Loosen your purse strings and do more frequent OC's until it tends to clear up. smile
This in my opinion is the way to go ^^^^^
 
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While not the 3.5, my 2.5 oil turns black as coal within 1800 miles. Always has and has always been serviced with synthetic every 3750.
 

JTK

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Originally Posted by D1dad
While not the 3.5, my 2.5 oil turns black as coal within 1800 miles. Always has and has always been serviced with synthetic every 3750.
Interesting.. I've had countless makes/models over the years, 4 different Nissans and serviced a few different Nissan VQs for family members in terms of oil changes, etc. I've never seen a gas engine turn the oil diesel black like this direct injected 3.5 does within 1-2K miles. I still haven't had a chance to do another OC on it as it's currently buried under a foot of snow and I just snow-blowed for 2hrs. Ugh.. LOL I don't disagree with the suggestions above in doing a few short succession OC's, but this is basically a new vehicle. Sure, I bought it with 23K miles on and it was 11 months old when I got it, but I've done OCs on far more neglected engines that didn't exhibit this.
 
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There may not be any issues with your oil blackening up fast. I've been seeing reports from various brands with direct injection that the oil turns black quickly. May just be the nature of the beast with direct injection.
 
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When I serviced my wife's brand new Nissan Rogue at 5k I used valvoline 0-20 and it stayed clean for the oci. Next service I used PP 0-20 and it turned black in a few thousand miles, went back to valvoline and no issues since at 25k. Some would say that turning black means oils doing its job. PP has always turned dark in whatever I've used it in.
 
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My parents recently bought a brand new Ford edge Ecoboost. I looked at the oil out of interest the other day and the oil was dark Amber but not bad looking at all. I think it's only a couple thousand since the last change but not sure 100%. My girlfriend's direct injected Hyundai sonata used to turn the oil black as soon as you started it after an oil change (changed every 3k miles mostly short trips). Now it gets changed every 3 months roughly 2k miles or less and it's black by the end of the oil change but not nearly as bad as before.
 

JTK

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I appreciate the input guys. I got out there and did an oil change on the Pathfinder today. It had about 3300mi on this OCI, but with today's OC, the vehicle has had 3 OCs between 24K mi when we bought it and 28600mi as of today. In went 5qts of Valvoline synthetic 5w20 and a Nissan filter. I used Valvoline because it happened to be on sale at the local Napa and I was short on time.
 
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Originally Posted by JTK
I appreciate the input guys. I got out there and did an oil change on the Pathfinder today. It had about 3300mi on this OCI, but with today's OC, the vehicle has had 3 OCs between 24K mi when we bought it and 28600mi as of today. In went 5qts of Valvoline synthetic 5w20 and a Nissan filter. I used Valvoline because it happened to be on sale at the local Napa and I was short on time.
I would think with synthetic oil on used on almost every oil change basically and changed 3 times in 4600 miles you should be okay to go to maybe 5k mile oil changes with good synthetic until you do a uoa and maybe see how the oil looks now. If it's direct injection it's probably going to be dirtier oil than you're used to seeing.
 

JTK

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Bringing back an oldie here because I thought I'd share some info that I feel is relevant to the black engine oil thing. This issue is puzzling and disturbing to me being an owner of a 2019 pathfinder.

Since I've been following 2017+ Pathfinders and the VQ35DD engine, I've read of at least 3-4 instances where owners developed problems with the vehicle and upon diagnostics it was found the engines were sludged up to the point engine replacement was recommended. At least 3 of the 4 had regular engine oil / filter changes and documentation to support that.



 
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