When to change oil by the color

Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
For my extended drain, I want to drain based on color rather than mileage. But in no way I am going over 6000 miles no matter what. So if it get too dark at 5000, I will drain it. Say I check my oil at every fill up. What color should it look like before I should actually change it. From the colors I would guess "yellow let it mellow", "brown it ain't down", and "black give it the smack!" [Smile]
 
Messages
389
Location
Stallings, NC
I guess it all depends. I have a 99 Z28... I put 6000 miles on Mobil 1 and sometimes the oil would be darker than others. I think it ended up looking darker when I drove around and didn't let the engine get hot enough, so I guess there was a lot of fuel in the oil. The next time I checked it after I drove around a lot, it was cleaner looking than before. When I drained it at 6000 it looked pretty clean for 6000.
 
Messages
378
Location
West Coast
No offence, but oil color has little to do with its serviceability. In fact, in certain applications, I’d be particularly concerned if the oil didn’t turn deep brown (an indication that the detergents are working). Back in the day, when I switched from Castrol GTX to Delo in my Jeep Grand Cherokee, I was absolutely shocked at how quick the Chevron Delo turned deep brown/black: within about 1,500 miles. Now I know that it was due to the Delo’s high detergency cleaning out all the fudge left by the Castrol. Now I run extended intervals with my Jeep (15K-24K miles) with very good, if not excellent, trace constituent concentrations…using PAO synthetics, of course. When I drain that stuff, it looks down right nasty. Just something to think about at 1 am while drinking a nice Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Merry Christmas! [ December 24, 2002, 04:54 PM: Message edited by: darrenc ]
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
You can buy an hour meter for less than $40. McMaster Carr # 1877T81 is only $34. That makes more sense to me than using color or mileage for that matter. I'm considering buying one of these since sometimes I do a lot of short driving and sometimes I do a lot of hiway driving.
 
Messages
47
Location
South Carolina
Why is it that cars and light trucks go by miles to do maintenance? Tractors, airplanes and other equipment use hours because of the relative short/long distances they travel in relation to hours run. You can have 2 cars, one with 100,000 miles and the other with 50,000 and both run the same number of hours. If I changed my Mom's oil by miles, I'd do it about every 5 years! It took me forever to convince her its months OR miles. I think it should be months OR hours.
 
Messages
389
Location
Stallings, NC
I would guess because airplanes usually go at a cruising speed, that being said, if we all drove our cars at a set highway speed all the time then maybe we could go by hours. That is my uneducated guess. [I dont know]
 
Messages
47,786
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
Color doesn't tell you much. The oil in my turbo gets pretty dark at 5000 miles, but it is still fine at 10000 miles. Diesels get oil REAL dark REAL fast - but have plenty of life left in them. I'm not saying go over 6K or whatever - but listen to the guys that preach oil analysis over all [bowdown]
 

pedaltothemetal

Thread starter
Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
I am still skeptical about the continued use of oil when it becomes black. Even if a oil is still serviceable, when it gets black it has a lot of very fine carbon particles in suspension. How else will it be black! You would think these particles can be abrasive. So why would you want to keep using it? Only way I would continue using it is if there is a filter that can strain them out. I know some taxi services that use toilet paper remote filters to clean all the carbon out of the oil. Also huge truck filters can do the same. But the puny Fram type spin on filters CAN'T. Until oil can be strain to amber, I will not go beyond BLACK color!
 
Messages
191
Location
KY
IMO, Mobil 1 starts out very dark compared to other oils. So I am not shocked when it gets very dark in between changes (10,000 miles).
 
Messages
198
Location
Canada
quote:
But in no way I am going over 6000 miles no matter what.
I cannot fault your theory but..............don't be calling it an extended drain!
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
For a particle to be abrasive it must be as hard or harder than the metals in your engine. The particles held in suspension that make the oil dark are not hard enough to cause abrasive wear.
 
Messages
874
Location
Pacific NW
Pedal, Beyond what's been said, you could also mistake light colored oil as good when it isn't. If you're talking about an OTC dino then 6K might just be pushing your luck. I'd pay once or twice for baseline tests and eliminate the guesswork. David
 

pedaltothemetal

Thread starter
Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
Here is more info from: http://www.oilguard.com/side_menu/bypass_filtration/bypass_intro.php The two most important points to understand about oil filtration and engine protection: Oil does not wear out – it gets dirty. According to studies – 90% of engine wear is caused by dirty or "contaminated" oil. What exactly is contamination and how does it enter an engine’s oil system? There are four main types of harmful contamination that can enter your engine’s oil system. For an in-depth description of each type, click on a link. Engine Wear (metal particles) Sulfuric Acid (soot and water combined) Environmental Dust (caused by a worn air cleaner) Fuel (dilution) Standard Filters versus the OilGuard Bypass Filtration System Standard engine filters, also known as full-flow filters, are incapable of maintaining oil purity at a level that prevents most engine wear. To compensate for this weakness, manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3,000-4,000 miles. The basic job of a standard full flow filter is to trap large contamination particles ranging in size from 15-40 microns, while at the same time allowing 7-10 gallons of oil to pass through the filter per minute. The most damaging contamination particles however are not in the 15-40 micron range, but in the smaller 5-15 micron range. Just for reference a human hair is 100 microns. Particles in this smaller range get wedged between moving engine parts, causing friction, resulting in engine wear. To effectively remove these smaller damaging particles and to guard against engine wear, a bypass filter must be used. OilGuard’s patented bypass filtration system removes contamination particles as small as 1 micron, thereby providing an engine with four main benefits. Cleaner Oil Reduced Wear Longer Engine Life Extended Oil Change Intervals [ December 25, 2002, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: pedaltothemetal ]
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
Pedal--your point is...? We can read bypass filter blather for ourselves, and many of us can write it. Sure, bypass filters work, and unless you drive a lot, plan on owning your vehicle for a long time, plan on transferring that filter to your next vehicle bypass filters usually aren't worth the money. And, color can tell us a few things about motor oil, but not if it's time to change it. Diesel engines will have soot-black oil from just about the first running after the oil change, and the oil is good for many, many more miles or hundreds of hours. Ken
 

pedaltothemetal

Thread starter
Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
I'm just a new guy finding out more and more info. Guess you have seen this info for a million times. Anyways I have gathered all my info now, and will know now what to do without any more confusion. My head is straight!
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by pedaltothemetal: The basic job of a standard full flow filter is to trap large contamination particles ranging in size from 15-40 microns, while at the same time allowing 7-10 gallons of oil to pass through the filter per minute. The most damaging contamination particles however are not in the 15-40 micron range, but in the smaller 5-15 micron range. Just for reference a human hair is 100 microns. Particles in this smaller range get wedged between moving engine parts, causing friction, resulting in engine wear. To effectively remove these smaller damaging particles and to guard against engine wear, a bypass filter must be used.
This is such BS. (That comment is not directed at you, pedaltothemetal.) Mobil has done numerous extended drain and high mileage tests using OTC Mobil 1 as well as experimental Mobil 1 blends, and in all cases--even on the BMW they ran ONE MILLION miles--the wear numbers on cams, bearings, rings, and cylinders were all within the specs for a NEW engine. The only filters used were OEM spec full-flow filters. And in the case of the "Aunt Minnie" test, the car was run for FIVE YEARS on the same oil and filter. There is no doubt that a bypass filter will filter the oil better than a full-flow filter. But the evidence just isn't there to show that your engine is going to self-destruct from abnormal wear if you don't use one. Ain't gonna happen. [Big Grin]
 
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