Syntec 5W30 10800km, 11250km 05 Grand Caravan 3.3

Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
First time posting here but I would like to share my UOA results from our family's daily driver, a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SE Stow-N-Go with the 3.3L non-flex engine.
Code:
Lab Number	TC7023		TK3272
Date		2/1/2013	10/26/2013
Unit		124800		136250
Oil		10800		11450
Type		Syntec 5W30	Syntec 5W30
Tin		0		0
Lead		1		2
Copper		0.2		0.7
Aluminum	1		1
Silicon		45		18
Iron		12		10
Chromium	1		0.6
Silver		0		0
Zinc		800		724
Magnesium	950		1000
Nickel		0.7		0.8
Barium		0		0
Sodium		111		70
Calcum		1150		784
Vanadium	0		0
Phosphorus	615		533
Molybdenum	60		63
Boron		16		19
Manganese	0.9		0
Viscosity(D445)@100*C		10.02		9.263
Water(D4007) (%v/v)		0		0
Solids(D4007) (%v/v)		<0.1		0
Glycol		No		No
Fuel Dilution	No		No
Oil Changed?	Yes		Yes
Comments from the lab are as follows TC7023: Tests indicate the need to CHANGE OIL & FILTER. Silicones (C). Maintain routine sampling. ** Strange additive (B) ** TK3272: Tests DO NOT indicate an immediate need for an oil change. Silicones (A). These tests do not indicate any current problems. Maintain routine sampling. The silicone is high on the first sample because I had just replaced the timing chain on this engine and that means the front cover and oil pan had been resealed (RTV was used on both as required). The strange additive they flagged was the sodium count. Iron wear rates are a touch higher than I would like to see at nearly 1ppm/1000km, however this is our daily driver and is frequently driven around with 5 people in it and I am not gentle on the go pedal - it sees 5000RPM+ a couple times a day at least. Do you guys see anything out of the normal here? I feel like maybe the iron has been elevated because the engine got a new timing chain and timing gears, though I have nothing to back that up with. I am doing UOA as I plan on running extended oil change intervals. I used to have a golf TDI that let me go over 32,000km between oil changes and UOA still indicated the oil was suitable for continued use. That car taught me that 5000km oil change intervals are ridiculous and made me curious about just what you can do. I didn't bother getting the TBN of the oil on these 2 samples as I was just using up the rest of my stock of castrol syntec before moving on to an oil that has a much higher starting TBN. Mostly I was just looking for a baseline for wear rates. I currently have the engine filled with Shell Rotella T6 as it has performed admirably in my track car, in my friend's rally-cross car and several other vehicles that see frequent abuse. I'll post up the next UOA when we get to 15,000km on that oil and I'll do the TBN at that time, however it will likely be 8 months before I have accumulated that much distance. **EDIT** Almost forgot - sampling was done by a local company here in Calgary, AB, Metro-Tech Systems. I don't know how they compare to the big outfits like Blackstone but they have been in business a mighty long time, are reasonably affordable (~$18/sample) and are local so I can drop the sample off and have results in 2 days or less.
 
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Messages
609
Location
New Jersey
One problem is that the company did not give you a TBN. Your oci is not too aggressive, so it's probably fine. Get Tbn next time and drive farther!
 
Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
I deliberately skipped TBN as it is a few extra dollars and I know it'll be good at such conservative mileages
 
Messages
5,091
Location
USA
Thats pretty early for a timing chain.Was it excessively loose? How did you know? Did the cam/crank sensors not allow the engine to run? How long did it take to change out?
 
Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
The timing chain was slapping on the cover making a noticeable noise. When I removed the front cover I found it had about 3 times the allowable free play when aligned and measured in the middle (as specified in the FSM). Parts were ~$350 including a new chain and both new gears as well as new gaskets on almost everything in the way. Being an XZZ option code van I already had the updated front cover and didn't need to replace that as well. The total operation took about 14 hours in my garage, start-to-finish in one day but it was close to running into the next day. It would have been faster if I had a harmonic balancer puller and a better fitting gear puller for the crankshaft gear, I probably spent 4 hours fighting with just those 2 things. Plus some extra time to get the rear coolant lines apart so I could fully drain the cooling system (figured I should change the antifreeze at the same time) and at least an hour of fighting with the power steering pump and pulley to get it free from the front cover (it was not AT ALL like described in the FSM). I'd bet if I had to do it again with the right tools it could be done in under 8 hours. There was no performance problem and I notice no difference in how the van drives after the change, I was hoping for a small power increase from having less free play in the chain (and having everything properly in time again) but if there is a change it is imperceptible. Mileage on the van when it was replaced was 114,100km, it had been slapping since we bought the van at 110,950km, and probably for a while before that. At least the only noise I hear now are the lifters, which although them clacking away is probably not a good thing they don't seem to be in dire need of replacement or indicating an imminent failure. Given that it requires removing both cylinder heads to replace them I think they can clack for a while longer, maybe forever.
 
Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
Time for an update on this. It has now been about 1 year since I put in the rotella, and in that time the van has covered 13345km in 404.5 hours of driving in just over 10 months, including a full winter of very cold starts. I figured with some bad weather coming it was better to change the oil now rather than wait until 15000km. At the beginning of the oil change interval I put in a full 5L jug of Rotella T6. I use an oversized oil filter so that does take up a bit of the extra volume but that leaves it at ~0.25L over. I know it will consume a small amount of oil over the change interval so that doesn't bother me any. No makeup oil has been added during the this oil change, and after draining the sump and emptying the filter out I got ~4.1L back out (although some does remain in the filter). Here are the results:
Code:
Lab Number		TC7023		TK3272		UI3688
Date			2/1/2013	10/26/2013	09/04/2014
Unit			124800		136250		149595
Oil			10800		11450		13345
Type			Syntec 5W30	Syntec 5W30	Rotella T6 5W40
Tin			0		0		0
Lead			1		2		1
Copper			0.2		0.7		0.6
Aluminum		1		1		1
Silicon			45		18		21
Iron			12		10		18
Chromium		1		0.6		1
Silver			0		0		0
Zinc			800		724		1300
Magnesium		950		1000		1200
Nickel			0.7		0.8		0
Barium			0		0		0
Sodium			111		70		24
Calcum			1150		784		883
Vanadium		0		0		0
Phosphorus		615		533		1000
Molybdenum		60		63		77
Boron			16		19		19
Manganese		0.9		0		0.8
Viscosity(D445)@100*C	10.02		9.263		15.16
Water(D4007) (%v/v)	0		0		0
Solids(D4007) (%v/v)	<0.1		0		<0.1
Glycol			No		No		No
Fuel Dilution		No		No		No
Oil Changed?		Yes		Yes		Yes
Tests DO NOT indicate an immediate need for an oil change. Silicones (B). These tests do not indicate any current problems. Maintain routine sampling They feel the silicone level is slightly elevated, enough to watch but not to be concerned about. I am thinking perhaps the air filter is not doing as great of a job as I wanted. It had a wix paper filter in there for all 3 of the above samples. It was pretty dirty at this oil change so I swapped it with a mann filter, we'll see if that changes anything. Other than that this engine is holding up great. It still gets run full throttle over 5000RPM at least once a day. I thought I was going to be pulling the heads this summer since the rear head gasket developed an external leak but after watching it seep and smell of coolant for about 4 months while I contemplated selling the van rather than pulling the heads it seems to have stopped all on it's own. If (more like WHEN) it starts leaking again I have decided I will change the gaskets and while I'm in there I'll swap out those noisy lifters. I know it's unscientific to keep switching oils like this but it seems the rotella got slightly worse mileage and the oil fill cap specifies 5W20 so I tried swapping to a 5W20 oil this time - Pennzoil Platinum (the new "from natural gas" one). I'll be watching to see if the mileage improves at all but early indications are good, the first thing we did after the oil change was a 330km highway trip then finished that tank in the city, it returned 11.6L/100km which is a record for this van, even on all highway trips we've never gotten below 11.8.
 
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Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
Time for a quick update again - just had analysis done after changing my oil and I'm not super impressed. I have just returned my highest wear rate for iron and aluminum. Driving cycle and mileage was very similar to the previous oil change and yet the wear rates increased. Since I didn't have the results at the time of the oil change I have put in Mobil 1 0W20 as a final science experiment to see if the perceived improved mileage is amplified with a thinner oil and whether it causes a further spike in wear metals. Given that the rate of accumulation of wear metals is still very low I think it's perfectly safe to go ahead and give the 0W20 at least 10,000km - however it is worth noting that unlike my previous oil changes this came in a 4.4L bottle so this oil change is starting with 0.6L less oil. Also interesting - changing the air filter did not effect the levels of silicon in the oil. I wonder what is causing that?
Code:
Lab Number		TC7023		TK3272		UI3688            VG5932
Date			2/1/2013	10/26/2013	09/04/2014        07/17/2015
Unit			124800		136250		149595            162321
Oil			10800		11450		13345             12726
Type			Syntec 5W30	Syntec 5W30	Rotella T6 5W40   Pennzoil 5W20
Tin			0		0		0                 0
Lead			1		2		1                 1
Copper			0.2		0.7		0.6               0.6
Aluminum		1		1		1                 4
Silicon			45		18		21                22
Iron			12		10		18                19
Chromium		1		0.6		1                 0.9
Silver			0		0		0                 0
Zinc			800		724		1300              1000
Magnesium		950		1000		1200              206
Nickel			0.7		0.8		0                 1
Barium			0		0		0                 0
Sodium			111		70		24                3
Calcum			1150		784		883               2000+
Vanadium		0		0		0                 0
Phosphorus		615		533		1000              757
Molybdenum		60		63		77                63
Boron			16		19		19                42
Manganese		0.9		0		0.8               0.9
Viscosity(D445)@100*C	10.02		9.263		15.16             9.834
Water(D4007) (%v/v)	0		0		0                 0
Solids(D4007) (%v/v)	<0.1		0		<0.1              0
Glycol			No		No		No                No
Fuel Dilution		No		No		No                No
Oil Changed?		Yes		Yes		Yes               Yes
Their comments on this sample are: VG5932 - Tests DO NOT indicate an immediate need for an oil change. Silicones (B). Send in New Oil for Reference. Maintain routine sampling.
 
Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
Another update - I haven't posted in a while so there's a couple new results on here. Looks like the van continues to wear normally and it really likes the Castrol Edge 5W30
Code
Lab Number               TC7023        TK3272          UI3688            VG5932          WJ8251         XH6809              YJ2917              ZL5998
Date                     2/1/2013      10/26/2013      09/04/2014        07/17/2015      08/22/2016     08/10/2017          09/23/2018          11/10/2019
Unit                     124800        136250          149595            162321          176515         190708              204822              215589
Oil                      10800         11450           13345             12726           14194          14193               14114               10767
Type                     Syntec 5W30   Syntec 5W30     Rotella T6 5W40   Pennzoil 5W20   Mobil 1 0W20   Castrol Edge 5W30   Castrol Edge 5W30   Castrol Edge 5W30
Tin                      0             0               0                 0               0              0                   0                   0
Lead                     1             2               1                 1               1              1                   1                   1
Copper                   0.2           0.7             0.6               0.6             0.6            0.3                 0.5                 0.4
Aluminum                 1             1               1                 4               3              4                   4                   4
Silicon                  45            18              21                22              18             56                  29                  12
Iron                     12            10              18                19              28             17                  22                  15
Chromium                 1             0.6             1                 0.9             1              0.6                 0.7                 0.8
Silver                   0             0               0                 0               0              0                   0                   0
Zinc                     800           724             1300              1000            721            768                 781                 823
Magnesium                950           1000            1200              206             693            152                 226                 1253
Nickel                   0.7           0.8             0                 1               1              1                   1                   1
Barium                   0             0               0                 0               0              0                   0                   0
Sodium                   111           70              24                3               23             16                  17                  18
Calcum                   1150          784             883               2000+           1150           1900                2000                819
Vanadium                 0             0               0                 0               0              0                   0                   0
Phosphorus               615           533             1000              757             602            634                 608                 644
Molybdenum               60            63              77                63              76             73                  60                  73
Boron                    16            19              19                43              34             111                 21                  28
Manganese                0.9           0               0.8               0.9             0.8            0.7                 0.8                 0.9
Viscosity(D445)@100*C    10.02         9.263           15.16             9.834           8.299          11.63               11.21               11.13
Water(D4007) (%v/v)      0             0               0                 0               0              0                   0                   0
Solids(D4007) (%v/v)     <0.1          0               <0.1              0               <0.1           <0.1                0                   0
Glycol                   No            No              No                No              No             No                  No                  No
Fuel Dilution            No            No              No                No              No             No                  No                  No
Oil Changed?             Yes           Yes             Yes               Yes             Yes            Yes                 Yes                 Yes
 
Messages
328
Location
WA
I was interested in your test results as I have a 2006 with the same engine you have. Like you, I would consider 5000 km oil changes a waste and want to run the oil longer if possible. However I must confess the wear numbers from your oil samples mean little to me. Do you have a recommendation for me based on your expreience?
 
Messages
25
Location
Canada
Thread starter
My opinion is that the wear numbers I'm seeing on every single one of these samples are perfectly acceptable to me. I had high Silicon in a couple samples (TC7023, XH6809) due to some engine work (new gaskets / gasket sealer) so those were nothing to worry about. For me I am just doing annual-ish changes, I change the oil in the van every second time I change the oil in my car. I am perfectly comfortable up to 15,000km per change interval and given the chance I'd run it to 20,000km, maybe even 25,000km, but I'd want to do some samples with TBN on them before going over 20,000km. If my driving amount increases I am going to do a sample with TBN and see. At 15,000km the oil has plenty of additives left and should be nowhere near depleting the TBN so I'd say my recommendation would be that you should do 15,000km change intervals. If you're worried about it then you should take a sample at 10,000km and post the results here to see how it's shaping up, but don't bother draining it out until you get the results because it's probably fine to 15,000km. I'd be absolutely shocked if you could wear out oil in any less than 10,000km.
 
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