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#4457264 - 07/12/17 01:12 PM Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 1229
Loc: Oregon
I run nearly the same oil in our two daily drivers. EDGE 0W-30 goes in the Mini and EDGE 0W-40 goes in my X5. Both oils are PAO based with essentially identical add-packs.

I've noticed the color of the oil (when checking the dipstick on a white cloth) is more black-ish in the Mini and more red-ish coming out of my X5. I've had the valve cover off of the Mini, and it looks like brand new cast aluminum (strict 5k oil change schedule since new). The X5 is near spotless, but if I really look in there with a flashlight, I can see a bit of orange/brown varnish on the aluminum casting (was on a 10k schedule until about 55k miles, been 5k since). Is this the source of the orangish oil color? Is the 0W-40 slowly cleaning it?

Both engines are similar in that they are gas, non-Turbo, port-injected, with BMW VANOS and Valvetronic, but with the X5 engine being 3 times the displacement.
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
2012 Mini Cooper, 45K: Castrol EDGE 0W-30, Mann

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#4457267 - 07/12/17 01:16 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
Vladiator Offline


Registered: 01/04/16
Posts: 728
Loc: NC
When I came to this board with similar question - I was told that the reddish color of oil is the result of varnish clean up that takes place inside the engine.
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Thicker oils give protection for severe operations such as driving in mountains, pulling a boat, dusty conditions, short trips, high rpm, overloading, overheating and overcooling. Thin oils give MPG.

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#4457323 - 07/12/17 02:29 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Vladiator]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18900
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
+1 Its not from only under the valve cover but the pistons get a lot of varnish on them, when you see red its varnish being removed from the engines internals which is a good thing.
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#4457350 - 07/12/17 02:56 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20468
Loc: Upstate NY
Oil color might get your curiosity up, but no conclusions should come from oil color unless it's milky.

UOA is the only way.


Edited by Donald (07/12/17 02:57 PM)
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#4457354 - 07/12/17 03:03 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Donald]
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 1229
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Vlad_the_Russian
When I came to this board with similar question - I was told that the reddish color of oil is the result of varnish clean up that takes place inside the engine.


Originally Posted By: Trav
+1 Its not from only under the valve cover but the pistons get a lot of varnish on them, when you see red its varnish being removed from the engines internals which is a good thing.


Thanks. Sounds like the oil is doing its job cleaning. There's probably nothing to clean on the Mini engine, so all I'm seeing is the suspended soot.

Originally Posted By: Donald
Oil color might get your curiosity up, but no conclusions should come from oil color unless it's milky.

UOA is the only way.


Agreed. I'll be getting one next go around for both cars. Curious how well the oil holds up to our 90+% stop-go city driving with lots of elevation change.
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
2012 Mini Cooper, 45K: Castrol EDGE 0W-30, Mann

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#4457651 - 07/12/17 08:26 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Donald]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4383
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: Donald
Oil color might get your curiosity up, but no conclusions should come from oil color unless it's milky

UOA is the only way.


UOA is the only way to what?

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#4457742 - 07/12/17 09:59 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Ducked]
Coprolite Offline


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 1224
Loc: Houston, TX
The only way to see elemental PPMs...

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#4457796 - 07/12/17 11:35 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Coprolite]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4383
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: Coprolite
The only way to see elemental PPMs...


The OP has given no indication that he's interested in elemental PPM's.

He's interested in why his oil looks red, and elemental PPM's are unlikely to be relevant (unless its rust).

I dunno enough about UOA's to say whether they'll give him clues on that, but I suspect not.

I THINK they sometimes do a centrifugation which might show up some sedimenting oxidation products which might be varnish precursors.

These can also show up on a millipore filter patch test, or even on a blotter spot test, if you can interpret it, but (a) I don't think these are part of standard UOA's, and (b) IIRC (don't have time to look it up now) varnish precursors are often in true solution, so may not show up by any of these methods.

Colour changes in true solution, which may be indicators of varnish formation or removal, are quantified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, but that isn't provided by a standard UOA either.


Edited by Ducked (07/12/17 11:49 PM)

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#4457829 - 07/13/17 01:50 AM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
Bailes1992 Offline


Registered: 03/10/17
Posts: 119
Loc: South Wales, UK
I'm currently having the same issue with my partner's VW Polo. Everything has an orange varnish to it and a few hundred miles after I've changed the oil it turns the same orange.


However, are you sure EDGE 0w40 is PAO based? If you look up the German label of 0w40 A3/B4 it says "HC-SYNSTHE" which I'm sure makes it a Group III oil. Not that I'm saying it's a bad oil!
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'13 Suzuki Jimmny - '16 Dacia Duster 1.5DCi 4WD
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Engine Oil - Fuchs Titan XTL GT1 5w40
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#4457941 - 07/13/17 07:52 AM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Ducked]
Coprolite Offline


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 1224
Loc: Houston, TX
Ducked, calibrate your sarcasm detector. I was agreeing with you on the applicability in this situation.

smile
Originally Posted By: Ducked
Originally Posted By: Coprolite
The only way to see elemental PPMs...


The OP has given no indication that he's interested in elemental PPM's.

He's interested in why his oil looks red, and elemental PPM's are unlikely to be relevant (unless its rust).

I dunno enough about UOA's to say whether they'll give him clues on that, but I suspect not.

I THINK they sometimes do a centrifugation which might show up some sedimenting oxidation products which might be varnish precursors.

These can also show up on a millipore filter patch test, or even on a blotter spot test, if you can interpret it, but (a) I don't think these are part of standard UOA's, and (b) IIRC (don't have time to look it up now) varnish precursors are often in true solution, so may not show up by any of these methods.

Colour changes in true solution, which may be indicators of varnish formation or removal, are quantified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, but that isn't provided by a standard UOA either.

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#4458096 - 07/13/17 10:24 AM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Bailes1992]
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 1229
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Bailes1992
However, are you sure EDGE 0w40 is PAO based? If you look up the German label of 0w40 A3/B4 it says "HC-SYNSTHE" which I'm sure makes it a Group III oil. Not that I'm saying it's a bad oil!


According to this U.S. SDS from March 2017, it appears to be a PAO based oil.

Also, regarding your HC-Synsthe comment, EDGE 0W-40 on Amazon.de (Germany) says Vollsynth (fully synthetic).


Edited by 1JZ_E46 (07/13/17 10:26 AM)
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
2012 Mini Cooper, 45K: Castrol EDGE 0W-30, Mann

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#4458130 - 07/13/17 10:57 AM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 1229
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: 1JZ_E46
According to this U.S. SDS from March 2017, it appears to be a PAO based oil.

Also, regarding your HC-Synsthe comment, EDGE 0W-40 on Amazon.de (Germany) says Vollsynth (fully synthetic).


I just translated some of the comments from the German Amazon page, and there were three from June 2017 stating that they received HC-Synsthe. However, I still believe what we have here in the U.S. is still PAO based on the most recent SDS sheet available. Maybe they rolled out a new formula to Germany first and it will be making its way here shortly...


Edited by 1JZ_E46 (07/13/17 11:02 AM)
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
2012 Mini Cooper, 45K: Castrol EDGE 0W-30, Mann

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#4458689 - 07/13/17 08:08 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5526
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
well, we actually need to know. I don't buy oils like this for any other reason that they are >50% PAO so they can be used as cleaners in an engine. If it's going to the marketing dept to sell just Group III, might as well look elsewhere ...
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Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4458695 - 07/13/17 08:15 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39914
Loc: 'Stralia
Actually PAO is probably one of the worst oils for cleaning...it's not a good solvent.

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#4458797 - 07/13/17 10:18 PM Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Shannow]
1JZ_E46 Offline


Registered: 04/04/16
Posts: 1229
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
well, we actually need to know. I don't buy oils like this for any other reason that they are >50% PAO so they can be used as cleaners in an engine. If it's going to the marketing dept to sell just Group III, might as well look elsewhere ...


Based on the recent U.S. SDS I posted, I don't see how it's not a Group IV PAO based oil.

Originally Posted By: Shannow
Actually PAO is probably one of the worst oils for cleaning...it's not a good solvent.


Not really an issue unless your really trying to de-sludge/varnish an old engine. For that I would probably choose PUP.

Now a PAO / GTL oil, that would be killer cool


Edited by 1JZ_E46 (07/13/17 10:20 PM)
_________________________
2007 BMW X5 4.8i, 105K: Castrol EDGE 0W-40, Mann
2012 Mini Cooper, 45K: Castrol EDGE 0W-30, Mann

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