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Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish #4457264
07/12/17 12:12 PM
07/12/17 12:12 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline OP
1JZ_E46  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
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 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4457267
07/12/17 12:16 PM
07/12/17 12:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 849
NC
Vladiator Offline
Vladiator  Offline
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 849
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.

Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Vladiator] #4457323
07/12/17 01:29 PM
07/12/17 01:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
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.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4457350
07/12/17 01:56 PM
07/12/17 01:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,123
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.

Last edited by Donald; 07/12/17 01:57 PM.

2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Donald] #4457354
07/12/17 02:03 PM
07/12/17 02:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline OP
1JZ_E46  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
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 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Donald] #4457651
07/12/17 07:26 PM
07/12/17 07:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
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?

Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Ducked] #4457742
07/12/17 08:59 PM
07/12/17 08:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
Houston, TX
Coprolite Offline
Coprolite  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
Houston, TX
The only way to see elemental PPMs...

Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Coprolite] #4457796
07/12/17 10:35 PM
07/12/17 10:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
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.

Last edited by Ducked; 07/12/17 10:49 PM.
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4457829
07/13/17 12:50 AM
07/13/17 12:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 202
South Wales, UK
Bailes1992 Offline
Bailes1992  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 202
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!


'13 Suzuki Jimmny - '16 Dacia Duster 1.5DCi 4WD
'96 LR Defender 300TDi - '12 BMW 320d

Engine Oil - Fuchs Titan XTL GT1 5w40
Gearbox Oil - Fuchs Sintofluid 75w80
Diff Oil - Fuchs Sintopoid 75w90
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Ducked] #4457941
07/13/17 06:52 AM
07/13/17 06:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
Houston, TX
Coprolite Offline
Coprolite  Offline
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,224
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.

Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Bailes1992] #4458096
07/13/17 09:24 AM
07/13/17 09:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline OP
1JZ_E46  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
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).

Last edited by 1JZ_E46; 07/13/17 09:26 AM.

2007 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4458130
07/13/17 09:57 AM
07/13/17 09:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline OP
1JZ_E46  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
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...

Last edited by 1JZ_E46; 07/13/17 10:02 AM.

2007 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4458689
07/13/17 07:08 PM
07/13/17 07:08 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,086
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Offline
BrocLuno  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 6,086
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 ...


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: 1JZ_E46] #4458695
07/13/17 07:15 PM
07/13/17 07:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,576
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 41,576
'Stralia
Actually PAO is probably one of the worst oils for cleaning...it's not a good solvent.

Re: Used Oil Color - Black-ish vs. Red/Orange-ish [Re: Shannow] #4458797
07/13/17 09:18 PM
07/13/17 09:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
Oregon
1JZ_E46 Offline OP
1JZ_E46  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,586
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

Last edited by 1JZ_E46; 07/13/17 09:20 PM.

2007 X5 4.8i: M1 HM 10W-30
2016 Countryman S: EDGE 0W-30
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