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#4480889 - 08/06/17 02:32 PM Judging oil condition based on appearance
5AcresAndAFool Offline


Registered: 12/18/16
Posts: 375
Loc: Indiana
As we know you cannot tell all you need to know on engine oil condition based on appearance. Even if it may be darker, but that doesn't necessarily mean the oil needs to be changed, however can we assume if the oil looks clean and has a light color to it that it is likely ok?

I suppose you could have moisture in the oil from short tripping or such, but if it looks clean, cant we assume it still has service life left?
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2005 Toyota Sienna LE AWD 67k
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#4480895 - 08/06/17 02:40 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20226
Loc: Upstate NY
Go by the OLM or recommend OCI in owners manual unless your going to do UOA.
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#4480904 - 08/06/17 02:48 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5205
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
So generally you do a blotter test on a white paper towel. If it does not leave a discolored ring, it is a preliminary indicator that things are OK. The only real way to tell is to do a UOA ...

But, if you know the vehicle and there are no issues, no CEL's and the coolant is staying where it needs to be, you can assume that light colored oil is OK for the foreseeable ... It may have deleted TBN and still look good. But that would usually be over a year or two and over many thousands of miles of use ...
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#4480935 - 08/06/17 03:21 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5603
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
It may have deleted TBN and still look good


But it will smell sour, though...

.
.

Chances are if the oil "looks good" it is actually in EXCELLENT condition.

I have seen oil that looks awful come back from the sample lab saying that it's still not bad.
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4480937 - 08/06/17 03:22 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5603
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
So generally you do a blotter test on a white paper towel.


The blotter tests I read about online say to use card stock... I'd like to try plain printing paper
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"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4481024 - 08/06/17 05:05 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5205
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Any white absorbent surface that has a fairly neutral pH smile
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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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#4481220 - 08/06/17 08:38 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno]
turtlevette Offline


Registered: 12/24/13
Posts: 3493
Loc: Massachusetts
Klotz oil says change when dark. Instructions right on the bottle.
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#4481248 - 08/06/17 09:04 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
ArcticDriver Offline


Registered: 01/27/17
Posts: 1139
Loc: USA
Now I had a F150 with 4.9 and it was LPG.

That oil always looked great grin
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#4481271 - 08/06/17 09:20 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1135
Loc: toronto
Probably the only thing you can roughly estimate from oil colour is soot loading

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#4481339 - 08/06/17 10:32 PM Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: ArcticDriver]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24051
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: ArcticDriver
Now I had a F150 with 4.9 and it was LPG.

That oil always looked great grin

Same with the taxis. It always came out clean as a whistle. wink
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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