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Judging oil condition based on appearance #4480889
08/06/17 02:32 PM
08/06/17 02:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 453
Indiana
5AcresAndAFool Offline OP
5AcresAndAFool  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 453
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?

Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool] #4480895
08/06/17 02:40 PM
08/06/17 02:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,758
Upstate NY
Go by the OLM or recommend OCI in owners manual unless your going to do UOA.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool] #4480904
08/06/17 02:48 PM
08/06/17 02:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,857
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Online content
BrocLuno  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,857
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 ...


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno] #4480935
08/06/17 03:21 PM
08/06/17 03:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,232
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,232
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.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno] #4480937
08/06/17 03:22 PM
08/06/17 03:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,232
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,232
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


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool] #4481024
08/06/17 05:05 PM
08/06/17 05:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,857
Kalifornia Kollective
BrocLuno Online content
BrocLuno  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 5,857
Kalifornia Kollective
Any white absorbent surface that has a fairly neutral pH smile


Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: BrocLuno] #4481220
08/06/17 08:38 PM
08/06/17 08:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,686
Massachusetts
turtlevette Offline
turtlevette  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,686
Massachusetts
Klotz oil says change when dark. Instructions right on the bottle.


USA-1
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool] #4481248
08/06/17 09:04 PM
08/06/17 09:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
ArcticDriver Offline
ArcticDriver  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,139
USA
Now I had a F150 with 4.9 and it was LPG.

That oil always looked great grin


Multiple Diesel and Gasoline vehicles
Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: 5AcresAndAFool] #4481271
08/06/17 09:20 PM
08/06/17 09:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,351
toronto
PeterPolyol Offline
PeterPolyol  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,351
toronto
Probably the only thing you can roughly estimate from oil colour is soot loading

Re: Judging oil condition based on appearance [Re: ArcticDriver] #4481339
08/06/17 10:32 PM
08/06/17 10:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25,368
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25,368
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


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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