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#4782879 - 06/10/18 09:03 AM One oil vs another for UOA
Snagglefoot Online   content


Registered: 12/31/17
Posts: 2093
Loc: SE British Columbia, Canada
In our discussions on UOA results its been said you cant compare numbers if you are talking about different engines. Also, there are wear numbers all over the place. I try normalize numbers by looking at iron wear as PPM per thousand miles. Seems to me 1 is good and 3 is bad, again ignoring engine differences.

Has anyone tried getting UOAs with one oil, changing to a different oil and then getting consistently better or worse UOAs?

Also, would you feel like changing what you use if you had 3 PPM per thousand miles like some of the UOAs out there?

Thanks for your ideas. smile

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#4782904 - 06/10/18 09:42 AM Here's one idea I had [Re: Snagglefoot]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5559
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
This topic is what I wrestled with when I decided to do a UOA "this time around".

I selected Mobil1 0W-40 EF because people praise it so. After an OCI of random oils (including top-offs) I ran an abbreviated OCI with 100% Mobil1. I did this to rid the crankcase of any other stuff. I use the prematurely removed Mobil1 as top-off oil in other vehicles.

Since my OCI is 7,500 miles I intend to sample my oil at 7,000 and see what the analyzers say.

NOW repeat that cleansing process with other oils then add in all the different engines and conditions you alluded to and you can see there aren't enough years in a lifetime to amass data. Fleet data is the best you can do.

Does that make sense?

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#4782906 - 06/10/18 09:44 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1298
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
In our discussions on UOA results its been said you cant compare numbers if you are talking about different engines. Also, there are wear numbers all over the place. I try normalize numbers by looking at iron wear as PPM per thousand miles. Seems to me 1 is good and 3 is bad, again ignoring engine differences.

Has anyone tried getting UOAs with one oil, changing to a different oil and then getting consistently better or worse UOAs?

Also, would you feel like changing what you use if you had 3 PPM per thousand miles like some of the UOAs out there?

Thanks for your ideas. smile


I have suggested this numerous times as well.
Personally, if I were using an oil that showed higher than average wear metals in my UOA(s) I wouldn't hesitate to try another oil.
It makes no sense to me to use an oil, no matter who the manu is, if my UOAs are less than stellar. Many UOAs can be viewed on here that show good/great wear numbers so why would I choose an oil that doesn't show good/great wear metal readings? shrug
_________________________
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2013 Ram Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
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#4782918 - 06/10/18 09:56 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: irv]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6189
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: irv

Personally, if I were using an oil that showed higher than average wear metals in my UOA(s) I wouldn't hesitate to try another oil.


The problem with this theory is that "wear metals" can hide in "nooks and crannies" and get stuck in sludgy areas....

The you switch to an oil with a lot of cleaning ability,
and all that stuff gets flushed out...
and miraculously, your "high wear metals count" goes up.

There's too many variables unless you are looking at lots and lots of data over many, many running hours.
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#4782921 - 06/10/18 09:58 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6189
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
Also, would you feel like changing what you use if you had 3 PPM per thousand miles like some of the UOAs out there?


Cummins Diesel engines often have "high wear metals" in UOA's but still run for 500,000 miles.

"wear metals" is not necessarily reliable data.
_________________________
"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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#4782928 - 06/10/18 10:07 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
IndyFan Offline


Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 609
Loc: Danville, Indiana
Also, the difference, given the same engine, between an oil that has above average wear metals and one with below average is in reality extremely miniscule, when you are talking about parts per million.

I'm no expert, but my personal preference, based on the most educated guess I can muster, is to look at pour point and flash point, with more emphasis on flash point. I also look at viscosity index. That gives me what I believe is an idea of the presence of PAO or "true" synthetic oil, which is what I prefer.

That said, I think with my driving profile and vehicles, any reputable brand name oil, including Wal Mart Supertech, would serve me well. Any brand of synthetic, whether group III, or not, would give me exceptional performance. I'm just someone who is picky for what goes in my engines because I love my cars and it entertains me.
_________________________
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#4782950 - 06/10/18 10:39 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: IndyFan]
irv Offline


Registered: 10/08/06
Posts: 1298
Loc: Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: irv

Personally, if I were using an oil that showed higher than average wear metals in my UOA(s) I wouldn't hesitate to try another oil.


The problem with this theory is that "wear metals" can hide in "nooks and crannies" and get stuck in sludgy areas....

The you switch to an oil with a lot of cleaning ability,
and all that stuff gets flushed out...
and miraculously, your "high wear metals count" goes up.

There's too many variables unless you are looking at lots and lots of data over many, many running hours.


Anything is possible but if you know for yourself that you do frequent oil changes within the OLM and generally take care of your vehicle mtce wise, then the possibilities of what you say are very minimal, imo.

If I used a top tier oil and seen my UOAs consistently showed higher than average wear metals then I switched to another top tier oil that didn't, guess what oil I am going to continue to use.

Originally Posted By: IndyFan
Also, the difference, given the same engine, between an oil that has above average wear metals and one with below average is in reality extremely miniscule, when you are talking about parts per million.

I'm no expert, but my personal preference, based on the most educated guess I can muster, is to look at pour point and flash point, with more emphasis on flash point. I also look at viscosity index. That gives me what I believe is an idea of the presence of PAO or "true" synthetic oil, which is what I prefer.

That said, I think with my driving profile and vehicles, any reputable brand name oil, including Wal Mart Supertech, would serve me well. Any brand of synthetic, whether group III, or not, would give me exceptional performance. I'm just someone who is picky for what goes in my engines because I love my cars and it entertains me.


It's funny, when I read UOAs, most comments say "wear metals" look good or well within the limits but when I read others, they will say "wear metals are a little high" or something to that affect so I don't think wear metal readings are unimportant or as unimportant as you are suggesting or else they wouldn't comment on them at all.
_________________________
2017 Chevy Impala 3.6 Ltr.
2013 Ram Hemi Bighorn QC 4x4
PP and/or PUP for both vehicles.

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#4782959 - 06/10/18 10:48 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36764
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
In our discussions on UOA results its been said you cant compare numbers if you are talking about different engines. Also, there are wear numbers all over the place. I try normalize numbers by looking at iron wear as PPM per thousand miles. Seems to me 1 is good and 3 is bad, again ignoring engine differences.

Has anyone tried getting UOAs with one oil, changing to a different oil and then getting consistently better or worse UOAs?

Also, would you feel like changing what you use if you had 3 PPM per thousand miles like some of the UOAs out there?

Thanks for your ideas. smile


UOA's are not a tool designed for measuring wear, once you understand that, it makes their use and understanding the results a whole heck of a lot easier.

UOA's are a tool for determining the condition and continued serviceability of the lubricant. They are also useful for exposing potential mechanical problems like coolant ingress, air intake tract leaks, fuel dilution and failing mechanical parts (if the failure rate is slow enough). Each lubricant and equipment combo will have a "wear signature" that, when trended, can be used to fine tune the safe usable life of the lubricant as well as allow for the spotting of anomalies which can point to some of the issues mentioned earlier. You cannot reliably trend using different lubricants and you cannot compare metal uptake rates, within reason*, between different lubricants to determine which one is "better". This is due to the very small range of particle sizes that UOA's sample and the fact that you are inferring mechanical wear based on particles that may not be exclusively from that process. Chemical chelation, corrosion and the like can also be a source of these particles, but there is no way to differentiate the sources.

Iron is a metal that follows engine hours. This means that in most equipment posted on BITOG, it follows mileage, albeit indirectly. Other metals do not present in that manner. Aluminum, copper, lead...etc should all be at very low levels (generally) and spikes in these can indicate issues. They can also be benign however, like copper can be chelated from an oil cooler, artificially increasing its number, lead can be from using leaded race fuel...etc.

Significant changes in trended wear rates then should warrant investigation. However, most serious mechanical failures will happen rapidly enough that you'll never spot them in a UOA. This is generally the case for rapid deterioration of mechanical components and is supported by numerous experiences on this board, like former user BuickGN who was taking out rod bearings, yet seeing good UOA's.






*If oil "A" results in consistently trended higher levels of metals than oil "B", then oil "B" could likely be concluded to be the better choice if the metal is aluminum, lead or copper, as these should, generally, always be at low levels. Iron needs to be viewed through the lens of PPM/1K miles or PPM/time and thus, significant trended deviation here would need to be the case before making the same conclusion. 12ppm in 5,000 miles vs 20ppm in 7,000 miles; 2.4ppm/1K miles vs 2.8ppm/1k miles for example, is nowhere near significant.
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2018 RAM 1500 Big Horn EcoDiesel
2016 Grand Cherokee SRT

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#4782960 - 06/10/18 10:51 AM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4967
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
....There's too many variables unless you are looking at lots and lots of data over many, many running hours.....



This is the key statement for this thread. Driving styles, climate, load conditions all play a part in how your engine wears. On top of that, using different oils will skew the analysis along the way. For example, the old Valvoline sodium add packs would leave remnants in the new oil with no sodium. Same with moly. It might take a couple of oci before the old oil is completely out of the motor.
_________________________
2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Valvoline Advanced Synthetic 0w20
Mobil 1 M108A EP filter


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#4783006 - 06/10/18 12:01 PM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
JLTD Offline


Registered: 12/15/17
Posts: 937
Loc: US
.
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Hers: 2008 Jeep Liberty 138k, AMSOIL SS 5w30/Amsoil

His: 2015 4Runner 41k, AMSOIL OE 5w20/Wix

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#4783020 - 06/10/18 12:23 PM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: Snagglefoot]
goodtimes Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2987
Loc: california
If I had a semi truck I would do UOA's to keep track of major problems. With a car, no. I think people look at the numbers too closely, too many other factors. Taking a sample is one, it's small, taken in unfiltered air, and does it accurately represent the whole?

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#4783028 - 06/10/18 12:37 PM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: goodtimes]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6909
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: goodtimes
If I had a semi truck I would do UOA's to keep track of major problems. With a car, no. I think people look at the numbers too closely, too many other factors. Taking a sample is one, it's small, taken in unfiltered air, and does it accurately represent the whole?


With the deals I find on oil and filters ... can change at 5k-7k (OLM) and skip the cost of UOAs

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#4783034 - 06/10/18 12:46 PM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: irv]
IndyFan Offline


Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 609
Loc: Danville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: irv
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: irv

Personally, if I were using an oil that showed higher than average wear metals in my UOA(s) I wouldn't hesitate to try another oil.


The problem with this theory is that "wear metals" can hide in "nooks and crannies" and get stuck in sludgy areas....

The you switch to an oil with a lot of cleaning ability,
and all that stuff gets flushed out...
and miraculously, your "high wear metals count" goes up.

There's too many variables unless you are looking at lots and lots of data over many, many running hours.


Anything is possible but if you know for yourself that you do frequent oil changes within the OLM and generally take care of your vehicle mtce wise, then the possibilities of what you say are very minimal, imo.

If I used a top tier oil and seen my UOAs consistently showed higher than average wear metals then I switched to another top tier oil that didn't, guess what oil I am going to continue to use.

Originally Posted By: IndyFan
Also, the difference, given the same engine, between an oil that has above average wear metals and one with below average is in reality extremely miniscule, when you are talking about parts per million.

I'm no expert, but my personal preference, based on the most educated guess I can muster, is to look at pour point and flash point, with more emphasis on flash point. I also look at viscosity index. That gives me what I believe is an idea of the presence of PAO or "true" synthetic oil, which is what I prefer.

That said, I think with my driving profile and vehicles, any reputable brand name oil, including Wal Mart Supertech, would serve me well. Any brand of synthetic, whether group III, or not, would give me exceptional performance. I'm just someone who is picky for what goes in my engines because I love my cars and it entertains me.


It's funny, when I read UOAs, most comments say "wear metals" look good or well within the limits but when I read others, they will say "wear metals are a little high" or something to that affect so I don't think wear metal readings are unimportant or as unimportant as you are suggesting or else they wouldn't comment on them at all.


Yeah, but I've seen the same exact parts per million on different reports from the same lab where they'll call it high on one and fine on another. I am not saying it is unimportant, but unless it is a significantly high level, I don't think it is much to worry about. Again, we are talking parts per million. If you compare 10 ppm with 20ppm, I really don't believe it is significant, given the same mileage.

Also, do you think the lab's bottom line would benefit if they acknowledged it wasn't that significant? They are in business because of those of us that stress over 10ppm. I saw an interview with a UOA lab guy that once said there really wasn't much of a difference in most motor oils, and that the UOA was not a good indicator of wear, but more of an early warning tool for big problems.

The bottom line is that I believe if you use the recommended weight for your engine, in a correctly API certified oil made by a reputable manufacturer, and change it according to the manufacturer's recommendation, along with an appropriate oil filter, most engines will last a good long time. I've seen 300k mile engines that were run on everything from Pennzoil YB, Valvoline WB, and other conventional oils. One thing they had in common was an owner that was good about oil changes. I don't know any of those guys who bothered to get UOA's.


Edited by IndyFan (06/10/18 12:47 PM)
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#4783330 - 06/10/18 07:44 PM Re: One oil vs another for UOA [Re: IndyFan]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 25026
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Of course, we have to note where you say how one lab will respond to the exact same PPM of one element differently, while labs do sometimes say silly things, generally speaking, though, they are taking into consideration universal averages for the type of vehicle, not to mention mileage. Look at a Chevy small block, for instance. They shed iron, plain and simple.
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Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
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