Recent Topics
WiFi “bridge” to outbuilding
by dlundblad - 08/20/19 05:00 AM
SynLube
by sloinker - 08/20/19 04:55 AM
Rental review : 2019 Dodge Charger
by FirstNissan - 08/20/19 12:14 AM
Truck diesel oil in Lawn mower (SAE30)
by Polyalphaolefin - 08/19/19 11:18 PM
Pinstripes Not Popular on Pickup Trucks?
by LoneRanger - 08/19/19 10:04 PM
More choices
by KeithS_NW_Ohio - 08/19/19 09:43 PM
INEOS to Surpass EXOM in PAO production.
by MolaKule - 08/19/19 09:17 PM
Need a miter saw
by JLawrence08648 - 08/19/19 09:01 PM
Using a 7.1 receiver with only 2 speakers
by Papa Bear - 08/19/19 08:44 PM
HD Sportster 5000 mi Red line PS 20w-50
by shanneba - 08/19/19 07:17 PM
College Football Time
by kstanf150 - 08/19/19 07:17 PM
Eco Plug oil drain plug
by passgas55 - 08/19/19 07:15 PM
Pep Boys Deals
by kstanf150 - 08/19/19 06:43 PM
MB229.5 and MB229.51
by Tikka - 08/19/19 06:35 PM
2019 Mazda 3 Recall....Wheels fall Off!
by Boomer - 08/19/19 05:43 PM
Rut Roh!😂
by Mad_Hatter - 08/19/19 04:40 PM
Oil for vintage Mopars
by 440Magnum - 08/19/19 04:37 PM
M1-102 vs M1-103
by Deontologist - 08/19/19 04:06 PM
Why no love for M1 gear oils?
by zuluplus30 - 08/19/19 03:02 PM
Newest Members
Brandon86, smartd_e, serhat, BlueSky, 444samc
69000 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
31 registered members (65convertible, Bailes1992, 08z06, 53' Stude, 6 invisible), 621 guests, and 29 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics293,548
Posts5,042,120
Members69,000
Most Online3,532
Jul 30th, 2019
Donate to BITOG
Print Thread
Hop To
Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA #5119721 05/29/19 09:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
T
Talent_Keyhole Offline OP
OP Offline
T
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
Has anyone investigated how Polaris Labs/Oil Analyzers determine their wear limits or flag levels?

A few months ago before setting up an online account directly with Polaris. They told me they have a very large database of components, and history of oil analysis, in the millions. They had a profile for the engine and transmission in my car. The reasonable cost of the tests, large database of data to support their recommendations and analysis, GC Fuel testing, and TBN and oxidation and each sample result is reviewed by an analyst was a selling point.

Below is what I found out since then.

1. They apparently have a large database of components, engines transmissions, and other equipment. They claim any underlying data, raw data and simple statistical information they get from customers oil analysis is intellilectual property, proprietary and confidential business records. Makes you wonder. They will not provide any raw or underlying data on their Wear Limits. Other labs do. I found that my engine type there is a big discrepancy between labs with similar number of samples..

2. They only use manufacturer and model, no other identifying info for their profile. Model is often substituted for displacement. Example: Ford 5.8L. That is it. In my case I tried to use GM Ecotec 2.4L, Nope, not enough samples. The GM Ecotec has been used in many vehicles for over 20 years. I asked if they could combine the 2.0, 2.2, and 2.4. Could not do that. I had to change to a GMC 2.4L profile so that there is enough samples to create a profile.

3. They do not track the year of manufacture for the wear limit profile. They group all engines together regardless of when they were manufactured. This does not take into account changes in design, i.e. aluminum heads, blocks, technology improvements, application of the engine.

4. They do not track average fluid time or component time for their wear limit profile . When I asked them if they saw elevated iron levels (50% of their wear limit) or even 75%, when the oil had only made it 25% of the normal OCI, they would not flag it. They said the fluid time and component time is irrelevant. They said the fluid time (engine operation) had no bearing on the amount of wear contaminants, and it was never linear with respect to time.

5. Lastly, they admitted they spend on average 60 seconds, analyzing the results and use pre-defined statements and comments in their report. They have 10 people supporting 3000 - 4000 analysis per day.

6. Although you provide comments and information on the sample forms, They do not include it in the report and often times they do not take into account. Getting information corrected is a laborious endeavor.

The above information came from multiple analyst and supervisory staff. Needless to say I am not impressed with their report analysis and customer service. Going through Amsoil/Oil Analyzers is just another layer of customer service.

Before selecting a lab, do your homework. I thought I did, but I was wrong.




Last edited by Talent_Keyhole; 05/29/19 09:04 PM.
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: Talent_Keyhole] #5119935 05/30/19 05:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,934
2015_PSD Offline
Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,934
I have used 4 labs (ALS Tribology/WIX, Blackstone, OAI/Polaris/Horizon, and Wearcheck). From my point of view, there is no "perfect" lab, but OAI/Polaris has clear distinctions that sets it apart from the others. Polaris is fully ISO certified and their testing methodologies are current, certified, and repeatable (https://polarislabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2145.02-valid-30JUN20-HOU.pdf). The fact they have millions of UOA's is not an accident in my opinion and from a cost perspective, unless you are going to chose ALS Tribology (purchased via Rock Auto), the cost vs. value is one of the best.

Out of curiosity, what other lab would you choose and why?


2019 Jeep Rubicon Wrangler Unlimited 3.6L V6 [OEM + Factory Fill]
2018 Mercedes Benz C300 2.0L Turbo [Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40 & Mann filter]
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: Talent_Keyhole] #5120076 05/30/19 09:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
T
Talent_Keyhole Offline OP
OP Offline
T
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
What is the point of collecting millions of samples, if you can't distinguish between an engine that was put into service last year with vastly different design, than one that is over 20 years old. How can any lab claim to develop a wear profile on an engine, use that information to advise/alert customers to potential problems and ignore fluid time and component time, does not track severity levels or deviations in results, and a lab that suggest that such data points are irrelevant. Millions of samples is not an accident and neither is their flawed profiles.

When someone begins a response with, "there is no perfect lab", and then proclaims superior methodologies and certification, and shear volumes of samples, speaks volumes, Sounds like sale rep, or spokesperson for the lab.

Last edited by Talent_Keyhole; 05/30/19 09:19 AM.
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: Talent_Keyhole] #5120539 05/30/19 06:01 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,934
2015_PSD Offline
Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,934
First of all, for what purpose are you trying to use a UOA? To determine the health of the oil or wear of the engine? Determining engine wear is not a strength of a UOA in the slightest. While it can be generally used to determine wear abnormalities, it is certainly not definitive. Generally, you may be able to use data from an engine family to determine if your UOA results are "typical", but for the most part you would need to compare trends of your own engine's results to develop a trend.

Lastly, as for the snide comment about the lab salesman, I have shared more UOA results from different labs (the majority of them from Blackstone) than most people on this board--including you so are you simply trolling this subject?


2019 Jeep Rubicon Wrangler Unlimited 3.6L V6 [OEM + Factory Fill]
2018 Mercedes Benz C300 2.0L Turbo [Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40 & Mann filter]
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: 2015_PSD] #5126621 06/06/19 05:25 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 8,077
dnewton3 Online Content
Global Moderator
Online Content
Global Moderator
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 8,077
As to the OPs question, I don't that any lab directly shares their data publicly. I've done a lot of work with Blackstone, but I have a relationship with them (non-paid; no sponsorship, no free UOAs, etc) that gets me data that others cannot get. When labs post their "universal averages" (ala BlkStn) or similar ranges like the limits in Polaris analysis, those are link to their own internal data streams, which they manipulate as they see fit. I don't know that any one UOA service will cater to the level that you want to see. Even the data I get from BlkStn has be be sub-divided at my level; I have to know the nuances of the engine changes over the years to sub-divide out sub-sets.


As for UOAs themselves ...
Originally Posted by 2015_PSD
First of all, for what purpose are you trying to use a UOA? To determine the health of the oil or wear of the engine? Determining engine wear is not a strength of a UOA in the slightest. While it can be generally used to determine wear abnormalities, it is certainly not definitive. Generally, you may be able to use data from an engine family to determine if your UOA results are "typical", but for the most part you would need to compare trends of your own engine's results to develop a trend.

I agree that one cannot look at a single UOA or small series and determine specific things for all matters. I would disagree to some level because the inference I take is that you imply UOAs have no ability to track wear whatsoever; I believe UOAs are quite able to do good things for us. And yes, there's a big difference between macro data and micro data. This has to do with the sample size and the control medium. See my normalcy article ...
As I've said repeatedly hundreds of times; UOAs contain both inputs and outputs. Things like Vis, FP, TBN/TAN, etc are inputs; they are predictors. Outputs like wear metals are results, and they have most certainly been proven to be accurate, in the right context and understanding their benefits and limitations.

UOAs are actually quite good at tracking wear. But they do not track ALL wear. They are a tool, just like PCs, physical observations, tear-down analysis and such. You have to understand both the pros and cons of the tools, and how to appropriately use the tools, to get good results from the tools. UOAs from engines that have "normal" wear patterns have been verified as accurate using other tools such as electron bombardment and mass-weight measurements; UOAs are by no means worthless (not that 2015_PSD was implying that; just a general comment from me.). When I say UOAs, I'm talking about the common systems we see employed in the use today such as ICP, etc. Spectral analysis can be tuned to a wide variety of potential perceptible viewpoints, but they are specific at times to only those items chosen; not unlike gaseous detection meters (common testing would be for oxygen, CO, H2S, etc. but you can change the testing apparatus to detect other things, at the expense of other choices.)

UOAs cannot predict acute failure onset; they are not capable of predicting an impending con-rod fracture, snapped crankshaft, shattered piston, etc.
UOAs cannot see particulate over 5um in size (generalization), so they don't see "all" wear. However, in "normal" wear patterns, they see a portion of wear that is proportional to all wear, so they are very accurate in trending analysis.
UOAs cannot distinguish particle size, only composition of elements that are primarily reactive to the plasma gas.
UOAs cannot distinguish some elements from each other; Si silicone is seen also as Si silica. Also hydrocarbons all appear the same, generally.
UOAs can most certainly see the common wear metals we'd be interested in from equipment common in vehicles, tractors, generators, gearboxes/transmissions,etc
UOAs most certainly can track trending in both micro and macro data sets
UOAs most certainly have been proven to be proportionally accurate in wear trending, linked to other means of tracking wear (SAE studies such as the Ford/Connoco wear study; the GM filter study; many others)
UOAs most certainly have been shown to be proportionally accurate in wear trending, linked to PC analysis (the "bus" study on DD-2stokes for example)
UOAs have been proven to accurately predict onset-wear, providing timely failure predictions of chronic issues (timing chain guide failures, bearing failures, etc)
UOAs have been proven to accurately track contamination ingress (fuel, Si, soot, etc), and illuminate chronic issues as they arise (air intake tract leaks, internal coolant leaks, internal fuel leaks)

I've often heard people say that UOAs are not a good assessment tool for wear, and then advocate for tear-down analysis as the only true wear to determine wear. What a bunch of baloney! As if TD analysis didn't have any cons ... A UOA typically costs $30 or less. A TD analysis? perhaps 200x that amount! Try to get your Dmax or PSD torn-down, analyzed and reassembled for less than $6000 ... Additionally, TD analysis typically uses physical measurement tools like calipers and micrometers. So now you introduce the topic of gauge R&R into this TD analysis. How accurate is your local dealer or favorite shop in using their tools? When was the last time they had their calipers and micrometers actually calibrated/certified for accuracy??? Not to mention the fact that once you re-assemble the engine, you also alter all the various components and their relationship to each other. Going to re-install that camshaft in your DOHC engine? Are you going to reuse the existing bolts that hold down the upper cam journals, or use new bolts? How accurate are you in getting the torque the the same exact spec that the OEM used? Do you being to see why TD wear analysis isn't perfect, either? It's a tool; it's useful, but it has limitations and concerns that center around accuracy issues and repeat-ability concerns.

Are UOAs perfect? No. But no tool is.
Are UOAs a good tool that provides a very low-cost view, which when combined with other tools (PCs, physical observations, etc), can help develop trending analysis so that when things go non-normal, you'll know and can hopefully catch it prior to chronic catastrophic doom? Absolutely yes.

All tools have their designed uses, their provisionally acceptable uses, and their abuses. We should not blame the tool when it's misunderstood or misused. (Not that 2015_PSD was doing so; just my general comment to all).

Last edited by dnewton3; 06/06/19 05:48 AM.

The act of preventative maintenance, in and of itself, is FAR MORE important than brand/grade/base choices among lubes and filters.
- under maintaining something is akin to abuse/neglect; that can kill equipment by shortening the lifespan
- over maintaining something has never been proven to be anything but a waste of time and money
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: dnewton3] #5131910 06/12/19 12:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
T
Talent_Keyhole Offline OP
OP Offline
T
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 136
That was my goal to determine what was typical for a particular engine class. In this case the GM 2.4L Ecotec, Gen II, with GDI. These engines with GDI are well known for fuel contamination and resulting ring/cylinder wear, increase in blow-by, oil consumption and then finally chain wear and slippage. The blow-by and breakdown of the oil results in problems with the VVT, blocked PCV, bad intake valve coking, and blown rear seals. The non-GDI engines of the same class rarely exhibited these problems and have been known to exceed 200k miles.

Polaris had limits of 70ppm for Iron which I felt was way too high, had no averages, and did not regard Fluid Time, or wear rates as important. They only had 75 samples for the ECOTEC, model year info. They had a profile for a generic GM 2.4L with 150 samples, but I did not feel that was adequate without the additional information.

Black Stone came through and provided a full data file, minus any customer information. They did not include brand or grade of oil as others would likely make incorrect interpretations, and I agreed. Plenty of YT video experts that do that now.. The file has 568 samples from 2006 to 2017 of the same generation of engine, same general design, and the only significant difference was port injection and direct injection.

I took the liberty to exclude some samples that were incomplete or had obvious mechanic problems, added engine versions based on year, make and model.

I added min, max, average, std dev for each element, wear, viscosity, fuel, etc. Also added Iron wear rates/1k miles for each sample and then used that to compare GDI and non GDI engines. Did the same for fuel dilution and included varying OCIs with viscosity.

Conclusion - engines of this design with GDI on average dropped out of range for the Xw-30 oil in viscosity in all OCI ranges due to fuel dilution, had twice the wear rate for Iron as non-GDI engines, also in the same OCI ranges. Chromium wear rate (rings) was also nearly double compared to that of non-GDI engines. BTW, GM just replaced my pistons and rings under warranty after 90K miles in my 2012 Equinox and has a special coverage up to 120K for oil consumption. They say it was due to incorrect rings that were installed at the facotry, but I doubt it. I found the averages for Iron was 25ppm for an average 4.6k OCI for GDI engines and only 15ppm for non-GDI engines at 6.7K OCI.

I have been told by Polaris that fuel dilutions of up to 7% is often normal, as long as viscosity does not decrease or wear increases. I have to look more at the data and see where the safe limit in terms of viscosity, fuel dilution and where wear rates increase. I assuming it is much lower than what has been shared so far.

I will share the file to the forum if anyone wants to review it, comment or contribute. I am not a statistician, just an auto enthusiasts who have restored cars and built a few engines, and interested in synthetics since my visits to the Colorado School of Minds in the early 90s to research the subject.





Last edited by Talent_Keyhole; 06/12/19 12:29 AM.
Re: Polaris Wear Limit Profile on UOA [Re: Talent_Keyhole] #5137402 06/18/19 10:50 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 8,077
dnewton3 Online Content
Global Moderator
Online Content
Global Moderator
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 8,077
I've done a similar study with the GM Vortec engines. I looked at the wear rates of Fe for the 5.3L and 6.0/6.2L engines that use the selective cylinder deactivation system; it essentially shuts down the valve train by manipulating the hydraulic circuit to certain lifters. And I found that the engines w/o the deactivation system had lower wear than those that do. (No DI in those to speak to, so no fuel dilution).


The act of preventative maintenance, in and of itself, is FAR MORE important than brand/grade/base choices among lubes and filters.
- under maintaining something is akin to abuse/neglect; that can kill equipment by shortening the lifespan
- over maintaining something has never been proven to be anything but a waste of time and money
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

BOB IS THE OIL GUY® Powered by UBB.threads™