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VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. #5322551 01/14/20 03:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
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JTK Offline OP
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My question is for anyone familiar with the newer Nissan direct injected VQ35DD engine, like found in ~2017+ Maximas, Pathfinders and Muranos.

Do you notice what seems like these engines blacken the engine oil very quickly? Like within 1-2K miles? I've got about 2900mi on my most recent oil change and judging from how the oil looks on the dipstick, it to me looks like you're checking the stick on an old diesel engine the oil is so black! I know color means nothing, but I know the non-direct injected VQ35DE in our 2016 Quest didn't blacken the oil badly at all between the ~5000mi OCs I did on it.

I found this to be the case shortly after we took ownership of our 2019 PF SV model with ~24K miles on it back in Oct 2019. It was an ex-rental. The vehicle was taken in by the local Toyota dealership and they had changed the oil just before I bought it. After a few weeks I noticed the oil looked disturbingly black and not really trusting the dealer oil change, I changed it myself in the beginning of November. The Toyota dealer had used a cheap Napa Pro Select filter and unknown oil. I changed it with a Nissan filter and Napa full synthetic 5w30.

Nissan recommends 0w20 for all later model VQ35 engines. In the case of our 2016 Quest with the older VQ35DE, the OM also recommended 0w20, but said you can use 5w30 for severe service. This is why I'd prefer to stick with 5w30 for the new PF as well.

Could it be DI fuel dilution? The engine looks spotless from what you can see under the oil fill cap. It runs silky smooth and is averaging ~19mpg day/day and much better on straight highway travel. I fear going beyond an old school 3K mile oil change interval on this.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322564 01/14/20 03:15 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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Our PathFinder was also an off lease.

It took at least 5 oil and filter changes before the oil could go 3-5k without going black at less than 2.5k. And it seems most dealers use a 5W30 mineral oil such as Valvoline Maxlife from their Bulk Oil Tanks.

While on lease I don't think oil changes are done on schedule and have a loosey-goosey fluid change schedule.

And while on lease, people don't drive these cars like you and I do.

I use a synthetic 5W20 for winter service and the oil no longer blackens at less than 5k.

Last edited by MolaKule; 01/14/20 03:21 PM.

Charlie Eppes: "What do you think we should do now?"
Don Eppes: "The same thing when I was in school and I didn't know the answer – fake it." From NUMB3RS
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: MolaKule] #5322572 01/14/20 03:20 PM
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JTK Offline OP
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That could be the case. Thing is, our 2016 Quest was also an ex-rental that we bought with ~32K miles on it and it too only showed 1 OCI on it's carfax when we bought it. It never blackened the oil like this 2019 Pathfinder does.

I suppose I could loosen the purse strings and do a UOA. LOL

Last edited by JTK; 01/14/20 03:32 PM.

2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322574 01/14/20 03:21 PM
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tcp71 Offline
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My DI ecoboost turns more black than brown, like my other port injection vehicles. Apparently DI creates more soot in the oil which is more like a diesel. Perhaps it’s just this?


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: NAPA 5w30 syn. (varies)
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322576 01/14/20 03:23 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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Loosen your purse strings and do more frequent OC's until it tends to clear up. smile

Last edited by MolaKule; 01/14/20 03:24 PM.

Charlie Eppes: "What do you think we should do now?"
Don Eppes: "The same thing when I was in school and I didn't know the answer – fake it." From NUMB3RS
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322581 01/14/20 03:28 PM
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Propflux01 Offline
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My hyundai GT GDI is the same way. Black as can be


2014 Hyundai Elantra
2014 Hyundai Elantra GT
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322638 01/14/20 04:11 PM
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The black is from soot formation. Driven Racing Oil has a series of videos on YT that describe how soot is formed, and how it can be prevented:

Direct Fuel Injection Part 4

Sure, it's marketing for their line of oils, but there are other oils on the market with similar formulations for DI engines. For example, Valvoline Modern Engine Oil, available in 0W20, 5W20, and 5W30 grades. I have used the Valvoline ME 5W30 in my Infiniti VR30DDTT with great success - positive UOAs and dark honey-colored oil at 5k mile OCIs.

Last edited by B6_Dolphin; 01/14/20 04:15 PM.
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5322735 01/14/20 06:02 PM
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chunt Offline
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My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.


18 Pathfinder SL (mine) 0W20
18 Rogue SV (granddaughter's) 0W20
03 Camry LE (daughter's) 5W30
10 Camry SE (granddaughter's) 5W30
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: chunt] #5323419 01/15/20 12:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
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JTK Offline OP
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Originally Posted by chunt
My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.


Thanks chunt. Not that I don't appreciate everyone's input here, I was hoping to hear from another VQ35DD owner like yourself. How frequent have you been doing oil changes on your 2018 Pathfinder?

I've got ~2950mi on the current oil/filter and was hoping to get my hands on our PF to change it today given the weather is OK.. Of course it's out and about at the moment.


2019 Nissan Pathfinder SV
2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L.
2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: JTK] #5323534 01/15/20 02:01 PM
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chunt Offline
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Originally Posted by JTK
Originally Posted by chunt
My Pathfinder does the same thing. Mine was an x rental when I purchased it with 16K. It now has 32K and the oil is always black before the oil gets 2k on it. It is just the nature of the beast.


Thanks chunt. Not that I don't appreciate everyone's input here, I was hoping to hear from another VQ35DD owner like yourself. How frequent have you been doing oil changes on your 2018 Pathfinder?

I've got ~2950mi on the current oil/filter and was hoping to get my hands on our PF to change it today given the weather is OK.. Of course it's out and about at the moment.

The Dealer changed the oil in my Pathfinder with bulk 5W30 before I purchased it. I changed that within a week or two after I brought it home and have been doing 5K OCI's since with 0W20, mainly Penz Plat.


18 Pathfinder SL (mine) 0W20
18 Rogue SV (granddaughter's) 0W20
03 Camry LE (daughter's) 5W30
10 Camry SE (granddaughter's) 5W30
Re: VQ35DD and BLACK engine oil. [Re: MolaKule] #5323811 01/15/20 07:14 PM
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bbhero Offline
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Originally Posted by MolaKule
Loosen your purse strings and do more frequent OC's until it tends to clear up. smile



This in my opinion is the way to go ^^^^^


Nissan Altima 3.5 Coupe
Cam2 full synthetic 5w30 Wix 57356 Oil filter
"Treat your family like your friends and treat your friends like your family."
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