Truth about Used Oil Analysis

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Most motorcycles run the engine oil through the transmission, and the transmission gears are very hard on the oil's VII package. This means that over a couple thousand miles, the oil's viscosity can break down.

Standard car oils are only good for typically miles before they've lost about half of their viscosity. Remember, 10w oils contain a lot of VIIs which tend to shear in your transmission, so I believe 10w oils should be avoided. You can't use 10w because of the friction modifiers. This doesn't leave much. Commercial 15w oils are a good choice, because they have relatively few VIIs which are the more expensive shear-stable sort.

Synthetics typically don't contain much of a VII package, so shear is not as big an issue with them. Some people use their motorcycles only sporadically. This means the oil can all drain completely into the sump, leaving no protective film on the bearings.

The first start after a long period of non-use can be particularly hard on an engine. Film strength is very important if you're a sporadic rider. Synthetic oils have a higher viscosity index than mineral base oils. Synthetics have better resistance to thinning at high temperatures and thickening at low temperatures.

Since synthetics have little or no VIIs, synthetics last longer in service without radical changes in viscosity. Synthetics have a much higher film strength than petroleum oils, so it takes a lot longer for the oil to drain completely off your bearings and into your sump. Diester synthetics are polar molecules with solvent properties which dissolve residues and combustion byproducts. The theory that synthetic oils should not be used during break in is the same as the theory that your engine will break in better if you use synthetic oil but add a dinner candle to your four quarts of engine oil.

Frankly, I find this theory, um, questionable. Corvettes and Porsches come from the factory with Mobil-1 in their engines. Remember, these engineers have designed world-champion engines for F1, Indy, Le Mans 24 hours, etc.

There's a lot of mythology surrounding break-in oil. It's simply not the case that synthetic oils are more "slippery" than conventional oils. Also, break-in of a modern engine is completely different than break-in of an engine made before about Modern engines, by comparison to something made in the '60s, are pretty much already broken in from the factory due to the fact that today we hold much tighter machining tolerances.

The exception, of course, would be the Ural, a motorcycle made on a production line unmodified since about I recommend you change your break-in oil at 75 to miles, to kilometers.

Your engine does shed a fair amount of metal particles in the first miles, and I really can't understand why you would want this stuff floating around your bearings for the first miles, kilometers. It burns no oil, gets great gas mileage, and runs great.

I recommend you switch to a good synthetic at your first oil change. However, putting automotive oils in your motorcycle and running them for more than miles is abuse. I abuse my motorcycle enough with the way I ride them without adding on the abuse of using cheap oil that will break down in miles.

The question of which oil is best is not settled. We know what we want: There are various articles in MCN which do a chemical analysis and make recommendations based on the content of the additive package. I am very skeptical of this, as the utility of these chemicals at various levels is never tested, and the base oils are not tested.

There are a couple articles that actually test for viscosity breakdown, and standard petroleum oils don't do very well. Consumer Reports once did a 4,, mile test of oils in NYC taxicabs, however these engines only start once per day and are water-cooled, so they mostly avoid cold start-ups and overheating.

If you're using a standard automotive petroleum oil in your motorcycle and running it for more than 1, miles, you are taking your chances. By 1, miles, the VII additives are pretty much all broken down, and the oil has therefore thinned out enormously. Your engine will not explode if you use Spiffo-Magic Superlube for 4, miles. Your engine will not explode if you never use synthetic oils.

However, any of these choices puts additional strain on your engine. My DL runs its oil through the transmission, I run off-road extreme environment due to silicon blow-by at the piston rings , I'm pretty much always revving my engine at rpm or more red line on the Corvette, the one that comes with Mobil-1 as factory fill.

I stress my little engine enough without making it use dinner candles as lubricants. Nor do I wish to make the bearings run in 10w oil that's broken down to 10w oil. Some people should, in my opinion, clearly use a synthetic oil.

You should be using a synthetic if: In this case you must use either Mobil-1 0w or the Canadian 0w Rotella. If you're riding your bike in degrees, I want a picture before you die. These MX bikes hold only about one quart of oil, all of them have marginal cooling systems, and if there's a more severe use of an engine than MX, I don't want to be physically present when it happens. If it's below c, f, stay home. Three synthetics stand out from the rest: These are C certified industrial oils meant to be purchased in 55 gallon drums and used by companies which run a lot of diesel engines.

The Commercial oils, as discussed above, have more expensive additive packages which are meant to prolong engine life and oil life, as opposed to being cheap to buy at Pep Boys and helping the car companies meet their CAFE requirements. These oils meet all the automobile requirements through SJ, and also have extra additives to help pick up gunk in the engine, to keep the oil from becoming acidic, and to maintain the oil's viscosity over a long time.

In fact, the manufacturers talk about their oil's viscosity resistance to shear forces - exactly what a motorcycle needs. Delvac-1 is very hard to get in the west - there are only two places in all of California where you can buy it. When used with the correct filters, these oils are certified for 50, mile oil change intervals, and are frequently used for , to , miles in diesel long-haul trucks.

Now, before you get all excited about the possibilities, you must also keep in mind that the diesel engines don't run their oil through their transmission, and the large diesels all have two oil filters, one a normal paper filter, and the other a 1 or 2 micron filter that catches pretty much everything.

We don't have these secondary ultra-fine oil filters on our bikes. The synthetic diesel oils are 5w oils. Some people have expressed concern to me that this doesn't match the 10w specification for their engine. Once your oil and engine are up to operating temperature, these are 40 weight oils, just like all the others. Personally, I would find it reassuring if these oils were CI-4 certified. However, many motorcyclists have used these oils for years with good results.

They are all fine oils, and perfectly acceptable to run in your motorcycle. They are a bit on the pricey side. To the best of my knowledge, all other synthetic oils contain some amount of Group III oil. Mobil-1 automotive oils all contain small amounts of moly - about to ppm. This can cause clutch slippage in some motorcycles.

I've only heard of this being a problem in Honda Shadows. I'm sometimes asked if it's ok to blend your own oils. Oils are all made out of pretty much the same chemicals, and nothing really bad will happen. In fact, I just run Rotella synthetic in everything I own, year round: I'm also sometimes asked if it's ok to run non-Harley oils in Harley-Davidsons.

In my opinion, yes. If you change your engine oil every 3, miles or so, you can run pretty much any decent oil. I ran Valvoline in my Harleys for , miles. Harley recommends a 20w oil, so Rotella or other synthetic diesel oils will not do.

However, the 15w diesel oils meet the same film strength standard as 20w oil, and are just fine to run in your Harley. I'm told that the standard Harley oils are made by Sunoco, and the Syn-3 is made by Castrol. I don't consider the Syn-3 Harley oil either a particularly excellent oil, nor a competitively priced oil.

If you live in another country, you'll have to do a bit of research to decide on an oil. Generally, any oil certified for use in a late model Volkswagon or Mercedes turbo diesel is a good choice. Another good idea is to go to a truck stop and ask the truckers about brands. Rotella is marketed all over the world, but in other countries it's called Rotella or Rimola or Helix Ultra, and the formulation may be a bit different, depending on local climate and preferences.

It will likely also be a lot more expensive than it is here. I don't make your tax policy. They would all be very different if I did.

This price is reasonably competitive with passenger car oils, and you are getting a Group II oil with the superior commercial additive packages.

Notice in the table above that these oils have particularly good high shear film strength, meaning the protection you get for your bearings is much better than with a 10w or 10w oil. I don't have any information about how long you can run these oils before their viscosity breaks down, but I'm confident it's at least as long as the best consumer petroleum oil. This should keep your bike, your car, and your wife's car in good shape for at least a year.

Farmers, ranchers and truckers buy these oils in large quantities, and we get to ride piggy- back on their economies of scale. A comparison of a few oils. These numbers refer to the blended oils after VIIs are added. If you want to do some research on oils yourself, here are some links. I read all this stuff and I'm still alive, but a bit weird. All about the new CJ-4 oils. Everything you ever wanted to know about oil , but were afraid to ask.

Here's what an additive package manufacturer has to say about oils. Chevron talks about base oils and GF-4 oils. Consumer Reports tests oils for 4,, miles in NYC taxis. Lubricants primer by Red Line. All about oil by Ed Hackett, a college professor. Oil Advice from Mike Guillory, a petroleum engineer.

Jeff Di Carlo also has an opinion. MCN '94 includes viscosity breakdown testing. Another article that includes viscosity breakdown testing. You may be skeptical about the oil companies interests, but they are the people making what we buy so it's interesting to hear who they think we are and what they think we need.

Are Harley oils the best? FAQs about commercial oils answered by Shell. Are diesel oils really ok for motorcycles? Motor Oil Information Please help support this web site. If you need a windshield, consider ours. Contribute to our site maintenance fund: Why do we need oil? Where Oil Comes From Most of the bio-mass on earth is single cell plants and microscopic critters in the ocean.

Refining Oil The oil product you buy starts as a base oil. Synthetic Oils Synthetic oils were originally designed for the purpose of having a very pure base oil with excellent properties.

Making Multi-Grade Oil A simple standard oil, for example a pure base stock, would be a single weight, like 30 weight. Motor Oil Additive Packages In addition to the base stock oil, oil manufacturers add what's called an additive package.

Here's what the additive package is supposed to do for you: One component is detergents and dispersants. These chemicals are designed to hold onto foreign particles and chemicals in your engine, and sometimes break them into smaller pieces.

These foreign chemicals may be combustion by products, or junk that slipped past your air filter. If the particles are large enough, then they will eventually be grabbed by the oil filter and taken out of circulation. Another component is buffers. This is typically calcium, magnesium, or boron. These chemicals are present to neutralize any acids which form in your engine. Acids are bad for your bearings and other important thingies. Your additive package will include solvents to break up deposits of tar and wax.

In a premium oil, some of the base stock will be Group V diesters to help the solvent package. Where did the tar and wax come from? Another component is emergency lubricants. This is typically zinc, phosphorous, and molybdenum.

These chemicals are present in case your oil film completely breaks down, due to extreme temperatures or pressures. These chemicals are supposed to be a last resort defense against metal to metal contact in your engine. Oil companies are cutting back on zinc and phosphorous, as these metals are hard on your catalytic converters. Cat idle problem A friend of mine, has a KW dump truck, with a Cat engine. He just bought the truck, the truck has an issue returning to idle.

The linkage is returning to idle, but the engine doesnt return to full idle and making it hard to shift gears. I think he said it idles around , when going through the gears. Im not sure what he said about it idling out of gear, but Im sure it isnt real high. But of of gear it takes a while to get to full idle. Thanks for any info. Jun 16, Messages: Heavyduty , Jul 29, Last edited by a moderator: Willis Bushogin , Jul 29, Jan 20, Messages: Willis Bushogin , Jan 21, Aug 5, Messages: I recently had a cummins 8.

Turns out that it was actually the accumulator. It is mounted on the driver side of the block and is very easy to change, just 4 bolts and two fuel lines. Check that out first, that would be a much cheaper fix.. You must log in or sign up to reply here.

Your name or email address: Do you already have an account? The deposits were so heavy compromising oil flow and detergent depleting acids that the bypass oil filter kit was a must! In fact the bypass kit saved this engine.

Only the bypass kit is able to remove what would have taken 10 or more oil changes to remove!! See the video showing this. This severe environment creates acids which would have destroyed a typical oil thus severe bearing damage. Opening the filter revealed a rubber like sludge lining which after 5 years now has returned this motor to normal use and thousands saved!

These need to be removed as the oil is flowing at high temperatures which the bypass kits will do. An old but good example oil analysis June - after 5 bypass filter changes, seven full flow filters one completely clogged!

Amsoil's Oil Analysis service saved another engine. This is a severe example where you could see the build-up inside of the valve cover. The added capacity of the bypass kits will aid engines with lower capacities as the larger the sump, the longer the life of the additive package. I now use the HDD 5W30 for best flow and year round protection. We expect our AMC to last many years in harsh use. The small molecular structure is a bonus which features a significant drop in temperature under load up to 50 degrees.

Most of the destructive wear particles which cause engine wear enter through the intake system and are not born in the crankcase. Less pressure drop through out the life. These filters remove 5 times more dust than traditional cellulose filters and 50 times more dust than wet gauze. This would have you think resistance would suffer but not the case. Because of the nan-screen, the EaA holds 15 times more dust than wet gauze type. Having more pores per square inch allows for a lower pressure drop then compared to cellulose filter media alone.

These still need to be changed at 5 to 8K intervals. The big shocking news here is that there is absolutely no benefit to changing your oil if it is in good condition. If you still think it better to change at to be safe, then why not at least try one of our bypass oil filter kits? These keep the oil analytically clean and at 2-micron filtration properties these passive "Partial Flow" units save you time and stop engine wear. Even better for the customer who is dead set on to oil changes try our new API Certified - OE Synthetic which costs less than other fully synthetic products and we still guarantee it for the full OEM guaranteed interval.

From the moment these are used, our customers are overwhelmed by the instant improvement of how the engine feels, even after switching from other synthetics. I attended the presentation first hand at how AMSOIL has been testing the legendary 15W40 CI4 rated diesel oil with a current fleet of refuse trucks as documented in this study. There isn't a vehicle on the road today which engine and chassis take more abuse than the garbage truck.

In the case of Nordic Waste in Duluth, MN where these 30, pound truck loads are constantly stop and go and climbing some of the steepest hills of any city in the world.

Also constant braking, constant hydraulic use all day everyday. Now couple this with F winters where lubrication and hydraulics are constantly stressed. I've mentioned several times the 3rd party reports in various publications show AMSOIL ATF has halted transmission failures in some pretty impressive fleets to include the Portland Longshoremen's operation. Because of AMSOIL's research and demands on their base stock producers, they have always been five years ahead of the market.

Test results continue to surpass the most stringent worldwide specifications including ILSAC International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee demanded upgrades before they happen. Since NOx and soot level emissions have been reduced in new engines from These new engines operate at higher temperatures and feature improved combustion with controlled air swirl, improved bowl design, turbo-charger improvements, air inter-cooling.

Hi-top rings and retarded fuel injection timing have increased soot loading on the oil. Take all of the above, remove the lubricating sulfur from the fuel, add EGR systems and you need a product compliant to the increased stress. Beginning In exhaust after treatment devices particulate filters , and continuously regenerative traps were required creating new challenges for diesel oil.

Trust the best - Guaranteed! Lasts up to three times longer and lowers transmission temperatures up to 50 degrees. I have to sell myself before I would be able to sell it to the consumer. The savings resulted from the reduction of repairs and unit replacements in several city and fleet accounts have been extraordinary.

Transmissions thought to be worn or have severe heat or shifting delays are often restored just by flushing in AMSOIL. I say this because we get more third party endorsements because of the synthetic automatic transmission fluid completely eliminating transmission failures.

For tractors, heavy duty turf and yard equipment choose one of our oldest and most relied on products - the Amsoil Tractor Hydraulic Transmission Oil. Solves hot and cold weather problems. Great where UTTO fluid is needed. Polyalphaolefins PAO were recently the closest relative to mineral oil stocks of all the synthetic base materials.

This is because they are both comprised of similar hydrocarbon molecules. Now there are literally dozens of new base formulations which all have unique properties allowing for different performance and durability limits. No longer do we need to depend on one type of Polyalphaolefin combination or common expensive synthesized hydrocarbons, but many still refer these as being PAO's.

AMSOIL's engineers are always in the know when it comes to new trends on the horizon and they have the experience to know which combinations will advance the current state. The competition will always be several steps behind not because we know something they don't but because they wouldn't pay for the higher cost of a better material.

That's where the difference lies. The cost of a better material will not limit quality! It's all in the overall performance and value to you when you follow our recommendations. Eaton requires synthetics to take advantage of their extended warranty plan for use in their heavy-duty transmissions. Why do people currently in the auto business and still advocate conventional lubricants?

Remember when a car that lasted , miles would be a phenomenon? Reaching , is almost typical today, and why not? I only buy used. Engines are much more complicated now than they were then as well costing double the replacement costs. Overhead cams, turbochargers, aluminum blocks and heads, exotic intake and exhaust manifolds, and compact and precision engine compartments with less cooling have added to the total bill.

Anything to protect and extend the life of these components beyond the expected duration must be considered. Especially when the product will also reduce the slight degradation of efficiency that occurs during that normal period. Due to the rapid increase of synthetic lubricant sales, it's no mystery to most the superiority of these compounds, but unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions such as the idea that synthetics are simply 'slicker'.

If you can prevent oxidation of your oil, you prevent deposits, heat, wear and save money. Film strength indicates a lubricant's ability to occupy the space between two metal surfaces under pressure or heat. This is the fundamental reason for lubrication, to be there separating the wear surfaces. AMSOIL Synthetic engine oils also have superior sheer strength which prolongs the film properties over an extended interval.

The reason AMSOIL synthetic motor oils have the effect of smoothing the operation of an engine is because of the quality of the base stocks. However the final straw is the fact that many synthetics have a much higher base number TBN retention than petroleum-based formulations. The TBN is contributed by additives such as detergents and is a measure of a lubricant's ability to neutralize acid. The longer a lubricant can resist turning to acid, the longer it can be used. This fact, along with the decreasing cost differential of the two lubricants, is reason enough to use synthetics.

It's a fact that right now, mechanics and service specialists are just making the switch themselves. Tearing down engines, transmissions and other types of equipment is one way of seeing the results, but let's put tests, additive package data, and properties aside. Mechanics who up until recently were dead set against synthetics generally for the reason of the higher up front cost.

They are stunned at how large the demand actually is outside of their garage doors and are learning that synthetic engine and drive train lubricants increase customer satisfaction significantly. Unlike AMSOIL, other synthetic lubricant companies provide zero training on the subject so most of their education originates from their customers if they are willing to listen.

In older vintage gasoline engines including those who desire higher concentrations of ZDDP for wear protection to protect cam lobes consider the following: Amsoil will not discontinue any of these formulations. Most of my customers were Mobil 1 customers as the facts still remain, even though our certified tests prove we are better, my customers enjoy the increase in mileage, performance and most calls are regarding a decrease in oil consumption after switching to AMSOIL.

The consumption problem decreased noticeably. No one really seems to know. I have the news flash reporting this when it happened. Mobil sues Castrol for using Group III's calling them synthetic - they loose so then as the old adage "If you can't beat them, join them. To be fair you can have a stellar "fully Synthetic" product, but without the unique position AMSOIL is in when it comes to blend trending and no holds barred when it comes to the cost of any additives used in production, no other lubricant company can compete with AMSOIL quality, results and performance.

Our customers and sales speak this repeatedly! Guaranteed for 10, miles at a great price. Try a case for a twice per year oil change. Truckers are also commenting on their oil pressure after long durations. Many see Delo or others start to fade at 12, miles. We now add better mileage and the savings from a overhaul to the costs. So oil priced more than the cost of a few dinners doesn't sound too bad after all does it?

The OEM may recommend a drain interval of k for off road applications using their transmissions and k for an over the road truck with the same transmission and oil. These have the Endurance technology but better flow and better filtration that the P-Series yet a lower cost!

These units pay for themselves in no time and the savings is more than enough to cause a grin ear to ear many times on the road!! Following is an extension of that interview. See the entire interview and story here. We are a relatively small company competing against some of the largest in the world.

What sets us apart is the quality of our products. Our goal is to always stay ahead of the competition in terms of product performance. Base oil and additive suppliers know this, as well.

They come to us with expensive technologies that other companies would have no interest in. Our products could help equipment last longer, improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. When AMSOIL introduced extended drain intervals in , it was done because we figured out a way to do it and it was the right thing to do.

It was right for consumers and the environment. We, like other companies, are in business to make money, but our approach has always been to satisfy the needs of the customer first. Synthetics are a relatively small part of the lubricants market. If we followed Europe's lead and established several tiers of quality and performance, including benefits for these quality improvements such as extended drain intervals, synthetic lubricants would have a much larger share of the lubricant market, just as they do in Europe.

Most of your engine oil products are not API licensed. What has been the effect, either positive or negative, of licensing on your marketing? Owning a business can be easy. Making it profitable never is. We have to dig in and work our way through. We pushed forward, we persevered and little by little we gained market share. Today, of course, vehicles come off the assembly line equipped with synthetic oil. We stuck to it, we led the way and now the 3,mile oil drain interval is a thing of the past.

Other motor oil companies are now introducing extended-drain oils and acting like they invented new technology.