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Oil Analysis


MikeB60

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I run extended oil drain intervals on my Volkswagen diesel and I used oil analysis to help determine the optimum interval. Thought it would be interesting to pull a sample from the RT at the 12,000 mile service. The oil was Mobil One V-twin synthetic. Overall it looks like the engine is broken in and as stated by Blackstone the oil could have stayed in longer. Also appears that the smaller oil filters work just fine!

 

bmwoilanalysis.jpg

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Very intereresting. I have always wondered what those oil analysis reports look like. What does, "your oil was in use longer at 6000 miles" mean? What will you do differently as a result of these findings?

 

Jay

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What does, "your oil was in use longer at 6000 miles" mean?

 

It means he went 12k just as he stated.

If your a long haul rider you can pull out the 10 to 12k miles on synth without worry.

That's what I and many other mileage riders do and we are all very happy. thumbsup.gif

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What does, "your oil was in use longer at 6000 miles" mean?

 

It means he went 12k just as he stated.

If your a long haul rider you can pull out the 10 to 12k miles on synth without worry.

That's what I and many other mileage riders do and we are all very happy. thumbsup.gif

 

Actually, it meant that at 6,000 miles, the oil had been used longer than the "universal averages" quoted at 4,220 miles. Mike stated it was a 12k service, not that the oil hadn't been changed at 6k, and the lab report specifies 6k on the oil and 12k on the bike. It would be interesting to see a similar test on oil which had gone 12k - but that might raise warranty issues for the bike owner.

 

Like some other BMW cage owners, I do a change of the (OEM) synthetic between each scheduled change of 15~18k miles, even though it's on my nickel - while the scheduled changes are paid for by BMW under the maintenance warranty.

 

At any rate, thanks for the interesting and informative post, Mike.

 

Tom

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The oil was in the engine for 6000 miles. The universal averages mentioned in the report are what Blackstone has seen in previous samples from the same type of equipment. In this case the other owner had changed their oil at 4200 miles. If I was looking to extend the drain interval (not a good idea under warranty) I'd get a total base number test as well and start from there.

 

I sent in a sample for testing as I was curious about the Mobil 1 oil (I've had great results with Mobil One in my other vehicles) and to see if the engine was broken in. The test answered both of these questions.

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Makes sense. I have used Mobil 1 synthetic in my "keeper" cars for many years with excellent results, enabling my engines to go well beyond 200,000 miles (and counting). I have not yet tried their motorcycle oil, though maybe I will now.

 

Jay

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Did you notice any extra oil seepage in gasked and/or seal areas when you switched to the synthetic? I tried synthetic in my '03 K12GT, but went back to dino when it developed leaks at several major assembly points. I've been afraid to try synth on my RT because of that experience.

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Unfortunately this topic is far less understood than spoken about. The clifnotes version is simply this. Synth oils generally do not deposit sludge components. Add to this, they contain detergents which have been known to attack certain types of seal materials used in older engines. Ok, here's the road divides. Most dino oils deposit sufficient sludge at the seals to make the engine 'sealed for life'. Synth oils do not, and rely 100% on a seal's ability to keep the oil in the motor. Again, assuming the detergents are not slowly chewing away at the seal materials. I think it is very safe to say, any engine produced after 2000 is 100% tolerant of synth oils and the detergents contained within. If for no other reason, dino oils have comparable detergents and have come a LONG way in their ability to protect your precious metal.

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I do oil analysis testing and to keep things simple. Not all

synthetic oils are created equal. Just because one synthetic cause seals to swell or shrink does not mean all do. Most synthetics are a blend and have Polyalphaolifin (POA)in it because it will mix with traditional dino oils. This is the chemical compound that causes seals to shrink. Other chemicals are added to cause seals to swell and they are supposed to cancel each other out. This does not always happen. When doing extended oil changes with synthecics it is critical to use the best oil filter you can find. Contamination may be high from extended oil changes even though the oil still has a lot of "life" in it.

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