The following are test results conducted by independent labs on two of my vehicles. A third vehicle is now being evaluated. The purpose of the tests was to confirm the claims of extended oil drain intervals when using Amsoil's products. Both vehicles were mechanically sound prior to the test.
The lab when analyzing results take into consideration the maximum value as well any significant trends or changes in levels. The values are compared with samples taken from other customers with same make, model and year of vehicle.
Anomolous readings were flagged during the sample intervals, but were not attributed to the performance/reliability of the oil.
Vehicle: 1979 Datsun 280ZX Coupe
Engine rebuilt @ 137k
Modifications: Weber throttle body, Schnieder cam, Motorsport
flat top pistons, headers, and 2.5" exhaust.
|Oil type||Amsoil 100% 10w-40,|
|Properties||Viscosity @100C 14.2 cST|
|Pumping Temp||-44 F|
|Pour Point||-76 F|
|Flash Point||484 F|
|Fire Point||518 F|
|Four Ball Wear||0.36 mm|
|Total Base Number||9.7|
|Filter types||Amsoil's ASF-15, fullflow filter. Amsoil's Synthetic foam air filter.|
*Note: Detected high levels of Sodium and Potassium. Recommend
intake inspection. Found throttle body gasket to be defective.
Levels returned to normal.
*Note: High Chromium(rings) level detected, porbably due
to above contaminents. Levels returned to normal.
Note: I noticed a increase in additive levels. Usually
levels would decrease over time. Amsoil upgraded their formulation
during this period.
Other (%vol) Contaminents
Note: Fuel contamination above normal. Engine modified
and used occasionally for racing. No action taken. Other contaminents
|Total Base Number||6.16|
Note: Normal findings.
OVERVIEW OF ABOVE OIL ANALYSIS
The above tests indicated a intake air leak, resulting in high
contaminent and wear metal levels. The defect was corrected and
levels stabilized. The vehicle was driven as a daily driver and
weekend autocrossing. Oil consumption during period was 1qt/2k
miles. Mileage 22/29 City/Highway.
Vehicle: 1985 Honda VF700 Sabre
Modifications: Air Filter(UNI Filter), see results below.
|Oil type||Amsoil 100% 20w-50,|
|Propeties||Viscosity @100C 19.0 cST|
|Pumping Temp||-44 F|
|Pour Point||-39 F|
|Flash Point||482 F|
|Fire Point||536 F|
|Four Ball Wear||.40 mm|
|Total Base Number||7.0|
|Filter types||Honda, changed every 5k miles.|
*Note: Detected high levels of Silicon and Sodium in initial
sample. Switched back to the stock air filter. Resampled, levels
returned to normal. Re-installed UNI Filter air filter, sampled.
Contaminents returned to previous high levels.
*Note: High wear metal levels detected. Iron and aluminum
from piston/cylinder contact. Copper and Lead from bearing wear.
High levels follow changes in air filter.
*Note: Decrease in phosphorous and zinc(anit-wear additive)
levels. No flags reported, normal findings. Minimum levels is
usually 50% of baseline.
Other (%vol) Contaminents
*Note: Fuel contamination above normal, due to change in air flow
with aftermarket filter. Level increased again upon use.
The use of the UNI Filter air filter increased air flow and performance, but at the expense of the engine. Marked increase in airborne contaminents resulted in higher wear metals. The higher air flow showed up as higher fuel dilution, to be expected with no changes in exhaust. If your objective is to race, then this filter is acceptable. Keep the stock filter if your objective is riding, not wrenching.
Oil consumption during this period was negligible. Mileage range
between 39-45 city and 44-50 highway.
The results show a consistent oil performance over an extend period of time and mileage. It is my opinion that regular fitler changes is vital to extended drain intervals. Any changes to the vehicle in terms of maintenance or products(i.e. filters, fluids), should be observed closely, noting any changes in levels.
I reccommend using a fully formulated synthetic, Amsoil, or Mobil 1 when extending intervals. These oils have been under development for over 20 years and are inherently more stable than synthesized blends commonly found on the market. I would discourage the use of any oil additive or engine treatments with these oils. 20 years ago oil and auto manufacturers condemned the use of synthetics. As demand in performance and economy increased, petroleum blends struggled to meet the standards set by the industry, all the while synthetics were meeting those standards easily. Now synthetics are common place, but they are not created equal.
As with synthetics, extended drain intervals were once condemned. In reality the industry was in fear of the loss of the all mighty buck. Now that the government has classified used oil as hazardous waste and the market is demanding low maintenance vehicles, in short time the industry will begin to adopt extended drain intervals. Both Amsoil and Mobil 1 pioneered the use of synthetics and extended drain intervals.
Petroleum blends are far more advanced than those of a few years ago. Extended drain intervals with petroleum oils is possible. Regular sampling may reveal some surprising results.
In my humble opinion, under normal conditions, changing the oil
every 3k miles is a waste of time and money. I found the oil analysis
to be a worthwhile investment, and have added it to my regular
maintenance and inspection routine. I also use it when I consider
buying a used vehicle.
The additional cost of the analysis is $6 for a kit(3 samples)
available from Amsoil. $8 to the lab for the cost of the tests.
The results from CTC are easier to read than Lubricon's and they
actually call you on the phone if they discover any problems.
Their technical support is very helpful.
SOURCE: Spectroscopic Oil Analysis
Lab: LUBRICON, Lubricant Consultants Inc
350 E. Churchman Ave.
Beech Grove, In 46107
Cleveland Technical Center
18419 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44112-1016
Available through an Amsoil dealer.
OVERVIEW OF A TYPICAL LUBE ANALYSIS TESTS
Single test to determine 20 metallic elements including wear metals,
contaminent metals, and additive metals.
Fuel contamination(% vol)
Raw fuel in crankcase(Fuel leaks, excessive idling. Typical 1.5%
Solids contamination(% vol)
Mostly in Diesel engines as "fuel soot", debris, and
oxidized lube in non-engines. Typical 1-5%.
Water contamination(% vol)
Any amount is abnormal if unit was sampled in warm state, unless
a unique environment exists.
Flow rate of lube with repect to temperature. Typical SAE 40,
11.7 - 15.5.
* Total base number(constant)
Primarily used for diesel engine lubes. Ability to neutralize
combustion acids. Typical 5-10, drain limit <2.
* Infrared analysis(%)
Detects oil oxidation and degradation tendencies, overextended
drain, or heat.
* All test are standard except those indicated, test performed
COMMON CONTAMINENT - SOURCES
IRON - Cylinders, Grears, Rings, Crankshafts, Liners, Bearings, Housings, Rust.
CHROMIUM - Rings, Roller/Taper Bearing, Rods, Platings.
LEAD - Bearing Overlays, additive in gear oil and gasoline.
COPPER - Brushings, Bearings, Thrust-Washers, Friction Plates, Oil Cooler, additive in oil.
TIN - Bearings, Bushings, Pistons, Platings.
ALUMINUM - Pistons, Bearings, Pumps, Blowers, Rotors, Thrust-Washers.
NICKEL - Valves.
SILVER - Bearings, Bushings, Platings.
MANGANESE - Trace elements in liners and rings, additive in gasoline.
TITANIUM - Trace element.
VANDADIUM - Trace element.
SILICON - Element used to determine the level of airborne dirt and abrasives in the oil(sometimes used as an anti-foam additive)
BORON - Present in most permanent anti-freeze systems(sometimes used as an additive).
SODIUM - Present in most permanent anti-freeze systems(sometimes used as an additive).
POTASSIUM - Present in most permanent
Common oil additives - These elements are blended into the oil in different forms and quantities by the manufacturer. The additive package will vary depending on the type of oil.
MAGNESIUM, CALCIUM, BARIUM - Dispersents/Detergent additives.
PHOSPHOROUS, ZINC, MOLYBDENUM - Anti-Wear additives