Oil change opinions.

holeinthehead

Surprise
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2015
Messages
1,985
Reaction score
2,637
Location
Upstate NY
Asking about motor oil brands is too broad. There are numerous motor oil products and compositions that meet different standards for different applications. It’s a little like asking about brands of gasoline. Any top tier gasoline of the appropriate octane rating (resistance to combustion) for your vehicle (factory or tuned) will get the job done. There are some special cases where specific detergent formulas may be beneficial over time, but for most people just going with any tier one brand of gas for their Corolla or Tahoe or whatever is going to be just fine. Saying Exxon gas is great while Chevron is awful or that Valero has the best gas starts getting a little silly. Get it from a high volume station, and when in doubt go with Shell V-Power Nitro+ ;)
Yeah. I was worried about carbon build up because I drive a little focus daily and run 91 ethanol free gas. I also use the pennzoil ultra platinum full synthetic oil and change it every 3,000 miles. I’m just not sure when I should go in there and expect to see carbon building up.

I also like to run it to redline a bunch of time each day (not doing this for a particular reason, it’s just fun to beat the piss out of these pos cars). Anyway not sure what I should to to improve engine life and power. Thanks.
 

Phantom Z3

The new kid on the block...
Intermediate User
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
801
Reaction score
698
Location
Atlanta, GA
Yeah. I was worried about carbon build up because I drive a little focus daily and run 91 ethanol free gas. I also use the pennzoil ultra platinum full synthetic oil and change it every 3,000 miles. I’m just not sure when I should go in there and expect to see carbon building up.

I also like to run it to redline a bunch of time each day (not doing this for a particular reason, it’s just fun to beat the piss out of these pos cars). Anyway not sure what I should to to improve engine life and power. Thanks.
Oil catch can is the first step (or delete but it's illegal and polluting). Alot of carbon comes from the PCV system alone. The catch can will remove alot of the nasty oil, water, and fuel vapor. Just remember to drain it off at every 5k miles or so.

A borescope through the intake or spark plug hole helps with seeing carbon. Get a cheap Chinese one from harbor freight or eBay.

Also, changing the oil every 3k miles isn't the best idea, especially with synthetics now (unless Ford recommends 5k changes then with your driving that makes sense). I change my 5 quarts (more oil means higher capacity for dirt; my dad's ML320 takes 8.5 quarts) at 6k miles (remember, my OEM is 15k and most BMW guys recommend 8-10k miles for my car). If anything, the filter would be the bottleneck. Get a good filter.

To prevent wear, give the car 30 seconds or so after start up before you drive, don't push it for the first 10-15 minutes (oil temp takes longer to get up to temp than coolant; my coolant will hit 200 degrees before my oil has hit 120 degrees and even then, my oil is only 195 degrees in the pan at operating temp), don't shut the car off immediately after a hard run if you have a turbo, give it 30 seconds. It's not hard, just follow KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid :biggrin: :cheerleader:
 

cihkal

Pure Energy
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
3,465
Reaction score
6,096
Opinions please.
I have an Beemer garage queen that I probably put less than 300 miles a year on.
It uses synthetic oil.
Should I follow the change oil every six months rule regardless of the miles driven? There are a lot of different opinions on this online so I thought I'd ask here.
Thanks
I work for a major Lubricants company. In fact, we developed the transmission fluid for the C8. I say we, but not me lol. I'm in project engineering. I'll ask some of the PhD chemists what's the real scoop.

I think we already know though. Likely oxidation and contamination (water, organic growth, and inorganic gunk). I know just the person to ask and will hit him up early next week.

By not following the time interval you're exposing yourself to risk. No one on the internet can really give a solid answer beyond that. This is why my employer offers technical support for "free" to its accounts. They answer these questions, or revalidate our products out in the field with the only true way to do so: samples are sent in and go through a series of tests and analysis completed by technicians and chemists.

It comes down to if you let the car sit idle for most of the driving year, you'll significantly increase your chances of issues mentioned in this thread. There are far too many factors for any sane person to say otherwise. Not too mention products of similar grade can be vastly different due to additives. I transitioned into this industry somewhat recently and have learned it's a bit of an art and science experiment.
 
Last edited:

tempnexus

Breaking The Social Norm One Post at a time
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
5,945
Reaction score
7,383
Age
108
Location
DMV
Opinions please.
I have an Beemer garage queen that I probably put less than 300 miles a year on.
It uses synthetic oil.
Should I follow the change oil every six months rule regardless of the miles driven? There are a lot of different opinions on this online so I thought I'd ask here.
Thanks
I would contact Blackstone labs and ask for a free sample container.

Then I would run the engine for 15 min to allow the oil to mix. Then wait for it to cool down a d siphon a sample.

Finally send the sample to Blackstone along with $25 cheq..
The oils analysis will tell you everything you want to know and you only have to do it once (right before you are thinking of changing).
 

Bocephus

Formerly gmcv893
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
3,391
Location
FL
Wow you impress me everyday Temp!

I would contact Blackstone labs and ask for a free sample container.
I use Blackstone as well since I'm DI also.
 

cihkal

Pure Energy
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
3,465
Reaction score
6,096
I would contact Blackstone labs and ask for a free sample container.

Then I would run the engine for 15 min to allow the oil to mix. Then wait for it to cool down a d siphon a sample.

Finally send the sample to Blackstone along with $25 cheq..
The oils analysis will tell you everything you want to know and you only have to do it once (right before you are thinking of changing).
Best advice, if you don't wanna change your oil get the proper data to make that decision . Anyone else saying otherwise is being a bad armchair engineer!
 

nomore55

PSL +7
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
1,598
Reaction score
1,470
Location
suburban Boston
Yeah, I've gone thru this dilemma as well. Even after two years and maybe a couple of thousand miles driving, the oil still tested virtually new at the lab. There wasn't any valid reason to change it . People are just throwing away perfectly good oil.
 

oktavf

Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
910
Reaction score
979
Location
NW GA
Yeah. I was worried about carbon build up because I drive a little focus daily and run 91 ethanol free gas. I also use the pennzoil ultra platinum full synthetic oil and change it every 3,000 miles. I’m just not sure when I should go in there and expect to see carbon building up.

I also like to run it to redline a bunch of time each day (not doing this for a particular reason, it’s just fun to beat the piss out of these pos cars). Anyway not sure what I should to to improve engine life and power. Thanks.
Pardon my french but WTF would you change oil every 3k in a DD especially full on synthetic!? I had a 2000 ZX3 that I ran for a good while and gave up at 298200 miles when it was just pointless with random leaks, etc. and the ever so fun new alternator every 20-50k no matter what brand you did that required you to kill 4 hours of your day changing... I think was doing 10k oil changes using walmart syn at the time but... Power? Run higher spark gap its a trick on one of the Focus forums! ;)
 

user

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
383
Reaction score
557
The oil change interval is another controversial discussion topic that we can argue about. There are so many different camps in this one. I have tried to really research this one but you could do the same and come to very different conclusions than i have.

I would not suggest going over 6 months on oil without changing it. Oil is literally the lifeblood of the car. Even when Blackstone shows it is OK, other studies and information says it should be changed. Again, everyone will believe something different.

This is the best discussion that I have ever read on the issue. The mechanic that is talking about it toward the end is considered one of the best in the industry. Still, different members of that forum have read it and still come to different conclusions.

This is the discussion: (Oh, it is pretty long, you need to have some time to take it all in).


My take on this is to keep your oil changed. Every 6 months or 5k miles and to use a good brand of oil. American made synthetic oils are not at the same level as European made synthetic oils, due to federal rules at both places. I use a German oil, Liqui Moly, but Motul is another one. It also looks like catch cans, at least for direct injection engines, may be a great idea. The discussion above is really for direct injection. Port injection have some pretty different (much looser) needs.
 
Last edited:

angrypenguin

Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
3,262
Reaction score
2,963
The oil change interval is another controversial discussion topic that we can argue about. There are so many different camps in this one. I have tried to really research this one but you could do the same and come to very different conclusions than i have.

I would not suggest going over 6 months on oil without changing it. Oil is literally the lifeblood of the car. Even when Blackstone shows it is OK, other studies and information says it should be changed. Again, everyone will believe something different.

This is the best discussion that I have ever read on the issue. The mechanic that is talking about it toward the end is considered one of the best in the industry. Still, different members of that forum have read it and still come to different conclusions.

This is the discussion: (Oh, it is pretty long, you need to have some time to take it all in).


My take on this is to keep your oil changed. Every 6 months or 5k miles and to use a good brand of oil. American made synthetic oils are not at the same level as European made synthetic oils, due to federal rules at both places. I use a German oil, Liqui Moly, but Motul is another one. It also looks like catch cans, at least for direct injection engines, may be a great idea. The discussion above is really for direct injection. Port injection have some pretty different (much looser) needs.
I know Audi's very well. A Blackstone lab report which shows it's OK means it is OK. Of note - volatility, fuel dilution, TBN remaining, water dilution, etc, are all things that are measured. There is no need to replace oil if the oil health is fine.

Bringing up a C7 to this discussion is silly. Early Audi models, of which the C7 is one, had serious intake valve carbon buildup because the engineers at Ingolstadt were either too cheap or didn't know to build in some sort of catch can solution. There is now an engine air/oil separator which is essentially like a built in catch can. The EA837 motor started incorporating two types of baffles to halt the issue of systemic carbon buildup problems. Thus, the EA837 was the first engine of many that VAG produced that no longer had systemic carbon buildup issues.

Yes, are there still the odd case? Yes. Using cheap fuel (don't get me started on the efficacy of PEA and its ability to halt systemic carbon buildup on direct (yes direct, and yes I know fuel doesn't pass over intake valves) injection engines. The SAE confirmed this theory years ago) which has fuel additives that don't involve PEA cause an issue. As are cars who are serviced by Jiffy Lube that do not used the approved oil (50200, 50700 or 50800) as examples.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have taken apart my motor all the way to the block. I love cars.

The use of catch cans is stupid. It freezes in the winter and as someone who has used them and sent them into Blackstone for testing - all it is is condensation and some oil vapour. Yes, stopping the oil is good, but that condensation would have been burnt away after the engine has reached full operating temperature.

VTA is not only environmentally bad, but it also leaves a mess and it actually does cause engine oil to degrade faster as well. There is no one step fix all here. Just use good gas, good oil, and stick to specified oil change intervals and you should be fine.

oh - and don't idle a lot. That's terrible on so many fronts as well.
 
Last edited:

user

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
383
Reaction score
557
I know Audi's very well. A Blackstone lab report which shows it's OK means it is OK. Of note - volatility, fuel dilution, TBN remaining, water dilution, etc, are all things that are measured. There is no need to replace oil if the oil health is fine.

Bringing up a C7 to this discussion is silly. Early Audi models, of which the C7 is one, had serious intake valve carbon buildup because the engineers at Ingolstadt were either too cheap or didn't know to build in some sort of catch can solution. There is now an engine air/oil separator which is essentially like a built in catch can. The EA837 motor started incorporating two types of baffles to halt the issue of systemic carbon buildup problems. Thus, the EA837 was the first engine of many that VAG produced that no longer had systemic carbon buildup issues.

Yes, are there still the odd case? Yes. Using cheap fuel (don't get me started on the efficacy of PEA and its ability to halt systemic carbon buildup on direct (yes direct, and yes I know fuel doesn't pass over intake valves) injection engines. The SAE confirmed this theory years ago) which has fuel additives that don't involve PEA cause an issue. As are cars who are serviced by Jiffy Lube that do not used the approved oil (50200, 50700 or 50800) as examples.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have taken apart my motor all the way to the block. I love cars.
So do I. Very well. But again, we get the same info but reach different conclusions.
 

angrypenguin

Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
3,262
Reaction score
2,963
So do I. Very well. But again, we get the same info but reach different conclusions.
Ok, so then I think one conclusion that everyone can agree to then is to save $1K every here and there and to get it walnut blasted. It's actually not that big of a deal and yet everyone on the internet freaks out about carbon buildup on intake valves.

And plus, it's not that hard to do yourself. I mean, it's incredibly dirty and when I do it I'm covered in carbon but it's part of the fun?

Not every day someone buys a new car and does this, but I did :)

https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?threads/81136/

The first few posts were for a loaner. The last few posts were for my own car that I ended up buying.
 
Last edited:

user

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
383
Reaction score
557
Ok, so then I think one conclusion that everyone can agree to then is to save $1K every here and there and to get it walnut blasted. It's actually not that big of a deal and yet everyone on the internet freaks out about carbon buildup on intake valves.

And plus, it's not that hard to do yourself. I mean, it's incredibly dirty and when I do it I'm covered in carbon but it's part of the fun? Not every day someone buys a new car and does this, but I did :)


The first few posts were for a loaner. The last few posts were for my own car that I ended up buying.
I agree with getting it walnut blasted. A lot of new Audi owners get mad about that. But it really isn’t that big a deal.
Ok, so then I think one conclusion that everyone can agree to then is to save $1K every here and there and to get it walnut blasted. It's actually not that big of a deal and yet everyone on the internet freaks out about carbon buildup on intake valves.

And plus, it's not that hard to do yourself. I mean, it's incredibly dirty and when I do it I'm covered in carbon but it's part of the fun? Not every day someone buys a new car and does this, but I did :)


The first few posts were for a loaner. The last few posts were for my own car that I ended up buying.
Well yeah, I can agree with you on walnut blasting.

You did a nice job on the ALP install. I enjoy doing some things but there are some things I would just as soon pay to have done. I had my ALP system installed at a local shop. I wanted the controls integrated into the OEM dash buttons so it would be “invisible”. I went and looked at their work and just decided to have them do it.
 

angrypenguin

Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
3,262
Reaction score
2,963
I agree with getting it walnut blasted. A lot of new Audi owners get mad about that. But it really isn’t that big a deal.


Well yeah, I can agree with you on walnut blasting.

You did a nice job on the ALP install. I enjoy doing some things but there are some things I would just as soon pay to have done. I had my ALP system installed at a local shop. I wanted the controls integrated into the OEM dash buttons so it would be “invisible”. I went and looked at their work and just decided to have them do it.
Sorry to go off topic but I wish it was an option for me! (and thank you btw for your kind comment).

The local installers here wouldn't let me watch them do the install. That scares me because I believe their interest aren't aligned with mine.

Eg I care about my car and they could care less about mine!
 

ThreePedals6.2

Motor Head
Moderator
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2015
Messages
2,120
Reaction score
3,360
I love oil threads on any forum.

There is a crap ton of back and forth and nothing ever gets done lol.

If you use oil the manufacturer calls for (viscosity and type) and change it regularly 3 -5k you will not have an oil related failure nowadays. Is 3-5k overkill? Nowadays..for sure especially with full synthetics.

BUT..Will you have an oil related failure using the correct oil for your vehicle when changing it regularly....I highly doubt it no matter what brand..That's what I have been doing since I started driving. Had 300k on a Saturn that I bought brand new. (Totalled it hitting a deer)..but really i think all us motorhead tend to overthink oils.
I cant even hop on Bobistheoilguy anymore. It's just rediculous lol.
 

user

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
383
Reaction score
557
Sorry to go off topic but I wish it was an option for me! (and thank you btw for your kind comment).

The local installers here wouldn't let me watch them do the install. That scares me because I believe their interest aren't aligned with mine.

Eg I care about my car and they could care less about mine!
I agree again. These guys let me watch anytime I wanted. But I think they are a rarity any more. They do a great job and really do seem to do quality work.
Post automatically merged:
I love oil threads on any forum.

There is a crap ton of back and forth and nothing ever gets done lol.

If you use oil the manufacturer calls for (viscosity and type) and change it regularly 3 -5k you will not have an oil related failure nowadays. Is 3-5k overkill? Nowadays..for sure especially with full synthetics.

BUT..Will you have an oil related failure using the correct oil for your vehicle when changing it regularly....I highly doubt it no matter what brand..That's what I have been doing since I started driving. Had 300k on a Saturn that I bought brand new. (Totalled it hitting a deer)..but really i think all us motorhead tend to overthink oils.
I cant even hop on Bobistheoilguy anymore. It's just rediculous lol.
Yes, yes yes. That's what I was alluding to at first. I think oil discussions get more heated than political ones. And it is so hard to sift through all the opinions.
 

tempnexus

Breaking The Social Norm One Post at a time
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
5,945
Reaction score
7,383
Age
108
Location
DMV
Sorry to go off topic but I wish it was an option for me! (and thank you btw for your kind comment).

The local installers here wouldn't let me watch them do the install. That scares me because I believe their interest aren't aligned with mine.

Eg I care about my car and they could care less about mine!
Don't feel bad it might not have been a "shady work" thing, maybe they work in less than OSHA methods and they were afraid that you are either OSHA or would report them to OSHa. Or whatever Canada has for OSHA.
 

Phantom Z3

The new kid on the block...
Intermediate User
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
801
Reaction score
698
Location
Atlanta, GA
I know Audi's very well. A Blackstone lab report which shows it's OK means it is OK. Of note - volatility, fuel dilution, TBN remaining, water dilution, etc, are all things that are measured. There is no need to replace oil if the oil health is fine.

Bringing up a C7 to this discussion is silly. Early Audi models, of which the C7 is one, had serious intake valve carbon buildup because the engineers at Ingolstadt were either too cheap or didn't know to build in some sort of catch can solution. There is now an engine air/oil separator which is essentially like a built in catch can. The EA837 motor started incorporating two types of baffles to halt the issue of systemic carbon buildup problems. Thus, the EA837 was the first engine of many that VAG produced that no longer had systemic carbon buildup issues.

Yes, are there still the odd case? Yes. Using cheap fuel (don't get me started on the efficacy of PEA and its ability to halt systemic carbon buildup on direct (yes direct, and yes I know fuel doesn't pass over intake valves) injection engines. The SAE confirmed this theory years ago) which has fuel additives that don't involve PEA cause an issue. As are cars who are serviced by Jiffy Lube that do not used the approved oil (50200, 50700 or 50800) as examples.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have taken apart my motor all the way to the block. I love cars.

The use of catch cans is stupid. It freezes in the winter and as someone who has used them and sent them into Blackstone for testing - all it is is condensation and some oil vapour. Yes, stopping the oil is good, but that condensation would have been burnt away after the engine has reached full operating temperature.

VTA is not only environmentally bad, but it also leaves a mess and it actually does cause engine oil to degrade faster as well. There is no one step fix all here. Just use good gas, good oil, and stick to specified oil change intervals and you should be fine.

oh - and don't idle a lot. That's terrible on so many fronts as well.
How does VTA cause oil to degrade quicker? Is it because it has more access to air so it oxidizes?
Post automatically merged:
Don't feel bad it might not have been a "shady work" thing, maybe they work in less than OSHA methods and they were afraid that you are either OSHA or would report them to OSHa. Or whatever Canada has for OSHA.
OHSA is a beech... I had one flooring job where they gave us extremely low voc glue in a box and it's a pain to spread, pain to lay and adhere to, pain to fix... Just give me the older low voc glue!!
 
Last edited:

angrypenguin

Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
3,262
Reaction score
2,963
How does VTA cause oil to degrade quicker? Is it because it has more access to air so it oxidizes?
As oil threads are controversial, maybe it's best if I just say this. Yes, many believe this point, although this (negative pressure and it helping seals and rings and such) Venting PCV and Oil contamination. is even more important.

The problem, as I see it, is balance. Despite being a penguin, I don't actually care about the environment, so as far as I care, the constraints on the table are:

1) Intake valve carbon buildup mitigation
2) "Oil" health
3) Rest of engine health

By VTA, if done correctly, you've improved #1, at the risk of #2 (arguable) and #3 (not generally a matter of debate e.g. most people agree).

That said, not a lot of us can actually VTA. Most DI engine cars are turbocharged, and my issue with all of this is whether or not a PCV valve was ever tested (obviously it was not) sufficiently so that it behaves appropriately when under heavy load/not heavy load if one 'side' of it is VTA.

I'm trying to dig up a post which I read years ago which broke down all of the various effects to engine oil when one chooses to VTA. It was really helpful, so I will keep on digging.

This is worth a read too: (from Caterpillar)

"
One of the goals of a PCV system
is to increase the oil life of the
engine. The removal of crankcase
emissions can reduce the amount of
oil degradation."

 
Last edited:

Phantom Z3

The new kid on the block...
Intermediate User
Joined
May 31, 2018
Messages
801
Reaction score
698
Location
Atlanta, GA
As oil threads are controversial, maybe it's best if I just say this. Yes, many believe this point, although this (negative pressure and it helping seals and rings and such) Venting PCV and Oil contamination. is even more important.

The problem, as I see it, is balance. Despite being a penguin, I don't actually care about the environment, so as far as I care, the constraints on the table are:

1) Intake valve carbon buildup mitigation
2) "Oil" health
3) Rest of engine health

By VTA, if done correctly, you've improved #1, at the risk of #2 (arguable) and #3 (not generally a matter of debate e.g. most people agree).

That said, not a lot of us can actually VTA. Most DI engine cars are turbocharged, and my issue with all of this is whether or not a PCV valve was ever tested (obviously it was not) sufficiently so that it behaves appropriately when under heavy load/not heavy load if one 'side' of it is VTA.

I'm trying to dig up a post which I read years ago which broke down all of the various effects to engine oil when one chooses to VTA. It was really helpful, so I will keep on digging.

This is worth a read too: (from Caterpillar)

"
One of the goals of a PCV system
is to increase the oil life of the
engine. The removal of crankcase
emissions can reduce the amount of
oil degradation."

Oh, yea. I remember those things now. I have my crankcase vta running under my car which would help create negative pressure simply due to moving air while driving. As for oil leaks, I don't mind that as much as vacuum leaks coming from the crank case. It makes the ECU pissy and screws the car up.

Edit: I guess my opinion is based on N/A 23 y/o cars so you're probably more right than I am
 

Discord Server

Latest threads

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
78,363
Messages
1,193,068
Members
19,982
Latest member
fgrtmaine07
Top