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Oil analysis

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by vmaxer, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. In the USA it's cheap (around 15$) to get an oil analysis done on your new or old engine oil, I have approached two Diesel servicing shops in Brisbane who will do this analysis for 30$. Including two way postage and oil sample kit. Short of pulling your motor apart oil analysis is the ONLY true indication of the real state of both your engine and oil, the big trucking companies all use analysis regularly.

    Anyone doing this already ?? Care to share your data ? A typical report looks like this one from the free forums at bobistheoilguy.com (motorcylce oil analysis section)

    SuperTech 15W40 CJ-4/SM 08/Suzuki DL650 Vstrom,
    3191 miles on oil & Carquest #85359 oil filter,
    No make up oil needed,
    Oil installed 12/23/09,
    19434 total miles on bike,
    SuperTech gallon bottle has WNE stamp on bottom,
    SuperTech 15W40 CJ-4/SM used in bike for last 14000 miles
    with 3500 mile OCIs.
    Comments by Blackstone:

    BILL: Only the low viscosity kept the first sample from
    your Suzuki from being perfect. Wear looks great so we
    don't think that the low viscosity is much of an issue.
    Fuel dilution is the most common cause for a low viscosity reading but no fuel was found here nor were any other harmful contaminants present. Our universal averages show what wear
    typically looks like from this engine model after an oil run of ~2,500 miles. This oil was run a little longer than that yet all wear read well within the normal range and in the proper balance. Nice engine!

    Aluminum- 9
    Chromium- 1
    Iron- 24
    Copper- 2
    Lead- 2
    Tin- 2
    Molybdenum- 57
    Nickel- 0
    Manganese- 0
    Silver- 0
    Titanium- 0
    Potassium- 1
    Boron- 8
    Silicon- 5
    Sodium- 7
    Calcium- 1382
    Magnesium- 730
    Phosphrorus- 1113
    Zinc- 1391
    Barium- 0

    SUS Viscosity @ 210F- 63
    cST Viscosity @ 100C- 11.05
    Flashpoint in F- 400
    Fuel- .5%
    Antifreeze- 0%
    Water- 0%
    Insolubles- .3%

    Cheers from Vmaxer
  2. Not really, although I do have access to all of the equipment necessary to do it myself (though I would piss a few people off if I started running hydrocarbons through it).

    Don't really worry too much about my bikes, I just make sure to change the oil and filter more often than is needed. With my car however I do use a higher quality oil filter, change the oil frequently, and fitted a magnetic sump plug. Have done some analysis on that engine based on sticking the wear particles picked up by the magnet under the microscope (only optical so far, though electron is always an option). That was certainly enough to confirm my suspicion that more expensive filters are worth the money (and that Ryco ones are complete crap).

    If I ever bought a bike brand new, then I would almost certainly be getting the oil tested at least every 10k or so. Think I mentioned in the oil thread that it makes a hell of a lot more sense that paying ridiculous prices for full-synthetic Motul or similar, even though it may not offer any better protection (and may well be worse).
  3. @ JD interesting point, expensive ""motorcycle"" oils posted on the BITOG forums have shown that they often perform well below cheaper oils. I find it amazing how marketing gimmicks sway peoples imagination & purchasing, ie having a picture of a rider on a motorcycle.

    If you blank off that image, then ask what's really inside that oil pack ?
    When people say to me that these oils are specially formulated for motorcycles and therefor offer superior qualities, I ask them if they have ever seen an analysis of that oil.
  4.  Top
  5. It's not simply the fact that they're "motorcycle" oils though. Sir Ride a Lot posted an interesting article over in the oil thread showing that Motul car oils performed substantially worse than much cheaper car oils, despite costing several times as much.

    I suspect in many cases it's simply cheaper to spend money on advertising convincing people your products are fantastic, than actually developing products that are. Especially since a well marketed crap product usually has a much higher profit margin.

    With regards to zinc it's worth noting that manufacturers are currently reducing the zinc content of most oils (including diesel engine oils like Delo) to try and better meet tightening emissions regs. This shouldn't be the case with motorcycle specific oils though (since bikes need zinc), so that Yamalube is a worry - unless they're using something else in place of ZDDP.
  6. @ JD , something else ? Yeah it's called bull#$%@ :wink: There ain't nothing else, a poor oil sold at a high price ! But .....if this crap keeps many a Yamaha going, then any oil with a better additive package than this can only be a bonus. Especially if you get most of your oil at 4$ a litre when it's on sale.
  7. Unless they're using synthetic esters - which wouldn't show up in that analysis and would justify a higher price (not to say that they are, only that they could).
  8. OK So for the ignorant amongst us (or is it only me?) just what is the purpose of an oil analysis? What exactly does it tell you? I assume it give an indication of the state of your motor and how it's working, but could you please explain a little more?

    The original analysis you posted meant absolutely nothing to me.
  9. @ GreyBM, this link explains it in detail, besides the big trucking companies and fleet operators most large heavy industries also use analysis extensively to monitor wear rates and to give optimum oil change intervals.

    Hope this helps, it's a whole world of learning, cheers from Vmaxer
  10. Ta vmaxer

    Though I shudder to think what analysis would reveal in my bangers.
  11. All those numbers, are they parts per million?
  12. @ Mr Messy, yes they sure are in ppm
  13. Just remembered this thread ;) ta, clarifies that for me.