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Question about used oil appearance

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by wokwon, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. I bought a second hand 2004 VTR250 some months back and the previous owner hadn't used it for quite a while (8 months plus).

    One of the first things I did was change the oil and filter. The oil that came out was black and had a lot of sludge in the bottom. Dad advised me that if it was that bad, get the bike good and hot (like a good run on the free way) and then change the oil and filter again.

    I did this on Sunday after around 1000k's on the new oil and the oil that came out was dark brown (not black) but wasn't transparent and had a sort-of opalescent sheen.

    Is this normal? I've only ever changed oil on diesels which goes black 2 seconds after starting the engine so I'm not sure what the newish used bike oil should look like.

    For reference, I used Castrol Power 1 GPS 4T in the gold bottle.

    Otherwise the bike runs fine, the plugs are in great condition with a brown tip and blackish end and the air filter is clean. It doesn't use any water or oil and starts very easily. Bike has some 38,000k's on it.
  2. Black is normal at oil change time. The sludge isn't, though, and suggests that the previous owner's oil change regime wasn't as frequent as it could have been.

    Dark brown after one run sounds OK, but I'm not keen on the opalescent sheen. If I'm visualising it right, that sounds like ground metal particles. Depending on where it's coming from it might or might not signify a problem.

    I'd wait maybe another 1500kms and change the oil and filter again, then follow the manual intervals (or a bit more frequent). If no acute problems manifest themselves you should be OK.
  3. Dark brown is just a normal stage on the way to black.
    The opalescent sheen sounds like it could be water, which is not entirely surprising if its been sitting for a while. The water should eventually find its way out through one of the breathers, just keep an eye on the oil with the sightglass/dipstick and see if it comes good.
  4. Oil goes to brown quite fast, nothing to worry about there.
    Was there any sludge in the 2nd oil change?
  5. Nope, was homogenous with no seperation into layers.

    Sounds like it's ok then, thanks for the reassurance.

    I'll get it professionally serviced by High Octane at the next service (6000K's).