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Old 28th December 2017, 10:15 PM   #1
AlexZX
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Default Oil analysis results

I had a sample of oil taken that I sent away for analysis and I have the results back, but I'm not sure how to interpret the results?



If looking for wear do I need to be looking at the levels of copper and aluminum?
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Old 28th December 2017, 10:25 PM   #2
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The results should come with a description of how to read them. Call them if there isn’t. What year is your car? Later ones won’t have copper or lead shells.
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Old 28th December 2017, 10:37 PM   #3
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My car is a 2008 model.
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Old 29th December 2017, 03:28 PM   #4
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a one off analysis is helpful but better to get one done when the oil is next changed so that the 'change' can be analysed as well.

Millers oils offer a regular a discounted analysis service.
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Old 29th December 2017, 03:33 PM   #5
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What's the mileage on the oil? Lead and iron seem a bit high for a regular oil interval.
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Old 29th December 2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexZX View Post
I had a sample of oil taken that I sent away for analysis and I have the results back, but I'm not sure how to interpret the results?
The units for viscosity and test are not mentioned but it is usually quoted for oils ASTM D445 in mm2/s.

eg Castrol 10w60 Edge - Kinematic 40C ASTM D445 is 160 mm2/s

If that is that test and that value is correct, there is something not right unless you are running 10w40, assuming no...

I would certainly ask a couple of questions. What test is viscosity measured, what units is being reported and is this normal for 10w60 oil?
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Old 29th December 2017, 05:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kyrix1st View Post
What's the mileage on the oil? Lead and iron seem a bit high for a regular oil interval.
The oil was just over 3000 miles when the sample was taken. How often should it be changed?

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If that is that test and that value is correct, there is something not right unless you are running 10w40, assuming no...

I would certainly ask a couple of questions. What test is viscosity measured, what units is being reported and is this normal for 10w60 oil?
The oil that is in it was from BMW, so I don't know what oil they used. If I rang the dealership would they able to tell me what they used?
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Old 29th December 2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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The oil was just over 3000 miles when the sample was taken. How often should it be changed?
When it says to change oil - so check your settings. I intend to change mine more frequently about 10K / annually which seems to fit between official service intervals.

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The oil that is in it was from BMW, so I don't know what oil they used. If I rang the dealership would they able to tell me what they used?
You need to speak to the testing centre first i would strongly suggest - they may have made a mistake or maybe we are misreading the viscosity. They will know much more about this stuff, but i seem to recall the viscosity should not drop by 10% during a service interval.

As a slight aside (hair splitting really) we should not test at 40C for engine oil viscosity but 100C (as that is closest to normal running temps) but the extra cost etc is probably not worth it.

I did have a quick look at their website and the units on an example report was centistoke = mm2/s, and they are looking for viscosity increases normally (as oil gets older it gets blacker it gets thicker).

The dealer will have an invoice to refer to i expect, maybe some workshop records, if they can be trusted.

Last edited by AgentB; 29th December 2017 at 05:46 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10th January 2018, 07:52 PM   #9
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When it says to change oil - so check your settings. I intend to change mine more frequently about 10K / annually which seems to fit between official service intervals.



You need to speak to the testing centre first i would strongly suggest - they may have made a mistake or maybe we are misreading the viscosity. They will know much more about this stuff, but i seem to recall the viscosity should not drop by 10% during a service interval.

As a slight aside (hair splitting really) we should not test at 40C for engine oil viscosity but 100C (as that is closest to normal running temps) but the extra cost etc is probably not worth it.

I did have a quick look at their website and the units on an example report was centistoke = mm2/s, and they are looking for viscosity increases normally (as oil gets older it gets blacker it gets thicker).

The dealer will have an invoice to refer to i expect, maybe some workshop records, if they can be trusted.
Just to follow this up, I had the results looked at by someone else and they said the same thing regarding the viscosity.

Either the wrong oil has been used or there is fuel bleeding into the oil. I tried calling Sytner's to find out what oil was used on the service but as usual they couldn't get hold of anyone who would know the answer.

Is it possible the dealership used the wrong oil? I would hope not but one of the rear tires was below 10psi when they sold it to me so I wouldn't be surprised.

If the oil is being contaminated by fuel what could be the reason for that? I don't really know much about cars but I'm guessing that isn't good?
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Old 10th January 2018, 09:08 PM   #10
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Just to follow this up, I had the results looked at by someone else and they said the same thing regarding the viscosity.
Was this the response of the testing centre?
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Old 10th January 2018, 09:11 PM   #11
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Was this the response of the testing centre?
No, I got a second opinion.
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Old 10th January 2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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No, I got a second opinion.
If you believe the report is accurate, and want to calculate how much fuel you would need to reduce the viscosity from 160 to 75 all you need to know is, fuel has a viscosity 0.8 to 1.0 i seem to recall - and go here.

So about a litre... give or take.
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Old 11th January 2018, 08:40 AM   #13
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Copper and lead levels don't look mega high. Mine were higher than that on a 5k change, and there was very little scoring on the bearings when they were taken out.

Viscosity of 10w-60 seems to drop to a 50weight reasonably quickly. If as others are saying, that your oil has dropped to a 40weight, then i would have thought that the dealership have used the wrong oil. If there was a liter of fuel in the oil, then it would come out in the analysis, by there being higher contamination readings.
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Old 11th January 2018, 12:15 PM   #14
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I had the same issue with Sytner (although I am a Z4M at the moment, but should still be 10w60) had my oil checked by millers and it came back as w40. When I questioned it, they said they input the VIN and the correct oil is dispensed through a pipe into the engine. I did read that BMW had gone to using 10w40 in M engines. I changed the oil myself and will be using an indi in the future.
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Old 11th January 2018, 02:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AldridgeZ4 View Post
I had the same issue with Sytner (although I am a Z4M at the moment, but should still be 10w60) had my oil checked by millers and it came back as w40. When I questioned it, they said they input the VIN and the correct oil is dispensed through a pipe into the engine. I did read that BMW had gone to using 10w40 in M engines. I changed the oil myself and will be using an indi in the future.

10W40 may be suitable for new engines (I'd imagine it is more like 5w30 or 5w40), but definitely not in the UK for the S54 and S65. The only time you can use a thinner oil is for a top up where you have no other oil. Effectively that oil will be diluted down so much it wont make a huge difference to the overall oil weight.

The problem with this whole oil debate is the kind of people who would change away from spec are also the kind of people that change oil obsessively perhaps twice a year (rear American's) and also that will warm up the car correctly, so in essence it proves sweet FA about the oil because there is a huge bias in the way the car is treated.
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Old 11th January 2018, 06:20 PM   #16
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Tried calling Sytner's again today, apparently they can't find the service details so they are having to look on another system, whatever that means.

Also, does anyone know what the intervals are for oil changes? The manual doesn't mention it, and the computer inside the car says the oil change is due in August 2019 or 12,000 miles. Is that right? The oil was last changed in February 2017, so that's potentially 2 and half years with no oil change? It's going to take me a long time to do another 12,000 miles.

I was expecting the computer to tell me the oil was due next month as it has been 12 months.
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Old 11th January 2018, 07:47 PM   #17
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This car uses condition based servicing, so it’ll work out for itself when it needs a service based on how you drive it. I ignore that generally as my car is a track toy.
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Old 12th January 2018, 09:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexZX View Post
Tried calling Sytner's again today, apparently they can't find the service details so they are having to look on another system, whatever that means.

Also, does anyone know what the intervals are for oil changes? The manual doesn't mention it, and the computer inside the car says the oil change is due in August 2019 or 12,000 miles. Is that right? The oil was last changed in February 2017, so that's potentially 2 and half years with no oil change? It's going to take me a long time to do another 12,000 miles.

I was expecting the computer to tell me the oil was due next month as it has been 12 months.
I just had my service and its 2 years or the mileage whichever comes first. That said I've heard of people saying what you say and having 30 months as the date limit and my first oil service was that too given the stamp in the book. Seems a little odd and I expect people would claim that 30 months is too long.
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Old 12th January 2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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Had a call back form Sytner's today, they apparently have no record of the service details so what oil they used remains a mystery.

I am probably just going to get them to do an oil service now as 12 months has nearly passed. I don't feel like paying for it but I guess that's the problem with dealerships.
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Old 12th January 2018, 05:40 PM   #20
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Is this the same dealer? If so at least you'll get the same oil...
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