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How often do you change your oil? Do you do it by the book?

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yeah, for most folks, oil sampling is a bit much to ask of them. I get free oil sample kits and analysis from my commercial oil supplier, and even with that, I don't send in a sample on my pickup very often. I mostly use them for my commercial equipment and heavy trucks. Having to shell out roughly $25 for an oil sample isn't really a wallet buster, but most folks, unless they are trying to really stretch out drains or some other reason, it is not all that critical.

Edited by Cowpie
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You can pay $45 an oil change every 5k. Or you can pay $45 + $30 every 10k, and actually know what's going on in the engine. Easy choice for me.

Technically, a used oil analysis tells you the condition of the oil, not the engine. It can give you clues about engine conditions, but just that, clues that need interpreted.


Case in point...oil analysis with over 200ppm copper means failed bearings right? My 6.0l has had copper over 200ppm for several UOAs and it's just a quirk with that family of engine, and not detrimental. I have other examples showing engine issues that never presented themselves in the UOA...blown head gasket is one.


UOA shows how well a particular oil is holding up in a particular application...nothing more.


Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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GM uses a lot of copper in the form of brass in bearings and cams. Of course, some comes from oil coolers. GM motors are characteristicly high in copper on used oil samples.

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  • 5 years later...
On 8/13/2015 at 3:13 PM, sdeeter19555 said:

Case in point...oil analysis with over 200ppm copper means failed bearings right? 

I know this is really old but...




Was the high copper accompanied by high tin and lead? 

Is the motor old enough to even have copper in the bearing material?


Since the 90's OEM's no longer use tri-metal bearings. (Steel/copper-lead/tin) but rather use Bi-metal bearings that are steel/aluminum-silicon. Performance builders however still use the tri-metal. Cam bearings have never been tri-metal; Lead Babbitt early on then more recently aluminum-silicon. 


Other bushings or thrust bearings of bronze would be accompanied by:  Tin and or aluminum, manganese, phosphorus and or silicon. Most bronze is at least 12% tin. About the only place copper is used alone is in some coolers. Even those more often than not are aluminum. 




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