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ragpicker
Paul Ricard


Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 3437
Location: North East England


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:50 pm    Post subject: Oil Analysis... To do, or not to do.. That is the question.. Reply with quote

Rag's old leggy Boxster is coming up for its next 3k mile oil and filter change...

Car is on 144k miles, the engine is on 110k miles (the first engine being replaced by OPC after IMS failure)..

So, i've never had oil analysed before and am thinking of doing it this time. How do I go about it and what will it tell me?

Assuming I get the oil tested and it tells me there are traces of the elixir of human life in it (or whatever else may be in it), what do I do with the information?

Is it a repeat in 3k miles and see if there are more minerals/metals in it, or is it a REBUILD IT NOW BEFORE IT BLOWS UP scenario?

I mean, what exactly is the point of oil analysis?

Question
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New997buyer
Yas Marina


Joined: 17 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard of it Dont know

Beyond cracking open the filter for bits of metal what else can analysis detect? Question
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ragpicker
Paul Ricard


Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 3437
Location: North East England


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New997buyer wrote:
Never heard of it Dont know

Beyond cracking open the filter for bits of metal what else can analysis detect? Question


I believe:

It gives you a breakdown of the various microscopic minerals and metals in the oil which are in greater quantities than they should be.

So if the oil shouldn't have any copper in but yet it says there is 10.000ppm in the sample then it is a sign that copper is getting in from somewhere. You can then think of whichever parts within the engine consist of copper and deduce that this part is wearing more than it should.

Well, thats my very limited understanding, hence asking the question Thumb
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 7496
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is pretty much what it does, most get it done to find out a specific problem that has arrised but there is no harm in finding out in advance if something is on its way out or not as the case may be. It can also tell you the condition of your oil, ie past its best.
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alex yates
Donnington
Donnington


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
Posts: 12827
Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd only bother if I had a hunch something was untoward. Next option is just inspect your filter and mag sump plug if you have one. Thumb
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kurlykris
Watkins Glen


Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 2049
Location: Warwickshire


PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did see an episode of car SOS where they visited MILLERS oils and they analysed the oil and gave a good/healthy or bad/rebuild now analysis Thumb

Obviously based on the metallic/mineral inclusions in it they can determine the state of the engine.....................might be a can of worms though RP Dont know
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Avon
Trainee


Joined: 12 Mar 2016
Posts: 76



PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did one recently as I needed a new variocam solenoid, and wanted to see if it was better to just replace that part only or include it as part of a full rebuild.

Oil analysis test gives a lot of info.

1) Water content in oil (any cracks in liners, head etc)
2) Viscosity @ 40C (is oil holding up)
3) Insoluble content (soot)
4) Iron / Chromium / Aluminum / Moly / Copper / Nickel / Silicon etc (if something is wearing this should be elevated and the offender identified; copper - crank bearing, Aluminum = piston, Chromium = rings...)

Combined with a compression / leakdown test, an oil analysis is about as good as you're going to get to see how things are going without a teardown.

This great thread by a fellow forum member detected a dying crank bearing with oil analysis.
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=47&t=1601182&i=220

For the record, my '99 3.4 engine passed the oil test nicely and showed great compression all around on a recent test. But it has only done ~117k miles so its early days yet.
 
  
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wasz
Indianapolis


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2329


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got my results from Millers at 132k miles.

All clear Thumb

Re-asserted what I've long believed - changing the oil on these every 6k is literally pouring money away for no reason. The oil is fine. But service history is highly valued at resale.
 
  
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ragpicker
Paul Ricard


Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 3437
Location: North East England


PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wasz wrote:

Re-asserted what I've long believed - changing the oil on these every 6k is literally pouring money away for no reason. The oil is fine.


I'm afraid I disagree, but each to their own Thumb
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coullstar
Imola


Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 836
Location: Aberdeen/Torphins


PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im going to do it for every annual / oil change. It gives you a good indication of whats happening.

You'll need two or three spread out samples to give a good indication if something is wearing quicker. For all it costs its good info to have for sure I believe.
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searider
Silverstone


Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 118
Location: Southampton


PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my oil analysed before the service last month. After 5000 miles it came back as suitable for further service and with no elevated levels of wear metal or contaminants.

Will repeat before each oil change to see if anything is cropping up.

Coullstar - I wonder if oil analysis would have picked up on RS4 exhaust cam wear? I suspect it might have shown elevated iron levels.
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Marky911
Barcelona


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 1382



PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to do this for the first time ever this service, however I forgot to tell my Indy when I dropped my car off and by the time I text him a few days later, he'd dumped the oil. So I guess I'll wait until next year now. Very Happy

There wasn't a spec of debris in my oil filter though and my IMS bearing is absolutely perfect he says (engine on 65k), so seal now flipped off.

So like I say, maybe next year for analysis. One half of me says the more you go looking for problems, the more you find them, but the other half says obviously it's good to have a heads up on impending doom.
I'm happy enough with my engine for now though. We all have our own view on how to approach things. Thumb

Also -

Raggy! Just the man! I've got a special on leather belts this week. Guaranteed 100% "engine transportation" spec. Grin
 
  
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searider
Silverstone


Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 118
Location: Southampton


PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marky911 wrote:
I was going to do this for the first time ever this service, however I forgot to tell my Indy when I dropped my car off and by the time I text him a few days later, he'd dumped the oil. So I guess I'll wait until next year now. Very Happy

There wasn't a spec of debris in my oil filter though and my IMS bearing is absolutely perfect he says (engine on 65k), so seal now flipped off.

So like I say, maybe next year for analysis. One half of me says the more you go looking for problems, the more you find them, but the other half says obviously it's good to have a heads up on impending doom.
I'm happy enough with my engine for now though. We all have our own view on how to approach things. Thumb

Also -

Raggy! Just the man! I've got a special on leather belts this week. Guaranteed 100% "engine transportation" spec. Grin


You normally suck the oil sample out through the dipstick hole so it doesn’t get contaminated.

I think that an oil sample analysis would find issues before you could see metal flakes in the filter - by then all those metal flakes have been through your oil pump and damaged that at the very least.
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Marky911
Barcelona


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 1382



PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi searider,

Yes I wasn't suggesting I could spot what the oil analysis could. Very Happy
I was just stating that for another year I'll just be content in the old skool method of checking the filter for debris.

I know the oil analysis spots things earlier. I didn't know you had to remove oil separately though so thanks for that. I may do it next year, we'll see. Thumb
 
  
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ragpicker
Paul Ricard


Joined: 14 Apr 2013
Posts: 3437
Location: North East England


PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marky911 wrote:

Raggy! Just the man! I've got a special on leather belts this week. Guaranteed 100% "engine transportation" spec. Grin


Floor Floor

I wonder who you've been speaking to!?!?!

Floor Floor

Hey, they did the job!
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crash7
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 338



PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get mine done, its essentially predictive maintenance.

By the time you can physically see particals in your oil filter it's to later, oil filters are incredibly crude and only catch big particulate, oil analysis picks up what you can't see.

The cost is only circa £30 and you get a break down of what's in the oil, where it comes from and whether it's acceptable. - Over time this allows you to trend wear.

It's not a new thing and is used in engineering and other industries extensively, cars I guess are seen as consumables which is why perhaps it's not a thing.
 
  
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wasz
Indianapolis


Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2329


1999 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

searider wrote:
You normally suck the oil sample out through the dipstick hole so it doesn’t get contaminated.


I took mine from the oil filter housing. Unscrew the filter and tip into the sample jar in one smooth movement.

So there will be 50:50 filtered and unfiltered oil there, but shouldn't be contaminated.

I used millers http://www.millersoils.co.uk/services/oil-analysis £25

They said the oil was fine to continue to use, however it is now long gone....
 
  
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coullstar
Imola


Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 836
Location: Aberdeen/Torphins


PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wasz wrote:
searider wrote:
You normally suck the oil sample out through the dipstick hole so it doesn’t get contaminated.


I took mine from the oil filter housing. Unscrew the filter and tip into the sample jar in one smooth movement.

So there will be 50:50 filtered and unfiltered oil there, but shouldn't be contaminated.

I used millers http://www.millersoils.co.uk/services/oil-analysis £25

They said the oil was fine to continue to use, however it is now long gone....


Yep that's what I was going to use.
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