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Old 03-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
Ahersh
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Subaru Stars Oil Analysis - 2005 WRX 113,000 miles

I was looking at some posts recently and thought I would share my most recent oil analysis. I just started having them done, but have been using Amsoil Synthetic ASL 5W-30 since about 10,000 miles. I used Havoline 5W-30 until then.

I drive a ton of long trips and highway miles, but have also tracked the car and done a couple of autox events. If I'm on back roads I drive it hard. Also, I always warm the oil to about 180 F before getting into the turbo. Then, I run the car to over 6000 RPMs like its going out of style. The first 75k miles were all over New England and Upstate NY in all types of weather. Since then I have been all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. If you've been to these places then you know that most of the roads are really flat and really straight (there are some nice roads in TX and AR). I see more non-police package Crown Vics cruising around here than I thought existed.

As for filtration, I have used OE air and oil filters for most of the mileage, but just switched to the new Amsoil Ea oil filter to see if it showed better filtration. I was also using their new Ea air filter, but took it out last week due to the high silicone levels I was experiencing.

I'm not planning on changing anything except for adding 1000 miles to the drain interval. The car usually gets 25-26 MPG highway when averaging 70 mph.

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Old 03-13-2008, 10:33 AM   #2
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Man, I'm at work and can't see this. From my memory, this was a pretty good report when I saw it the other day (low wear, slightly high Si and stayed in grade). Especially since you've auto-x'd and hit the track.
I think very few 5w30's could stay in grade in the heat of Texas. The PAO basestocks and a good additive pack maybe? You're not tempted to run 10w30 in the summer?

It doesn't sound like you have any short trips. That's also easier on oil.

-Dennis
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Old 03-13-2008, 10:36 AM   #3
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Hmm...that's the second high Si level UOA using the AMSOIL EAA air filter, not a good sign! The company is very proud of their testing data, maybe forward to their offices? Good call on going back to the OEM air filter.

Everything else looks fine, if not great!
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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Im waiting for my analysis as we speak... or type
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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JamesWilson and all, remember that dirt is only one possible source of silicon in a UOA. For example, silicon compounds are often used as anti-foamant additives. This is one of the primary reasons you have to understand what the numbers mean and how they relate to each other to know whether a UOA is 'good' or 'bad,' or else you have to use an outfit that can properly 'read' what they numbers are saying.
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Old 03-13-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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My Si has always been between 13 & 18 with an OEM air filter using GC.

Good point bulwnkl. That's why a VOA is also a good idea. Blackstone will sometimes run one for free if they don't have a recent one.

-Dennis
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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I wish I had test data for the Si levels prior to using the Ea air filter. I am pretty die hard about their products and have tried their old foam air filters, which I did not like at all, as well as the new nano filter. The foam filter had fitment issues on my RS, and cleaning the Ea filter is tough. I didn't want to ruin the material, but there was dirt embedded in it that needs to be cleared. At this point I'm inclined to stick with disposable filters. Depending on how the PureOne filter I just dropped in works I might just go back to the OE unit.

I also forgot to mention that I use their fuel system cleaner about once every 5000 miles.


As for the oil, that stuff is awesome. I haven't ever considered running a 10W-30 in the summer, when I change it next time we'll see how the viscosity looks. I think that the wear is low due to the fact that I always wait for the oil to reach a proper temperature.

What is a VOA???
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahersh View Post
What is a VOA???
Virgin (unused) Oil Analysis. With a VOA, you can see the additive levels before the oil is used. Bitog has a VOA forum, but I didn't see any recent Amsoil 5W30 uoa's posted.

Here's one on Motul 300V 5W30 that shows high Silicon and has comments from Blackstone that support what bulwnkl says in this example.

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 03-13-2008 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:24 PM   #9
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I don't think you have any special reason here to doubt the filtration capability of your EaA. Hard-metal wear is nil.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:49 PM   #10
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Great, thanks. I'll have one done of the ASL 5W-30.
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:49 PM   #11
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Good point, I know RedLine uses it as well, as does Motul as an antifoam.

NASIOC Checks and Balances for lame posters
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:10 AM   #12
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Not lame posters, just maybe a little quick to jump to conclusions sometimes? We all do that.

Interestingly, RedLine has also used Aluminum as an additive in one of their recipes. Haven't used 'em in a while so don't know whether that's still a common blend for them.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:56 PM   #13
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Nah, just really tired...too much going on this week!
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:58 PM   #14
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nice report does the amsoil run thin according to viscoty like royal purple?
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hella_sti View Post
nice report does the amsoil run thin according to viscoty like royal purple?
If you look at the viscosity at the bottom of the report, you'll see that the Amsoil stayed in the specified range for a 30 weight oil in both runs. RP xW30 is famous for shearing to a 20 weight in some cases.

Some oils do thin out and thicken back up over longer mileage. Although, I wouldn't run RP xW30 at different intervals to be the one to find out if it thickens back up.

-Dennis
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:37 AM   #16
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Everyone remembers that the oil 'grade' is just an arbitrary viscosity range, right? Such that you can actually have less shear from something that's designed to be right at the bottom of a grade range than something designed to be closer to the middle, right? And therefore have the more shear-stable one 'shear out of grade' but the thicker one 'stay in grade' despite shearing more?

And, we all remember that if you couldn't see a viscosity number, such that all you had to go on was wear or lack thereof and mpg, we might all be extremely pleased with an oil that is presently looked down on because it 'shears out of grade' or is 'way too thin to protect' or some other contrived nonsense, right?

I'm not talking about any specific brands here, I'm just trying to point out the folly in pointing to shearing 'out of grade' when evaluating the performance of a lube. There's no reason in the world to care about shearing or viscosity or anything of that sort so long as performance in terms of anti-wear, deposit control, and mpg are where you want them to be.

Last edited by bulwnkl; 03-18-2008 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:44 PM   #17
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I figured you might respond to that.

SAE 30 = 9.30 - 12.49 ( http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/visc.html )

I really hate math, but here goes.

Oil A starts out at 9.5 cst's (at 100C) and shears to 9.1 cst's. Oil B starts out at 11.5 cst's and shears to 9.5 cst's. Therefore oil B actually shears more than oil A, even though oil B started out thicker. How am I doing?

I've seen some people say that as long as wear and all factors are normal there is no cause for alarm if an oil shears out of grade, which is what I think that you are implying.

However, in the event of a problem (say detonation for example) wouldn't you want to be running an oil that stays at a consistent viscosity throughout the interval? Wouldn't an oil with a thicker viscosity provide a higher film strength and be less likely to suffer a negative effect from the problem? Or does it really depend on the oil formulation itself, rather than viscosity alone?

I need to have a look at this again:
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/oilshear.htm

"So what does protect your engine when the hydrodynamic film is sheared?
After the base oil has sheared or squeezed out, The last line of defense is an additive that puts down a barrier film. This additive usually has higher levels of strength against shearing so it helps keep the wear down."


This is also interesting. I believe it was written after the switch to GF-3.
http://www.machinerylubrication.com/...?articleid=518

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 03-18-2008 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:37 PM   #18
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Yes, you've explained well numerically what I was attempting to explain prosaically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie View Post
wouldn't you want to be running an oil that stays at a consistent viscosity throughout the interval?
Yes, I think consistency is always desirable. Having said that, allowing a degree of shear is an excellent and extremely common way of achieving the required fuel economy spec. I say required because you have to beat the reference oil (which is a PAO, btw) in the fuel economy tests to get the Energy Conserving rating, which is required to get the Starburst on the front of the bottle, which is required to be used by most people's new car manufacturer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie View Post
Wouldn't an oil with a thicker viscosity provide a higher film strength and be less likely to suffer a negative effect from the problem?
No, it won't, or at least you can't claim that it will generically. In fact, some research I've seen within the last few years actually showed greater film thickness in a 5W20 than in a 15W40 under the conditions of highest pressure. Yes, you read that right. Now, that doesn't mean it's always that way because the research dealt with only a couple of specific engines and only a few oil formulations. Still, it's an extremely interesting finding. {You might still be able to find that paper over at BITOG, but I really don't know. It was posted there at one time.} It was most interesting because, as I recall it, the oil layer was thinner for the 5W20 during times of low pressure/stress. But, as the pressure on the oil wedge increased, the film thickness of the 5-20 increased much more rapidly than the other oils and peaked at a thicker film at the point of highest pressure. Strange, huh?

This is one reason why it's so ludicrous for people to make the assumption that higher grade numbers afford better protection without research or hard field data to prove it. They may or may not do so depending on things that we don't control nor are generally even aware of.

If you really want to know what's 'the best' to run, spend the money on good UOAs and learn how to determine what they're telling you (or pay someone who knows (not Blackstone) to tell you), or else listen to the manufacturer. Even if there are alternatives that are 'better' for your specific purpose than what they recommend, I guarantee that no one has a clue what the better alternatives might be unless they're a truly hard-core research scientist or unless they're paying for the analyses and repeating them to you.
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