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Old 12-15-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
gpshumway
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Default 35k mi worth of UOAs - 2007 WRX

So I've finally gotten off my duff to post the UOA history of my WRX.
Lines for the oil and filter have been added to blanks in the report.

I changed the oil frequently for the first 10k miles with conventional oil, which I now see was totally unnecessary. I also used a can of Lubro-Moly MoS2 additive in each fill until 13k miles.

Oil Key:
Hav = Havoline DS Conventional(API SM)
GC = German Castrol aka Castrol Syntec European Formula
PHM = Pennzoil High Mileage Conventional
RT6 = Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic 5w40
ST = Castrol Syntec

Filter Key:
Blue P1 = Older blue can Purolator PureOne 14612
OEM AA100 = Tokyo Roki made OEM filter with Black Can P/N 15208AA100

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Last edited by gpshumway; 12-15-2011 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:29 AM   #2
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Here's the second set.

I bought a Filter Mag RA250 (the strongest one that fits the filter) and started doing particle counts (ISO Code on the report) to see if it would make a difference. It doesn't. Driving activity and filter seem to have much more impact on the particle count.

The 22,657 mi change was short, and used the FilterMag, but included a couple of Autocross events, which is what I attribute the dirtier oil to.

The 26,384 mi change was longer, didn't use the FilterMag, but included a long road trip to South Dakota.

The latest change used the OEM AA100 filter instead of a PureOne and I suspect the P1 filters substantially finer which is why the latest particle count was substantially dirtier. Given the recent results related to changing the filter I'm not convinced particle count is much better at indicating wear than Iron/Aluminum in the normal reports, it may just indicate the particles your filter is capable of removing.

HERE is how to interpret the ISO cleanliness code.


Last edited by gpshumway; 12-15-2011 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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Got mods? I'll type more later but I'm surprised (well not really) about their comments about copper with Red Line. Esters.

-Dennis
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:55 AM   #4
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great info...thanks for doing this sir!
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #5
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And to think back as to how many internet e-thug battles I've had in the past where oil dorks swear that oil filter magnets are worth their weight in gold.....thanks for this!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie View Post
Got mods? I'll type more later but I'm surprised (well not really) about their comments about copper with Red Line. Esters.

-Dennis
Yea, I basically ignore their comments. They can actually be a bit problematic sometimes like when they give bad info to my father on a UOA for his Outback. But I digress...

No mods to speak of. The only thing engine related is a Grimmspeed air-oil separator.

I've also re-mapped the DBW throttle to make tip-in more gradual and to make it easier to modulate without lugging at low RPM. That shouldn't affect UOA though.
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber View Post
And to think back as to how many internet e-thug battles I've had in the past where oil dorks swear that oil filter magnets are worth their weight in gold.....thanks for this!
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastwrx25
great info...thanks for doing this sir!
You're welcome.
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Old 12-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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thanks for posting this. Just curious, why don't you get the TBN?
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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No reason to pay for TBN with such short OCIs and known robust oil.

My car is from the "always change your oil at 3,750 mi intervals" era of Subaru recommendations, I followed the the owner's manual until I was confident the engine would last the warranty period. Even the last interval of 4,500 miles is pretty short on an oil as robust as Redline.
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway
No reason to pay for TBN with such short OCIs and known robust oil.

My car is from the "always change your oil at 3,750 mi intervals" era of Subaru recommendations, I followed the the owner's manual until I was confident the engine would last the warranty period. Even the last interval of 4,500 miles is pretty short on an oil as robust as Redline.
Yeah, my car is from the same era and I've only recently scaled back my oci to 6k miles. Great info, especially comparing the different oil filters. Would like to see more on the OEM oil filter.

Aftermarket air filter? What oil and filter are you running now?

-Dennis
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #11
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Subaru OEM air filter. I'll probably use an Amsoil/Donaldson one on the next change.

Currently filled with Redline 0w30 for the winter and my last AA100 filter, no FilterMag, it's on my 2011 Civic which is still breaking in.

Next I'm going to try some Mahle OC337 filters I got on clearance at RockAuto. I've still got to test the BPV (a-la 09rexwagon) setting though. Unfortunately Mahle has superseded this filter so the data won't really be relevant to anyone else.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:04 PM   #12
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veeeeerrrrrrrrrryyyyyyy interesting.........mmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Here's the second set.

I bought a Filter Mag RA250 (the strongest one that fits the filter) and started doing particle counts (ISO Code on the report) to see if it would make a difference. It doesn't. Driving activity and filter seem to have much more impact on the particle count.............
Thanks for posting this. There was a member at BITOG who did a series (16) of particle counts on his Tundra, with various filters. You might be interested in looking at his data and comments.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...ue#Post2325110
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway
Subaru OEM air filter. I'll probably use an Amsoil/Donaldson one on the next change.

Currently filled with Redline 0w30 for the winter and my last AA100 filter, no FilterMag, it's on my 2011 Civic which is still breaking in.

Next I'm going to try some Mahle OC337 filters I got on clearance at RockAuto. I've still got to test the BPV (a-la 09rexwagon) setting though. Unfortunately Mahle has superseded this filter so the data won't really be relevant to anyone else.
My silicon dropped to the single digits only after switching to an Amsoil air filter. Someone at SubaruForester.org actually found an aftermarket oil filter with a 23 psi bypass setting. I'll look for the thread.

I can't believe that you didn't add any make-up oil with RL. I went through 2 quarts in 5k miles!

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 12-15-2011 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
Thanks for posting this. There was a member at BITOG who did a series (16) of particle counts on his Tundra, with various filters. You might be interested in looking at his data and comments.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...ue#Post2325110
Thanks for posting that, I'll take a closer look when I have the chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesubie View Post
My silicon dropped to the single digits only after switching to an Amsoil air filter. Someone at SubaruForester.org actually found an aftermarket oil filter with a 23 psi bypass setting. I'll look for the thread.

I can't believe that you didn't add any make-up oil with RL. I went through 2 quarts in 5k miles!

-Dennis
Please share the super secret 23psi aftermarket filter!

I guess I'm just lucky on oil usage. Didn't consume a drop.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
..........Please share the super secret 23psi aftermarket filter!.......
Beck/Arnley??

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...acement-97604/
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubLGT
Yeah, that's it. So it's 20-25.

-Dennis
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #18
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Latest UOA is back from Blackstone. It's Redline 0w30. I used it for our typically frigid winters here in MN, though this one wasn't particularly cold.

I got a KV40 measurement, and the VI came back at only 166. Surprising considering the KV100 didn't change much. I think I may ask Blackstone about it, but given their comments about the VI of my 0w20 Honda Civic oil HERE, I'm not confident of a good answer. Comments?

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Old 05-24-2012, 12:17 PM   #19
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Sorry to be "that guy" but would someone mind adding cliff's notes to this so us oil-illiterate bastards understand what the results are telling us?

Thanks for putting this together gpshumway.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:20 PM   #20
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Exactly how to interpret UOA results is a hot topic of debate. You can go to Blackstone-Labs.com and find the basics as they see it. I'll give you my cliffs-notes take.

Other knowledgeable posters please keep in mind this is my quick and dirty take.

The primary thing a UOA will tell you is the condition of the oil and whether it is fit for continued use. OTR truckers actually sample their oil without changing it and use UOA to tell them when to change the oil. Us car guys sometimes do this too. To use UOA for that purpose, an extra cost test for Total Base Number (TBN on the report) is required.

I primarily use the data to compare the used oil's properties to that of new oil. You can get new oil properties from the manufacturer in the form of a Product Data Sheet (PDS). Redline's is HERE.

In this case you can see that the oil did a very good job retaining it's initial viscosity at 100*C of 10.9 cSt, having only sheared (gotten thinner) by about 6% in 4,377 mi. Contrast that with the Pennzoil High Mileage 5w30 (API SM) I used from 3,332 to 5,463 miles which sheared from 11.7 cSt to 9.35 cSt (20%!) in only 2,160 miles.

In addition to the baseline UOA I paid for two extra tests, a "particle count" and a KV40. Particle count is the ISO code at the bottom of the report. It measures the presence of particles of different sizes in the oil. See the link in post #2 for how to interpret the ISO code.

I also paid to measure the viscosity at 40*C which together with the 100*C viscosity (KV100) gives you the "Viscosity Index" or the oil's ability to maintain viscosity across a broad temperature range. Redline 0w30 starts out with a very high viscosity index of 183 (thats really good), but at least in this instance it did not maintain that index throughout the Oil Change Interval (OCI).

I have some question about the validity of Blackstone's data on this as usually a reduction in viscosity index will manifest itself as a reduction in KV100 without a proportional reduction in KV40. We'll see if I get a good answer from Blackstone or Redline on that question.

Another thing people use UOA for is to examine the characteristics of the oil's additive package. Additives like Zinc+Phosphorus together (ZDDP) and Molybdenum are there to reduce friction and wear. Magnesium and Calcium are detergent and dispersants. As you can see from my UOA history, different oils use different additives. Redline is particuarly heavy in Moly and Calcium. The ability of any amateur to determine the quality of additives in an oil from a <$50 UOA is nil, so using them for this purpose is using a crescent wrench to drive nails. Many (including myself) engage in the uninformed speculation any way.

The other thing many people (wrongly) use UOA for is to examine the wear rate of their engine by looking at the concentration of wear metals in the used oil the numbers on the report for Iron, Aluminum, Lead, and other metals come from the engine wearing out. The problem is UOA only catches a narrow range of sizes of these particles, so UOA is not a good way to measure wear. See THIS article on BITOG for a primer.

You can use the presence of certain metals, particularly Lead and Copper to determine if certain critical parts of the engine are experiencing failure. A spike in lead is a bad thing but may be a one time event, two in a row means big trouble. THIS thread on BITOG tells one story of how UOA can help save an engine.

That's the basics, though you can spend hours on Bob Is The Oil Guy.com going nuts learning more about how to speculate err, interpret UOAs.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway
Latest UOA is back from Blackstone. It's Redline 0w30. I used it for our typically frigid winters here in MN, though this one wasn't particularly cold.

I got a KV40 measurement, and the VI came back at only 166. Surprising considering the KV100 didn't change much. I think I may ask Blackstone about it, but given their comments about the VI of my 0w20 Honda Civic oil HERE, I'm not confident of a good answer. Comments?
Looks like the fuel brought down the flashpoint as well (although the fuel is extrapolated from the FP reading in this type of uoa). Is fuel just from short trips or are you running rich? Maybe see what RL says about VI or pay for a Dyson. The oil still held up really well!

Excellent job on your uoa primer! Yes, RL 0W-30 and 5W-30 did shear as you mentioned, but that's probably some of the least shear that I've ever seen in an oil. The VI helped that, but a High Temp High Shear viscosity the same as some 40 weights and the ester base stocks played a role as well. If you ask Blackstone what their margin of error is and you could probably argue that there was no shear.

-Dennis

Last edited by bluesubie; 05-25-2012 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:45 PM   #22
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The low flash point should be just due to short trips. I've got a stock tune, though even that runs ~10:1 under full boost, so a heavy foot may equal fuel dilution regardless of tune. I don't generally drive with a heavy foot though.

Yes, RL shears as little as you can reasonably expect any oil to, good stuff. It soundly beats even RT6 in that regard. One reason I'm inclined to stick with it.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Please share the super secret 23psi aftermarket filter!

.
the wix 57712 also has the 23psi bypass
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:32 PM   #24
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Yea, the 23psi Wix filter is new info since the above discussion was posted. My recollection is the Purolators and OEM filters have substantially more media, but that's just my memory.

I'm still working through my stock of OEM AA100 Tokyo Rokis though. Last one is on the car now, but I've got an H6 filter I'll likely try next.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:49 PM   #25
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Default Latest UOA - 46.5k

Here's the latest UOA on my WRX. Oil is Redline 5w30, OCI was 7,250 miles. Filter is a Tokyo Roki AA100 with filter magnet.

I've switched to OAI for my UOAs, when you include KV40 and TBN testing they're much cheaper than Blackstone. Comments are equally worthless though. I've stopped doing the particle counts, they just didn't seem very useful. Maybe I'll do another one when I switch to the Purolator Synthetic filter.

The report is flagged as "severe" for oxidation, but this recent VOA of Redline 5w30 shows virgin oxidation of 108, meaning my sample is likely within the margin of error.

The oil actually thickened slightly with use, but maintained it's VI quite well.

Overall I'm very pleased with the report, I'm going to stick to Redline 5w30 at 5k-7.5k intervals. I'm very slightly concerned about the thickening and possible copper corrosion, but not enough to switch oil. I do consider M1 0w40 from time to time though. Current filter is officially my last AA100.

Enjoy.


Last edited by gpshumway; 01-31-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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