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      09-10-2019, 03:08 PM   #1035
IamFODI
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Originally Posted by 13Ghost View Post
My oil analysis at 30k miles (47km).
A little concerning... Inviting insight...
Do you have any previous reports, or is this your first? Looks like your first but I wanted to make sure. Aluminum and tin appearing together does seem problematic but it's impossible to say anything meaningful without a prior history.

How is the car driven?
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      09-11-2019, 06:20 AM   #1036
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First analysis.

I'm the second owner and acquired it at the beginning of summer.
Low miles and a complete service history. Difficult to say how it was driven prior but used as a daily summer commuter now.

My intention is to change the oil at the stealership today to satisfy the very limited 3rd party warranty I have.

I was going to take the car off the road in a month, but by the time It would be on the road again, the warranty period would run out. Sounds like unless the part fails the warranty won't cover failing bearings but will call and confirm with them.

Just wished I had more similar analysis to compare to and the results of those cars. Maybe I'm concerned over nothing?
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      09-11-2019, 08:14 AM   #1037
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13Ghost View Post
First analysis.

I'm the second owner and acquired it at the beginning of summer.
Low miles and a complete service history. Difficult to say how it was driven prior but used as a daily summer commuter now.

My intention is to change the oil at the stealership today to satisfy the very limited 3rd party warranty I have.

I was going to take the car off the road in a month, but by the time It would be on the road again, the warranty period would run out. Sounds like unless the part fails the warranty won't cover failing bearings but will call and confirm with them.

Just wished I had more similar analysis to compare to and the results of those cars. Maybe I'm concerned over nothing?
Even if you did have reports from other cars to compare to, it's unclear what conclusions you could draw because each engine has its own wear profile even controlling for mileage etc.

Some options from here (not mutually exclusive):

1. Continue sampling at short intervals, as Blackstone recommends
2. Switch to something like Polaris Labs's "Advanced Engine Plus" service, which includes a PQ index (additional measure of iron wear for an extra data point, not much more money)
3. Pony up for much more expensive testing on your oil and filter (call Polaris or maybe some other labs and see what they advise)
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      09-11-2019, 12:22 PM   #1038
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Thanks. I appreciate it.

I intended to send this sample to another lab (likely Polaris) and see if it's consistent with blackstone's report since the sample will be from the same oil at a very short interval.

I know oil analysis are a much debated topic, but a little insight might help save an engine ... or lighten the wallet unnecessarily. Lol
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      09-11-2019, 01:36 PM   #1039
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Happy to help.

This isn't on you; just a rant about how oil analysis has been popularized. It's so oversold, and... mis-sold? Is that a word? It's talked about like one report can tell you everything you need to know about wear, which is completely false and possibly misleading in almost all cases.

It can be good for tracking wear if there's a likely failure mode that shows up in a clear way on oil analysis, or if you have perfect knowledge of the engine's metallurgy and oil's chemistry. And even then, you still need a history of samples at regular and short intervals, or you can't be sure what you're looking at. We definitely have the likely failure mode piece, but we don't know how reliably it shows up on oil analysis for any bearing other than the original BMW ones -- and even there it's sketchy because there have been engines with worn bearings but clean oil analysis reports; in other words, false-positives are rare enough but false-negatives aren't.

Beyond that, we have squat. Almost no one outside of BMW, Castrol, and Shell has anywhere near the required info on the engine's metallurgy and oil chemistry, and none of those parties will be sharing what they know any time soon. The manufacturers of aftermarket bearings will of course know the alloys they're working with, but you can bet everything you own that they haven't done a fraction of the necessary testing to figure out whether and how wear on their bearings shows up on oil analysis in this engine.

It's possible that other rod bearings (aftermarket and LCI) will show wear in a predictable way on oil analysis. Glyco, the manufacturer of the LCI bearings, advised me to look for Al and Sn trending upward in a (very) roughly 9:1 ratio. What we don't yet know are the false-positive and false-negative rates.

There are more expensive forms of oil analysis that go into FAR more detail about what exactly is in your oil. Those technically still require the aforementioned knowledge of metallurgy and chemistry, plus trending, to be truly meaningful. But in a pinch, a one-off of those methods is at least a step up from a one-off garden variety $20-$30 analysis.

In consumer car engines, what garden-variety oil analysis is really useful for tracking is:

1. Contamination, and
2. How the oil itself is holding up.

This includes the "wear" numbers because they can go high from acid buildup or highly active surface chemistry. So, if you want to see whether you're running your oil too long, or if your filters suck, or if your engine isn't running quite right, etc., oil analysis can be a good tool.

FWIW, I had LCI rod bearings put in shortly after I bought my car, and I'm doing oil analysis at every oil change. My thinking is that if I start seeing that 9:1 Al:Sn ratio, I'll plan for another rod bearing change then. But if not, I'll still plan to revisit the bearings after 60k-80k miles -- unless it becomes clear by then that clean reports reliably indicate low/no wear on these bearings.

Last edited by IamFODI; 09-11-2019 at 01:47 PM..
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      09-12-2019, 09:56 AM   #1040
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2008 6MT (702/703 rod bearings)
4945 miles on the oil (BMW TwinPower Turbo 10W-60)
95449 miles on the engine

Follow-up from this.

Two road trips, a few blasts at the Tail of the Dragon, one tank of no-name non-ethanol gas, and one Techron treatment on this run. Also caught and fixed a pre-cat exhaust leak on one bank near the end, so there's probably some sub-optimal running as well (might explain the fuel dilution).

No idea where the silicon has come from. Maybe the VC gasket change I did just before this oil went in?

Copying the numbers here because Polaris's reports are kind of annoying to read:


Iron - 7
Chromium - 0
Nickel - 0
Aluminum - 2
Copper - 2
Lead - 0
Tin - 0
Cadmium - 0
Silver - 0
Vanadium - 0
Silicon - 23
Sodium - 2
Potassium - 1
Titanium - 0
Molybdenum - 49
Antimony - 0
Manganese - 0
Lithium - 0
Boron - 52
Magnesium - 30
Calcium - 2490
Barium - 0
Phosphorus - 840
Zinc - 957

Fuel Dilution - 1.8% (GC)
Soot - <0.1% by vol.
Water - <0.1% by vol. (FTIR)

Viscosity @ 100 C - 18.3 cSt
TBN - 5.26
Oxidation - 11
Nitration - 10

Particle Quantifier (PQ) Index - 12
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