July 26, 2017


Why Expensive Oil Is A Waste Of Money (David Tracy, 7/26/17, Jalopnik)

Blackstone Labs analyzes the contents of used motor oil to check how well engines wear over time. Earlier this month, the lab used its vast database of used oil analyses to study whether certain oil brands tend to contain more metal wear particles; the results might make you think twice before throwing down cash on performance racing oil.

Blackstone receives oil samples from thousands of people around the country interested in learning how well their engines are wearing over time--in part, to predict and avoid catastrophic damage. For example, I sent in an oil sample in, and learned that engine coolant was getting into my engine. If unaddressed, this could have ruined my bearings.

Upon receiving samples, Blackstone sends the oil through a spectrometer to learn how much of that oil--in parts per million--is made up of wear elements like aluminum (which may come from pistons or the engine case), chromium (from piston rings), iron (from cylinders, camshafts, or other parts of the valvetrain), copper (from bushings, bearings, oil coolers), lead (from bearings) and tin (also from bearings).

What this means is that Blackstone has thousands of reports showing wear particle concentrations of certain engines using certain oil types for certain oil drain intervals. In its July newsletter, the lab decided to use this data to compare different brands, and the findings suggest that buying expensive oil may not provide much of a benefit to engine longevity.

Posted by at July 26, 2017 6:28 PM