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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #1  
Old 02-17-2014, 09:38 AM
Colo328dGirl Colo328dGirl is offline
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Break in service for 328d cars

Has anyone heard of or had a 2,000 mile break in service performed on their 328d car? I was told there was but the service department said only on the gas cars. Is this true our first service is at one year? Seems they should be checking that things are running well.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:38 AM
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To my knowledge there was no break-in service on the 335d; would guess the same on 328d. The first time it was serviced was at 11,629 miles. Prior to that I did have one recall service.
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:29 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is online now
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The car should have come with a service and warranty booklet. It would be in there. BMW recommended maintenance is a joke.


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Old 02-17-2014, 03:40 PM
glangford glangford is offline
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There is no break in service or it would be in the obc. I plan on an early oil change, about 5000 mikes, that's it till 10k
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:05 PM
Colo328dGirl Colo328dGirl is offline
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Thank you everyone! I wanted to make sure I was not missing something.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:00 AM
Blackfly Blackfly is offline
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Cool Break-in service?

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Originally Posted by Colo328dGirl View Post
Has anyone heard of or had a 2,000 mile break in service performed on their 328d car? I was told there was but the service department said only on the gas cars. Is this true our first service is at one year? Seems they should be checking that things are running well.
Same for me, my 335 did not have the lube replaced until ~13k. But, there have been two recalls.

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Old 02-19-2014, 04:17 PM
Geotrash Geotrash is offline
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As a data point - I just took my 328d in for a 3,000 mile break-in oil change on Monday and paid I think $110. Call me superstitious but I see no reason to run oil 11,000 miles.

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:32 PM
m6pwr m6pwr is offline
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Originally Posted by Geotrash View Post
As a data point - I just took my 328d in for a 3,000 mile break-in oil change on Monday and paid I think $110. Call me superstitious but I see no reason to run oil 11,000 miles.

Cheers,
Dave
As a counterpoint for the benefit of folks who are undecided if they should follow BMW's service intervals: Here is a quote from one Doug Hillary, a Euro-based lubricants engineer with decades of experience first with Castrol and then Exxon/Mobil. He has worked in just about every facet of lubricant formulation and application from racing to passenger cars to heavy duty trucks and off road construction vehicles, and who, more to the point, has written training texts on diesel engine lubrication.

"Many modern engines have unique lubricants as their Factory fill and in some cases a special specification lubricant many be needed . . . This is for specific "bedding in" reasons and often depends on the engine's design and certainly on its "wear face" metallurgy! People that chose to ignore the Manufacturer's advice concerning the first oil change period and the lubricant to be used then are IMO quite foolhardy especially if they intend to keep their vehicle for many years."

I don't think you do any harm by changing the factory fill early at 3k or 5k, but I doubt if it is necessary or really does anything to extend the service life of the engine.

FWIW, I believe BMW diesels have a factory fill of FUCHS oil. FUCHS is known in Europe as "FUCHS The Factory Fill Specialist". In other words, they specialize in cooking up whatever the car mfr wants for the initial service interval. I have no idea if the BMW diesel factory fill oil has special break-in additives or not, but my recommendation would be to leave it in 'til the computer says to drain it.

Last edited by m6pwr; 02-19-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2014, 04:23 AM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6pwr View Post
As a counterpoint for the benefit of folks who are undecided if they should follow BMW's service intervals: Here is a quote from one Doug Hillary, a Euro-based lubricants engineer with decades of experience first with Castrol and then Exxon/Mobil. He has worked in just about every facet of lubricant formulation and application from racing to passenger cars to heavy duty trucks and off road construction vehicles, and who, more to the point, has written training texts on diesel engine lubrication.

"Many modern engines have unique lubricants as their Factory fill and in some cases a special specification lubricant many be needed . . . This is for specific "bedding in" reasons and often depends on the engine's design and certainly on its "wear face" metallurgy! People that chose to ignore the Manufacturer's advice concerning the first oil change period and the lubricant to be used then are IMO quite foolhardy especially if they intend to keep their vehicle for many years."

I don't think you do any harm by changing the factory fill early at 3k or 5k, but I doubt if it is necessary or really does anything to extend the service life of the engine.

FWIW, I believe BMW diesels have a factory fill of FUCHS oil. FUCHS is known in Europe as "FUCHS The Factory Fill Specialist". In other words, they specialize in cooking up whatever the car mfr wants for the initial service interval. I have no idea if the BMW diesel factory fill oil has special break-in additives or not, but my recommendation would be to leave it in 'til the computer says to drain it.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:15 AM
Geotrash Geotrash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m6pwr View Post
As a counterpoint for the benefit of folks who are undecided if they should follow BMW's service intervals: Here is a quote from one Doug Hillary, a Euro-based lubricants engineer with decades of experience first with Castrol and then Exxon/Mobil.
I hear you, m6pwr, but for what it's worth, here's why I look at it the way I do:
  • I've spoken with a gentleman named Ed Kollin a number of times over the years regarding various aircraft piston engines I've owned or flown, and trust his advice. He was the head of lubrication research at Exxon for a number of years and now runs his own additive company. The BMW engine we have of course does not have conventional iron cylinder liners, the tolerances are tighter than in air-cooled aircraft engines and the quality of machining and finishing during manufacture are (probably) better, but apart from that the principles of break-in are the same as any other engine. Ed recommends using the oil that an engine will use normally for operation, for break-in as well.
  • Special break-in formulations like FUCHS typically have higher levels of zinc and phosphorous - in theory to provide a cushion for any metal to metal contact, but they can damage emission control systems, so are not likely used in our BMWs. Other break-in oils typically have additional dispersants/detergents under the premise that it will keep any metal particles in suspension in the oil, but according to Ed this is an engineering mistake, because dispersants only bond to hydrocarbons and not metal - apparently a common error that powertrain engineers make when they specify a break-in oil. So his advice is to shorten the first oil change interval rather than rely on a break-in oil.
  • Our engines are made of aluminum alloys and forged steel like many high performance engines, and when the parts are run together for the first several hundred miles, they will generate metal filings and dust until they reach equilibrium no matter how close the actual parts are to machining tolerances. The filtration system will catch much of this of course, but the oil will still carry metal because automotive oil filters are not perfectly efficient. Drain the oil from a new engine after 1000 miles and look at it with a hand lens and you'll see what I mean. Can it cause damage? I don't know. We would need to know the clearance of key areas like the main/rod bearings or cam followers under high load and temperature at high rpm, particle size ranges and filter media/efficiency. And what about the turbo? Will it matter for the longevity of the engine? We can't know and the engineers won't know unless they have research at hand with the service history of hundreds of cars with this engine, and have clearly documented all of the maintenance for each - both owner-performed and dealer-performed over 200K miles+. Without that, we're all speculating based on what we know.
  • The primary enemies to oil longevity are the various combustion byproducts. They are what consume the additive packages in motor oils. When they are used up, deposits start to occur and lubrication capability is compromised. This is of particular concern in turbocharged engines. With the excellent fuel control these engines have, it's reasonable that the additives will last longer, but not knowing the decline curves in our cars, we don't know the margins we have left as the oil ages. The factory curves are based on assumptions which may or may not be true in our climates/driving scenarios.
  • The oil change interval that BMW sets is optimized for more than engineering principles alone. Financial considerations of maintenance intervals under a subsidized maintenance plan are also part of the model. The engineers' role in the model is to set a standard for how far the factory fill oil could be safely left in the engine and still have sufficient durability of critical components like the turbo, to last the warranty period and some time beyond. We have no way to know how BMW balanced these factors. But my priority is long term durability so by making my oil changes more frequent, I can eliminate any compromises the financial side of the model may impose.

So with all of that, I keep cars for 200k-300k miles and (knock on wood) have never suffered a lubrication-related failure. I did tear down the top end of the engine in my old Acura Legend due to a head gasket failure, and was pleased to find that the heads and all internal engine components were nearly as clean as the day they left the factory at 196,000 miles. My ex-wife's '99 Rodeo has 237K on it now and the valve gear on the cylinder heads that I can see is spotless and the oil comes out dark but transparent at drain time. I change my oil at 5,000 mile intervals and usually perform the work myself. I may take this diesel to 7,000 mile changes as long as the oil stays clean.

Cheers,
Dave
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:52 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Originally Posted by Geotrash View Post
I may take this diesel to 7,000 mile changes as long as the oil stays clean.

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Dave, You know that statement is an oxymoron. The oil in a diesel engine looks dirty with just a few minutes of runtime after you change it.

Regards,

Keith
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:00 PM
Geotrash Geotrash is offline
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Dave, You know that statement is an oxymoron. The oil in a diesel engine looks dirty with just a few minutes of runtime after you change it.
Fair enough, Keith. That's part of the learning that will go with owning a diesel I guess. A better approach would probably be oil analysis through Blackstone Labs to establish trends and go from there.

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Dave
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:20 PM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Originally Posted by Geotrash View Post
Fair enough, Keith. That's part of the learning that will go with owning a diesel I guess. A better approach would probably be oil analysis through Blackstone Labs to establish trends and go from there.

Cheers,
Dave
UOA would be a waste of money until you hit 50k miles or more. They're really only good for trending and wear metals on a new engine will naturally trend downward regardless of how often you change the oil.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:27 PM
Geotrash Geotrash is offline
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UOA would be a waste of money until you hit 50k miles or more. They're really only good for trending and wear metals on a new engine will naturally trend downward regardless of how often you change the oil.
Different purpose. In this case I would be looking for the presence of the remaining oil additives, evidence of fuel or coolant dilution and the levels of any combustion byproducts to help establish an optimal life for the oil under the conditions I drive.

The folks at Blackstone provide a pretty comprehensive report with detailed comments.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:18 AM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Originally Posted by Geotrash View Post
Different purpose. In this case I would be looking for the presence of the remaining oil additives, evidence of fuel or coolant dilution and the levels of any combustion byproducts to help establish an optimal life for the oil under the conditions I drive.

The folks at Blackstone provide a pretty comprehensive report with detailed comments.

Cheers,
Dave
Well any syn worth its salt will go 10k miles easily. As for diesels the issue is soot loading and not TBN/TAN or fuel dilution as it is for gassers. I just believe owners of the newer diesels should not be led to believe that something is wrong if they don't obtain UOA's and/or perform a break-in oil change. Both are entirely unnecessary. Esp on a new engine.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/2780792/UOA_article_-_what_is_"no#Post2780792
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:00 AM
m6pwr m6pwr is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
Well any syn worth its salt will go 10k miles easily. As for diesels the issue is soot loading and not TBN/TAN or fuel dilution as it is for gassers. I just believe owners of the newer diesels should not be led to believe that something is wrong if they don't obtain UOA's and/or perform a break-in oil change. Both are entirely unnecessary. Esp on a new engine.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/2780792/UOA_article_-_what_is_"no#Post2780792
I'm in your camp + + .

Don't know what is about U.S. motor heads and oil changes. There was a thread on one of the BMW forums not long ago that hosted a lot of euro drivers. It was hilarious. The title said it all: "Mine Is Bigger Than Yours". The guys were bragging about who had the longest oci.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:33 AM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl View Post
Well any syn worth its salt will go 10k miles easily. As for diesels the issue is soot loading and not TBN/TAN or fuel dilution as it is for gassers. I just believe owners of the newer diesels should not be led to believe that something is wrong if they don't obtain UOA's and/or perform a break-in oil change. Both are entirely unnecessary. Esp on a new engine.
Don't know that I agree with these statements.
1) The LL04 oil starts with lower TBN (than LL01) partly because it's designed to work with ultra-low-sulfur fuels where high TBN to capture those nasty sulfur contaminants is not needed.
2) The nominal OCI for 335d (M57) is 13K; not far beyond 10K.
3) Fuel dilution - especially since pretty much all diesel has bio-diesel in it - is certainly a consideration given the post-injection used for DPF regeneration. Fortunately, UOA's have not shown dilution to be a big problem, but still...
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:27 AM
m6pwr m6pwr is offline
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3) Fuel dilution - especially since pretty much all diesel has bio-diesel in it - is certainly a consideration given the post-injection used for DPF regeneration. Fortunately, UOA's have not shown dilution to be a big problem, but still...
What is the nominal condemnation limit for diesel fuel dilution? I think I've seen some pretty high limits, particularly when compared to gasoline. I don't think it wrecks the oil quite as badly as gasoline. It is after all diesel fuel OIL. Does the most popular lab Blackstone even measure diesel fuel dilution using the appropriate ASTM. I know they don't for gas fuel dilution - - they use some sort of formula to calculate the number.

Just curious.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:02 AM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Don't know that I agree with these statements.
1) The LL04 oil starts with lower TBN (than LL01) partly because it's designed to work with ultra-low-sulfur fuels where high TBN to capture those nasty sulfur contaminants is not needed.
2) The nominal OCI for 335d (M57) is 13K; not far beyond 10K.
3) Fuel dilution - especially since pretty much all diesel has bio-diesel in it - is certainly a consideration given the post-injection used for DPF regeneration. Fortunately, UOA's have not shown dilution to be a big problem, but still...
True but starting and ending are different, also some UOA's are unable to test organometallic wear additives so they won't show up in a TBN calculation.

I've seen SN M1 0W40 which is arguably the Cadillac of euro oils start at 10 and drop to 4 within 5k miles. Then you have C3 oils which start at 6 and stay above 2 in 7k miles or longer. With some oils TBN drops fast and levels out, others just decrease at a slower rate throughout the OCI.

TBN isn't as big of an issue with diesels unlike soot. We don't run rich and have much lower sulphur levels and no ethanol to deal with. TBN is an easy number to get fixated on but you also need TAN and some oils have a naturally high TAN. People waste a ton of money on UOA of money on low mileage engines. Especially those with a 10k mile factory OCI. I mean really, we're going to waste a C3 oil at 6k miles and then change again 4k miles later? Hell, at that milage perhaps the boundary layer was just put down and you want to clean it off with new oil?

One other thing with UOA is that you really have to compare same BMW engines and the lab needs a relevant sample size to determine what is "normal". From my understanding BMW doesn't publish condemnation limits for their engines so the wear numbers are based of sample results from other customers.


If we were talking 15k mile OCI I would agree that it is a stretch. The typical BMW "dealer" oil is usually ready to change at 7-8k miles but that's not a C3 oil.


My suggestion to anyone who wants to consider the cost of a UOA (~35% of the cost to change your oil) is search Doug Hillary posts and read the "What is normal " under the UOA section of BITOG.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:22 AM
Geotrash Geotrash is offline
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My suggestion to anyone who wants to consider the cost of a UOA (~35% of the cost to change your oil) is search Doug Hillary posts and read the "What is normal " under the UOA section of BITOG.
Thank you - helpful info.

Keep in mind, folks, I'm not running a fleet of engines here where the goal might be lowest total cost of service while still keeping high dispatch reliability. I'm interested in learning about how the oil in my engine ages between changes because it's interesting to me and will help me judge with evidence what an oil change interval should be when financial considerations of the manufacturer's subsidized maintenance program and warranty duration are not factored in. And I'm willing to spend $ out of pocket to do it.

That said, there appear to be two points of view, and none of us have sufficient evidence in the precise context of this engine to make a definitive call on whether to change the break-in oil early, or to shorten future BMW-recommended oil change intervals. What I think we can safely say though that changing out the factory fill after 2-3K miles will do no harm, and will take with it any wear metals from the initial run-in of the parts.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:02 PM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Thank you - helpful info.

Keep in mind, folks, I'm not running a fleet of engines here where the goal might be lowest total cost of service while still keeping high dispatch reliability. I'm interested in learning about how the oil in my engine ages between changes because it's interesting to me and will help me judge with evidence what an oil change interval should be when financial considerations of the manufacturer's subsidized maintenance program and warranty duration are not factored in. And I'm willing to spend $ out of pocket to do it.

That said, there appear to be two points of view, and none of us have sufficient evidence in the precise context of this engine to make a definitive call on whether to change the break-in oil early, or to shorten future BMW-recommended oil change intervals. What I think we can safely say though that changing out the factory fill after 2-3K miles will do no harm, and will take with it any wear metals from the initial run-in of the parts.

Cheers,
Dave
Np. It's a great read IMO.

Fwiw. I did a UOA on the factory fill of my 335d at about 6k miles just to see what it was made of. I also performed my own ver of "break-in". I even do mid cycle oil changes just because I like to (Wrench Boredom) .
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:57 PM
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What is the nominal condemnation limit for diesel fuel dilution? I think I've seen some pretty high limits, particularly when compared to gasoline. I don't think it wrecks the oil quite as badly as gasoline. It is after all diesel fuel OIL. Does the most popular lab Blackstone even measure diesel fuel dilution using the appropriate ASTM. I know they don't for gas fuel dilution - - they use some sort of formula to calculate the number.
I don't know about a condemnation limit; however Blackstone lists 2% as it's limit, and most people are consistently less than that (mine are down in the 0.5% range.)
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:03 PM
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True but starting and ending are different, also some UOA's are unable to test organometallic wear additives so they won't show up in a TBN calculation. ...
A much more nuanced statement.

If you guys reading this haven't noticed, one of the sticky's in this forum has a few Blackstone lab samples posted.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:41 PM
DozerDan DozerDan is offline
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ANY new motor should,imo, have the oil changed after the 500-750 mile break in, which is done through a series of different rpm levels. I have done this on every motor I have built or put in as new and never had an issue.

Start up lubes ect are more of a grease than an oil.

Hell on my 7.3 diesel every 3rd oil change (or so depending on how much towing I have been doing) I will do a double change. Complete change, run it till it warms up and change it again filter and all! And keep in mind that is 18quarts of oil and a $20 filter.

It takes A LOT of oil changes to add up to the cost of an engine, just saying.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:46 PM
m6pwr m6pwr is offline
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Maybe I'll add what I know on fuel dilution and uoa's in general -

The 2% fuel dilution limit is the generally accepted limit for gas fuel dilution. For egr diesels I've read anywhere from 5% to as much as 9%.

I don't think you'll ever see fuel dilution called out as over the limit on a Blackstone UOA report. Every Blackstone report that I think I've ever seen (including on my own cars, both gas and diesel) has always been <.5 - - in other words less than one half percent fuel dilution. Blackstone doesn't measure fuel dilution, they calculate it using some kind of formula that I believe compares the measured flash point in the used oil to the flash point in the virgin oil. I don't know where they get the virgin flash point figure; maybe from the lube mfr PDS. I had a BMW z4 with the n54 gdi twin turbo engine and added a DINAN stage II performance upgrade that put the ecu, turbo, and fuel injectors on steroids. I wanted to find out what was going on with fuel dilution. I sent a sample to Blackstone and a sample from the same drain to Polaris. Blackstone reported their usual <.5% while Polaris (which actually measures fuel dilution using gas chromatography) reported 2.2% fuel dilution.

As for interpreting uoa reports, one of the better articles I've ever read was in the Tribology and Lubrication Technology mag: http://digital.ipcprintservices.com/...tion/?i=106542. It pointed out that there is no uniformity or agreement among the various labs on condemnation limits; the labs cl's are usually very conservative; that the most meaningful cl's are developed by the car oem's and their lubricant partners thru testing, and these cl's are not published or widely circulated; uoa's are a tool best used to reveal trends rather than absolutes (what TurboDzl said); you need at least three uoa's to establish any sort of trend; and any one metric over the cl is not a reason to drain the oil.

Last edited by m6pwr; 02-25-2014 at 09:07 PM.
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