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This thread will be used to post my oil analysis reports. If you're unfamiliar with oil analysis, I created a crash course thread here: http://www.124spider.org/forum/369-oils-fluids-fuel-additives-lubrications/13633-oil-analysis-crash-course.html.

I just got the kit in and will be pulling the sample here shortly. I expect to see a lot of wear metal from the break-in process (engines typically see break-in metal in the oil for at least the first 10,000 miles if not 20,000), but I wanted to keep track of trends and see how the oil is holding up with my driving conditions (lots of short trips and wide open throttle). I plan to also get an oil analysis done after I pull the car out of the garage in the spring to see what effect sitting in the crank case had on the oil. Oil currently has about 2300 miles and 8 months on it.

I'm using Oil Analyzers Inc, a private label for Polaris Labs. For anyone interested, I recommend against using Blackstone Labs (I'm sure you'll read about them if you research oil analysis).

Stay tuned for the results.

 

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That took longer than expected. Had to clean the garage so I could park the Abarth for the winter. I extracted the sample on the 22nd, they received the package on the 29th, and the testing should be completed any minute now.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Got the report back this evening and was a bit surprised. This is, to my knowledge, the first oil analysis report of a 124 Spider. I was using AMSOIL's 5W-40 Classic ESP European Formula. I'll walk you through it.

First things first, the comments are automated based on data and are not manually written, so I generally skim over them and ignore them for the remainder of the report. Polaris Labs (OAI is just a private label) expects that the reader is trained to interpret oil analysis reports and is familiar with the equipment the oil was run in.

To start, the wear metals you see there are mostly from the break-in process, as I noted in the first post. Flagged abnormal was Silicon, which at that concentration is most likely residual from the manufacturing process. I expect that number to be lower next time. Magnesium is an additive and was only flagged since it's different than what is expected for this particular oil. This is caused by cross-contamination from the previous oil and is the reason why oil analysis reports need to be trending, not individual. Nitration isn't really relevant, but oxidation is as low as would be expected for this mileage. Base number (aka TBN) still has plenty of life left.

However, we then get to Viscosity. Viscosity on this oil is at 13.6 when new, which has dropped a viscosity grade down to 11.4. The SAE-40 viscosity scale goes from 12.5 to 16.3, and the SAE-30 viscosity scale goes from 9.3 to 12.5. The cause of this was entirely fuel dilution, and lots of it. Fuel dilution is tested using gas chromatography.

I'd like to pause for a moment since this is the internet and Blackstone Labs is a name more people are familiar with. Blackstone Labs does not test for fuel dilution despite providing a number to report it; they estimate it, and very poorly at that. It is an important data point to get right, and can be very misleading when it's wrong.

GC is an accurate way to measure fuel dilution, and it's typically reported between 1% and 5%. If it's over 5%, they just tell you that it's over 5%. That's a lot of fuel. For contrast, the tuned 1.4L Turbo in my Cruze reported no fuel dilution after 10,219 miles on the last analysis I sent in. It is not normal to have this much fuel in a port injected engine.

One possible cause is that the cylinder walls and piston rings are still bedding in and that fuel dilution is getting past the piston rings. Another possible cause is that the ring gap is larger on this engine, allowing fuel to get past. Another possible cause is my driving style. I drive primarily short trips with spirited driving and high throttle, occasionally not fully warming up the engine during those trips. I think the comments nailed it on that one. I've averaged 25mpg since I bought the car, if that gives you an idea of how I drive.

What's more important than simply seeing fuel dilution is knowing how it affects the engine. Fuel dilution is something we've been seeing frequently since manufacturers went to turbo direct injection. We see over 5% on Honda's new 1.5L Turbo engines as well as some of Ford's Ecoboost engines. The consensus among the lubrication specialists I've spoken to and learned from is that it isn't a concern as long as a good synthetic oil is used and wear is low. In this case, we don't see alarming levels of wear, so it doesn't give me cause for concern. Potential long-term effects of running an oil with high fuel dilution is varnish on internal engine components.

This is where I stress the importance of using good, shear-stable oil (shear is a loss of viscosity; thinning). If you use a shear-stable oil and get fuel dilution, the viscosity will go down a bit. If you use a cheap oil that isn't shear stable and also get fuel dilution, the viscosity will go down even more. The lower the viscosity goes, the less protection your engine has and the more wear you exhibit. Despite my harsh driving conditions (let's face it, I bought this car to have fun), over 5% fuel dilution, and still being in the break-in period, we're not seeing any abnormal wear. This oil is doing its job.

All that being said, I'll be changing the oil as soon as spring comes around so we can track another year's worth of driving. The idea is to get trending oil analysis so we can keep track of how these numbers change. If anyone is interested in getting an analysis done on their car, let me know and I can get you set up with an analysis kit. I'd like to have more reports than just my own.

Note, I don't yet know how changes in viscosity affect the multiair system's functionality. A drop in viscosity causes a loss of oil pressure, and since we have a valvetrain driven by oil pressure, this may have an effect. I didn't feel any loss of power.

 

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Are you interested in the results from a 500X? Not totally relevant, but my results are similar to yours. With only 5659 miles on the car and 5268 miles on the oil (Pennzoil Euro 5W-40), mine had thinned out to 11.6.
 

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Are you interested in the results from a 500X? Not totally relevant, but my results are similar to yours. With only 5659 miles on the car and 5268 miles on the oil (Pennzoil Euro 5W-40), mine had thinned out to 11.6.
I assume that was with the same 1.4L Turbo? If so, the results are as would be expected. Thanks for sharing! The more oil analysis reports we can get, the better.
 

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Those results are interesting. My guess on the fuel dilution is driving without a long warm-up and the high pressure the turbo generates (I see confusion on other forums, like the Dart forums, where people think things like watts = lumens and pressure = flow. I ordered my Dart (again, 1.4 turbo, same as the 124) with an engine block heater, since it's a daily driver, including cold Missouri winters. At each oil change (and trans & diff on all our cars) I put a dab of oil on a piece of translucent white plastic and shine light from underneath, and also smell it. It's not as objective as what you did, but it can point out something going wrong, kinda like kicking the tires when you stop for gas. I also swap out drain plugs for magnetic wherever possible (good news I just found out - the diff in the 124 has a magnetic drain plug from the factory!)

I wonder how ethanol fuels may be affecting cold cylinder wash-down and if that could also cause more dilution? I've been running ethanol fuels (up to E85) in my Dart now for over 100,000 miles, and the engine is still running strong. I'm a stickler for regular oil changes, though.

Sorry for the long rambling.

Good info!!
 

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Those results are interesting. My guess on the fuel dilution is driving without a long warm-up and the high pressure the turbo generates (I see confusion on other forums, like the Dart forums, where people think things like watts = lumens and pressure = flow. I ordered my Dart (again, 1.4 turbo, same as the 124) with an engine block heater, since it's a daily driver, including cold Missouri winters. At each oil change (and trans & diff on all our cars) I put a dab of oil on a piece of translucent white plastic and shine light from underneath, and also smell it. It's not as objective as what you did, but it can point out something going wrong, kinda like kicking the tires when you stop for gas. I also swap out drain plugs for magnetic wherever possible (good news I just found out - the diff in the 124 has a magnetic drain plug from the factory!)

I wonder how ethanol fuels may be affecting cold cylinder wash-down and if that could also cause more dilution? I've been running ethanol fuels (up to E85) in my Dart now for over 100,000 miles, and the engine is still running strong. I'm a stickler for regular oil changes, though.

Sorry for the long rambling.

Good info!!
Unfortunately in the case of gasoline engine oils, the factors most relevant to engine oil life can't be smelled, felt, or seen, with the exception of extreme conditions like a catastrophic failure, extreme fuel dilution, or oxidation (sludge). By that point, it's too late.

The high pressure the turbo generates is definitely a factor. Small engine, high dynamic compression, and a rich fuel burn at high boost levels results in some unburned fuel mixing with the blowby gas. I'm sure @Greg can chime in on this but I'd guess with heat being a significant factor in this engine, the ECU will command a rich fuel mixture at high loads to keep combustion temps under control and protect the cat at high RPMs from overtemp.

Normally I'm a huge advocate for extended drains, but that doesn't look like it will be an option for this car. The Cruze, which is tuned and make somewhere in the range of 165whp on a 1.4L, is currently at 12,000 miles on the oil change with lots of towing my boat and my utility trailer, and last time I changed it was May 2015. Back in October at 10,219 miles, the lab told me go another 3500 miles and test again.

In any case, if you want to get an oil analysis done like this on a 1.4 Multiair, let me know. I'll pay for half the cost.
 

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Had an analysis done on the stock oil when I replaced it with AMSOIL in the fall. Looks to be as expected, with high silicon levels from manufacture. At the time, this oil had about 1500 kms on it.

I had this one done through a local lab in Calgary. I noticed they only have a "NO" listed under fuel dilution... I'll check next time to see how they're actually calculating this.

In the meantime, just sparked the car up after it's winter storage. Still a lot of life left on this oil, but I'm thinking of changing it anyways so there's a fresh start for the season. About 6500 km's on this oil, and it's consumed about half the range on the dipstick.

In any case, I'll keep posting the oil analysis as they come in!
 

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Had an analysis done on the stock oil when I replaced it with AMSOIL in the fall. Looks to be as expected, with high silicon levels from manufacture. At the time, this oil had about 1500 kms on it.

I had this one done through a local lab in Calgary. I noticed they only have a "NO" listed under fuel dilution... I'll check next time to see how they're actually calculating this.

In the meantime, just sparked the car up after it's winter storage. Still a lot of life left on this oil, but I'm thinking of changing it anyways so there's a fresh start for the season. About 6500 km's on this oil, and it's consumed about half the range on the dipstick.

In any case, I'll keep posting the oil analysis as they come in!
Awesome, more oil analysis reports!

Silicone is more than likely just from assembly lube dissolving in the oil. It's pretty normal to see high levels of it on the first couple of oil samples. No worries there.

If no fuel dilution, you definitely had some viscosity shear from whatever oil the factory puts in there. I'm also curious what testing method they used for that. It's also curious that the factory fill oil appears to be a low-SAPS formula. The full-SAPS formulations out there have at least 1000ppm of Zinc, with AMSOIL's 5W-40 Classic ESP coming in at around 1100.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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The high pressure the turbo generates is definitely a factor. Small engine, high dynamic compression, and a rich fuel burn at high boost levels results in some unburned fuel mixing with the blowby gas. I'm sure @Greg can chime in on this but I'd guess with heat being a significant factor in this engine, the ECU will command a rich fuel mixture at high loads to keep combustion temps under control and protect the cat at high RPMs from overtemp.
I think it's a certainly that some fuel gets mixed in with the blowby gasses. At full throttle and at high rpm, this car in stock for runs a very rich air:fuel ratio, around 10.5:1.

Greg
 

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Second oil analysis is in!

Drained the AMSOIL 5w-40 that has been in there since the fall. That oil had about 8000 km's on it.

Perhaps XR can provide some feedback on this latest analysis? My interpretation skills of it are... not great haha.

The report shows the original OEM fluid I drained in the fall, and the AMSOIL I just drained, as well as a sample of the new AMSOIL I just put in.
 

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Second oil analysis is in!

Drained the AMSOIL 5w-40 that has been in there since the fall. That oil had about 8000 km's on it.

Perhaps XR can provide some feedback on this latest analysis? My interpretation skills of it are... not great haha.

The report shows the original OEM fluid I drained in the fall, and the AMSOIL I just drained, as well as a sample of the new AMSOIL I just put in.
Looks like some fuel dilution thinned out the oil a bit. Not as bad as it did on mine but nonetheless. The AMSOIL oil has more ZDDP than the factory fill. +1 for protection, especially when tuned. Would have been nice to see base number and oxidation but those cost money so I can see why they didn't. Fuel dilution is an interesting topic that most oil analysis labs don't really respond to very well. I'll have an article on my website that I'm working on in the next few weeks.
 

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Okay, now some European oil analysis:
First oil change after 3750km (factory filling)
Second oil change after 13450 km (Petronas Selenia SportPower 5w40) - about 1L refilled

fuel dilution is low with 0,54% after 3750km and 1,31% after 9700km

Fuel: all time Shell Vpower100 + short distance driving and fun on mountain roads - no German Autobahn high speed runs.
  • No catch can.
  • GFB DV+
  • Full Remus catback exhaust
  • Stock airfilter


At this time I drive with the OEM factory Abarth Oil (Selenia Abarth 5w40) and will let it analyse after about 7500km.

After that, we will know how good all the Petronas Selenia Abarth oils really are. ;)

btw. The successor for the Selenia oils is already here.
I´m going to use Ravenol VST Turbo 5-40

DataSheet
 

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Okay, now some European oil analysis:
First oil change after 3750km (factory filling)
Second oil change after 13450 km (Petronas Selenia SportPower 5w40) - about 1L refilled

fuel dilution is low with 0,54% after 3750km and 1,31% after 9700km

Fuel: all time Shell Vpower100 + short distance driving and fun on mountain roads - no German Autobahn high speed runs.
  • No catch can.
  • GFB DV+
  • Full Remus catback exhaust
  • Stock airfilter


At this time I drive with the OEM factory Abarth Oil (Selenia Abarth 5w40) and will let it analyse after about 7500km.

After that, we will know how good all the Petronas Selenia Abarth oils really are. /forum/images/124Spider/smilies/tango_face_wink.png

btw. The successor for the Selenia oils is already here.
I´m going to use Ravenol VST Turbo 5-40

DataSheet
Great info garching. Have been running the selenia myself, so I will be interested to see how it performs.
 

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Are you worried about warranty claims with the amsoil 5W-40?

I don't see the fiat standard up there, granted it is similar to others.
 

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Are you worried about warranty claims with the amsoil 5W-40?

I don't see the fiat standard up there, granted it is similar to others.
Absolutely none. I know why the standard is not on there, and it's because of the fortification of antiwear additives and detergents that neutralize acidity. The sulfur used in those detergents exceeds California regulatory limitations by a minor amount, and all oil specifications in the US have to be compliant with regulations in all 50 states. California, in all their wisdom, limited sulfur in engine oils since sulfur is also a contaminant in crude oil, totally ignorant to the fact that Sulfur is also used in higher quantities in high end oils in sulfated ash additives.

In other words, AMSOIL's 5W-40 is better than the MS-12991 specification allows it to be. If I ever do have a mechanical failure, I am 100% confident the dealership will not have any evidence to blame the oil for that failure. The oil exceeds MS-12991 performance specifications.
 

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Absolutely none. I know why the standard is not on there, and it's because of the fortification of antiwear additives and detergents that neutralize acidity. The sulfur used in those detergents exceeds California regulatory limitations by a minor amount, and all oil specifications in the US have to be compliant with regulations in all 50 states. California, in all their wisdom, limited sulfur in engine oils since sulfur is also a contaminant in crude oil, totally ignorant to the fact that Sulfur is also used in higher quantities in high end oils in sulfated ash additives.

In other words, AMSOIL's 5W-40 is better than the MS-12991 specification allows it to be. If I ever do have a mechanical failure, I am 100% confident the dealership will not have any evidence to blame the oil for that failure. The oil exceeds MS-12991 performance specifications.
I know what you are saying and all of this and I absolutely agree with you on protection is way better than the OEM pennzoil

But it doesn't meet the Fiat Certification, can Fiat use this as an excuses to denied your warranty claim? and it if comes down to a cat replacement they'll be looking at it too
 

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I know what you are saying and all of this and I absolutely agree with you on protection is way better than the OEM pennzoil

But it doesn't meet the Fiat Certification, can Fiat use this as an excuses to denied your warranty claim? and it if comes down to a cat replacement they'll be looking at it too
It meets the specification/certification/approval's performance requirements. It simply hasn't gone through the process because of an inconsequential regulatory reason (or so I understand).

Do not confuse regulatory requirements with emissions compatibility requirements. Those are very different. California's limitations were for environmental reasons, not catalytic converter compatibility, and were passed in the context of cheap, mass produced conventional oils. Sulfur, and sulfated ash additives are not harmful to catalytic converters. It's the phosphorous in ZDDP that is. That being said, even if we were talking about high-ZDDP oils, a lower volatility oil with a high level of ZDDP would still be safer for a catalytic converter than a low-ZDDP oil with a high volatility. Furthermore, I run a catch can to reduce the amount of oil consumed by the engine through the PCV system under boost as well as having a very low volatility oil to begin with at 8.7%, significantly beating the 10% requirement from MB 229.5, which MS-12991 is based on.
 

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EU 124Spider with Stock 155hp messured. ;)

First oilchange after 10.500km
The factory oil is crap but as my car, this car hast no problems with fuel dilution -> 0,58%





So, what is wrong with your @XtremeRevolution and why does the Amsoil lose viscosity so much, even in a car without dilution problems? Is you car stock or modified?
 

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