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Oil Analysis Results: My S14 w/49K miles

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  • Oil Analysis Results: My S14 w/49K miles

    After the rod bearing issues that I had with my 2002 E46 M3, and knowing the issues around the S14, I decided to start doing oil analysis on my relatively young (49K miles) E30 M3 as I have done with my E46. Wanted to post the results here for others to reference and get comments. Is anyone else doing oil analysis and have numbers to compare to? Comparison numbers listed here are the E46 S54 population and not S14 specific.

    I was mainly wanting to check for Copper and Lead (are the s14 babbits lead, tin, or both?), as well as presence of anti-freeze to be able to spot bearing and head problems. I also have started a routine of visual inspection for copper flakes in oil.

    Based on this result, I don't see any real problems, though the analysis write-up cued up the lead number as one to watch. I plan to keep doing with each oil change. Here's my numbers:

    Vehicle miles: 49,103
    Miles on oil: 3,508
    Make-up oil: 0.5 qt
    Oil Brand: Valvoline 15-40w synthetic blend

    Physical Properties:
    Flashpoint: 385 F
    %Fuel: <0.5%/<2.0%
    %antifreeze: 0.0/0%
    %water: 0.0/<0.1%
    %insolubles: 0.3%/<1.3%

    Metals (ppm) tested/S54 Comparison:
    ALUMINUM 3/5
    CHROMIUM 1/1
    IRON 16/11
    COPPER 5/8
    LEAD 7/3
    TIN 2/0
    MOLYBDENUM 7/19
    NICKEL 0/1
    MANGANESE 0/2
    SILVER 0/0
    TITANIUM 0/0
    POTASSIUM 0/1
    BORON 0/88
    SILICON 4/6
    SODIUM 8/4
    CALCIUM 2948/1637
    MAGNESIUM 162/549
    PHOSPHORUS 1028/807
    ZINC 1403/958
    BARIUM 1/0

    Regards,
    Brian
    "E30 M3 . . . it's the perfect toy for an upscale closet wild man." Car and Driver, 1988 M3 Road Test

  • #2


    Here are mine, I'm switching from Redline to Amsoil and running Amsoil filters, so I wanted to see if there is a difference, this is my base line. Looks good to me!

    Do not click
    At least it's German

    Comment


    • #3
      Guys, I gotta tell ya. I'm a newbie who just got a beemer. I had a stang and was on some of them forums, and I have never seen any of this stuff? What are ya'll talking about? Us stang boys like Quaker State pretty good. Change oil about 3000 miles to keep stuff out of it, but never thought to look and see whats in it. How does that help?? thanks a lot.
      1988 ///M3
      full-race cams*(I just found out it had 2)
      performance radial T/A's
      custom hooker glass-pac
      air-filter delete kit
      alloy race pedal set(weapon spec)

      Comment


      • #4
        How does that help??
        Well, the general idea is that by looking for trace amounts of indicator metals from high wear areas and things like antifreeze, you can pick up on early cues when you might be loosing your rod bearings, piston rings, head gaskets and the like. With an engine like the S14, a few extra bucks spent on the oil change is cheap insurance. The biggest problem is correlating the numbers to actual problems. Another way to use it is to extend your change intervals- results tell you if the oil is contaminated with fuel, solids, and whether or not the viscosity and additives are holding up. IMO, the few dollars saved is not worth it to extend the drain intervals.

        With the E46M3, a large percentage of people were getting the oil analyzed and high lead levels appeared to be indicative of excessive rod bearing wear once engines started being taken apart and the bearings were visually examined. The oil analysis I did on my E46 M3 was even useful when I sold the car, in fact the buyer's purchase was contingent on good results from an analysis done at the time of sale.

        That being said, I doubt you'll find many users of Quaker State with the S14 community.

        Regards,
        Brian
        "E30 M3 . . . it's the perfect toy for an upscale closet wild man." Car and Driver, 1988 M3 Road Test

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm switching from Redline to Amsoil
          I was thinking about that too. Their oils seem to trump everyone on wear tests, cold pour points, and high temp stability. But I am confused on what weight. First glance seems the 20W-50 is the obvious choice, and it appears they also making a racing version in that weight. So which one? There is also a 15W-40 which they describe as an oil for diesels, but I can't see anything that suggests it would be detrimental to use it in an S14 motor-sounded like marketing BS to me.

          I have even heard some suggest a 10W-40 and even others recommend their 0W-30. The performance numbers on that oil all seem to indicate it should perform with boost of extra HP due to the lighter weight. Psychologically speaking, I would have a hard time pouring an oil that light into my S14.

          Brian
          "E30 M3 . . . it's the perfect toy for an upscale closet wild man." Car and Driver, 1988 M3 Road Test

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by M3Solo2
            I was thinking about that too. Their oils seem to trump everyone on wear tests, cold pour points, and high temp stability. But I am confused on what weight. First glance seems the 20W-50 is the obvious choice, and it appears they also making a racing version in that weight. So which one? There is also a 15W-40 which they describe as an oil for diesels, but I can't see anything that suggests it would be detrimental to use it in an S14 motor-sounded like marketing BS to me.

            I have even heard some suggest a 10W-40 and even others recommend their 0W-30. The performance numbers on that oil all seem to indicate it should perform with boost of extra HP due to the lighter weight. Psychologically speaking, I would have a hard time pouring an oil that light into my S14.

            Brian
            I'm using the Series 2000 20-50 in the M3 and Series 2000 0-30 in the E34.

            So far so good, the owners manual states to use 20-50, so that is what I use.

            10-40 should be fine to, the Diesel stuff just has a bigger additive package. It will work fine in a gas engine.

            Do not click
            At least it's German

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, OK, did you get better used oil analysis results with the Amsoil?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by M3 Mitch
                Well, OK, did you get better used oil analysis results with the Amsoil?
                I decided NOT to switch to Amsoil, but here is an interesting study comparing extended drain intervals and wear rates between Mobil 1 and Amsoil:

                http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/s.../oil-life.html

                Now, this study is not without flaws, so draw your own conclusions based on how you want to deal with the variables.

                My conclusion is that Mobil 1 in the 15w-50 grade is a good oil for our cars in general use. It is cheap in comparison to Redline and Amsoil, and most of us have short drain intervals, so any advantages to reduced wear vs. other premium oil is not a factor.

                I still believe in Redline as the preferred track oil and a premium street oil, due to the Moly additive. After my next oil sample, I'll know for sure whether I prefer 10w-40 in that brand vs. 20w-50.
                "E30 M3 . . . it's the perfect toy for an upscale closet wild man." Car and Driver, 1988 M3 Road Test

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