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Discussion Starter #1
Be careful using oil analysis labs/services that don't do proper interpretation of the data, sadly a good interpretation is lacking. On the larger part of this board a member shared a BKlabs report with two intervals.

1) the first interval the unit had high fuels dilute and very high insolubles reading. This affected his results and nothing was addressed.

2) second interval was better but because the Bklabs product has NO FTIR work , no accurate fuels dilution reading, and still had terribly high insolubles for the engine design, especially in 5000 miles, they focused on lower wear reading. The whole point of testing is to use it as ACTIONABLE DATA not a view that no one understands.

Suggestions:

Use a lab that has FTIR capability to get combustion dynamic readings ( among others) or you are a few steps behind using oil analysis as a good warning method to tighten up the engine burn and operating characteristics.

Use a lab that offers gas chromatography tuned for gasoline fuels instead of inaccurate flash testing.

Use a lab that offers Karl Fischer water reading so you get a accurate titration of water and 02 H bonds.

Use a lab that it recently certified to ISO 17025 spec so the data is standardized.

DO NOT expect the lab to interpret the data for your application accurately since the "lab dorks" won't know proprietary metallurgy and materials used in the engine or understand the operation of that engine. Knowing testing, chemistry, and OEM designs is rare and hard to put together.

For 40+ years I worked independent oil and fuels data and was a chem engineer for a major OEM. Dr Haas is not a tribologist or a chem engineer. He's a smart guy and sincere but risks drawing incorrect conclusions without the proprietary knowledge of all the aspects of lubes analysis.
The science and art of lubricants and fuels testing is variable in the field so be careful being mislead by those that want to sell you something. I am retired and share this only to help guide a satisfactory experience and not waste your time or $$ on testing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Roger, I try. Being retired and frankly unexcited about regurgitating basics, the level of partial truth and misinformation out on net, demand an honest comment every once in a while. Using an appropriate lubricant, fuel, and maintenance plan is required because of deposit formation issues in our engines, transmissions, differentials.
Many Americans are so confused by marketing and manipulation they can't tell the truth when its in plain site...proven recently in the Capitol.
 

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I've pretty much decided against doing analysis the few times I've considered it. I don't know enough to interpret, and my experience with the handful of vehicles I've had in my life is that the engine is the least likely thing I will have a problem with. Follow the maintenance and it should be fine for as long as I own it. Even on my piece of junk S-10 I had in college with all the things that went wrong on it I never had an issue with the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Kevo, that's one way to look at it and I understand that choice. As a poor kid on a Indiana farm where our equipment was worn completely out I used what became a career to ensure Dad's lack of maintenance didn't cost us our crops. As a scientist involved in formulating, testing lubricants and fuels, and developing great engines I have a different take. I was also a Army pilot and USN aircrewman in my earlier days, ignoring knowing using data could cost a life. I prefer to know as much as I can, not guess. Over 40 years I helped race engines finish a race, aircraft fly safely, a single Mom make her worn out 300K mile Corolla last, a trucking company save 1% in millions of $ of fuels costs, develop new HD diesel and natural gas engines get optimum MPG and burn clean saving the after-treatment over the life of unit. Our Ridgeline engines are well made but stressed by poor quality fuels, dirty environments that load air filters, API certified oils that pass licensing tests but in actual use perform barely. Once you develop deposits in a DI engine you are screwed ever removing those, so stopping that before it forms is critical from day one. One other thing to consider is that a high quality oil analysis can help leverage warranty coverage when questioned by OEM or out of warranty. I respect everyones opinion but knowledge is power as a customer of a complex vehicle like the Ridgeline AWD truck.
 

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I used to change oil every 3K miles because that's what my father and his father did. I initially ignored the oil life monitor in my first car so equipped, but finally began following it later in its life. I've since followed the oil life monitor on every subsequent automobile without issue, but I tend to trade vehicles not long after the first oil change is due. Still, I maintain my automobiles exactly per the manufacturer's instructions. On the other hand, I rarely to never change the oil or perform any other maintenance on outdoor power equipment. So... While I strongly recommend buying a used automobile from me (it'll be like new regardless of age), I do NOT recommend buying a used lawn mower from me - it may explode any minute and I couldn't even tell you what type of viscosity of oil is in the crankcase. Despite this abuse and neglect, I've never lost a small engine due to oil problems. :)
 

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I've never had an UOA, never had an oil related engine issue, lost track of the number of vehicles owned in 55 years. I've done preventative religiously, some times a little early. With regard to Dr. Haas, his education, knowledge and experience, his points regarding oil viscosity and flow, seem logical. Seems like the auto manufacturers have headed toward lighter vis oils in their engines for reasons other than just fuel economy.

I hope some folks don't feel ridiculed by my post/opinion.
 

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Kevo, that's one way to look at it and I understand that choice.
I get where you're coming from. I work in computer tech and have for much of my life. I would counsel many people if they asked for my advice in much the same way you did but from a tech perspective. Think about the impossibility of doing that in all aspects of our lives. There is just too much to know and we aren't capable of making the best choice in every area. We're sort of in a constant state of decision triage it seems. Maybe one day we will advance to the point where we can trust all the things and it won't matter as much, but for now I think we all have to be satisfied with making less than optimal choices in most areas of our lives.
 

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I get where you're coming from. I work in computer tech and have for much of my life. I would counsel many people if they asked for my advice in much the same way you did but from a tech perspective. Think about the impossibility of doing that in all aspects of our lives. There is just too much to know and we aren't capable of making the best choice in every area. We're sort of in a constant state of decision triage it seems. Maybe one day we will advance to the point where we can trust all the things and it won't matter as much, but for now I think we all have to be satisfied with making less than optimal choices in most areas of our lives.
^^^ I agree with this ^^^

That being said, I am interested in @dysonanalysis' preference for motor oil and filter. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
^^^ I agree with this ^^^

That being said, I am interested in @dysonanalysis' preference for motor oil and filter. ;)
longboat, show me your oil analysis data and I will make a specific recommendation considering the results in consult with your driving, fuels in use, operating environment and issues with THAT tested unit.....without regard to brand or opinion BS.
I changed out the OEM 0w20 at 498 miles on the new Sport ( did not change the Honda oil filter yet) and installed Amsoil ASM 0w20 to test. I am about to test CENEX Maxtron 0w20. I run almost exclusively CENEX 85 octane, I live at 9000' msl. We have owned the Ridgeline now for 3 months or so. I have 1398 miles on it. VERY ROUGH operation environment in temperature extremes, dust, snow, mud, and ice..

In our life saving Honda is7000 generator I run VP 10w30/30 synthetic and VP 94 octane canned gasoline.

Most SP/GF6A 0w20 lubricants are much better than previous formulations but there are better options out there for cost benefit especially if you run it the length of the maint minder before changing.

Instead of focusing on oil brand/chemistry which is significant but not primary choice and oil filter ( insurance), focus on the change your air filter more often than required to ensure clean high flow to our beloved 3.5. Use the best fresh gasoline of appropriate octane you can source.

After that I react to what oil analysis guides me on.
 

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Hum.......I’m so riled up, I think I’ll go change the 6 month old oil in my 12 year old Honda lawn mower, without a UOA.
 

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I love the comments about air filter changed. I'm an ME by schooling and PE by trade. I love talking maintenance on equipment and have 12 different motors to take care of between all my service and toy equipment. So many battery maintainers! :) But back to the air filters, I change mine on every oil change which I do myself, replace with OEM WIX filters. Regarding oil just for fun, I used Pennzoil Ultra Platinum for years until it began to be so hard to find, have switched to Pennzoil in the last 20k miles or so.
 

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longboat, show me your oil analysis data and I will make a specific recommendation considering the results in consult with your driving, fuels in use, operating environment and issues with THAT tested unit.....without regard to brand or opinion BS.
I changed out the OEM 0w20 at 498 miles on the new Sport ( did not change the Honda oil filter yet) and installed Amsoil ASM 0w20 to test. I am about to test CENEX Maxtron 0w20. I run almost exclusively CENEX 85 octane, I live at 9000' msl. We have owned the Ridgeline now for 3 months or so. I have 1398 miles on it. VERY ROUGH operation environment in temperature extremes, dust, snow, mud, and ice..

In our life saving Honda is7000 generator I run VP 10w30/30 synthetic and VP 94 octane canned gasoline.

Most SP/GF6A 0w20 lubricants are much better than previous formulations but there are better options out there for cost benefit especially if you run it the length of the maint minder before changing.

Instead of focusing on oil brand/chemistry which is significant but not primary choice and oil filter ( insurance), focus on the change your air filter more often than required to ensure clean high flow to our beloved 3.5. Use the best fresh gasoline of appropriate octane you can source.

After that I react to what oil analysis guides me on.
Sorry, no oil analysis data. As @Kevo alluded to, sometimes one has too any irons in the fire to add a few more.

As for oil, I've been bouncing around between Mobile 1, Castrol and Walmart's SuperTech, whatever has the best deals, using 0w20 for the Hondas and 10w30, 10w40 and 30w for OPE depending on what mfr calls for.

For oil filters, I have just exhausted my A01 collection, so will be using Fram Ultra or Wix.

For fuel, almost exclusively Shell 87-octane non-ethanol (pure gas).

I try to keep it simple when it comes to maintenance - that way, I'm more likely to keep up with it, and wife doesn't yell at me for having to spend too much time on equipment.
 

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I am a Kia service director and while I know it's a completely different engine design, they've been more or less direct injected since MY2011. Those of you familiar with the industry know that we've been having engine troubles on our older models. What I wanted to add to this discussion is that when we're replacing an engine, we are required to fill it with 5w30 and recently, full synthetic 5w30. Regardless of what the fill cap says. These are all GDI engines running 11-11.5:1 compression, so the stresses are equivalent to what the earth dreams 3.5 will see. Food for thought. Many of these are being replaced between 100k-200k.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry, no oil analysis data. As @Kevo alluded to, sometimes one has too any irons in the fire to add a few more.

As for oil, I've been bouncing around between Mobile 1, Castrol and Walmart's SuperTech, whatever has the best deals, using 0w20 for the Hondas and 10w30, 10w40 and 30w for OPE depending on what mfr calls for.

For oil filters, I have just exhausted my A01 collection, so will be using Fram Ultra or Wix.

For fuel, almost exclusively Shell 87-octane non-ethanol (pure gas).

I try to keep it simple when it comes to maintenance - that way, I'm more likely to keep up with it, and wife doesn't yell at me for having to spend too much time on equipment.
Sorry, no specific science based recommendations. LOL

As far as gasoline and non ethanol fuels, know this, the ethanol constituent is the cleanest burning portion of modern gasoline formulations. i.e. ethanol ain't a problem, the non EtOH fuels formulations are. Our engines could be designed to efficiently burn alcohol but then we'd have to take on big oil again.....its easier to just accept whats marketed to us because its time consuming to challenge our assumptions.

Good news is that top tier fuels add so much polymer dispersants ( they call them detergents because the consumer likes clean clothes) that it cleans up the carbon formations the base fuels chemistry leaves from petroleum based gasoline. That gives one an idea how cheap the gasoline formulation is that they can afford to add polymers to counter it. And the beat goes on!
 

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Sorry, no specific science based recommendations. LOL

As far as gasoline and non ethanol fuels, know this, the ethanol constituent is the cleanest burning portion of modern gasoline formulations. i.e. ethanol ain't a problem, the non EtOH fuels formulations are. Our engines could be designed to efficiently burn alcohol but then we'd have to take on big oil again.....its easier to just accept whats marketed to us because its time consuming to challenge our assumptions.

Good news is that top tier fuels add so much polymer dispersants ( they call them detergents because the consumer likes clean clothes) that it cleans up the carbon formations the base fuels chemistry leaves from petroleum based gasoline. That gives one an idea how cheap the gasoline formulation is that they can afford to add polymers to counter it. And the beat goes on!
I mainly don't use ethanol for environmental reasons - I live in corn country and I see what the effects of inflated corn prices have done to the landscape, and it ain't pretty. I know Big Oil has done even worse to the environment, but I suspect the majority of that damage has already been done. Ethanol still cannot stand on its own economically.

I realize ethanol is also a system cleaner, of sorts. I work around a lot of boats. Many of these boats are older and have been re-powered. Some of the newer outboard engines can run on ethanol; however, the fuel tanks in some of these boats are 20 - 30 years old. You add ethanol to the mix and it starts to break sludge free from those old tank walls. Next thing you know, the engine goes down because the fuel lines, fuel filters or injectors themselves are clogged with debris in the fuel. That is an example of unintended consequences from ethanol. You don't want your boat engine to fail when you're miles from shore and a storm is blowing in. Dramatic? Yes, but entirely possible. I've been close enough to that scenario to pay real attention.

I don't run ethanol in my OPE for the same reasons, plus the fact that many OPE engines weren't ethanol-compliant until recently, and some may still not be. Again, I try to keep it simple, and I don't want to try to figure out which of my OPE 'might' be ok running ethanol.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I mainly don't use ethanol for environmental reasons - I live in corn country and I see what the effects of inflated corn prices have done to the landscape, and it ain't pretty. I know Big Oil has done even worse to the environment, but I suspect the majority of that damage has already been done. Ethanol still cannot stand on its own economically.

I realize ethanol is also a system cleaner, of sorts. I work around a lot of boats. Many of these boats are older and have been re-powered. Some of the newer outboard engines can run on ethanol; however, the fuel tanks in some of these boats are 20 - 30 years old. You add ethanol to the mix and it starts to break sludge free from those old tank walls. Next thing you know, the engine goes down because the fuel lines, fuel filters or injectors themselves are clogged with debris in the fuel. That is an example of unintended consequences from ethanol. You don't want your boat engine to fail when you're miles from shore and a storm is blowing in. Dramatic? Yes, but entirely possible. I've been close enough to that scenario to pay real attention.

I don't run ethanol in my OPE for the same reasons, plus the fact that many OPE engines weren't ethanol-compliant until recently, and some may still not be. Again, I try to keep it simple, and I don't want to try to figure out which of my OPE 'might' be ok running ethanol.

YMMV
Fully understand your logic and marine applications. EtOH doesn't have to be sourced from corn. On fuel handling EtOH is anhydrous so its drier than gasoline out of production facility. You are correct old vented to atmosphere ferritic tanks are a problem for any fuel but adding EtOH to them on a river boat or barge is begging for problems.

Any fuel storage that can suck and retain moisture in from poor or lack of properly filtered venting or previously corroded storage tanks is bad for any fuel but ethanol will absorb the water hygroscopically.

Modern automotive and even small engine applications with injection systems for fuel delivery are so well sealed that water absorption into fuel tank, fuel delivery is NIL.

Have a great day!
 

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I could get behind non-corn ethanol. I think there could be a sustainable market there with switchgrass and cellulosic ethanol, but the corn lobby seems to have the market locked up.

The middlemen in the corn industry have profited greatly from ethanol. Not so much for the farmers, and the "environmental" argument for it is the biggest farce of the last three decades. I apologize for drifting off-topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Fuel is really not off topic in the sense that the power cylinder is the heart of the IC engine. The piston, rings, valving, air flow, fuel delivery, fired by spark ,...in our case, is critical to how engine oil, wear, deposits form.

That fuel chemistry and air flow are critical. Whatever touches the rings in an engine is what I have focused on and study. The oil film on cylinder wall and rings tells the truth regardless of assumptions anyone makes. Thats why FTIR, good fuels dilute data, knowing metallurgy/materials baselines compared against known lube and fuels chemistry can guide even the uninformed or uninterested because our cars are our second highest expense after a home.

Does that mean everyone can interpret the data of a oil analysis? No, and sadly most lab services do a terrible job at the most critical part of a test, interpreting and acting on the data so we are full circle friend. Even OEM's now hire consultants or specialists to develop the baselines for the maintenance minder guidance we rely on here. They don't have experts on staff in R&D/T groups because they want instant profit not well developed long term stability. As long as warranty payout potential is low its a go! Its good to be retired.....
 
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