Just Got My Oil Changed - It Was Totally Black! Why?
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This is a discussion on Just Got My Oil Changed - It Was Totally Black! Why? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I went to Speedy Lube for a quick oil change earlier today. When the guy first removed the filter, ...

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    Just Got My Oil Changed - It Was Totally Black! Why?

    So I went to Speedy Lube for a quick oil change earlier today. When the guy first removed the filter, he called me over from an exciting moment on the Jerry Springer Show where this poor sod's wife was telling him that she's been stripping and leaving him for a lesbian lover. He showed me my old Mobil 1 oil, and it was completely black! So far I haven't had a single problem with the car, aside from the fact, that it got a little louder (grumbly) recently. So at his suggestion, I paid to have the engine flushed and got it filled with Castrol synthetic.

    What could have caused this?

    Recently, I'd installed a Samco air inlet hose (replaced the hose between the air filter box and turbo) as well as adjusted the length of my Samco intercooler hose. I'm wondering if one of those little, haning rubber pieces that I saw hanging inside the inlet hose didn't make it's way into the engine. I did remove all the ones I saw, but there may have been one I didn't catch. Could this be the problem? Any suggestions on other causes?

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    Registered User Jared's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got My Oil Changed - It Was Totally Black! Why?

    Originally posted by bedabi


    What could have caused this?

    Heat.
    Damn, the Temporal Prime Directive!

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    Uh, could you be a little more descriptive? You mean my engine is running to hot? This is definitely a possibility since my I may be running leaner with the new hoses without modification to my Unichip.

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    Originally posted by bedabi
    Uh, could you be a little more descriptive? You mean my engine is running to hot? This is definitely a possibility since my I may be running leaner with the new hoses without modification to my Unichip.
    No. Normal engine heat causes oil to turn black.
    Damn, the Temporal Prime Directive!

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    If you're suggesting that my oil was suppsed to be that dark black from normal engine wear, then I'd have to disagree. I have over 20,000 miles on my car now with regular oil changes every 4,000 miles since I've swtiched to synthetic after the break-in, and I've NEVER seen the old oil that dark before. In fact, the old oil hardly seemed much darker at all. This is why I'm concerned.

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    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    it's got nothing to do with heat. sythetic oil is darker by nature than standard oil. it is also much less suceptable to the negative impact of extreme high or low temperatures. oil gets dirty, there's just no avoiding it, the oil is there to clean the sediment and particles from the engine. that's why you change a filter, becasue it gets dirty.

    going to quick lube or whatever is your first problem. they may not have even changed your filter (that would be my guess) on the last change. if you feel the oil was dirtier than you like, change your oil a little earlier. i would either do your own, or go to a respectable garage. if you trust these guys, then i might say that you are over analyzing a bit.


    it is certainly not heat though. the whole purpose of using synthetic is to avoid that very phenomenon.

    4K is pretty early for an oil change with sythetic. they reccomened 7-10K miles. i actually do 5-6K, but to each his own.

    NEVER SWITCH BRANDS OF OIL! that was a mistake, even if it's the same weight. your engine adapts to the very molecular properties of the oil. tiny changes can sometimes make big differences.

    dR

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    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    I do every 3k on synthetic for this very reason: I don't like running black oil in my WRX. Using mobil-1, I find it starts to change color around 3k. It seems to be the norm in dusty Colorado for people to change at 3k or 4k intervals. Cheap insurance is the way I see it. If your oil is black on such a new vehicle, then you need to shorten your oil change intervals. Try 3k instead of 4k, and use a new good quality filter with every change.

    -Pace

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    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dark_rex
    it's got nothing to do with heat. sythetic oil is darker by nature than standard oil. it is also much less suceptable to the negative impact of extreme high or low temperatures. oil gets dirty, there's just no avoiding it, the oil is there to clean the sediment and particles from the engine. that's why you change a filter, becasue it gets dirty.

    going to quick lube or whatever is your first problem. they may not have even changed your filter (that would be my guess) on the last change. if you feel the oil was dirtier than you like, change your oil a little earlier. i would either do your own, or go to a respectable garage. if you trust these guys, then i might say that you are over analyzing a bit.


    it is certainly not heat though. the whole purpose of using synthetic is to avoid that very phenomenon.

    4K is pretty early for an oil change with sythetic. they reccomened 7-10K miles. i actually do 5-6K, but to each his own.

    NEVER SWITCH BRANDS OF OIL! that was a mistake, even if it's the same weight. your engine adapts to the very molecular properties of the oil. tiny changes can sometimes make big differences.

    dR
    i have 3300 miles and just got my first oil change, but i want to switch to synthetic the next time i change it. are you saying i shouldn't do that?

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    Dark Rex,

    The last oil change was done at a Subaru dealership during the 12,000 or so maintenance. Yes the filter was changed. I supplied the Mobil 1 oil myself.

    This was the first time at this Speedy Lube. I stood there the entire time. The guys were pretty cool about letting me watch the whole process.

    In New York City, you are not permitted by law to change your own oil, unless you have your own driveway or garage, which I don't. And if you do, you must dispose of the old oil properly, which means going to a shop anyway.

    I've heard one shouldn't change the brand of oil. But only from oil companies most likely desiring brand loyalty. Even so, the engine got flushed, so I don't see the harm.

    Pace,

    As I've said before, I regularly change between 3500 to 4000 miles while on synthetic, 5w30. I've seen the old oil on prior occasions and have never seen it this dark. I mean, it was BLACK!

    Anyone else have any ideas?

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    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Penguinking


    i have 3300 miles and just got my first oil change, but i want to switch to synthetic the next time i change it. are you saying i shouldn't do that?
    He's saying that you should settle on a brand early, and stick with it. You are probably fine to go to synthetic now, although some people wait till around 6k before switching over.

    -Pace

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    Registered User pace's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bedabi

    ...

    Anyone else have any ideas?
    Monitor it on a weekly basis and see when it starts to turn. Also, what type of air filter are you using and what condition is it in? Check that your air filter is sealing properly and that you aren't sucking dirt.

    -Pace

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    I have a K&N filter. Yeah, I had planned on checking that, but spaced it out. There was a Meineke muffler shop across the street from the oil shop, so I stopped there to check for leaks since they have just about every gasket shape you can think of. Free check, no leaks. And best of all, they'd never seen a WRX before and simply assumed that the one cat I have in the downpipe was the only one. It was kind of reassuring.

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    I use Mobil 1 synth. I change over to synthetic at 2000 miles on turbo cars. 1000 miles on NA cars.
    Daniel Ponze, Lead Tuner Tuning Factory, Inc.
    PH: (248) 477-0700___FX: (248) 477-0701

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    If you're so concern about black oil, try looking at my dipstick.

    Also Castrol Syntec is much darker in color than Mobil 1. Syntec has a dark drown appearance to it. So don't be suprised if it becomes blacker quicker.

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    He's saying that you should settle on a brand early, and stick with it. You are probably fine to go to synthetic now, although some people wait till around 6k before switching over.
    thanks pace. that sums up all i can think of.

    subaru uses purolator filters. not great, but not as bad as a fram. i like Wix personally. i don't know anything about K&N oil filters. that maybe part of the problem. dirty oil early in the change cycle usually = filter issue.

    bedabi, you're using 5weight? we need an engineer in here to detail the benefits of different weights in different climate zones. as i remember, in colder climates, higher weight offers better protection and longevity.

    Platinum, get your school book ass in here and help us out.


    dR

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