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Oil Analysis Result - 10k miles on Toyota 0w-20

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by The Critic, May 11, 2012.

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  1. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Miles are 80-90% highway. The car sees full throttle every morning during the first 30 seconds of start-up.

    This sample was taken by the dealer at the 30k service. The air filter on this fill was the original, and was not dirty at all.

    This is the car's oil change history to date:

    3k: Mobil 1 0w-20 SN, supplied oil to dealer
    10.5k: Toyota 0w-20 SN, bulk, by dealer
    15k: Mobil 1 0w-20 SN, supplied oil to Luscious Garage
    20k: Toyota 0w-20 SN, bottled, by dealer.
    30k: Toyota 0w-20 SN, bottled, by dealer.

    The sodium is odd since none of the previous oils contain a sodium additive. Perhaps this is contamination from a dirty funnel? The coolant level has remained stable and has not dropped, so I am not too concerned about it.

    I think I will stay with 10,000 mile intervals for now. Unfortunately, this means it will take me a long time to get rid of the 31 quarts of Toyota 0w-20 I have in-stock. :LOL:

    Attached Files:

    1 person likes this.
  2. LTZR1

    LTZR1 Member

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    Good looking report with the small exception of the sodium ( could be coming from an additive ). Wear metals look very good which is surprising with the stated WOT within the first 30 seconds. That's harsh treatment of a cold engine.......more like abuse.....hard to believe with the overall care you display for your car.

    If you're using the standard Toyota cartridge oil filter, the stated 15 micron filtration with it's cellulose media is not realistic. The much better ( but much more expensive ) TRD filter with it's synthetic media is rated at >20 microns with 99% efficiency. It also provides better flow at start-up.

    A TAN ( Total Acid Number ) and particle count would make for a more complete analysis, especially after a 10K mile run.

    The Toyota 0w20 SN GF5 performed very well over your 10K mile run.
    Great oil choice !
  3. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    And I thought I stocked up on materials! I'm sure you can sell some locally to other PC members if you wanted. You have probably 5 or more years of oil left! I think I used the last of my 0W-20 a few months ago at my last oil change. I need to check, and order some more if so!
  4. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    why?
  5. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    The TRD synthetic filter element sounds interesting. I didn't know there was an optional filter for the Gen III?
  6. LTZR1

    LTZR1 Member

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    Yes there is ! TRD Performance Oil Filter Part Number PTR43-52090.
    It had to be ordered from the dealer. Cost was $15.75 including sales tax.
  7. GSW

    GSW PRIUS POWER

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    Cool LTZR1, Thanks for the details!

    :focus: I'm wondering how oil analysis from a same year Prius using Mobil 1 would compare with this one.
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I realize, that some in Prius Chat are a heady bunch. Tending towards the boundaries of wanting as much technical information as possible about their vehicles.

    And please, please, don't get me wrong. I respect peoples personal choices.

    But for me? Oil Analysis, is a place where I say serenely, ignorance is bliss. I don't want to go to the trouble of sending my Oil in for chemical analysis similar to blood work on a human.

    I pay great attention to regularly changing my oil or having it changed more precisely.

    But if suddenly my "Oil Analysis" was "abnormal"? What much can I do about it? I have pretty good faith in any dealer or major brand synthetic.

    Maybe I'm getting old, but I remember vehicles being driven on Dino Oil, for 100'000's of miles...lifetimes of ownership...without oil analysis ever being done.

    Sure someday the engine is going to deteriate...The Center cannot hold...but in the meantime, there is just not enough advantage in the trouble of Oil Analysis.

    I think the majority of Oils and additives...good/great. I think most modern engines are built well.

    Has anyone ever discovered an abnormality...and had warranty work done heading off a problem?

    I'm almost sure somebody has...

    But it still doesn't seem worth it to me....
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    ^^^
    I did UOA on my Prius and former Z once each.

    When I was living in WA, my Z was hardly getting driven at all (in terms of mileage) and most of the drives were short drives. I called the independent repair shop about whether I should get the oil changed on the Z at the 6 month mark despite hardly putting on any miles. They claimed their oil tests pretty well. I waited until a year and they suggested I don't get it tested and that the result would be terrible. I got it tested anyway and it wasn't that bad.

    On my Prius, IIRC (memory foggy), I was trying to stretch the interval a little bit and I wanted to see how bad things would be.

    It's definitely not cheap as UOA can cost more than an oil change, but I figured it'd give me some information for the long run, instead of gut feels/guesses.
  10. markabele

    markabele Senior Member

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    How long did you stretch it to and what did you find out?
  11. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    I have to merge onto a large street that moves at 40 mph each morning. It probably is not full throttle but 3-4k rpm is quite possible/likely.

    I may opt for a TAN # as well next time depending on the cost.

    The lab for Oil Analyzers, who uses accredited labs unlike Blackstone.
  12. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Manufacturers will not accept oil analysis reports from customers as evidence of a problem. If your UOA indicates a serious problem, it merely means that it is time to trade-in the vehicle. :eek:
  13. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    ok, so in a nutshell, if using synthetic, do you recommend a longer or shorter interval over 10,000 miles?
  14. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    But I would take that as just further evidence of the relative unimportance or advantage of Oil Analysis.

    Most vehicles I've driven, have given me plenty of warning when approaching the time when I should seriously consider trading them in. By the time trading them in became necessary, or prudent, I certainly did not need an Oil Analysis to tell me it was time to do so...

    Again, it's the search for more knowledge. I respect peoples desire to do so...

    It's not something I'm probably ever going to do.
  15. LTZR1

    LTZR1 Member

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    You're welcome !

    In an analysis, the oils would probably be fairly close. But to be sure, a comparison analysis would have to be done.

    In actual use, the Toyota 0W20 with it's 216 VI compared to the rather paltry Mobil 1 0w20 173 would be 35% lighter at 0C ( 32F )
    and 25% lighter at room temperatures, which is usually warmer than start up temperatures. What this all means is that the Toyota 0W20 will flow MUCH better at start-up and with the frequent start/stops of the Prius ICE.

    Heres something to think about. Even at 50F, the Toyota 0W20 will be equivalent to a 50-60 weight oil at start-up. At 100C, 212F they will be close, 8.54cSt for the Toyota 0W20, and 8.7cSt for the Mobil ! 0W20. The reality is however, the Toyota ICE rarely operates at 212F, most especially in city.urban driving. It's operating temperature is 195F. And, according to our Scan Gauge, it is more often at 178-185F, if that. The Toyota 020 at those temps is equivalent to heavy 30 weight and even approaching a 40 weight oil. The Mobil 1 would be even higher.

    Mobil 1 0W20 i a good oil, but it is not OPTIMUM as the Toyota 0W20 is in the Prius especially with the frequent ICE start/stops in non highway use.

    To each his her own. Many on this site say "what difference does it make." The difference is in achieving OPTIMUM performance and
    long term protection for your Prius engine. Some folks care, most could care less. Some will want to argue the point, I don't. I am fortunate to have a petroleum engineer/organic chemist in the family, and he has taught us well.
  16. LTZR1

    LTZR1 Member

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    Besides the intellectual curiosity, there are many practical uses for UOA's. In some of our situations, we have prevented major engine failures with high wear metals being reported in UOA's ( bearing failures ) along with injector problems ( high fuel reported in the oil )
    and coolant leaking past gaskets, which ultimately leads to total engine failure. UOA's are very useful to monitor trends and flag
    potential problems. They are not useful in determining engine wear.
    Only teardowns provide that information.

    Now, do all engines experience these problems ? Of course not.
    But not all ICE are perfect in operation, and UOA's along with competent reading and analysis of the UOA's can help prevent catastrophic and lessor failures along with major expenditures.
    The fact is, without good lab performing a good UOA you don't really know what is going on in your engine. You can assume everything is
    hunkey dorey, and wind up with problems.....large or small. Or, you may not.

    For us, and many others, we'd like to question what, why, where, when, and how, and be be a bit more informed.

    As my Dad used to say......"wouldn't it be great if adults would continue to quesion why....and look at the world with the curiosity of a child "
  17. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Member

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    Glad to see your report. I have run Mobil 1 in non toyota rigs for the last 30 years.
    when I started using Mobil 1, 2000 mile changes with mineral oil were the accepted local norm.
    I had a hard time beliving the 10,000 mile change recommendation on the Mobil 1 can, so that first time I had the oil sample tested at 3-6-9-12000 miles with the recomendation that the oil was still good for more. 12,000 took me a year, so I thought that was enough for my dirt roads / off roads farm use.

    The Mobil 1 would go from baby oil clear to dark maple syrup in 12,000 miles.

    In my gen 3 Prius, the Toyota oil, flat amazes me with how it looks almost new at 10,000 miles, just enough color so I can finally see it on that little dipstick.
    As clean as that oil appears at 10,000 miles, Toyota must have ring and valve guide sealing down to a real science, for as little combustion products as their appears to be in the oil.

    I suppose it helps that the Prius 1.8 sees little idling, it is running at load or stopped.
  18. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    interesting that the recommended oil change interval in US is 10000 miles. In Australia it's 10000kms. (approx 6000 miles)
  19. alfon

    alfon Active Member

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    I have been changing my oil in our 2003 Jetta TDI (Diesel)
    for years now and change every 10,000 miles with Mobil One
    5w40 synthetic motor oil which is turbo diesel rated. This
    is what VW calls for as an oil change interval.

    Over 134,000 miles and no problems and the diesel
    engine runs all the time, our Prius engine is off at times when
    stopped, in ev mode, or going down a grade,
    so I am sure you could probably stretch the oil
    change to 15,000 miles or so if needed.
  20. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    It was through (transmission) oil analysis that it became apparent the "Lifetime" transmission fluid in the Prius wasn't lasting a lifetime, and the car's transmission could very likely benefit from periodic AFT WS fluid changes.
    Possibly because the transmission happens to contain a couple big electric motors, which is a bit unique.
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