Author Topic: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?  (Read 6659 times)

aglassman

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I bought a http://www.lubricheck.com/ yesterday, and we shall see how well it works.  I always suspected I could get away with more miles between oil changes, especially since I mainly do highway driving. I never did risk much past 4k as there is no real way to test the oil besides the dip stick (for older cars). From the reviews I could find, it seems like it is a decent way to check your oil's health.  Obviously it isn't laboratory grade testing, but it should be enough for a typical person.

It should come in a few weeks, and I'll update the thread with details and how well it works.

On another note, would anyone suggest getting their oil labratory tested once a year?  It appears that http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ can do very detailed engine and transmission oil testing, and can even determine (over multiple tests)  how the internal health of your engine is.  It could help you prevent, or prepare for an engine failure.  Is something like this a good idea to invest in maybe once a year for the average person looking to extend the life of their car?

Exflyboy

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 05:02:19 PM »
Very hard to tell.

I can tell you that the average recommended change intervals in the UK has always been 6000 miles.

The one and only new car I bought in '97 (Dodge Neon) had recommended change intervals of up to7500 miles.

Now I drive 600 miles a week (1.5 hours per trip) and can say I am amazed at how clean my engine oil looks for extended milages. So my suspicion is that stop and go driving fouls up the oil faster than highway driving.

Another un scientific data point.. I bought my new to me Neon last year ($350 for the car with 130k on the engine).. Who knows how well or otherwise it was kept.. I stripped the motor down and everything was still well within standard limits.. still had honing marks in the cylinders and the crank was barely worn.

The guy at the engine shop said these new blocks are made much harder than those of say 15 years ago.

So a new set of pistons, rings, bearings ($130 for the lot, new on Ebay), gaskets and a valve job on the head and it was as good as new.

I think newer engines are just made better and are doing huge milages these days... 200k miles seems to be the new normal.

How much is engine life affected by low milage oil changes?.. Who knows?

Frank

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2013, 08:34:36 AM »
If you go to any performance car oriented forum, this subject has been beaten to death. There's some guys who like to "test" various brands of oil to see which ones are better than others and so forth.  Not sure if it's worth the extra expense but it is interesting to see results with those funky "additives" which claim to be better for this and that and turn out to be junk.

In my experience a regular oil change is all you need. With my newer cars I've always run synthetic. I still change at 3-4k intervals and have never had any issues. For my older cars, they get the regular dino oil and they're just fine.  Most of the cars have over 100k.

That being said, according a high end dealer I spoke with (Audi, Jag, Aston, Land Rover), they claimed Jag had a 12k mile synthetic oil change interval and that some of the other brands were over 5k in their intervals... Not sure if I'd agree with that but the way I see it $25 bucks for an oil change and filter 4 times a year is $100 of peace of mind and surely a lot cheaper than replacing an engine.

Greg

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2013, 10:35:05 AM »
While I've never bought an oil test I can easily see the value.  Learning if your engine's oil has coolant or combustion contaminants in the oil, which could be an early warning of a head gasket failure for instance, could prevent an inconvenient breakdown.  I much prefer doing repairs on my own schedule than on a schedule created by unforseen problems.

This system seems only to provide a "good/fair/bad" indication and doesn't provide specifics, so I don't think it it would help much in the way I describe.

aglassman

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 12:40:20 PM »
Ok, it sounds like the lab testing would be a little extreme (and pricey).  I think the hand held indicator will at least give me some piece of mind once i'm around the 4k mark.  I'll probably test like once a week after I hit 3k and see how long it takes to get a "needs oil change" reading.

jba302

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 03:26:29 PM »
That being said, according a high end dealer I spoke with (Audi, Jag, Aston, Land Rover), they claimed Jag had a 12k mile synthetic oil change interval and that some of the other brands were over 5k in their intervals... Not sure if I'd agree with that but the way I see it $25 bucks for an oil change and filter 4 times a year is $100 of peace of mind and surely a lot cheaper than replacing an engine.

Porsches are 15-20,000. It is due to tighter tolerances resulting in less garbage getting in the oil.

And in fact, if you have a newer car, use good synthetic, and have a good commute (long smooth driving ends up with less shit in the oil), you can really run a long time. We have a 2012 civic and despite the 3k change recommendations, 7.5k - 10k is more reasonable.

paddedhat

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 07:27:04 AM »
Regarding the tester you purchased. This is right up there with having a third world witch doctor diagnose a serious illness by waving a chicken bone over you, while chanting. If you didn't open it yet, pack it up and get your money back. Sorry, but it's probably less than worthless, as it could convince you to damage your vehicle by providing worthless and incorrect info.

Spent some time on Blackstone's site, read their tutorials, and really get a feel for how complex oil analysis really is. I have used their services in the past, but only for monitoring the "health" of high dollar diesel engines that need $100 in material to change the oil.

Finally, regarding the whole extended oil change scam. We will reach a point, if we haven't already, where most of the semi-knowledgeable used car buyers will know better than to buy used, high end vehicles, since the whole 15-20K change interval is creating ticking time bombs out of a lot of higher mileage vehicles.  Bottom line, if you ask the techs. wrenching on these things? the whole extended oil change game is a scam. A good buddy of mine works in a shop that specializes in post warranty service on upper end stuff. For the last five years or so, he has seen the result of the 10-15K change intervals. Changing oil is a process of removing a contaminated lubricant from the vehicle. The oil didn't wear out, although there are many high tech. additives in the oil that are consumed over time. Oil needs to be replaced on a frequent schedule because it turns into an abrasive soup of combustion particulates, dirt from the air used in the combustion process, wear materials from the internal workings and other normal events inside of a very hostile environment. It's pretty common for my bud's shop to get a six to eight year old, $50K German sedan in with a service history of a handful of oil changes, all per the manufacturer's recommendations. The car will have drivability issues, and a quick diagnostic often reveals that the problem lies deep in the motor. This can be damaging wear in extremely complex variable valve trains, worn cams, or similar issues. These cars often get driven into the ground, or traded in, since repairs would exceed the value of the car.

  In an ideal world, a car manufacturer wants you to get on the payment plan, and keep you there for life.  They want you to think that you are buying a product that is about as close to maintenance free as possible, and they want you to show up the day you make your last payment, to grab your next one.  Extended and ignored maintenance are great tools to assure you that you stay on the payment wheel.

Want a car to last for a few hundred thousand miles? First, ignore the manual it comes with. Change the oil every five thousand. Flush the remaining systems (brakes, coolant, transmission) every two years or 30K, whichever comes first.  By actually maintaining a vehicle, instead of buying into B.S that the manufacturers want you to believe, you can save tens of thousands over the life of the car, and not hear how the seven oil changes you did in the last 120K miles saved you a few hundred bucks, but it's going to take $7K to repair the damage.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 07:44:57 AM by paddedhat »

Gone Fishing

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2015, 08:54:09 AM »
Any update on the Lubricheck?

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Lubricheck - The digital blood tester for your car! Laboratory testing?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2015, 03:15:07 PM »
WOW, old thread!  I can comment on the Blackstone Labs part, as that's who I used for oil analysis on my old Honda.  Because of their testing I was able to stretch out my oil change interval progressively longer up to a 9000 mile interval by the last one before I gave the car away.  While the lab testing certainly isn't free, it does allow you to reasonably safely increase the oil change interval to where you're spending less on oil changes in the first place.  Further, it can alert you to impending doom if you have a long enough history on record to compare samples against.  That can help you prepare for an engine rebuild in advance, or provide impetus to trade in the old car for a new one.