Does Your Engine Have Hidden Damage? How To Know!
How do you know if your engine is healthy? How To Read An Oil Analysis!
Sponsored by Mobil 1 - Link below to enter the Road Trip Sweepstakes!

What happens to an engine oil over a road trip? We’ll travel 3,000 miles, and perform an oil analysis before and after to find out. There are two main purposes of an oil analysis. First, you want to check engine health, by looking at wear and contaminants. Various metals can help you identify any significantly wearing engine parts. Contaminants can tell you if you have any engine coolant leaking into the cylinders, and how well your engine air filter and oil filters are working.

Second, you want to check your oil’s health, to know if you can keep using it, need to change it, or learn what your appropriate oil change interval should be. The analysis will cover viscosity, TBN, fuel dilution, oxidation, nitration, soot, water, and coolant, as indicators for the oil’s health. You can also check additive levels, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

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  • Rand Thompson
    Rand Thompson

    I've ordered and recieved a Blackstone analysis kit and plan on a 3k change on my 2.4 DIT. About 600 miles to go. I feel this is a very important subject and have since the 70s and 80s while working as a heavy equipment operator and saw oil samples taken every oil change. Thank you for posting. 👍

  • Christian Dice
    Christian Dice

    Great video! Really enjoy all of your work. Side note: may want to look into a Fumoto valve; I have a BRZ and oil changes are much easier (and cleaner) when not dealing with the drain plug and washer, plus you can take quick samples without needing cleanup of a pump after. Need to install one on our CX5 but I have way too many washers left to justify it yet.

  • mgsboedmisodpc2

    do this oil analysis again just before a planned oil change

  • Wised1000

    The military has been using oil analysis for decades (since the 80's) particularly for their tanks. It works but in general its only worth it for fleet vehicles that have constant heavy use. In passenger cars its overkill.

  • sowell fan
    sowell fan

    Very informative. I would like to know the cost of the analysis.

  • Mike Schmidt
    Mike Schmidt

    would it kill you to do some push ups .. dam chicken arms man

  • Tim Boyer
    Tim Boyer

    Hi, great video. BTW, what was the mileage of your Subaru at the beginning of the test? Thanks!

  • kludka2000

    Man your videos are very valuable, but the audio is killig me. There is a lot of echo, can you please do something about it.

  • Abbas Muhammed
    Abbas Muhammed

    what is the relationship between engine load and temperature or vice versa? within RPM is constant please reply ASAP

  • sean simpson
    sean simpson

    Was always told that even changing with in the first 100 miles for cars was more than good enough. And 25 miles for bikes.

  • Nick Alberici
    Nick Alberici

    How do I get this test done for my car? I want to juice up my engine (NA to Boost), but not if its about to die, shes 22 years old

  • The Lian Sin
    The Lian Sin

    My engine oil smell gasoline. Is it normal? It’s 28.5km.

  • Adam K
    Adam K

    It is like a blood test for your car

  • UnProfessional Roaster😁
    UnProfessional Roaster😁

    Mobil makes all my cars valvetrain rattle. Idk why. Any other brand makes them quiet. 🤷

  • Cam

    Hi Jason, I have a question which could make an interesting video as fuel efficiency isn’t intuitive for most people. If you were tasked with making a car that only ever had to travel at one specific speed, say 100km/h, with no hills and consistent wind resistance etc. what would be the best engine size and gearing strategy to go with for fuel efficiency? My guess would be to either have the engine at peak hp or peak torque when doing 100km/h and with a fairly small displacement. If either are correct could you explain why, or if not can you explain how to work out the ideal setup. Great videos, love your channel.😃

    • Cam

      Hopefully an example will help explain the question a little better. A 1.3L engine would be more efficient at 100km/h than a 5L V8 even though the 1.3 is revving higher, presumably because the small engine is closer to peak power/torque so isn’t being robbed of as much energy due to low end rpm losses. How far could you take this? Would it be best to use the smallest engine that could provide the power needed to keep the car going at the desired speed and gear it so peak power occurs at 100km/h?

  • Dicofol

    Can you make a video about engine oil filters O.E.M vs Aftermarket?

  • Ronald Lenz
    Ronald Lenz

    Oil analysis was available in the late 1980's. I had a 1986.5 Toyota Supra and had it done a couple of times.

  • Mark Smith
    Mark Smith

    Good bit of advertising for Miller's Oils 😁

  • Snowhite808

    You would have a very different picture if there was no longer trip in the mix. The coldstart mixture is believed to be also one of the culprits of killing them (belt in the oil) engines. The bio component with other solvents will just ruin the oil really fast, if the car is driven only city cycle (say 3-5 miles at a time day in - day out).

  • L R
    L R

    0:52 you are a f genius

  • Vincent Robinette
    Vincent Robinette

    Ignore fuel dilution. If you put in new, cool oil, and idled for ~15 minutes, it's possible for hydrocarbons from an idling engine to condense into the oil, until the oil has a chance to heat up. Once the car is driven for 20 minutes or so, the oil will come up to temperature long enough for condensed hydrocarbons to evaporate through your positive crank case ventilation system. (a loaded engine burns cleaner) Water tends to emulsify oil, by using detergent to bind the water and oil together. That creates a thick substance similar to mayonnaise. That definitely increases viscosity, and sometimes, will even clog oil pump pickup screens, and oil filters. Condensation from chronic cold driving, or water and coolant from a bad head gasket can definitely cause that as well.

  • D. C.
    D. C.

    Can you make a detailed video on specifically why alternators go bad (failure mode analysis) as well as the symptoms that said failures produce? Practical information such as the “why” behind the “what” is typically very interesting to most people.

  • Tim Celmer
    Tim Celmer

    I use BSL yes I always enjoy the commentary.

  • AW

    Wow, Mobil does oil testing... Too bad they lost me as a customer when they switched the original Mobil1 from PAO to Group III oils without telling anyone. This was right went they released Extended Performance, which kept the PAO, at a higher price. I don't trust anything Mobil does at this point, especially 20K OCIs that some automakers say is possible. All Marketing, no substance. I've always had a good experience with Blackstone labs, and the reports sent have kept my vehicles happy and healthy.

  • TG

    What about 3k miles in 3 years ? Does the oil remain the same ?

  • Calvin Eenigenburg
    Calvin Eenigenburg

    When you pull oil out to send in to the lab, do you replace the samples with fresh oil to keep the oil level on the dipstick proper for the remainder of the test? Thanks!

  • gomezesmorticia

    How often do I change my oil in a car that I drive less than 500 miles a year. It's been a year with the same synthetic oil in my Pontiac Solstice 2.4l base model.

  • ViTAL MaTThews
    ViTAL MaTThews

    Why is there silver listed?

  • SavageGTalks

    ey! you watched Ed Bolian's impression of you in their latest cartrek? I thought it was ok, and it shows how big your channel really is when he does it. So congrats! and how's the Miata? you going to hide it from the winter or get studs and enjoy the winter with it?

  • Mike

    Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the new WRX

  • psywarrior84

    I would love to see a video done on U engines.

  • Anthony Cosco
    Anthony Cosco

    I'm a Subaru technician.. trust me when I say it's not IF it blows up it's WHEN it blows up

  • Polish Guy
    Polish Guy

    Right. How much?

  • Micamicamico

    Liquid piston engine review coming?

  • Vassilis K.
    Vassilis K.

    Useful if was on every engineer’s routine!

  • Khamsy Thepsombath
    Khamsy Thepsombath

    Could the fuel being in the oil from not being driven and only idle for 15 minutes. My initial suspicion would be it’s running richer during first startup and coolish oil. Potentially rich on purpose for the catalytic converter to get to temp. That was a bit of a shot it in the dark. Vaguely remembering how far engines will send in burned fuel into the catalytic converter which essentially is still burning to speed up the temp of the precious metals in there.

  • Tom Cartmel
    Tom Cartmel

    After all the oil samples were taken, the Subaru died of oil starvation.

  • Rhodes in Japan
    Rhodes in Japan

    Let's say you've bought a used Subaru WRX STI hatchback. Could you get an oil analysis done as a supplement to a compression test to help understand the health of the engine? Like... is this thing just barely hanging on or does it seem like it's still in good shape despite how much fun its previous owners might've had with it?

  • Memorable Rides
    Memorable Rides

    I may have missed it in the video, but did you say how much the independent analysis costs? And is there a link for them if we wanted to do this analysis?

  • Ricardo Lo
    Ricardo Lo

    Jason it was almost a 1337 video, you just needed 1 more second

  • bohickity

    It’s sort of like an auto colonoscopy. You should have one a year starting at four years/50K miles and stop after ten years/150K miles because odds are you and your car are going to die of something else. How would an engine oil analysis compare with a compression test for a quick and cheap screening for engine wear? Unless the results are going to change the way you maintain your car it seems like a reassuring waste of money.

  • Lead Sled
    Lead Sled

    Most of the damage of a regularly maintained engine is done by the acids that form in the oil after about 30 days driving there is enough to begin to damaging the engine. Anti acids cause deposits.

  • MoAferika

    Car blood 🩸 test.😂😂😂

  • SubiSkank

    Blackstone labs, always leaving sweet notes!! Unless your engine is on its way out lol

  • PolyPolarDesigns

    you did these tests on a Subaru with less than 40k miles? Can we get the same test with a factory sealed engine that has well over 200k miles and then compare results with these? Should be interesting.

  • Carlos Cruz
    Carlos Cruz

    I’ve been testing oil for 30 years. Running oil analysis for my trucking fleet. No one absolutely no one beats amsoil.

  • Steven Chaffee
    Steven Chaffee

    I used to send in oil analysis. All it seemed to do was determine and confirm what you already knew. When a motor isn't happy they usually let you know it other then that not worth losing sleep over common wear.

  • James

    I remember talking to an Amsoil rep about their 25k mile change interval recommendation and I was asking about how they validated it and if they would assume any responsibility for damages caused by ignoring manufacturer specifications, and they basically told me they tested some old corollas (which have insanely reliable and simple engines) and either I can buy it or not they don't care but if it causes problems in my car that's my problem not theirs. So rather than pay 5x the price for a quart of 5w20 from them, I just do 5 5k changes with normal full synthetic (I use Pennzoil but that's irrelevant) for the same price and maintain my OEM maintenance. In this case with them saying they support 20k miles with that oil, make sure you have a car with as little systems dependent on oil and oil pressure as possible. I'd NEVER trust those claims in my 5.7 hemi due to the MDS system, and same goes for AFM/DFM in GM trucks.

  • Vain Vestures
    Vain Vestures

    uel header upgrade for your subie?

  • Big Cazza
    Big Cazza

    my gearbox has very well documented damage. got a BTR M97LE that came with 1/4th the required ATF and it was black

  • John Steele
    John Steele

    SHEARED DOWN from 8.6 to 7.4 cst-in 3,000 miles?? Can you imagine what it would be at 20,000?? Here's your fake synthetic. Jason I'm surprised you just glossed right over this. This is completely unacceptable especially in a supposedly "long life" oil just highlighting that Mobil 1 is mineral based group 3 and cannot compete with actual synthetic like Amsoil 100% synthetic.

  • Chris Joplin
    Chris Joplin

    The oil analysis shows what many Subaru Turbo owners have been saying for years. Mobil 1 thins out way to fast. At 12:35 in the video, the answer to why the viscosity dropped was you used Mobil 1. :)

  • Billie Bobbie Norton
    Billie Bobbie Norton

    So what! What the hell you gonna do if the analysis shows you have an issue?!?!? Tear the engine down? Nope. Just drive it.

  • Mr. Anderson
    Mr. Anderson

    How much does this cost?

  • معاذ فايز
    معاذ فايز

    u r genius man

  • alegroman

    Here is my question: assuming they found wear and engine damage in your engine. What are you going to do? For most private car owners, you are not going to tear down an otherwise still running good engine, are you? If you are following manufacturer recommended service interval and not driving like a maniac on your cherished sports car, there is really nothing you can do.

  • Dan Cooper
    Dan Cooper

    Jason, would you mind sharing where you got your oil extractor?

  • Jan 6 was "Wall Street Putsch" part 2
    Jan 6 was "Wall Street Putsch" part 2

    I gave up hidden engine damage, I bought an electric car. Unlike an ICE vehicle it has far fewer points of failure. Far fewer things to wear out and need replacement. No accessory or serpentine belts, no alternators, no power steering pumps, no automatic transmission, no spark plugs or plug wires, no ignition coils or coil packs, no ignition control modules, no fuel injectors, no fuel pumps, fuel filters or fuel pressure regulators, no fuel injection control modules, no head gaskets, no O2 sensors, no PCV valves, no manifold gaskets, no exhaust pipes, no muffler, no catalytic converter, NO EMISSIONS TESTING EVER, no high pressure, high temperature cooling system, no mechanical water pumps, no oil changes, no oil leaks, no need to maintain the coolant system (sealed lifetime system), no heat or vibration to prematurely age virtually every under the hood. Yep with batteries now getting well over 1000 charge cycles installed in vehicles getting over 250 miles per charge cycle I shouldn't have to worry a new battery until 250,000 miles.

  • Jerimiah Reece
    Jerimiah Reece

    I sent a break in oil sample to Blackstone almost a month ago. No word yet. Hoping they're just backed up and the USPS didn't just lose my sample!

  • Mohit Joshi
    Mohit Joshi

    Sir make more vedios on vechile dynamics and mechanics

  • Njolf

    "changing oil" my 20 year old car that burns a liter of oil every month: "i don't have such weaknesses"

    • Njolf

      @فراس الزهراني hyundai Tiburon RD2 (2001) with the 1.6L engine

    • فراس الزهراني
      فراس الزهراني

      What's your car?

  • Sweetride95 _
    Sweetride95 _

    Blackstone Laboratories are great for engine oil sampling.

  • Francisco Pérez Iglesias
    Francisco Pérez Iglesias

    Love your videos, but please order a couple more sound pannels for the wall :D

  • Dan R
    Dan R

    Buying a new car/ Would you recommend staying away FIRMLY from GDI engine??? looks like the formation of gunk on the intake valves is unavoidable on these engines. Some companies (Toyota, Hyundai...) realized this and use a combination GDI and MPI on each cylinder, but this is kludgy IMO.

  • peter m
    peter m

    Mobile 1 is crap sorry. Warm her up and change it every 3,500. Motul, penzoil and amsoil. Don't forget that auto trans fluid 😁

  • Bruno

    You know he used BlackStone labs for the third party because of how they explain the results.

  • squirt mcgirt
    squirt mcgirt

    This video is timely for me as I'm about to send a sample to Blackstone for the first time ever. Just waiting to rack up 3,000 miles on this batch of oil and get a check-up on the trusty '92 Ford.

  • D.A.L.

    I'm guilty of not changing my oil regularly. I've been doing mechanic and body work for my entire adult life, so I know better. Unfortunately the way things are going right now it's hard to find the extra money to do it. Especially when I have to change fluids on 2 vehicles. One being my wife's Honda that has to have Honda fluids

  • Fung Wah
    Fung Wah

    What company was the 3rd party

  • Matthew Patterson
    Matthew Patterson

    I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on the internet of someone using a gas or diesel generator to change an EV being used as some sort of “gotcha” for EV owners. Could you do a video going into whether or not it is still better than an inertial combustion car engine or not in terms of emissions?

  • highrzr

    For me, engine oil analysis is the equivalent of human blood analysis tests. Not the end all be all of how you're doing, but a darn good place to start. Never, ever, ever extend your oil drain intervals past the manufacturers recommendations. Also, most people really fall into the "Severe" category not the "normal" category when it comes to "scheduled Maintenance" intervals. Bottom line, just change your oil at the OEM recommended intervals. Oil and oil filters are cheap compared to hard part replacement.

  • Sahed Ahsan Abir
    Sahed Ahsan Abir

    Please make a video on engine flush pros and cons

  • 1023nick

    Hi Engineering Explained, I wanted to know if you plan on posting the second part (off-road) review of the new Ford Bronco? Would love to hear your input on that, as it's the main attraction for me if I were to purchase that type of vehicle! Thank you so much for your hard work, long time subscriber, long live the white board!

  • Fabian F-L
    Fabian F-L

    Honda is dealing with low viscosity oils in their 1.5 liters models because of oil dilution problems.

  • chodanics

    Blackstone definitely enjoys what they do!

  • Pedro Hernandez
    Pedro Hernandez

    I use Blackstone (Candid and humorous) at 50K 100k and yearly after that. No better way to keep an eye on things you cannot see.

  • john beach
    john beach


  • Jorgleo007

    How to send my oil for this test?

  • Kswa S
    Kswa S

    Would love to see a follow up analysis of the oil just before you change it for an additional data point!

  • Sparklander

    You've got a boxer engine, that is the first problem. Thank you for the video.

  • ZillaFullBoost

    I’ve been monitoring my engine oil with Blackstone since 0 miles. Good way to know what’s going on with your engine.

  • May

    Hey man thanks for the knowledge,, I had this crazy idea,, would it be possible to run a engine with different compressions, so on a 4 pot, have 2 low compression and the other 2 cyclinders high,, then run 2 ecus with different fueling and timing for each of the 2 batches, then make an intake manifold naturally aspirated just for 2 pistons, and run the other 2 on boost from a turbo. No lag, high powered and more efficient

  • FasttLife

    Would have been so much more useful to see this done on a turbocharged motor.

  • Jovan Budial
    Jovan Budial

    Hey off topic question but this has been bugging me for a bit. How do twin turbos spool faster than a single? If for example a 15 psi turbo set up is on both. Wouldn’t they take equally long to spool since the load is the same. Yes the twin turbos are smaller but it’s still the same amount of boost

  • datsuntoyy

    When I sent my oil into Blackstone, they asked for the specific oil used. You stated they didn't know. Second, turn the bottle on side or even with the opening to the top, it pours a lot better.

    • datsuntoyy

      @Engineering Explained they asked me for the exact oil, brand, line and weight.

    • Engineering Explained
      Engineering Explained

      They asked for oil type so I listed 0W-20, not the brand/specific bottle.

  • Fuse

    Subaru , synonymous with head gasket failure

  • Albert Lce
    Albert Lce

    change engine oil every 3 weeks

  • basmoq7

    I've been sending to Blackstone for years, there reports are great. Much easier now that they include shipping now, it was a pain in the past convincing people that you can ship liquids...

  • burleydad

    Yes, it does. How to know? Have you used your car? If so, it has damage.

  • Yoopertube Unlimited services
    Yoopertube Unlimited services

    Someone on FIbill did a challenge for multiple brands of oil…. Basically Walmart’s brand of oil beat mobile one. 🤨😩

  • DJMMAS14

    Owners manuel these days are saying "life time oil " change your blinker fluid instead

  • dwendt44

    If I'm not mistaken, Blackstone asks what kind and type of oil is being analyzed.

  • Bryson Shires
    Bryson Shires

    An easier solution would just be highway pulls. Just did 135 the other day and she still hasnt popped

  • Tom P
    Tom P

    Jason, another informative video on hot button topics of motor forums. No comment pro or con regarding oil analysis on passenger cars.

  • Jon Dime
    Jon Dime

    I was lucky enough to hear about blackstone before I bought my first new car 15 years ago. Since I do all my work myself, its good to be able to catch something early enough to do something about it. Blackstone is great!

  • James Cross
    James Cross

    I think it will be overfuelling on warm up for that first 15 mins so that's probably fine. It's worth saying that of course over 3k miles there will be wear which is normal and most of the worn material is in the oil and that's the point. They know what is normal for a particular engine. We're looking for tell-tale markers. I know on lycoming aircraft engines for example, they can see very specific things and usually exactly where it came from (usually knackered cam followers).

  • Douglas Jones
    Douglas Jones


  • newest bear
    newest bear

    If it's a subaru yes, the motor has hidden damage.

  • SouthFlaDiver

    My report from Blackstone 2010 rx450h 77830 miles Amsoil 25000 mile Guarantee 20,078 mile oil change PAUL: For oil run more than 20,000 miles, these results are impressive. That's a lot longer than the ~7,900 miles our universal averages for these engines are based on. Iron is a bit above average, but iron naturally accumulates with miles on the oil, so it's better than average on a per-mile basis. The viscosity did thicken up some compared to your virgin sample, but that didn't hurt anything that we can see. The trace of fuel is also harmless. Silicon was high. It looks harmless, but it never hurts to inspect air filtration to rule out dirt as a possibility. Good report.

  • Connor Canfield
    Connor Canfield

    Interesting to see how different companies present their diagnose reports. Let me know if you ever want a set of sample kits from our company, Lube-Tech. I administer the oil condition monitoring program for us :)