Category: Articles

Which Oil to Use?

greenish-blue question mark in a green-blue circle

We get questions — loads of questions — every single day here at Blackstone Laboratories, and easily the most common question we hear is, “What type of oil should I use?” Because we’re an independent laboratory, we don’t recommend any specific oil brands. We always recommend using an oil grade recommended for your engine by… Read more »

Pre-Buy Samples: The Art of the (Craigslist) Deal

black car key on a ring with a red For Sale tag attached

Taking a sample before buying a new plane or boat is common practice in the aviation and marine industries, and it’s just as useful for anyone looking for their next car, truck, or motorcycle. If you’re anything like us, you probably spend an unhealthy amount of time browsing the local classifieds and Craigslist hunting for… Read more »

Oil Viscosity

Golden drop of oil

Most of us have only a vague understanding of viscosity. We tend to choose an oil with a viscosity that we believe is correct for our particular engine, but would another viscosity improve or reduce the life of the engine? Can we pick and choose a viscosity outside the manufacturer’s recommendations? Technically, viscosity is defined… Read more »

Tales from the Oily Side

jim stark smiling and wearing a blackstone ballcap and dark sunglasses outside

By Jim Stark My business card says “Founder.” It’s not a title, but more of a boast, an inside joke. I’ve had all the titles a man could want and as I settle into the long, hopefully comfortable ride toward the end of this long, challenging and exciting life, the word Founder on my business… Read more »

Do I Need a TBN?

Pipette dropping golden oil into a row of test tubes on blue background

What is a TBN, and who uses it? In short, a TBN (Total Base Number) measures how much base (as in base vs. acid) additive is in the oil to offset the effects of acids coming into the oil from combustion and other sources. Scientifically speaking, the TBN is one of two “neutralization number” tests… Read more »