Many thanks for the oil analysis. You were right about the spike in silicon! Yes, the poor air filter had suffered a backfire during the engine start. The backfire evidently occurred since the last oil change. The heat warped the air filter, allowing dirt in and depositing goo in the air duct. We just got a new air filter and cleaned up the air duct during annual inspection. I’m not sure what I did to cause the backfire. First time in 30 years of owning the plane that I’ve done that. Anyway, thanks again – your detective work was spot on! Love your newsletters and archive articles. Have a great holiday season!
–Michelle M., 12/9/19
Good to know that my Cummins engine has no observed problems. I have not noticed any loss of power, or any drop in fuel mileage. All in all, the engine looks like a winner. Valvoline synthetic oil is expensive, but well worth every penny if my engine continues to put up good numbers.
–Roger R., 10/24/19
Thanks guys, these numbers look good. The engine is bone stock but I’ve run 2 full day lapping days on this oil sample as well, so that is a nice thing to see. Best regards.
–Shawn S., 12/6/19
This report makes me so HAPPY! Particularly on a rough Friday afternoon. Thank you guys SO MUCH!
–James K., 10/7/19
This report is great news! A rebuilt injector set and tooling for this engine go $1600-1800, my cost for doing the work myself. This saves Christmas this year!
Great news, thank you! Having recently been licensed as a lubrication technician I was doubtful about the results you would send. The numbers you pulled are actually more extensive than what we were taught in the week-long lubrication class and a lot more detailed than what I would expect based on my engineering degree. Fantastic data and I’m really happy to see that my engine is doing well! Especially because I do tend to drive it a bit hard. Gotta get my money’s worth out of that V8!
–David H., 9/11/19
Your analysis is spot on! Both engines had been sitting for a very long time in a salt water environment. Heads were pulled and cylinders were ball honed with pistons at BDC and sealed with a rubber plug to prevent abrasive from reaching rings. Cylinders were cleaned with purple cleaner and rinsed. A bearing cap was pulled and showed little wear. See the photos attached. Both engines are currently performing flawlessly in St. Augustine, FL. No strange noises, no smoke. Will take your advice and change the oil.
–Al S., 9/13/19
I was on vacation and didn’t hear your message until a couple of days ago. What a shock! I did have my mechanic borescope each cylinder and we found the cylinder walls have been scored, not bad but questionable. I’m planning to do a top overhaul this fall and I’ll keep you posted. I learned a few years ago how important oil sampling can be and now it’s probably saved me an engine before it really went bad. Thank you and keep up the good work!
–Terry C., 9/23/19
Hello, thanks this is great news. As you know these motors are susceptible to rod bearing wear because of high rpms and an 11.5 to 1 compression ratio. I didn’t change the rod bearings. They may have run 10W/40 in it before I bought it. Changing those bearings alone is around $2,000+++. Best regards!
Alan M., 7/11/19
Incredibly quick turnaround. Thanks.
–Andrew W., 6/19/19
Thank you very much for the reports! In the Focus report, it was noted that the silicon value was high. The sample was taken on July 4, 2018. In October 2017, as I was installing new spark plugs, I discovered a head gasket seal leak. I replaced the head gasket and had to also redo the spark plug installation. Hence, there could have been some intrusion from spark plug boot silicon paste, as well as dust/sand during the head gasket removal. I used some cans of air cleaner to get everything clean ahead of the installations, yet I know that contaminant could have remained present. On my way to the post office now with this 2019 sample.
–Eric V., 8/16/19
I am a big believer in your services. I have tried to convince others too. One gentleman I spoke with owns a 1965 Mustang race car, a late model GM truck, and other daily drivers. We both use Mobil 1 oil. He changes his oil every 3,000 miles. I told him about Blackstone and that as a result of your guidance, I push my intervals to 9,000 miles. In effect, my oil changes cost one-third of what his do. Nevertheless, he said no, “I like changing my oil every 3,000 miles.” I tried to sell your service, but he seemed to prefer his gut to science. Also, thank you for helping me sell my 1993 Toyota Previa with 316,000 miles on it. I showed the prospective buyer my Blackstone oil analysis which included your comment, “Getting to 400,000 miles should be a piece of cake.” He bought that van and the that engine (in a new rust-free body) is still logging miles. Thank you for your informative analysis and friendly reports.
–Ty S., 6/6/19
Thank you! I could not be more pleased with my first-ever use of your service!
–Mark B., 5/22/19
So nice to see these numbers and your comments! More cars to come. Thank you.
–Greg P., 5/21/19
Thank you for your quick analysis!!! I have used your services for decades and you have been very consistent with my airplanes and boats. I recommend you any chance I get and encourage establishing on ongoing analysis as opposed to a snapshot. I anticipate using your services in the future, but the machinery has yet to be determined.
–David S., 5/31/19
I had a mechanic who, although he is highly regarded as a premier Subaru expert, is human and misdiagnosed my engine. He told me the engine was shot, and that I should sell my car for parts rather than investing money in repairing. While he did have strong evidence (failed compression test, knocking noise, etc.) there was also evidence to the contrary, including a perfect report from your lab. I called your lab and asked the representative how often an engine could be failing without any evidence in the oil. He strongly recommended I get a second opinion. I took this advice and hauled the car to a Subaru dealership. Within a couple hours they had it properly diagnosed and repaired (stuck oil control valve). I went from selling a $10k car for probably $1k – $2k for parts (with a $4k loan remaining), to paying $300 to repair. I paid it off and drove it for another two years, and just sold it two days ago for $7500. I can’t thank you guys enough!
–Walter G., 5/15/19
Thanks so much for the quick turnaround. Absolutely love what you guys are doing. Top notch!!
— Ryan T., 5/3/19
You guys are awesome. Back in 2017 I had analysis done on our Hyundai sonata and you noted excessive iron in it. Now after the major recall and issues from Hyundai on metal not being cleaned out properly from the factory it all makes sense after a larger chunk of the lose metal finally lodged in our motor this past weekend and caused it to seize. Sure hind sight is 20/20 but the dealer ships are reading codes on their scanner trying to listen to noise to identify affected engines (which ours past even after the oil test…). In REALITY the dealers/Hyundai should be sending oil samples for analysis to you to identify affected vehicles! What a mess 🙁
— Nick K, 4/11/19
I just wanted to reach out and express how continuously impressed I am by the reports that I receive back from you guys. Not only by the breadth of data in these reports, but also (if not mostly) by the hand written explanation and analysis included in each report. Thank you again, and keep up the impressive work.
— Seth M., 3/31/19
Thanks so much guys! This just inspired so much confidence about my car. 30 years and 173k miles is a lot, and it’s so good to know the engine is in such good shape. I’m 18 and this is my first project car, I’m excited for many more miles to come! –Nick V., 4/8/19
Thank you so much! Very impressed, would recommend at 5 stars! Years ago I was heavily involved in Caterpillar oil testing program (don’t think they do it anymore), and I learned the value of testing! Been retired 17 years, and taking an oil sample is sure a lot easier than doing repairs under a vehicle! Hope to ride this condition on my truck until something else shows up. I’ll send in another sample this fall, if you send a sample kit. — Daniel P., 5/2/19
I just wanted to drop a thank you note for the work you do. Thanks to you I don’t have to be afraid to keep using the suburban due to the noise. Based on some youtube videos, I thought I had some mechanical issues where tearing the top end of the engine apart was the fix (replacing the roller lifter and cam shaft). Thanks to you I just saved a pretty penny (hundreds of dollars) and a weekend worth of work (if I’m lucky).
Again, thank you! — Zoltan Z., 2/8/19
Thanks for taking the time to explain wear rates in terms of per hour basis. That really helped as did explaining the DC-4 “smoking gun” for my high silicon rates. I should have called about that years ago! Thanks for being a great tool in my tool box for monitoring engine health along with annual compression tests, oil changes, oil filter inspections, bore scope inspections (a $200 gem that only takes 30 minutes added onto a compression test and I have a photo record of valves, pistons and cyl walls) and my own form of cruise “trends” from engine gauge readings. Thanks again, keep up the great service. — Ross R, 2/4/19
Thanks much. I actually had a sample done by oil analyzers through Amsoil and they found the same percent of fuel so I took truck to Ford dealership and they found 2 injectors which I just replaced all 8 less than a year ago leaking. Repair was under warranty. Thanks for confirming same findings.
— Chuck C., 12/1/18
I’m very thankful for your service. I’m a firm believer in oil testing. Your information has saved me several thousand dollars, that is being covered under warranty. If I had not done the testing the issues would not have been found until my truck was out of factory warranty. I used the reports to show The dealership the increased fuel in my oil.
I would recommend every diesel truck owner spend the small amount per test for both piece of mind and early warning!!
— Rob Z., 11/26/18
Just wanted to say that you guys are truly awesome. I love how personable you are in the reports, and actually take the time to read the notes. A+ Customer service, you’ve got a customer for life.
–Cory F., 12/20/18
Man, this is great news! Totally made my month hearing that I don’t need to plan an engine rebuild that soon. Thanks!
— Frank L., 1/22/19
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
My 86 Olds Calais with 2.5 four cylinder has been saved by your oil analyses that discovered coolant in the oil. There was no overheating, milkshake in the oil, no external leaks or water vapor coming from the exhaust. Just loss of coolant over a period of time. Because of Blackstone I took it to my mechanic with test results in hand. Diagnosis: Cracked head, broken bolts and the crack in the head was allowing the head gasket to seep coolant into the oil. Caught in time.
Your data saved my engine and the car.
Yes, it has no market “value” but it is still useful and functional. Not the route many would have gone, but would have been a waste to junk the car for me. It now has a brand new head, head gasket and head bolts & the improved ones that TSBs of the period indicated should be used for these problems. I’ve gotten more pleasure and satisfaction out of this repair than I would have had with a brand new car.
Thanks to Blackstone Labs. I am very grateful for the availability of your services.
— David G., 11/12/18
Hey thanks for this. I don’t think you all know how much your service is appreciated. These reports are so cool and your comments help a great deal.
— Steve B., 10/4/18
First of all, I would like the Blackstone Team to know that as an engineer, I am impressed by your ability to provide simplified understandable comments while also getting all the nitty-gritty detail anyone would ever need.
I am also thoroughly impressed with you ability to detect a slight coolant leak, because I am aware of a small external leak on the oil cooler, and there is a good chance that it is also leaking internally as well. Nice pick up! I will definitely be sending off additional samples, to y’all. Thank you.
— Malcom R. 10/11/18
I am very impressed with you guys. I did an analysis a couple of weeks ago, and on a car about a decade ago. When I registered on your site, the new and the old one report from way back when popped right up. That tells me you have had your act together for a very long time, and that you have total continuity over all these years.
–Scott K., 11/14/18
Thank you guys! You don’t know how relieved I am that I don’t have to dig into the lower end. Thank you thank you! What a waste of time that would have been. Now I just need to go hunting. Probably water pump or timing belt. You guys are awesome and I’ll keep sending samples in periodically to keep an eye on it.
— John W., 7/16/18
Thank you so much for the most recent oil analysis and explanation. It was through your analysis a few years ago that we discovered a problem that multiple Cummins techs could not diagnose. We ended up having the engine rebuilt due to a cracked head. We appreciate your service and your help in keeping our engine running smoothly!
— Lisa G., 7/25/18
By the way, after your test showing water in the engine, the dealer tested the oil at the shop with only 30 miles on the oil and it still showed contamination from antifreeze. We don’t use this truck much anymore — if not for the oil sample, we would’ve gone out of warranty before we knew we had a problem!
–Jenelle S., 9/19/18
Good morning my beloved nerd-powered, hard-charging, dedicated & motivated Blackstone “Lab Geeks”! Say no more fam! I’m a recently retired United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant. Did my 21 years for the Country & Corps, and fought in three ground-combat tours both in Fallujah, Iraq, and Sangin, Afghanistan! I absolutely LOVE dealing with professionals like You folks! Daggone, y’all made my day with my first report for Marta’s (my lovely wife) 2015 Acura RDX. Hot damn son! Love the details, absolutely enjoyed seeing those comments written by a real professional, and the way they are written. Folks, like I said in my first e-mail few months ago…y’all got a dog-loyal customer for life. Today I’m sending you an oil sample from my 2015 Audi Q7 TDI 3.0 V6 Turbo Diesel. I got 7,000 miles on it, and I’m starting now to keep track of it as miles pile on. I’m a lab rat myself, so I’m sending each and every one of You a huge THANK YOU and what we Marines call “BRAVO ZULU (BZ)” for doing an immensely important service to your community and our fellow ‘Mericans. Keep it up you Indiana gangsters! Semper Fidelis & God Bless! P.S. Travis, as a decorated ground-combat veteran I wholeheartedly thank YOU for being a life saver brother. If you’re ever having a bad day, remember that YOU help save lives! One of the most, if not the most, Honorable professions in this crazy world. God bless You! MOTIVATE!!
— W.D.B. GySgt (USMC (Ret.)) — 8/1/18
Having this information both saves our family money in oil and transmission changes AND saves me sleepless nights worrying about what might be happening in our engines. I recommend you to everyone I know who drives a vehicle that’s worth taking care of. Happy Spring and have a great week!
— Jeremy V., 5/1/18
You guys just freakin’ rock. Loving the service, the ease of ship/payment, and quality of comments. And down-home natural nature of staff. Firing on all cylinders. Thanks. You betcha I’ll keep tracking with Blackstone. Got my buddy checking in, too.
— Ross M., 6/5/18
Can’t tell you how much I appreciate these reports! Keeps me sane at night instead of worrying about replacing a $20K engine!
— Andrew C., 4/4/18
Thanks. It is looking quite respectable. Your service gives me a lot of peace of mind. Thank you.
— Ed C., 3/19/18
What a great email and such a nice comment from yourselves! Thank you so much for taking the time to analyze my oil and give me such good news. Ever since I first got in this car for a test drive, I just knew it was a good one. I felt really bad for driving so long with the same oil, but after this report I feel great! I’ve been wanting to do the test for so long and I’m so glad I have it now!
— Neville W., 4/10/18
This is awesome news ! Very happy to be starting a decent baseline now with second report. Will happily extend the next change to 7K miles per the recommendation. Had been keeping an eye on the e-mails waiting this report, and impressed with how quickly it came in. Think y’all are doing great in all areas of the service provided. Looking forward to the next results.
— Bob E., 2/21/18
I’d like to update you all on my 01 Mustang Bullitt. The lab technician stated I had very high levels of aluminum and other metals in the engine. He even took the time to call me with his concerns and provided a more detailed analysis along with suggestions based on your oil database. At this time the engine made no noticeable noises and ran great. I ran compression checks on all cylinders and every cylinder held for 30mins+ between 200-207psi across the cylinders. Digital scope suggested that cylinders were clean and still had cross hatches after 125k miles. This led me to disassembly for further diagnosis. After pulling timing chain cover, I found chain had deeply wore into the guide on the passenger side.
I am now a complete believer in oil reports, as I would have never known about this issue until it was too late. I have now replaced the timing chain with Ford motorsport replacement and all new gaskets. I look forward to sending my oil in for analysis later this year but wanted to update you for your database and thank you for the invaluable information that saved me a motor!
— Derrick D., 1/17/18
I wanted to say thank you for your outstanding oil analysis. Once again, you predicted engine failure. As devastating as this passed week has been, your oil analysis lead me to my tuner who discovered my engine was in the beginning stages of failure. Within 3 days, my car was at a local shop getting its engine pulled, then rebuilt. It was found that when the already built motor was assembled, a mere 29k miles ago, the clearance in the rod bearings were too tight. I’m thankful that I was able to have the motor pulled and torn down before it actually failed (unlike last time). And thanks you all, it saved me lots of money. I constantly refer you all to the car community. And this is an added reason I vouch and recommend you all.
— Brandi M., 11/27/17
Thank you so much this was wonderful insight and great peace of mind for my truck! I’m glad I can trust my oil because this was the longest I went without an oil change for the truck.
— Chloe V., 1/15/18
I want you to know that I chimed in, singing your praises on the Subaru forum tonight. For a guy like me, it is personal, because my family trusts me to do my best getting us safely and reliably down the road. I am probably your smallest customer but the time you took to give me a thoughtful explanation showed me how deeply you care about your work.
— Bob G., 11/2/17
Thank you very much. Always happy hearing good news about abusing my cars! Heard many people rave about you guys and I can see why. Lots of detailed info on the oil and a personalized suggestion on oil intervals. You guys are the best!
— Andrew M., 10/30/17
You guys rock–that was a fast turnaround and good news generally. And I totally forgot to write in what kind of oil it was. I can never spell it right and had meant to look it up, but I had already sealed up the package. For the record it was Pentosin 5W-30 (you correctly guessed the 5W-30!). Thanks again!
— Andrew D., 10/26/17
Hello Blackstone Labs! Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent service you provide. I have just received the readout on my second oil change and first diff/transmission flush on my 2013 G37 coupe. The info that you folks provide has helped me to navigate the maintenance schedule on my car, and I feel much more comfortable knowing that there is data to inform any decisions I make about maintenance and how I drive.
My father also sends his (motor) oil to you folks for his 2003 Tundra, which is where I heard about you folks. We have also recently purchased a 2015 VW GTI which will be due for its first oil change in a few thousand miles, and I will also be sending my first sample from my rebuilt 2006 ZX6R soon.
In short, my family and I love your service and will continue to send you our business for each and every vehicle we own. Thanks so much for your hard work, we value the service you provide!
— Aloha and big mahalo, Scott Y., 10/11/17
Thank you!!! I have been happy with everything you’ve done for us over the years but you went above and beyond on this one. I received a call from Joe (I think I remember his name correctly) telling me the paperwork hadn’t been filled out and would I be able to give him info on the engine the sample came out of. I did, but only realized much later how amazingly kind it was of him to track me down! I guess it must have been through the pre-paid testers I bought – thank you for taking the time! Next time I’ll fill out the paperwork!
— Stef K., 9/29/17
Thanks for quick turnaround on sample testing and the positive results again. This gives me a good feeling about potential life left in engine. Well worth the $28! I should forward this report and previous on to the service manager at Subaru. Thanks again
— Ted D., 8/14/17
Great news and as always thank you for the report and the thoughtful comments and guidance moving forward with my G37. I am and continue to be thankful for the newsletters you’re company puts together as they are ever so educational and the oil sample lab reports and the piece of mind they give me. Many thanks.
— Matthew H., 8/7/17
Just wanted to say you guys are head and shoulders above the other oil labs I deal with. Unfortunately the majority of my local customers do not test their oil. I have a very large government contract that has me sending out upwards of 50 samples a year. No matter what I say or do I cannot get them to switch to you guys. I will keep trying, hopefully someday it sinks in that they are wasting their money with your competition. Thanks for doing such a great job.
— David D., 8/2/17
Thank you, your service and customer service in the five years I’ve been using Blackstone has always been prompt, courteous and efficient. Have a wonderful summer. Blue Skies and warm regards
–Nina M., 7/31/17
Wow, you guys are amazing. This is my first time using your service and the prompt reply is very impressive. I’m going to recommend your service to all my friends. You really don’t get customer service like this any more. Thank you.
— Sean O., 7/18/17
Great timing to get the good news – I’ll drive with confidence on track this weekend. Thank you!
— Adam N., 6/12/17
As for the fuel system issue, you guys were right on! I had a leaking Power Valve in the carburetor which I discovered and corrected post sample.
— Brian M., 6/2/17
Thank you!! I love your reports and forward them all to my technician and to the guy who built the engine for me. I regularly drag race this truck so keeping a close eye on it is very important!
— Robin R., 5/16/17
Thank you. I’ll be recommending y’all to all the guys I work with at the plant. Greatly appreciated.
— Cory E., 5/5/17
I want to say how pleased I am after I started using you a few years ago. I have been doing oil analysts on all my vehicles and equipment for more than 30 years but was using a different lab. They made some mistakes and so I switched to you and even though you charge 3 times more I’m very happy with your work and feel the extra cost is worth it.
— Gary W., 4/17/17
Thank y’all so much! I really appreciate your insight and trust your analysis. In a fairly fuzzy world, it’s really comforting to have a level of confidence in the science underlying opinion. This has been a nearly two solid year project, taking this beast from badly mistreated and poorly serviced…to pristine. In large part, your information helped provide the roadmap. Thanks again. We’ll connect again next year.
— Charles R., 4/6/17
Thank you guys much! I was really worried I might have had coolant leaking into the oil, but my mind is at ease! I look forward to doing business with you again at 300,000 miles!
— William S., 4/5/17
Thanks to the oil analysis before this one I was able to detect 3 bad exhaust valves and a broken piston ring and had the 3 cylinders overhauled. The plane was flying great so if it wasn’t for the oil analysis I would not have known anything was wrong until it could have been a disaster. In my case I was able to get things fixed before they got much worse. Thanks!
— Greg E., 4/3/17
I’m pretty stoked to see that the engine seems happy, I bought this bus at auction on a bit of a whim and I’m praying the drivetrain holds for a while. Question for you, I do a DIY podcast with a friend and we’ll be talking about this on the next episode, do you have any qualms with me posting on our Instagram for listeners to view? Thanks!
— Geoff L., 3/24/17
I have been using your company for a few years and greatly appreciate your services. Your reports help me monitor my collection of military vehicles and the truck I use daily. I find your comments on the reports very informative and easy to understand. So far your comany has helped me save money in my F350, by not having to change the oil every 3000 miles. Being that the motor is a 7.3L, it is not cheap to change the oil if it does not require it. Also I wanted to note that the deciding factor for me to use your company was your FAQ. I must admit that I found that to be quite hilarious and it shows that you have a great company and a great staff.
— Robert S., 2/5/17
Thank you for checking this oil out. That is good news. I will make good use out of oil they were going to discard. At $12.00/gallon you just made my day! lol
— Thanks, Brad D., 1/20/17
Thank you for sending that report again. I like your service and am glad I found you guys. I have severe ptsd which means I’m paranoid and my truck is my baby. I try to keep it in tip top condition and never intend to sell it. Hopefully I will pass this amazing machine onto my son as they’re (7.3L) said to reach 1,000,000 miles regularly. Please volunteer any information regarding the longevity and health of my engine. One of my favorite parts of this whole process is that it’s not just a numbers game. Someone is on the other end hand typing additional info.
— Dave M., 1/6/17
Hi, This is my first oil report ever with you guys (well, ever, ever). I’ve read sample reports posted online, but the feeling I had reading words from a human about my sample was, just, unexpectedly awesome. I dunno why, but it just was. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for being awesome. Also, I put no tape on my sample bottle. Thanks!
–Dan S., 12/27/16
Thank you, thank you, thank you. My 86 Olds Calais with 2.5 four cylinder has been saved by your oil analyses that discovered coolant in the oil. There was no overheating, milkshake in the oil, no external leaks or water vapor coming from the exhaust. Just loss of coolant over a period of time.
Because of Blackstone I took it to my mechanic with test results in hand. Diagnosis: Cracked head, broken bolts and the crack in the head was allowing the head gasket to seep coolant into the oil. Caught in time.
Your data saved my engine and the car.
Yes, it has no market “value” but it is still useful and functional. Not the route many would have gone, but would have been a waste to junk the car for me. It now has a brand new head, head gasket and head bolts & the improved ones that TSBs of the period indicated should be used for these problems.
I’ve gotten more pleasure and satisfaction out of this repair than I would have had with a brand new car.
Thanks to Blackstone Labs. I am very grateful for the availability of your services.
— David G., 11/12/18