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Thread: Is oil color an indication to change oil ?

  1. #1
    member firefly's Avatar
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    firefly
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    Is oil color an indication to change oil ?

    The oil in my bike gets darker within 200 miles, even when the bike was new,
    I was told it might be blow by but I have no oil consumption at all x 4000 mile
    I know at least 1/2 a quart of old oil remains in the engine after draining and mixes with the fresh oil and instantly darkens it.
    The oil after 3k looks very dark but not opaque, bike never smokes & spark plugs in perfect color.
    I use amsoil and change the filter every other oil change.
    Is this something to be concerned about ?

  2. #2
    The Lost Tourguide kluts's Avatar
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    Re: Is oil color an indication to change oil ?

    Nothing to worry about. Blowby not very likely since to get blowby, your rings have to be either poorly seated or they are worn-- neither of which is the case if you are not losing any oil.

    (Remember, technically there is going to be microscopic blowby because piston rings are never 100% perfect seals-- but detectable blowby will show as oil consumption and in bad cases, dirty plugs.)

    There's always residual dirt in the crankcase that is picked up with the fresh oil. As long as you change filter with each oil change there is no problem whatsoever.

    Your oil should get to a golden-brownish color rather quickly. After that it should stay that way for about 3K miles and then it will begin to look a little dirty.

    When it's pure Black sludge you shoulda changed it a few years and several thousand miles ago.

    4000 miles per change on Amsoil is just fine.
    "Not all those who wander are lost."
    --J.R.R. Tolkien

  3. #3
    Snow dancing marko's Avatar
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    Re: Is oil color an indication to change oil ?

    Check viscosity, not color. Thin, used oil bad. Thick new oil good. Take some off the dipstick and put a drop on your thumb, touch it with your forefinger and then SLOWLY separate your finger from your thumb. As you do, the oil should stretch a little before it snaps. If you check new oil vs used oil, you'll get the idea. The heavier the weight of the oil, the further the separation.

    My mod'd Bandit tends to run a little rich at altitude where I ride a lot... new oil is dark colored (compared to new) after the first ride with new juice, but its viscosity remains. If I'm riding a lot, I change my Motorex synthetic every 3.5k - 4k in summer and 4.5k to 5k in winter regardless of color or viscosity.

    Cheap investment to keep the pony running.
    Marko

    "Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff."

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