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98 Odyssey Full.pdf

1998 Honda Odyssey


            Maybe the colour on this report has gotten your attention.  (The red is simply from me waiting too long to send it in.)  This is actually an impressive analysis.  It’s from our own van, and there were serious issues going on with it at the time of this analysis (353,000 kms) that I was not even aware of then.  This report constitutes a good argument for how useful oil analysis is in regards to vehicle maintenance, and how well our premium oils protect under severe service conditions. 

            With all vehicles using an EGR system, the EGR valve and/or ports can plug up over time.  This had happened to our van.  It caused a lean-burn scenario that was in effect virtually the whole time this oil was in service.  I won’t get technical, but this causes an engine to run extremely hot in the head when you are just lightly cruising around.  In hindsight, I remembered that after driving around some days I would get home and the engine would have an odour to it like super-hot metal, like an overheated stove, if you’ve ever experienced that.  Vehicles can also stumble and lurch a bit in this condition.  I misdiagnosed the symptoms completely, suspecting it might be the transmission at the time. 

            I was using AMSOIL’s premium 0W-30 which had a one year/28,000 km guarantee in severe service conditions at the time (which our van fell under due to its age), and a much higher km rating for normal service conditions.  This oil was in the van for 13 months, and when it reached 28,000 kms, I changed it and sent in a sample.  I’m glad I did!  This is what we found had happened, with the help of this analysis. 

          Due to a plugged EGR system, the van was running extremely hot, and I wasn’t even aware!  Extreme lean burn conditions can be very destructive.  The extreme heat caused some thermal expansion and extra wear in the top end.  You can see this reflected in the elevated Chromium count (piston rings). 

          The extreme heat also damaged one of the fuel injectors, which ended up leaking ever increasing amounts of fuel into the oil from this point on (which subsequent analysis confirmed).  There was 4.4% fuel dilution in this oil, which they flagged orange.  Fuel dilution is nothing to play with, and it was starting to get bad here.  The fuel even thinned the oil’s viscosity into a 20 weight category, albeit just barely at this point.  And fuel dilution does a lot of other bad things to oil too, chemically speaking.  Thinner oil is only a more obvious side effect.  Also, the TBN was starting to get low at 3.61. 

 I was adding small amounts of Moly-Slip to the oil in those days (but no longer).  It was flagged because AMSOIL doesn’t use Molybdenum in their oils, though some other companies do.  This is a good example of why you shouldn’t immediately stress if you see some minor colours on the report.  Expect to see some's quite normal, though some things are more important than others.  Get worried when the majors are lit up with orange and red, like water or fuel dilution, coolant or soot in the oil, TBN or viscosity, for example. 

All told, this oil did a phenomenal job protecting my engine from wear and damage, especially on the cylinder lining and rings.  A lesser oil, especially a petroleum oil, would have volatized and literally baked to death in an engine running this hot for this many miles.  We probably would have lost our engine.  Add to this substantial fuel dilution which only worsened matters and thinned out the oil, and it’s amazing the engine suffered no permanent damage.  I changed the oil, had the problems fixed and drove on!  It burned no oil afterwards and still ran without issue.  No other oil could have managed this.  It doesn't look as pretty as it used to, but I’m still driving this van today with over 520,000 kms on the clock: a testament to the quality AMSOIL builds into all of its lubricants. 

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