Double the Aluminum expected - Oil Analysis report

Here is the comment from the analysis lab. Any idea why the aluminum would be twice the expected value?
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Comment: Universal averages show typical wear from this type of engine after a routine oil use of about 4,200 miles. Your oil was in use 5,000 miles, and we found wear from your engine at around average levels, with the exception of aluminum. Your aluminum, from pistons, is about double the average reading. All other wear looks normal, so we don't think this is showing a major problem, just something you may want to keep an eye on. No antifreeze, fuel, or water was found. We'll watch aluminum closely in the next sample.
EQUIPMENT MAKE: 2000 Ford Explorer
Mileage: 40,840
EQUIPMENT MODEL: 4.0L V-6
FUEL TYPE: Gasoline (Unleaded)
OIL USE INTERVAL: 5,000 Miles
OIL TYPE & GRADE: 5W/30 (gas)
MAKE-UP OIL ADDED: 0.25 qt
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I can't help wonder what the usual amount of aluminum is. I may be a very small amount, so that even 100x that doesn't show a major problem.
I also didn't see anything about the amount of acid in the oil or oil breakdown, which are two major problems with oil.
If you don't have numbers, I think I would send my oil elsewhere.
Jeff

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Bill opined in

It's interesting there seems to be no reference to the breakdown level of the oil itself. But I found in the 60's that pennsylvania oils broke down much faster than low paraffin types.. since then I have avoided them, no matter what they advertise.
There is only one likely place for that to come from and that's piston scuffing on the cylinder walls. There will ALWAYS be some...a nd one solid contaminant trapped alongside (Like carbon from combustion chamber) could cause the symptom by scratching the skirt... next time the analysis could be normal.
if it isnt, I suggest you change motor oils... if you dont use a good synthetic ( why worry - Mobil 1!) just switch to it.
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I'd be interested in sending the oil to may be 10 different labs and see if the results are similar. I have not idea about the qualtiy of these labs.
But I totally agree that the oil breakdown product would be an important thing to report.
As far as the aluminum is concerned, I can help but think that is a way to get people to send their oil in next time.
Jeff
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The report indicated all is well with other oil concerns. The only anomaly was the AL which was twice the expected value, average is 4 part per million (PPM), they found 10 part per million (PPM). The lab didn't appear concerned, based on the one sample, but indicated the value should be watched. Further thought reveled that maybe I'm reading too much into the report, after all, they are talking parts per million and I'm only off by 6 ppm. :-)

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If you were not using a wide viscosity oil like 10W-50, or a viscosity improver like STP, and changing your oil at least twice a year, don't give it much concern. Too much viscosity index improver can form varnish that can cause rings to stick which can scuff the cylinders. Most, if Al are lined with a Fe material.
Richard.
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