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My LS400 has done 88k. I bought it 2 weeks ago and checked the oil level at the weekend to find the oil on the dipstick a lovely amber colour. The car was serviced at 81k and was amazed at how clean the oil is after 7k. My previous car was an audi diesel and even when the car had just been serviced the oil was black!

Is it normal for the Lexus oil to be so clean (not complaining of course!). Could it be down to the VVTi engine burning fuel very efficiently? I'm no techy but its just theory?

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My LS400 has done 88k. I bought it 2 weeks ago and checked the oil level at the weekend to find the oil on the dipstick a lovely amber colour. The car was serviced at 81k and  was amazed at how clean the oil is after 7k. My previous car was an audi diesel and even when the car had just been serviced the oil was black!

Is it normal for the Lexus oil to be so clean (not complaining of course!). Could it be down to the VVTi engine burning fuel very efficiently? I'm no techy but its just theory?

Diesels darkens the oil very quickly due to their different burning caracteristics and carbon particles that are trapped in the oil. Such a black oil does not indicate a "worn" condition nor does a nice clean oil always imply a good condition. In fact lubricants fullfill a wide variety of tasks of which only one is to lube the parts. Contaminations in the oil are not only unburnt fuel and water but also metallic abrasion (ranging from sub-microscopic to almost visible, the rest is trapped by the oil filter). So even nice oil must be changed.

It depends also largely on the quality of the oil you use. Synthetics are commonly more agressive, catching contaminations much better and longer than standard mineral oils. Final tread is to use the best oil you can afford, change the filter always when you change oil and keep to the maintenance intervals for normal driving. If you do lots of short travels cut down the intervals by 1/3th. But if you want the very best for your engine keep to good minerals and do the oil change every 5000 miles. That's the way an engine can be kept running forever.

BTW, if you run the car on LPG it will almost NEVER dirty the oil. But it still needs changing though at longer intervals.

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