Our favorite Russian car vloggers are at it again with another strange experiment. Can you use a bunch of oil filters to restore dirty, black engine oil back to new again? Vlad from Garage 54 is putting the idea to the test.
Engine oil can get really dirty after thousands of miles of driving. When it comes time for an oil change you’ll find that old vehicular lifeblood dark and perhaps full of deposits or if you’re really unlucky, metal shavings.
But what if instead of changing that oil you could filter it over and over? Could it be restored back to new? Garage 54 set out to find out, using 50 oil filters.
Vlad’s test involves a Toyota that has traveled about 6,200 miles since its last oil change. The Garage 54 alternates between running the engine and changing the oil filter until the mountain of oil filters is exhausted. The hope is that the filters will clean the oil, leaving it like new.
Vlad starts off with a baseline, extracting a sample of the car’s oil before beginning the test. This oil is so black that you can’t even see through it.
The team then begins testing, letting the engine run for about five minutes, then swapping out an oil filter for a new one.
After ten filters Vlad takes another sample and compares it to the baseline. The first ten filters remove some of the chunkier deposits but the oil remains black.
If you’ve ever changed an oil filter, you understand how some oil was lost on each filter change. The team worked through 50 oil filters before the engine ran out of oil. Vlad originally wanted to do 100 filter changes, but they only got halfway there before the oil ran out.
But he did get a good look at what that oil looked like after being filtered through 50 oil filters--basically no different than the original oil, save for being just a smidge lighter.
Vlad concludes that oil filters don’t restore old oil back to new. He still wants to see if they can restore old oil, but for now he says if your oil is spent, just change it.