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How to Perform Oil Analysis

Oil analysis provides a look inside your engine to gauge oil and component condition.

how to get an oil analysis

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how to get an oil analysis

Used oil analysis is one of the most potent tools in your maintenance arsenal. It provides a simple, inexpensive and accurate glimpse inside your engine or equipment to help gauge lubricant and component condition, without removing a bolt or bloodying a knuckle. Here’s how to perform oil analysis.

What is oil analysis?

Oil analysis is the process of chemically analyzing a lubricant sample to determine the condition of the lubricant itself as well as the engine or other lubricated components it interacts with.

To have your oil analyzed, you must take a sample of the lubricant and ship it to a qualified laboratory. Technicians subject the lubricant to a range of tests to determine the concentration of wear metals, fuel dilution, the lubricant’s total base number (TBN), oxidation and other information. The lab will return a report on the lubricant’s condition and includes a brief explanation and recommendations for future service.

Benefits of oil analysis

Determining the condition of the oil inside your engine offers several benefits, all of which can save you time, money and hassle in the future.

  • Maximize oil life

Monitoring the condition of the oil allows you to optimize drain intervals, so you can maximize the fluid’s service life. Performing fewer oil changes minimizes maintenance costs and reduces downtime for businesses that depend on equipment and vehicle availability. It also reduces the amount of waste oil, which helps the environment.

  • Prevent equipment failure

Oil analysis identifies dirt, wear particles, fuel dilution, coolant and other contaminants that can cause catastrophic failure or significantly shorten equipment life, allowing you to proactively fix problems before they happen.

  • Increase resale value

Oil analysis creates documentation of the equipment’s history and performance, which helps it maintain its value.

Oil Test Kit

How to perform oil analysis

It is easy to perform oil analysis by obtaining an oil analysis kit from Oil Analyzers Inc . For this example, we used a 1998 Toyota* Corolla.* This vehicle was also used to demonstrate testing engine compression . Here’s what you’ll need to perform oil analysis:

  • Oil analysis kit
  • Sampling pump with hose

Warm up the engine

Warm oil flows more easily through the sampling pump and circulating the oil prior to drawing a sample ensures consistency. Run the vehicle for a couple of minutes; there’s no need to reach operating temperature.

Draw the oil sample

Using a vacuum pump is the easiest and cleanest way to accomplish this, allowing access to the oil sump through the dipstick tube. Thread the clean sample bottle included in the testing kit to the pump. Attach a clean hose (the length of the dipstick plus one foot) to the top of the pump and tighten the lock ring.

PRO TIP: Trim the end of the sampling hose at a 45-degree angle to make insertion easier.

Oil Test Pump

Insert the hose into the dipstick tube until it bottoms out in the oil sump, then retract the tube about an inch, so it won’t pull contaminants off the bottom of the oil pan. Pump the plunger until the bottle is 3/4 full.

Sometimes it’s impossible to draw an oil sample from the top, so you’ll have to pull the sample straight from the drain hole, which is messier. Simply allow the lubricant to drain for a few seconds so contaminants that have settled around the drain plug are flushed out before catching a sample directly in the bottle. Quickly reinstall the drain plug and top-off the reservoir.

Ship the oil sample

Most oil analysis kits come with the appropriate labels and directions for shipping it to a lab. Follow the instructions, then sit tight until the results arrive.

Read the results

Oil Analyzers Inc. typically returns results either by email or via an online portal about two business days after receiving the sample. The lab report includes application information, elemental analysis and recommendations. The amount of information varies depending on the test kit you choose.

how to get an oil analysis

AMSOIL Performance Testing

Laboratory tested and proven on the road.

See how AMSOIL products perform in the lab and in the field.

Reading an oil analysis report

Here’s the report for a 1998 Corolla* with 11,000 miles and 11 months on the oil. Note the severity status level in the upper right, which provides a quick reference to determine the status of the sample.

  • Severity 0 (Normal) = Oil is suitable for continued use.
  • Severity 1 (Normal) = Oil is suitable for continued use. Observe trends in future tests.
  • Severity 2 (Abnormal) = Oil is suitable for continued use. Resample at half the normal interval.
  • Severity 3 (Abnormal) = Replace oil filter and top-off system with fresh oil. Resample at half the normal interval or change oil.
  • Severity 4 (Critical) = Change oil and filter if not done when sample was taken.

This sample fell into the Severity 2 category. Note the Multi-Source Metals and Additive Metals are highlighted in yellow.

The Comments section explains: “Flagged additive levels are lower than expected for the identified lubricant. This may have been topped off with a different lubricant, the fluid may be misidentified, or a different lubricant or formulation may have been in use prior to a recent change.”

The oil was, in fact, topped-off with a different AMSOIL product than the Signature Series 0W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil  installed 11 months earlier. While mixing lubricants won’t harm the engine, this report shows how it disrupts the oil’s chemistry, which can shorten its service life and reduce performance.

Overall results were good for an older car with more than 150,000 miles and an unknown motor oil history. Wear metals were low, meaning the oil was doing an excellent job protecting the bearings and other components from wear. Contaminants were also low, meaning the filter was capturing debris before it reached the engine. There’s no glycol contamination, which means the engine coolant was not leaking into the oil. And oil viscosity and oxidation were both good, indicating the oil was holding up, even after 11 months.

The only areas to watch were a “moderate” 3% fuel dilution and moderately low TBN, neither of which was at a level necessitating changing the oil.

This is a perfect example of the power of oil analysis, as it identified fuel-dilution and allows monitoring for more problematic levels in future testing. The knowledge that this engine suffers moderate fuel dilution also reinforces the importance of using a high-quality synthetic oil to ensure maximum protection.

Oil Analyzers Inc.

Oil analysis is relatively inexpensive for the information it provides. It empowers you to take better care of your vehicles and equipment to reduce downtime and maintenance costs and maximize the return on your investment.

AMSOIL Technical Writer and 20-year veteran of the motorcycle industry. Enjoys tearing things apart to figure out how they work. If it can’t be repaired, it’s not worth owning.

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How to Do an Engine Oil Analysis

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Metal shavings from engine parts, foreign debris, and oil that doesn't lubricate properly can all contribute to eating up an engine.

One of the worst pieces of news you can ever receive as a car owner is to hear that your engine is toast -- so worn down that your only options are to replace it or buy a new car .

Metal shavings from engine parts, foreign debris, and oil that doesn't lubricate properly can all contribute to eating up an engine. Replacing one isn't a cheap proposition -- depending on your vehicle, you're looking at a few thousand dollars (at least) for parts and labor. Even if just certain parts of the engine are worn down, like the engine bearings for example, repairs could require big bucks.

Of course you knew that your vehicle engine's oil plays a crucial role in keeping your car, truck or SUV running smoothly. But did you know that the condition of engine oil can actually provide clues to an engine's health -- sort of like a blood test in humans?

It can, and it's actually pretty easy to have an engine oil analysis done for your vehicle. You can even purchase kits that allow you to provide a sample of oil, analyze the results on the spot, or have the results mailed back to you from the lab.

This article will cover a few things about engine oil analysis:

  • What's involved with performing an engine oil analysis
  • Several ways that oil analysis can save you money
  • How oil analysis can keep your four-wheeled (or two-wheeled) chariot on the road longer

Go to the next page to learn what goes into an engine oil analysis kit ... and what you'll get out of using one.

Engine Oil Analysis Kits

Interpreting oil analysis results.

The oil analysis results will let you know if the oil is excessively contaminated with fuel, water or antifreeze, all of which reduce the oil's ability to lubricate your engine effectively.

You have two options for analyzing your motor oil with a kit. You can buy one that lets you interpret the results for yourself, or you can purchase the services of a professional laboratory, such as Blackstone Labs or Oil Analyzers, Inc., just two of the leading firms out of many that offer oil analysis.

Either way, kits typically cost less than $30, and sampling your oil is relatively easy. Or at least, it can be. There's the somewhat messy sampling method, of removing the oil filter and catching a sample of oil (enough to fill the small container for the kit). Or you can do it the no-mess way: use a vacuum pump to siphon oil from the dipstick tube or crankcase filler hole. Such pumps are available at auto supply stores, or often, from the providers of the analysis kits.

So what's actually in the kit? If it's one that you mail in, it will likely include a small jar or bottle for the sample, along with a label you fill out that tells the lab about the sample. It may also include a separate container into which you can pack the sample for mailing. You then receive the results by mail, e-mail or phone, typically within a few days.

For tests that let you read the results at home, (like QMI of Missouri's MotorAnalyzer), you just place a drop of warm motor oil on the supplied test sheets. Then you compare the pattern produced by the oil drop with the patterns shown on the included test analysis guide. The pattern of colored concentric rings gives you insights as to:

  • How efficiently your fuel is being burned
  • How much life remains in the motor oil
  • Whether there's water, fuel or other contaminants in the oil

If you're a novice, especially, it can be pretty intimidating trying to interpret what those results mean. Click to the next page to learn more about interpreting the results of an engine oil analysis.

You can buy an oil analysis kit that lets you interpret the results for yourself, or you can purchase the services of a professional laboratory that will analyze the results for you.

So just what, exactly, will all this information about your engine's oil tell you? And what will that do for you?

If you send your oil sample to a lab for analysis, technicians will check for lots of things, including the presence of metals and other elements, such as aluminum, chromium, iron, copper, lead, calcium and more. If certain materials are abnormally high in your oil, it could point to excessive wear in a certain engine part.

The analysis also lets you know the oil's viscosity , compared to what it should be. The Total Base Number (TBN), which lets you know how much of the additives -- chemicals that enhance the oil's effectiveness -- remain.

Having this knowledge beforehand could save you lots of money and aggravation, as it gives you time to catch problems before they result in a catastrophic failure on your vehicle (like an engine seizing up).

The results also let you know if the oil is excessively contaminated with fuel, water or antifreeze , all of which reduce the oil's ability to lubricate your engine effectively.

But there are at least two more ways an engine oil analysis can save you money.

If you're considering buying a used vehicle , a car, a truck, a motorcycle or even a piece of diesel construction equipment can be quickly given the oil analysis test to see what kind of shape they're really in, beneath their flawlessly washed and waxed exteriors. An engine oil analysis can give you a look deep inside the workings of the engine without you having to take it apart. Naturally, a lab report that comes back showing lots of metal particles may be a sign that you should avoid taking that vehicle home.

Another potential money saver is if the analysis shows you can extend the interval between your oil changes. The recommendation used to be that you change your oil every 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers), no exceptions, if you wanted your car to last. But on modern vehicles, the interval between changes can be 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers) or even longer. That represents big savings of time and money, not to mention giving a break to the environment by not having to produce and then dispose of those additional quarts of oil.

For more information about engine oil analysis, be sure to follow the links on the next page.

Lots More Information

Related articles.

  • 5 Tips for Preventing Motor Oil Deposits
  • 5 New Gas Engine Technologies
  • 5 Benefits of an Engine Flush
  • 5 Driving Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Engine
  • How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Car or Truck
  • What is thermal breakdown?
  • How are engine friction and gas mileage related?
  • Barnes, Mark. "Oil Analysis: Five Things You Didn't Know." MachineryLubrication.com. (June 4, 2011) http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/1704/oil-analysis-know
  • BobIsTheOilGuy.com. "Engine Oil Analysis." (June 5, 2011) http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/engine-oil-analysis/
  • BobIsTheOilGuy.com. "What Is Oil Analysis?" (June 2011) http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/what-is-oil-analysis/
  • Lubes-n-filters.com. "Oil Analysis." (June 2, 2011) http://www.lubes-n-filters.com/synthetics/oil-analysis.html#first
  • Reed, Philip. "What's Your Engine Oil Telling You?" Edmunds.com. Oct. 16, 2009. (June 1, 2011) http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/whats-your-engine-oil-telling-you.html

Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article:

We'll help you figure out how to get the most from your motor oil -- without leaving a lot of it behind.

Oil Testing & Analysis

Routine oil analysis

Oil analysis is the laboratory assessment of an oil sample and generally monitors for oil condition, contamination, and component wear.  A well implemented oil analysis program gives you a window inside your equipment so you can identify and resolve problems at an early stage, mitigating unrecoverable downtime.

Just testing your oil won’t actually change anything

The value is in how you respond

Oil analysis lets you understand what’s happening and gives you the insight to change something if needed. It’s all about interpreting the results, reviewing the options, and responding accordingly. Watch the video to learn more about oil analysis response and download the summary of the three steps: Interpret, Decide, and Respond.

Benefits of Oil Analysis

Improve Planning and scheduling

Improve Planning & Scheduling

  • Identify problems at an early stage
  • Reduce unplanned maintenance
  • Guide planning for upcoming service work

Monitor improvement initiatives

Monitor Improvement Initiatives

  • Monitor/change equipment maintenance plan
  • Manage your contamination control program
  • Identify and eliminate repetitive problems

Lower Operating Costs

Lower Operating & Capital Costs

  • Reduce maintenance and lubrication costs
  • Obtain maximum use of lubricants in service

Maintain Equipment Reliability

Maintain Equipment Reliability

  • Improve machine reliability
  • Achieve component life extension

Oil Analysis Options and Resources

Oil analysis individual tests.

Fluid Life offers a variety of individual tests for oil analysis. See listing below for an overview of some of the Oil Analysis tests available. We also offer test packages specific to the industries we service.

Download the full test listing for reference.

INDUSTRY TEST PACKAGES

We offer specially designed industry specific oil analysis test packages to support your equipment reliability needs. Additional test packages for coolant , diesel fuel , diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) , and grease are also listed as applicable.

Mining and Construction

Mining & Construction

Industrial Plant

Industrial Plant

Oil and Gas

Oil & Gas

Wind Turbines

Wind Energy

Transportation

Transportation

Recommended tests & sample frequencies.

For an overview of recommended oil analysis testing and sample frequencies, download the chart . Sampling frequencies should be adjusted based on the nature of failure modes, asset criticality, safety and environmental concerns.

Contact Fluid Life for routine analysis planning support.

OIL SAMPLING PROCEDURES

Consistent sampling at regular intervals, utilizing a repeatable procedure, will reduce the noise within the data to make it easier to spot any deviations from normal results, providing the earliest, and proper, notification of necessary action.

SAMPLING PROCEDURES:

Oil Sampling Using a Drain Plug/Pipe For oil sumps/reservoirs, without fixed sampling hardware installed where dipstick or fill-cap access is unavailable. The oil sample is collected by gravity drain into a sample jar.

Oil Sampling Using a Sample Pump This is the sampling procedure using the Fluid Life 38U Sample Pump. This procedure can be used for oil sumps/reservoirs, where dipstick, fill-cap, or other access is available.

Oil Sampling Using A Pushbutton Valve & KST-Series Valve For components installed with a pushbutton valve or KST-Series valve.

Oil Sampling Using a Sample Valve For a pressurized and non-pressurized fluid applications equipped with a “Thread-on Probe” style sample valve ( i.e. Fluid Life B-Series Sample Valve).

SAMPLE HARDWARE

Fluid Life offers a variety of sampling hardware options including customized solutions to fit your needs.

SAMPLE CARDS

To ensure accuracy and results integrity fill out all sampling cards as completely as possible . If the information is fully completed, your sample will be processed in the shortest amount of time.

DOWNLOAD OIL SAMPLE CARD (EN)  »

Download oil sample card (fr) >>.

The Oil Sample Card Guide outlines how to complete the individual sections of a Fluid Life oil analysis sample card.

OIL SAMPLE REGISTRATION

Fluid Life offers three methods for registering your samples :

  • Tutorial for registering samples via the mobile app
  • Tutorial for scanning VIN numbers to register samples
  • Tutorial for registration via scan method
  • Tutorial for registration via print label method
  • Download English sample card
  • Download French sample card
  • Download sample card guide

INTERPRETING TEST RESULTS

Reading an oil analysis report.

Learn how to read a sample report produced after a sample has been analyzed – Download Reading the Oil Analysis Report .

Component Wear

  • Some component wear is to be expected and is normal though wear rates tend to increase as components age
  • Filtration may give the impression of ‘steady-state’ wear
  • Harsh Operation (frequent stop-and-go, rapid acceleration, braking or reversal, driving through deep puddles)
  • Ineffective Maintenance (extended, ineffective, or missed PM services, wrong oil added, poor cooling system)
  • Poor Oil Condition (wrong oil for conditions, low oil level, extended oil drains, dilution with another oil)
  • Excessive Contamination (excessive dirt or water ingression, ineffective filtration)
  • Mechanical Issue (break-in wear, reaching end-of-life, malfunctioning system)

Oil condition

  • Oil degradation is complex; oxidation, hydrolysis, thermal degradation, shearing, etc. can lead to physical and chemical changes in oil
  • Premature oil degradation
  • Performance loss
  • Varnish formation
  • Excessive corrosion or wear
  • Confirming that the correct oil is being used
  • Identifying when oil should be changed
  • Maintaining oil condition for as long as possible or as long as needed

Contamination

  • Hydraulic oils: 80% of all failures caused by contamination
  • Engine oils: Fuel dilution or glycol contamination can lead to failures
  • Turbine oils: Varnish can lead to unplanned downtime and high costs
  • External ingression (dirt, water, cement dust, wood fibres, etc.)
  • Cross-contamination (diesel fuel, glycol, other oils, etc.)
  • Oil breakdown (varnish, seals, etc.)
  • When developing your oil analysis protocols, it’s important to define what constitutes “too much”
  • You may decide to define a threshold for allowable contamination
  • Alternatively, you may monitor for an increase from the trend
  • Or, you may decide that any amount of contamination is too much

ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS

Take the next step.

Depend on over 40 years of experience in fluid testing and analysis to improve your predictive maintenance programs and reduce unplanned downtime.

Contact Fluid Life to develop and implement an Oil Analysis program that fits your needs.

WE’RE FLUID LIFE. ALWAYS RELIABLE. ALL WAYS.

Call: 1-877-962-2400

Talk to a Fluid Life Representative

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  • Company Name *
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  • Consent I would like to receive relevant updates from Fluid Life.
  • Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

how to get an oil analysis

Get an oil analysis before buying a used car

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An engine oil analysis provides insight into a variety of issues. It can identify contaminants leaking into the engine, such as antifreeze or gasoline. It can assess whether the air and oil filters are working properly. And it can determine what small metal particles have worn off the inside of the engine and whether the levels are above, below or average for the type of engine and mileage.  

If you can spot potential costly problems, you can avoid spending money on a used car that may become a sinkhole of mechanical issues.  

3 reasons to get an oil analysis before buying a used car  

It may not be the most common advice when shopping for a used car, but an oil analysis can be revealing. The quality of the engine can be quickly checked with an oil analysis. Your decision to buy a car should be based on a number of factors , and oil analysis can provide helpful insight into the quality of the engine.  

1. Determine the engine’s condition  

The primary reason to have an oil analysis done is to determine the engine’s health. An oil analysis checks for oxidation, concentration of metal particles and quality of the lubrication, among other indicators.  

A previous owner should have maintained their engine and regularly gotten oil changes. If you want to know for sure, positive results from the oil analysis and well-maintained mechanic records are a good indicator that the vehicle has been well cared for.

2. Catch and prevent potential problems  

Used cars, especially older models, may not have been properly maintained by previous owners. By confirming a healthy engine, you’re ensuring you are not buying a car that may not last.   

And in addition to confirming the engine’s current health, you may be able to spot potential problems down the road.  For example, debris in the oil could indicate corrosion or wear on your car’s components.

Even something as simple as knowing the frequency of future oil changes can help you calculate maintenance costs for the vehicle.  

3. Inexpensive or free with used car purchase  

Used car dealerships may offer an oil analysis as part of the purchase package — similar to getting a car history report. In this case, it may be free or worked into the administrative costs. Either way, you will get the results without having to put in any extra effort on your end.   

If you’re buying a car from a private seller , or the dealer doesn’t offer it, you can purchase an oil analysis kit yourself. It may take a little longer to get the results, but it’s worth it, especially if the seller doesn’t have records of visits to the mechanic.   

How to get an oil analysis done  

An oil analysis can be done by a mechanic or yourself with an at-home kit. If you get it done by a mechanic, the biggest step will be waiting for it to be done and the results.  

If you do it yourself, you should review the instructions on your kit and watch a few instructional videos. But here are the basic steps:  

  • Warm up the engine and take a sample of the oil using the tubing provided with your kit.  
  • Send the sample to a qualified laboratory.  
  • Wait for the results — around two to three days — and review the report.  

The report may include helpful comments, but if you don’t fully understand the results you can check with a mechanic for a professional opinion.  

An oil analysis kit can cost under $30, but if you get this done at a mechanic, the cost varies.

What to do if the results aren’t stellar  

The choice to go through with the purchase is up to you. Every vehicle, new or used, will need maintenance. The oil analysis may reveal potential problems, but if they aren’t costly or more than you expect to spend, it could still be worth it to buy the car — especially if it meets your other requirements.  

If the cost of maintenance may be too high, there is no reason you should have to go through with the purchase. Problems can snowball, and you may be stuck paying much more than the car is worth if you frequently need to take it to the mechanic.   

Consider the cost of regular maintenance against the cost of engine problems that may or may not occur. But if you’re financing the vehicle, know that extra money spent on repairs could put you upside down on your loan — leading to more financial stress down the road.  

Next steps  

At the end of the day, an oil analysis only provides some insight into the future of the vehicle and the quality of its engine. It’s a useful diagnostic tool when you’re shopping for a used car. But it’s not the only tool, so carefully review all the mechanical and safety features of a car — as well as accident history — before committing.  

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Get an oil analysis before buying a used car

A n engine oil analysis provides insight into a variety of issues. It can identify contaminants leaking into the engine, such as antifreeze or gasoline. It can assess whether the air and oil filters are working properly. And it can determine what small metal particles have worn off the inside of the engine and whether the levels are above, below or average for the type of engine and mileage.  

If you can spot potential costly problems, you can avoid spending money on a used car that may become a sinkhole of mechanical issues.  

3 reasons to get an oil analysis before buying a used car  

It may not be the most common advice when shopping for a used car, but an oil analysis can be revealing. The quality of the engine can be quickly checked with an oil analysis. Your decision to buy a car should be based on a number of factors , and oil analysis can provide helpful insight into the quality of the engine.  

1. Determine the engine’s condition  

The primary reason to have an oil analysis done is to determine the engine’s health. An oil analysis checks for oxidation, concentration of metal particles and quality of the lubrication, among other indicators.  

A previous owner should have maintained their engine and regularly gotten oil changes. If you want to know for sure, positive results from the oil analysis and well-maintained mechanic records are a good indicator that the vehicle has been well cared for.

2. Catch and prevent potential problems  

Used cars, especially older models, may not have been properly maintained by previous owners. By confirming a healthy engine, you’re ensuring you are not buying a car that may not last.   

And in addition to confirming the engine’s current health, you may be able to spot potential problems down the road.  For example, debris in the oil could indicate corrosion or wear on your car’s components.

Even something as simple as knowing the frequency of future oil changes can help you calculate maintenance costs for the vehicle.  

3. Inexpensive or free with used car purchase  

Used car dealerships may offer an oil analysis as part of the purchase package — similar to getting a car history report. In this case, it may be free or worked into the administrative costs. Either way, you will get the results without having to put in any extra effort on your end.   

If you’re buying a car from a private seller , or the dealer doesn’t offer it, you can purchase an oil analysis kit yourself. It may take a little longer to get the results, but it’s worth it, especially if the seller doesn’t have records of visits to the mechanic.   

How to get an oil analysis done  

An oil analysis can be done by a mechanic or yourself with an at-home kit. If you get it done by a mechanic, the biggest step will be waiting for it to be done and the results.  

If you do it yourself, you should review the instructions on your kit and watch a few instructional videos. But here are the basic steps:  

  • Warm up the engine and take a sample of the oil using the tubing provided with your kit.  
  • Send the sample to a qualified laboratory.  
  • Wait for the results — around two to three days — and review the report.  

The report may include helpful comments, but if you don’t fully understand the results you can check with a mechanic for a professional opinion.  

An oil analysis kit can cost under $30, but if you get this done at a mechanic, the cost varies.

What to do if the results aren’t stellar  

The choice to go through with the purchase is up to you. Every vehicle, new or used, will need maintenance. The oil analysis may reveal potential problems, but if they aren’t costly or more than you expect to spend, it could still be worth it to buy the car — especially if it meets your other requirements.  

If the cost of maintenance may be too high, there is no reason you should have to go through with the purchase. Problems can snowball, and you may be stuck paying much more than the car is worth if you frequently need to take it to the mechanic.   

Consider the cost of regular maintenance against the cost of engine problems that may or may not occur. But if you’re financing the vehicle, know that extra money spent on repairs could put you upside down on your loan — leading to more financial stress down the road.  

Next steps  

At the end of the day, an oil analysis only provides some insight into the future of the vehicle and the quality of its engine. It’s a useful diagnostic tool when you’re shopping for a used car. But it’s not the only tool, so carefully review all the mechanical and safety features of a car — as well as accident history — before committing.  

Get an oil analysis before buying a used car

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How To Make An Optimal Oil Analysis Step By Step

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How To Make An Optimal Oil Analysis Step By Step

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the standards for most industrial oil tests. In addition, other standards are set by American Petroleum Institute (API) for engine oils, National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) for greases, American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) for gears, and there are also international standards set by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and Deutscher Industrie Normen (DIN). Most of the following are based on ASTM standards.

It is important to take samples from an area that is a representative of the system if possible. In a circulating system, this should be taken while the system is operating at normal loads, speeds and temperatures. Whenever possible, it should be drawn from the most turbulent part of the system.

It is wise to test a sample of unused oil to use it as a reference to see how the oil in the system changes with time. Samples should be labeled clearly. It is a good idea to identify the sample on the bottle itself as well as on accompanying paperwork. Labels should include:

  • Oil type (manufacturer and product), Equipment ID code
  • Equipment type, date
  • Person responsible, Company name, Location
  • Test program or tests required

There is a certain amount of error expected in oil analysis tests. ASTM generally puts repeatability and reproducibility limits on each standard. Repeatability refers to test results generated by the same person at the same lab.

Reproducibility gives the range of results expected if different people at different laboratories ran the same test on the same sample. The following are tests performed on lubricating oil:

Appearance and Color

Detect changes that have taken place in the oil including contamination with other products, water (often evidenced by haziness/cloudiness when in excess of 200 PPM), and oxidation (darkening of the product).

The product should be clear and bright with no visible water or particulate. A comparison to new unused product is useful for evaluating color. The test is conducted using a Colorimeter to visually inspect the samples and determine the color.

The fluid sample is compared to color standards according to the ASTM Color Scale. The results are reported from 0.5 – 8.0. The higher the number, the darker the fluid. Highly oxidized turbine oils will become dark when compared to new oil. Also, lube mixing and other contamination may cause a color change.

how to get an oil analysis

Carbon Residue - measures the amount of carbon residue remaining in an oil after the oil has been subjected to extreme heating in the absence of air. Test results are reported as Conradson Carbon and Ramsbottom Carbon .

Cloud Point - the temperature at which paraffin wax, or other compounds present in the oil will begin to crystallize or separate from solution when the oil is chilled under prescribed conditions.

Coking Test - determining the tendency of oils to form solid decomposition products when in contact with surfaces at elevated temperatures. The Panel Coker test measures the residue on hot panels that have been coated with oil.

Copper Corrosion - measures corrosion on a copper strip when it is immersed in a lubricant under standard conditions. Results are reported on a scale from 1a (slight tarnish) to 4c (jet- black corrosion).

how to get an oil analysis

Demulsibility - Indicates the ability of an oil to separate from water under static conditions. A test result of 40/40/0 would mean clear oil and water, with no emulsion.

The Dynamic Demulsibility test measures the ability of an oil to separate from water under actual circulating conditions. The test requires 40 ml Water, 40 ml Oil into cylinder, agitated, then allowed to settle. Timed at intervals to determine the ability to shed water, <3 ml cuff (emulsion) expected.

how to get an oil analysis

Density - reported as specific gravity or API gravity. Specific Gravity is the ratio of the weight in air of a given volume of material at a stated temperature to the weight in the air of an equal volume of distilled water at the same temperature. A hydrometer is an instrument that measures the specific gravity of a liquid.

API Gravity - an arbitrary scale (chosen by the American Petroleum Institute) in which the specific gravity of pure water is taken as 10. Liquids lighter than water have values greater than 10 and liquids heavier than water have values less than 10° API. It is calculated from the specific gravity of a petroleum oil.

Dielectric Strength - measure of oil’s ability to resist conducting electricity. The test is run by immersing two electrodes in a bath of oil and subjecting them to increasing voltage until there is an arc. This and other tests suggested by IEEE and ANSI are used to determine the suitability of continued use of transformer oils.

Metals – measures in the part per million for wear metals, contaminants, and organometallic oil additives. Use of emission spectrometry measures the level of 23 metals, but only if they are less than 10 microns in size. It is used for measuring common water, additive and contaminant metals. The emission technique relates to light given off by an element whereas the absorption technique relates the absorbency upon excitation.

how to get an oil analysis

The following are metals that are commonly measured by spectrometry, and their possible sources.

  • Aluminum - piston, shell bearing, bushing, thrust washer, block, head, blower, crankcase paint, grease additive
  • Barium - additive (high-TBN detergent)
  • Boron - coolant additive, oil additive (dispersant)
  • Calcium - additive (high-TBN detergent), seawater
  • Chromium - plating, liner, ring, shaft, gear, coolant additive
  • Copper - bearing, bushing, thrust washer, piston insert, gear, axial hydraulic piston assembly, seal, copper in an engine oil shortly after initial fill may come from an oil cooler
  • Iron - piston, ring, cylinder, gear, block, head, cam, shaft, roller bearing, shell bearing back, and seal
  • Lead - bearing, shaft, thrust plating, piston insert, wet clutch, gas additive, off-the-shelf- supplement (OTSS)
  • Magnesium - additive (high-TBN detergent), seawater, some gas turbine metallurgy
  • Molybdenum - ring plating, additive (anti-wear), off-the-shelf-supplement (OTSS), Nickel steel alloy, “heavy” fuel contaminant, valve seat
  • Phosphorus - additive (anti-wear), synthetic phosphate ester lube, phosphoric acid (plant environment)
  • Potassium - coolant additive
  • Silicon - dirt, antifoam oil additive, coolant additive, seal, synthetic lube, wet clutch
  • Silver - EMD wrist pin bushing, turbo bearing, bearing plating or alloy, silver solder
  • Sodium - coolant additive, oil additive, seawater
  • Tin - bearing, bushing, piston, plating, alloy
  • Titanium - gas turbine bearing, hub, blade, ‘white’ lead, paint
  • Vanadium - steel alloy, ‘heavy’ fuel contaminant
  • Zinc - additive, galvanized metals/plumbing, brass component

Flash Point - the lowest temperature at which oil gives off sufficient vapors so that the vapors will ignite when a small flame is periodically passed over the surface. This is a measure of the temperature required to produce an ignitable vapor-air mixture above the liquid when exposed to an open flame. It helps determine if oil is contaminated with a lower viscosity fluid.

For example, low flash point of engine oil may indicate fuel dilution. Three commonly used flash point tests are ASTM D 92 Cleveland Open Cup, ASTM D 93, Pensky-Martens Closed Cup, ASTM D 56 Tag Closed Cup.

Closed cup tests are normally used for substances with a low flash point such as solvents and fuels. Fuel dilution can be tested by using gas chromatography. This method detects fuel and other volatile hydrocarbons that can contaminate lubricants.

Some of the causes of fuel dilution in a diesel engine include extended idling or defective fuel injectors, pumps, fuel lines and timing. If fuel is indicated in gasoline engines, check for problems with fuel injectors, carburetor, choke, ignition or poor warm-up.

how to get an oil analysis

Fire Point - the lowest temperature at which oil ignites and continues to burn for at least five seconds. Fire point ranges from 10°F to 70°F higher than the flashpoint of a product.

Foam Test - measures the volume of oil foam generated by blowing air through a sample of oil in a graduated cylinder at specified temperatures. The air inlet tube is fitted with a 1-inch diameter spherical glass diffuser stone of fused crystalline alumina grain at the bottom of the cylinder. The air pressure is maintained at a constant rate for a specified blowing time (usually 5 minutes). Sequence I is run at 75°F, Sequence II at 200°F, and Sequence III after the sample has cooled to 75°F again.

The level of foam is measured immediately after each sequence, and then after a 10-minute settling time. The two numbers are reported as foam tendency/stability. A test result of 150/20 would mean that there were 150 mls of foam immediately after blowing, and 20 mls after it had settled for 10 minutes.

how to get an oil analysis

4-Ball Wear / Weld - four ½ inch steel balls are arranged with one ball atop three others. The three lower balls are clamped together, and the fourth sits on top like a pyramid and is rotated under increasing load.

In the 4-Ball wear test, after a measured time and load, the scars on the balls are measured. In the EP test, load is applied until the balls weld together. That point is recorded as the weld point.

Load Wear Index is a proportion of the weight and scar diameters when load is applied just before the weld point. It indicates the level of EP performance in oil. A high level of EP would be 50 to 75, and moderate EP would be 35 to 45.

how to get an oil analysis

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) - identifies organic functional groups by measuring their infrared absorption at various wavelengths. Results are expressed in absorbance units per centimeter and range from 1 to 100. It is useful in measuring oxidation, nitration, and glycol contamination. A good new oil reference sample is needed to get good used oil results.

Also, a special unit is used to measure soot. It can measure water, hydrocarbons, oxidation products, nitration products, and glycol. Fuel soot is run in a special infrared analysis unit designed specifically for fuel soot . It shows the amount of carbon produced by combustion.

Fuel soot is a contributing factor in viscosity increase. For diesel engines, elevated fuel soot can indicate faulty injectors and/or inefficient engine operation.

how to get an oil analysis

Acid Number (AN) - expressed as the amount of potassium hydroxide (KOH) required to neutralize the acid in one gram of oil. An oil’s acid number is a measure of the concentration of strong and weak acids in the sample. New oils have a total acid number; oils with more additives usually have a higher number.

An increase in TAN, as the oil ages, indicates an increase in weak acids, which are caused by oxidation. High TAN can reflect over-extended drain intervals, excessively high system temperatures or oil oxidation.

how to get an oil analysis

Base Number (BN) - the measure of oil’s reserve alkalinity to neutralize acids occurring in engine oil. It is obtained by titration with hydrochloric acid, but is expressed in mg of KOH equivalent. TBN reflects the life left in the lubricant. Very low TBN indicates over-extended drain intervals or the use of oil with insufficient TBN for the sulfur content of the fuel.

Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test (RPVOT ) - indicates the level of the oxidation inhibitor content remaining in used oil. Its test results are recorded as the number of minutes it takes for a test sample to reach an oxygen pressure drop of 25 psig. RBOT is a useful trend analysis tool for monitoring the remaining life of turbine oils and paper machine oils.

how to get an oil analysis

Pour Point - the lowest temperature at which the oil will pour or flow under prescribed conditions when it is chilled without disturbance at a fixed rate. To determine pour point, a sample of oil is cooled in a test jar under specified conditions: the temperature is observed in increments of –5°F until no movement is apparent on the surface of the oil when the test jar is held in a horizontal position for 5 seconds. This temperature is recorded as the solid point.

Rust Prevention - indicates the ability of lubricating oil to prevent corrosion during the lubrication of ferrous parts in the presence of water. A steel test rod is placed in the beaker of oil and water at 140F for 24 hours and the results are reported as pass or fail. The degree of failure may be light, moderate, or severe.

Timken OK Load Test - used to measure the load-supporting capabilities of gear oils. It is run by pressing a steel block against a rotating shaft. The load is measured as the heaviest load that can be applied without scoring the block. A 40-lb. Timken load is an indication of a good extreme pressure oil or grease.

how to get an oil analysis

Viscosity - a fluid’s resistance to flow and is the oil’s most important property. Kinematic viscosity is the time required for a fixed amount of oil to flow through a capillary tube under the force of gravity.

Oil is drawn into the tube by suction. Tube is submerged in a constant temperature bath. Temperature is raised to 40 or 100 C. Time for oil to flow from start to stop mark is measured in seconds. Time multiplied by the tube Calibration number (constant).

how to get an oil analysis

Kinematic viscosity is expressed in centistokes (cSt) and is usually measured at 40°C for industrial oil and 100°C for engine oils. Saybolt Universal Viscosity, also known as SUS, SSU or SUV is measured as the amount of time required to measure 60 ml through a standard orifice.

Absolute viscosity is the tangential force on a unit area of either one of two parallel planes at a unit distance apart when the space is filled with liquid and one of the planes moves relative to the other with unit velocity in its own plane. It is expressed in Centipoise (cPs).

Apparent viscosity is absolute viscosity measured at a given shear rate relating to non-Newtonian fluids (e.g., multigrade motor oils). Absolute viscosity is measured with a rotary viscometer. The Spindle turns in oil reservoir. Torque (resistance) is measured. The viscosity is reported in Centipoise (cPs).

how to get an oil analysis

Other tests for expressing viscosity of petroleum fluids under different conditions include Redwood Universal, Redwood Admiralty, Engler, Saybolt, Furol and Brookfield. ASMA and SAE set up their own standards for expressing viscosity. As a reference, an AGMA 5 gear oil is approximately 100 cSt @ 40°C or 500 SSU @ 100°F and is similar to an SAE 90 gear oil and an SAE 50 engine oil.

Viscosity Index is an empirical number indicating the rate of change in viscosity of an oil within a given temperature range. It is calculated from viscosities measured at 40°C and 100°C. for the unknown oil: Y = Kinematic viscosity @ 100 C and U = Kinematic viscosity @ 40 C.

You need two reference oils. One with a VI of 100 and one with a VI of 0. Both must have the same viscosity as the unknown oil @ 100 C.

H = Kinematic viscosity @ 40 C of the VI=100 oil

L = Kinematic viscosity @ 40C of the VI=0 oil

The VI of the unknown oil is then:

VI = 100(L-U)/(L-H).

how to get an oil analysis

Water Concentration - is measured qualitatively through the use of the crackle test. More accurate measurement is obtained with the Karl Fischer test or distillation tests. Water is the most common contaminant in a steam turbine reservoir.

Water and sediment test are also known as BS&W for Bottom Sediment and Water. It is the measure of the amount of water and sediment accumulated by the oil while in service. The modified test using naphtha indicates water and sediment plus oxidized material.

how to get an oil analysis

Water Washout - a method for determining the water washout characteristic of lubrication greases from a bearing under prescribed laboratory conditions and measures the tendency of grease to withstand water washout in bearings. A ball bearing is rotated 600 rpm; 100°F water impinges on the bearing plate. The test measures the percent of grease washed out in one hour. The test is repeated with 175°F water.

how to get an oil analysis

Wheel Bearing - is a service evaluation of ball and roller bearing greases. It simulates the conditions of these lubricants in actual operation. It measures the leakage of a lubricant from the hub and shows the tendency of the grease to form varnish-like deposits on the bearing.

Tags: Oil Analysis, Oil Performance, Oil Test, Oil Analysis Test, Oil Analyzing, How To Do Oil Analysis, Oil Sample Testing

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The Basics Of Oil Analysis For Equipment Maintenance

oil analysis for equipment maintenance

How does the oil analysis process work, and when should it be applied? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how and why to make oil analysis part of your regular maintenance regimen.

What is oil analysis?

Oil analysis is an important part of “tribology,” the study of wear in machinery. Oil analysis uses various tools and techniques to reveal the properties of lubricating oil. This is important because the oil condition reflects the condition of the machine. In other words, it is like a blood test for your machinery.

oil sample analysis

Some results of performing oil analysis include:

  • lower maintenance costs
  • improved reliability
  • prolonged useful life of bearings, gearboxes, and other rotating equipment 

Because of these benefits, fleet managers, in particular, have a strong incentive to perform frequent engine oil analyses.

There are many different types of tests that will evaluate a variety of oil characteristics, each providing its own insight into the health of the equipment. Here are some of the most common routine tests.

Viscosity is the most important characteristic of a lubricant. 

A viscosity reading too high or too low can be the symptom – or the cause – of a variety of problems. It can be the result of using an incorrect lubricant or contamination from antifreeze or other solvent. Changes in viscosity can lead to problems such as oxidation or thermal stressors.

Elemental analysis

Particles larger than 5 microns are difficult to detect by spectroscopy. 

Analytical ferrography can identify particles and solid contaminants in lubricating oil without any particle size limitations.

Ferrography

Particles larger than 5 microns are difficult to detect by spectroscopy. Analytical ferrography can be used to examine wear particles and solid contaminants in lubricating oil without any particle size limitations.

FTIR or “fourier transform infrared” is another efficient way to test for several contaminants such as fuel, water, and soot using infrared technology.

Acid number and base number

The acid number (AN) test is an estimate of the amount of additive depletion, acidic contamination, and oxidation. 

Similarly, the base number is used specifically for combustion engines and represents the ability of the oil to neutralize acids that occur as a result of combustion and oil degradation.

Checklist for Creating a Preventive Maintenance Plan

Following a consistent preventive maintenance plan can make life easier. use this checklist to create your own.

how to get an oil analysis

Why perform oil analysis? 

Oil analysis helps you understand the conditions of the machinery you are testing. It reveals important information without the need to cut open or disassemble the machine. 

In this way, oil analysis is similar to other forms of non-destructive testing (NDT). It provides useful information on the condition of the machine without having to damage the machine in the process. 

From it, you gather enough information to perform corrective maintenance that eliminates potential problems. 

Here are some benefits that regular oil analysis can bring.

  • Maximizes oil service life
  • Extends equipment life
  • Prevents problems and breakdowns
  • Improves asset reliability
  • Increases asset resale value

Selecting a lab to perform oil analysis

Oil analysis requires specialized equipment and qualified professionals. Unless you have the budget to build an in-house lab or call in a mobile laboratory — and most of us don’t — you will be working with a specialized off-site laboratory run by trained oil analysis professionals. 

The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) is a widely recognized non-profit organization that regulates everything related to machine lubrication. ICML conducts certification exams and accredits lubrication professionals across the globe. 

Oil analysis certifications issued by ICML adhere to the International Organization of Standards (ISO) guidelines and include:

  • Machine Lubricant Analyst (Level I, II, III)
  • Machinery Lubrication Technician (Level I, II)
  • Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (Level I, II)
  • Machinery Lubrication Engineer

Another body that trains and issues certification to lubrication professionals is the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). They issue two certifications concerning oil analysis:

  • Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS)
  • Oil Monitoring Analyst (Level I, II)

STLE has its own set of standards and procedures to certify oil analysis professionals and analysts.

Oil analysis process

To ensure the oil analysis results you receive are accurate and useful, it is essential that you follow some key steps in the process of collecting and sending your oil sample to the lab. 

Sample collecting

The sample needs to be representative of the oil flowing through the machine. The three things to keep in mind while taking oil samples are:

  • ensuring maximum data density  
  • minimizing disturbance or potential contamination of the sample
  • setting the right sampling frequency to develop relevant trends

Common techniques are drop tube sampling, pressurized line sampling, and drain port sampling. 

Oil samples have to be taken in clean containers using equipment like a vacuum suction pump or another device. The equipment you need will often come as part of an oil analysis test kit provided by the lab. 

oil sampling kit

An example of an oil sampling test kit ( Image source )

The ideal oil sample is the one taken while the machine is in operation. However, that is not always the safest or most straightforward thing to do. 

In these cases, collect the sample right after the engine is turned off. If the lubricating oil is allowed to rest, any sediments or contaminants  will separate and potentially ruin the accuracy of the sample.

Here is an in-depth guide on how to take an oil sample for additional information.

Sending the sample for lab testing

If you are outsourcing the oil analysis, which is likely, the lab you are working with will provide you with an oil analysis kit that includes the appropriate labels and directions for shipping it to the lab. Follow the instructions, then wait until the results arrive. In most cases, you will have results within days.

Upon receipt of your sample, the lab will perform tests based on the situation. 

Routine oil analysis

Routine tests will repeat the same battery of test for comparison over time. Changes in results are monitored and investigated to determine potential causes and actions that may need to be taken. 

Ad hoc or unscheduled analysis

The type of tests completed in this scenario are based on the following considerations: 

  • the failure modes of the machine being monitored
  • the circumstances of the incident triggering the analysis
  • the triggers/findings sought in order to trigger an appropriate response plan

An application-specific approach (separate tests for each machine) or a single test package for all assets are both viable options. Your lab will help you identify which method is appropriate for your needs. 

The Essential Guide to CMMS

how to get an oil analysis

Reading and using your oil analysis report

Oil analysis reports do not give cut-and-dry recommendations. 

Instead, you will receive a report of the different ratings and chemical levels in your oil after your oil test

Whether or not those levels are good or bad depends on the ideal oil parameters for each machine you have tested. Make sure you have consulted the manuals provided by the OEM to establish ideal levels and baselines to help you interpret your report. 

oil sample analysis report example

Oil sample analysis report ( Image source )

We discussed the different types of tests in an oil analysis above, but here are the three most common tests, and what their findings may mean:

  • Viscosity : Excessive oil viscosity dampens machine performance. As contaminants and elements in the machine increase, the viscosity of lubricating oil increases accordingly.
  • Elements : Spectral analysis or ferrography helps determine whether the present elements are contaminants or part of normal wear and tear. According to the number and quantity of materials present, expert oil analysts can provide specific maintenance recommendations.
  • Acid number : A high acid number indicates a high chance of corrosion. The acid number should be kept within the range advocated by the OEMs.

Implementing machine maintenance in response to findings

The real value of oil analysis lies in the maintenance actions taken in response to its findings. Common recommendations include oil filtration, oil changes, or further monitoring. 

As with any other condition monitoring method, you should prioritize corrective maintenance is based on the criticality of the asset, the impact of equipment failure, and the cost of machine downtime. 

If your oil analysis report suggests a big capital expenditure, more tests must be done to confirm the need.

To truly address issues identified in your fluid analysis and ensure its effectiveness, it is best to leverage a CMMS software . CMMS’s streamline the oil analysis process by logging test results over time, triggering and assigning corrective actions and preventive maintenance work , and measuring their effectiveness.   

Performing repeat oil analyses over time

A single oil sample report doesn’t do much on its own. 

Performing oil sample analysis at consistent intervals using the same test package compounds your return on investment. 

It is the comparison of one test with another that provides the most value. The changing characteristics found in oil analysis reports indicate where your equipment maintenance resources are best spent. 

Experienced oil analysts can find the causal factors affecting changes in oil analysis reports while plotting and tracking trends.

A blood test for machines

Conducting an oil analysis at regular intervals gives insights into machine reliability and remaining useful life. These insights can be used to efficiently manage maintenance resources and extend the lifetime of engines and other machines.

If oil analysis is a blood test for a machine, a good CMMS is like its personal health record. It is a repository for all the useful information you need to keep your machines healthy for a long time. 

To learn more about how a CMMS like Limble can support every part of your maintenance strategy, schedule a demo or start a free trial .

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How to Get Started with Onsite Oil Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Lisa Williams , Bryan Johnson | Articles , Condition Monitoring , Lubricant Analysis , Lubrication Programs

how to get an oil analysis

Implementing reliability solutions involves solving problems and deciding how to effectively use oil sample test data as a fundamental building block to drive program success. Many decisions confront the end user when they perform their own oil testing and analysis.

This article provides seven elements to consider when going through the process of bringing oil analysis onsite. After reviewing these elements, the end-user may find it makes sense to shift all the current routine oil analysis tests in-house or use a hybrid approach and only do some testing onsite while maintaining a relationship with a third-party lab.

Criticality Profile

The first step in this process is to build a list or scope of machinery to test and monitor. Several standard methods have been published to help the end user with this review. The use of ASTM 7874 Standard Guide for Applying Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) to In-Service Lubricant Testing and ASTM D6224 Standard Practice for In-Service Monitoring of Lubricating Oil for Auxiliary Power Plant Equipment are two of these.

Both standards are based upon the concepts of Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Approach (FMECA) and allow the end-user to systematically enter into a process to select the most critical components to sample and trend. This approach is useful to help zero in on a self-run monitoring program. Some may see this as an advanced approach.

Other strategies are also available to build a strong program. A helpful starting point is to review past work history to determine what equipment failed and why the failures occurred. The cost burden from the equipment failure to the facility or process should be considered.

Some simple questions should always be in focus when doing this review, such as: Were the failures linked to the lubricant, machine design, or maintenance practice?

Also remember to review the oil testing that could be done and then determine how those tests could have helped manage the cause of the failure or failure mode.

Whichever path is used to define the program’s scope, the reliability professional should keep in mind that the main goals of developing machinery criticality profiles include safety risk, uptime, productivity, and repair expense.

Sampling Frequency

A common mistake when building a lubricant condition monitoring program is taking samples too often or, more commonly, not enough. There are several ways to make this determination.

One approach is to consult OEM documentation. These may come from OEM technical bulletins or manuals or relate to warranty recommendations for the component. The oil manufacturer may provide additional perspective for their products.

The partnership with a third-party testing laboratory may also produce further insight. It’s common for testing programs to begin with a third-party testing service, so sampling intervals may have been previously established.

ASTM standards D4378 Standard Practice for In-Service Monitoring of Mineral Turbine Oils for Steam, Gas, and Combined Cycle Turbines and ASTM D6224 also provide sample interval recommendations. ASTM D7874 may be used to refine any sampling interval obtained from the named strategies, as the interval would then be based on the FMEA analysis.

Developing a Sample Test Slate and Alarm Limits

There are several books and references available that can help with general guidelines for developing a sample test slate for compressors, turbines, engines, hydraulic systems, etc. ASTM D6224 is one such example, as it provides general guidance for broad classes of machinery. AMETEK Spectro Scientific’s TruVu360 software is another source that can also help with this process.

With 31 different component types available, the user can select from a series of components programmed into the software, such as steam turbine, gas turbine, hydraulic unit, etc., and receive guidance from the software as to which tests should be run and the recommended alarm limits and diagnostics associated with the component.

Designing Your Optimal Onsite Lab

When designing an onsite lab, there are several things to consider:

  • Space available
  • Chemicals needed (if any) and sample disposal volumes (if any)
  • Manpower available
  • Training requirements
  • Turnaround time requirements
  • Data needed and the organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

“Data needed” should be considered when building the onsite lab; however, budget, space, and manpower often drive this decision. These things can become limitations or opportunities to flourish but should be considered strongly before bringing a program onsite.

One big “win” or catch of a catastrophic failure could easily allow a budget to increase year-to-year.

It’s essential to trend the “wins” within the program as its budget can quickly change with justification. Training is much more important than many believe, as data accuracy directly impacts the quality of the analysis and repair recommendations. Of course, knowing what the data means and represents can easily make or break a program.

Lubricant Storage

New lubricant testing and storage effectiveness should be part of all lubricant testing programs. Having an onsite laboratory increases the likelihood that new lubricant testing is part of the monitoring strategy, as it isn’t intuitive to many why new oil needs to be tested. Proper lubricant storage and dispensing should be an easy win and is more important than many realize.

New lubricant testing is the first line of defense to ensure the correct lubricant is used and that clean lubricants are going into service. If new lubricant testing is not part of the condition monitoring program, stop and get this in order. There is no point in placing oil into service that is not correctly stored or managed.

Plenty of evidence in open literature shows that one of the leading causes of bearing failures occurs because of dirty oil; therefore, the lack of a new oil testing practice has a direct relationship to the overall maintenance cost. The lube room should have smart inventory practices to maximize the life of the oil, properly filter and test new oil and optimize temperature control.

On-the-job training has merit when highly knowledgeable reliability professionals are available to help new personnel gain fundamental program knowledge. Poor recommendations can ensue when basic testing or data interpretation knowledge is unavailable. Whether someone is an engineer, mechanic, lab tech, chemist, etc., the chances that they have received any oil analysis-specific training earlier in their formalized education is very slim.

It is highly suggested that all individuals responsible for making maintenance decisions based on lubricant analysis data receive formalized training which should be certified through an independent body or society. Several organizations can provide the proper training to work in an oil analysis lab and understand the data generated from the lab equipment.

The International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML) and Society for Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) offer oil analysis courses that help achieve these goals. Most end-users will find ICML’s MLA I class or STLE’s OMA I class are optimal for their onsite needs.

To get a positive return on investment, an organization will need the initial outlay for onsite lab equipment to pay off. Understanding what the test data means is vital, as that knowledge can be applied to increase machinery uptime and predict developing component failures.

Currently, software overload can be a real thing. Consider the organization’s needs before searching for a Maintenance Monitoring System. Consider things like organizational KPIs, work order needs, and data storage requirements from different sources of the program (i.e., vibration and lube data in one place).

The software selection must help the organization easily track and highlight the “wins” within the condition monitoring program.

Here are a few simple questions to bring it all together and sustain your program. The site’s lubrication champion should drive these questions:

  • What plant equipment is critical to our process?
  • How often do we need to sample to be able to find problems?
  • What lab test(s) will give us the most useful data (i.e., ROI)?
  • Is it practical to run an in-house testing program?
  • Is our lube room storage practice improving our oil integrity?
  • What training does my team need, and how often?
  • Which software can track data, work orders, and KPIs effectively?

Working through these questions collectively with the maintenance team and aligning with the organization’s overall goals can ensure the long-standing success of the onsite oil analysis program. For more information about setting up your onsite oil analysis program, visit AMETEK Spectro Scientific’s website https://www.spectrosci.com/ or contact Lisa Williams at [email protected].

References and Acknowledgements:

https://www.astm.org/d6224-16.html

https://www.astm.org/d7874-13r22.html

https://www.astm.org/d4378-20.html

https://www.icmlonline.com/exams/Default.aspx?p=MLA1

OMA – Certified Oil Monitoring Analyst I – STLE

Special thanks to Bryan Johnson for his thoughts and insights in developing this article.

Lisa Williams

Lisa is a results-focused solution provider working in reliability engineering and tribology for over 15 years. Currently, she serves as Ametek Spectro Scientific’s Global Technical Training Manager. Lisa is certified by the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) as a Certified Lubrication Specialist® and certified by the International Council of Machinery Lubrication as a Machinery Lubrication Analyst (MLA I) and Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (LLA II). Lisa serves as Chair of the in-service lubricant testing committee at American Standards of Testing and Materials (ASTM D02 CS96) and served as the technical lead on several ASTM Standards related to grease and oil analysis.  She has published over 25 journal articles and technical papers related to developing and executing effective lubricant condition monitoring programs.  Lisa holds an MBA and BS in Chemistry.

View all posts

Bryan Johnson

Bryan Johnson has been the Lubrication Engineer at the Palo Verde Generating Station for 32 years. He is the former chairman of ASTM D02 CS96 on Condition Monitoring of In-service Lubricants and the former chairman of the ICML board of directors. Bryan was a former member of the Machinery Lubrication advisory board.

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How to interpret an oil analysis report

Oil analysis programs can save your business money. Regular testing of your oils and lubricants is an integral part of a proactive maintenance program that will help you identify contamination issues, reduce product waste and avoid costly equipment breakdowns and repairs. We are happy to provide our customers with this service through the Chevron LubeWatch Oil Analysis program and by working with Polaris Laboratories . Our customers have seen the results of enrolling in this program for their business.

If you’ve decided it’s time to start an oil analysis program at your company, that’s great. Getting started will take time to determine the best set up for your equipment and maintenance needs. We’ll help you determine a schedule for regular sampling and testing. Then you’ll receive a report full of recommendations for your business. Understanding your oil analysis report is difficult. Nearly 32% of lubrication professionals do not know how to interpret an oil analysis report from a commercial laboratory, according to a recent poll from MachineryLubrication.com . That’s a little disconcerting. If you’re going to invest in oil analysis, understanding your reports is crucial. Luckily we are here to help.

First, you need to understand what type of testing your samples will undergo. The most common parameters tested are:

  • Viscosity: Measuring the viscosity of your oil and lubricants is one of the first things you may notice in your report. Every lubricant is classified at a particular ISO viscosity grade (VG) to function correctly. If that reading has changed, your lubricant may cause overheating, wear and equipment breakdowns. If your results show that the viscosity grade of your lubricant has fallen within plus or minus 20% of the original grade, the lubricant will not work correctly.
  • Acid Number/Base Number: If you’ve forgotten high school chemistry, here’s a quick reminder . An acid is a substance that forms hydrogen ions. It’s corrosive and has a low ph value like vinegar. A base substance gives away hydrogen ions in solutions, and reacts with acids, like ammonia. In your oil analysis report, an acid number reading and base number reading indicate the level of acidic or basic properties the substance has. An acid number that is too high or low may indicate oil oxidation, an incorrect lubricant or additive depletion. Similarly, a base number that is too high or oil may indicate the presence of fuel, soot, the use of the wrong lubricant, leakage or oil oxidation. Both of these numbers can help pinpoint potential contamination issues or incorrect lubrication use.
  • Elemental analysis: Contamination issues are the reason many companies choose to pursue an oil analysis program. This testing checks for the presence of wear metals, contaminants or additive elements in the oil. Some of the tests performed may include Rotating Disc Electrode (RDE) and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP). These tests determine particle size, which is compared to previous tests to determine if contamination is occurring. Particle Counting is another test that accounts for the size and quantity of particles in the oil. There are several different methods to perform this test.
  • Moisture Analysis: Using a test known as the Karl Fischer titration test, moisture analysis measures any water present in three different forms: dissolved, emulsified and free. Results from this test help determine if there are potential leaks that may be contaminating your oil, internal condensation, temperature issues or seal leaks.

Now that you know what may be tested, it’s time to understand how it may look on your report. Each lab has a unique method of creating their reports, but universal principles remain. Most reports are broken down into sections such as these:

  • Information section: Your information, equipment information and type of lubricant being tested. This section is crucial and should always be checked first. It determines where the sample was pulled from, so if there are any issues, you know where to look.
  • Testing sections: These sections break down the variety of tests that were performed on the sample and the results. These tests are compared to previous results.
  • Results section: This portion of the report breaks down the overall results of your test. These results may be compared to the previous testing that was performed.
  • Recommendations section: Based on the findings of your testing, the lab will provide written instructions for how to best use the results of your analysis. This section is where the value of your oil analysis program becomes visible. Using these results, you can pinpoint potential maintenance issues before they become a significant problem.

If you are having trouble understanding your results and how to implement your recommendations, let us help. We are here to make sure that you get the best value out of the oil analysis program for your equipment. An oil analysis program is a significant investment. Still, it can pay off quickly for your business if you follow a careful monitoring schedule and the recommendations outlined in your report. Sign up for our oil analysis program today.

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What is Oil Analysis?

Oil analysis is a quick way to gauge the health of an engine by looking at what’s in the oil.

What does a standard analysis include? In our standard oil analysis, we perform four tests:

Spectral exam : In the spectral exam, we take a portion of your oil sample and run it through a machine called a spectrometer, which tells us the levels of metals and additives that are present in the oil. To learn more about the elements we look at and where they come from in your oil, go to our Report Explanation  page. Insolubles test : The insolubles test measures the solids present in the oil. The solids are formed by oil oxidation (when the oil breaks down due to the presence of oxygen, accelerated by heat) and blow-by past the rings. This tells you how good a job the oil filter is doing, and to what extent the oil has oxidized. Viscosity test : The viscosity measures the grade, or thickness, of the oil. Whether it’s supposed to be a 5W/30, 15W/40, or some other grade, we know (within a range) what the viscosity should be. If your viscosity falls outside that range, there’s probably a reason: the oil could have been overheated, or contaminated with fuel, moisture, or coolant. Flash Point test : The Flash Point test measures the temperature at which vapors from the oil ignite. We know what temperature the oil should flash at. If it flashes at or above that level, the oil is not contaminated. If the oil flashes lower than it should, then it’s probably been contaminated. Fuel is the most common contaminant in oil.

We can perform our standard oil analysis on any sample of oil, whether it’s engine oil, transmission oil, an oil-based additive, gear oil, hydraulic oil, power steering fluid, biodiesel, or another type of oil.

There are more specialized tests we can perform on an oil sample, depending on your needs. For a complete list of the tests we do and their cost, go to our  Tests page .

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Crude Oil Price Forecast – Crude Oil Continues to Recover

February 16, 2024 — 09:39 am EST

Written by Christopher Lewis for FX Empire  ->

Crude Oil Prices Forecast Video for 19-02-2024

Wti crude oil technical analysis.

The West Texas Intermediate crude oil market initially fell during trading on Friday as we continue to pressure the 200-day EMA. This is a technical indicator that has offered quite a bit of support and resistance over the last several months so it’s not a huge surprise to see the market struggle to get above there, at least for any meaningful follow-through.

At this point though, I think the most important target to pay attention to is going to be the $80 level. I do think that it is probably only a matter of time before we break above the $80 level, but it is going to be a significant fight to get there. Once we get to $80 and then clear it, it becomes more or less a buy and hold market, probably reaching the $88 level. Underneath we have the 50 day EMA that also offers technical support, so I would pay attention to any dip as a potential buying opportunity.

Brent Crude Oil Technical Analysis

The Brent market sits at the 200 day EMA as well, and also has the 50 day EMA sitting underneath it right at the $80 level. If we can break above the $83.50 level, I think at that point in time, the Brent market starts to take off, perhaps reaching towards the $87 level, followed by the $90 level.

Crude oil is seeing a dwindling supply, and of course we have a lot of geopolitical concerns in the Middle East that could come into the picture and cause headaches for crude oil supply, delivery, etcetera. So with that being said, I do like the idea of buying on the dips, and the fact that central banks around the world are more likely than not going to continue to loosen monetary policy also bodes well for crude oil as a little bit of juicing of the global economy probably leads to more energy demand. At least, that’s the thinking in the market at this point in time as traders remain ever so helpful.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

This article was originally posted on FX Empire

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Introduction To Common Oil-Analysis Tests (And How To Take A Successful Sample)

EP Editorial Staff | January 31, 2011

0102lab1

Oil analysis is one of the most valuable condition-monitoring tools available to reliability-focused operations. Why? It can save countless dollars by preventing equipment failures and helping maximize the life of lubricants.

Oil analysis tells us the condition of a lubricant, which, in turn, lets us be proactive about replacing it before equipment damage occurs. Wear debris analysis— a specific type of oil analysis —also can tell the condition of equipment, which allows us to respond to potential failures at an early stage.

In short, the proper use of oil analysis can help:

  • Improve asset reliability
  • Identify and eliminate repetitive equipment problems
  • Reduce unscheduled maintenance
  • Maximize use of lubricants in service
  • Reduce maintenance and lubrication costs
  • Extend equipment component life

Tests for oil condition include:

  • Viscosity measures the resistance of a fluid to flow, is the most important property of a lubricant.
  • Karl Fischer measures all forms of water at low levels and is recommended for industrial equipment. (The Qualitative Crackle test is used for engine oils.)
  • Acid Number measures acid buildup, which denotes oxidation.
  • FTIR measures chemistry changes in a lubricant, which are good indicators of oxidation and nitration.
  • Base Number is for engine oils. It measures the depletion of the detergent, which neutralizes acids.
  • Flash Point is a measure of light components, which lower the viscosity of lubricants.
  • Particle Counts , by size and amount, are determined with the use of a laser counter.
  • Voltammetry measures depletion of antioxidants in lubricants.

Tests for equipment condition through the measurement of wear debris include:

  • Atomic Emission Spectroscopy measures metals in parts per million (limited to particles under 10 microns in size).
  • Ferrous Density , both direct-read ferrogram and particle quantifier, measures ferrous particles without the size limitation of emission spectroscopy.
  • Analytical Ferrography looks at size, shape and color (the three most important physical characteristics of a particle)to determine the wear mechanism and severity in machinery. This is the only common oil-analysis test that can justify equipment shutdown.

Sampling Guidelines Any successful oil-analysis program begins with sampling. Remember, though, that bad data is worse than no data. Thus, if you’re collecting samples incorrectly, an oil-analysis program is a waste of time and money. Key guidelines include:

  • Take warmed-up machine samples while equipment is running. If that’s not possible, sample no later than 30 minutes after shutdown
  • Use clean, sealed bottles and flush the system properly (at least 5-10 times the sample-line volume). This is critical when running particle counts.
  • Sample from live fluid zones. Fluid is moving through the system. The best spot is the return line back to the reservoir.
  • Sample, if possible, from a turbulent region (such as an elbow) to get better particle distribution.
  • Sample downstream from components such as bearings, gears, etc. Never sample after a filter, unless you’re trying to determine filter efficiency.
  • Sample from the same location each time. This is difficult with static sampling, especially with the use of a plastic tube and vacuum gun. Use permanent pitot tubes, where possible, when conducting static sampling. Never do drain samples from the bottom of a reservoir.
  • Properly document samples on the sample bottle. It’s not uncommon for incorrect information to end up on a sample bottle, which leads to erroneous results.
  • Send samples immediately to the laboratory. An unsent sample may contain information on potential problems that can’t be identified until the sample is analyzed.
  • Criticality is the most important factor. The typical interval for critical equipment is monthly.
  • OEM recommendations are important. Some OEMs provide sampling-interval guidelines.
  • Environmental conditions can dictate frequency. Severe environments necessitate more frequent sampling.
  • Current PMs and lube- and filter-changing schedules can also dictate sampling frequency.
  • Historical problems with the equipment (or similar equipment) may call for more frequent sampling.

What’s Next? During 2011, this column will explore some of the most important oil-analysis tests. In the next issue, the focus will be on Particle Count Testing. LMT

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Oil Analysis

Having oil analysis done on a regular basis establishes a baseline of normal wear and can help indicate when abnormal wear or contamination is occurring. A detailed analysis of an oil sample is a valuable preventive maintenance tool. In many cases, it enables identification of potential problems before a major repair is necessary and has the potential to reduce the frequencies of oil changes.

Oil analysis reveals information that can be broken down into these three categories:

Lubricant Condition:   The assessment of the lubricant condition reveals whether the system fluid is healthy and fit for further service or ready for a change.

Contaminants:   Increased contaminants from the surrounding environment in the form of dirt, water and process contamination are the leading cause of machine degradation and failure. Increased contamination indicates it is time to take action in order to save the oil and avoid unnecessary machine wear.

Machine Wear:   An unhealthy machine generates wear particles at an exponential rate. The detection and analysis of these particles assist in making critical maintenance decisions. Machine failure due to worn out components can be avoided. It is important to remember that healthy and clean oil leads to the minimization of machine wear.

 1. TrustPlus Program

Contact us and let our experienced team help you determine your test packages, supplies are shipped to you free of charge to collect and send in your samples, you are given access to our online customer portal, datasight, to view your reports and request more supplies, tests are paid for after samples are sent to us, learn more about trustplus, 2. testoil now oil test kit, order a testoil now oil test kit bucket online for routine oil analysis sampling, the bucket kit contains either 5 or 10 sample bottles and everything you need to collect and return your samples, you are given access to our online customer portal, datasight, to view your reports , testoil now bucket kits can be purchased as needed, many of our customers enjoy the convenience of keeping the bucket kit in their supply room and reordering when supply is low. testoil now kits can be purchased with a credit card online or a po after contacting us, learn more about testoil now.

Click on the images below to learn more about each of these test methods. You can also view all of our tests and their methods on the  Complete Test List .

Acid Number

how to get an oil analysis

Interpreting oil analysis: What does it tell you?

Oil Analysis

We’ve written quite extensively on the benefits of oil analysis and the proper methods of sampling oil for testing. Many of our customers know from experience that a routine laboratory analysis of in-service oil can help predict and prevent equipment failure or maintenance issues caused by oil contaminants.

But what exactly does an oil analysis tell you? What kind of information does it yield? The main things are the types and levels of contaminants in the oil itself, the possible causes of contamination, and indicators of equipment wear that warrant further investigation. In its report, the lab will flag areas of concern using either a 1-4 ranking or a green, yellow and red light system, red indicating an area that needs immediate attention.

One important indicator the lab looks at is oil viscosity. Operating conditions can actually change an oil’s viscosity from the grade on the label. For mobile equipment, engine, transmission and gear oils are measured at 100 o C. In industrial applications, the oil is measured at 40 o C. If the viscosity is either much higher or much lower than the original, it’s a sign that the oil is breaking down, thickening, oxidized or cross-contaminated with another product – in all cases, requiring change right away.

The lab will also look at the additives in engine oils, such as zinc, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium. If parts per million (PPM) levels are consistent, it’s a good sign the oil is not experiencing cross-contamination.

The presence of wear metals, such as iron, copper or tin, provides evidence of equipment wear. If the metal particles are increasing in number, it’s possible that excessive wear is taking place and the equipment from which the sample came needs to be inspected closely.

The analysis will tell whether the oil has experienced excessive water contamination. The lab may also look at the acid and base numbers. Acid levels indicate the extent to which the oil is overheating or oxidizing. The base number measures the alkaline reserves in the oil, which offset the acid and help prevent corrosion. If the acid number is too high or the base is too low, the oil needs to be changed.

An oil analysis can also detect a coolant leak within the engine. Water or glycol may vaporize as soon as they leave the cooling system, but coolant contaminants may leave traces of sodium, potassium or boron in the oil, which are indicators of a coolant leak.

Levels of silicon and aluminum, the basic components of dirt, are clear indicators of an air intake filtration leak letting dirt into the combustion chamber. High levels of chromium suggest that the resulting abrasion is wearing chrome off the piston rings.

Some level of contamination is bound to occur. The question the lab will answer is whether the levels are within the limits of tolerance for the particular application. That is why proper and detailed identification of the sample including oil brand, grade, hours on oil and equipment, application and filtration are so important. The lab’s report may include recommendations to check certain aspects of the equipment, such as the air intake system or wear items that may explain abnormalities in the oil. Armed with this information, you are better prepared to take preventive action to protect your equipment, extend its useful life, minimize downtime and avoid premature replacement costs.

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A beginner’s guide to oil analysis

Oil analysis is a regular predictive maintenance technique practiced by most lubrication engineers and maintenance professionals to keep their machines healthy and working. As the name suggests, oil analysis refers to analysis of oil on-field or in-lab to determine oil properties, the presence of suspended contaminants and wear debris, and in some cases to find out additive chemistry which helps in developing a better lubricant formulation.

Before we move towards oil analysis techniques let’s first understand the importance of oil sampling. This is a very important step before oil analysis. A wrong oil sample will lead to inaccurate oil analysis results. Some of the key points to note during oil sampling are:

•          Always take the oil sample when the machine is running

•          Always take the sample from the sample valve

•          In absence of sample valve, always take the sample from any port before oil filter

•          Oil samples should be collected in dedicated clean, dry sample bottles and should be properly labelled

There are different kinds of oil analysis techniques available today. Their usage depends upon different needs or requirements. Here, we will be listing some conventional and advanced oil analysis techniques. 

Common on-site oil analysis tests

Visual analysis or visual inspection refers to analysing certain oil parameters via visual eye. Visual inspection of oil for clarity, colour, water in oil are considered some major pre-tests before deciding to send a sample for lab testing. Also, a foul smell from oil can be taken into account as oil degradation.

Crackle test is a test used to determine presence of water in oil. It’s an effective screening test. Water in oil can be very detrimental for machine parts as it promotes corrosion. As mentioned earlier, crackle test is just a screening test, further analysis has to be done via Karl Fischer water titration test (ASTM D6304) or infrared spectroscopy to get an exact quantity (ppm) of water in oil.

Particle counting is considered as one of the most important oil analysis tests for used oil. Here, a used oil sample is passed through a filter membrane. Particles larger in size will be unable to pass through the membrane. High coagulation or blockage of membrane signifies abnormal wear of machine parts. A patch test is a kind of particle counting technique used on-site by professionals.  

Common in-lab oil analysis tests

A viscometer is a device used to measure the viscosity of oil. Viscosity is the most important property of oil and refers to measure of resistance of fluid to shear and tensile stresses. A viscometer is also used to determine viscosity index of an oil. Viscosity index refers to measure of change in oil viscosity with change in temperature.

A rheometer is a device used to measure the way in which a fluid responds when force is applied on it. In our case, this fluid corresponds to used oil.

A foam test is conducted to find oils foaming tendency. Air at high pressure is diffused into a small amount of oil sample and then after five minutes, the amount of foam formed is measured.

Advanced in-lab oil analysis tests

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is used to find the presence of impurities in used oil. Every molecule absorbs or emits infrared at different wavelengths. FTIR interferogram represents these wavelengths in the form of peaks and valleys. Further analysis of these waveform helps in detecting exact compounds. Additives, contaminants and products of degradation also leave a specific signature and hence can be easily identified. Oxidation of oil due to working environment is a common problem encountered by many professionals. Nitration or presence of nitric acid in oil speeds up oxidation of oil. FTIR also helps in computing levels of oxidation and nitration in oil. To evaluate a used oil it is necessary to first obtain FTIR analysis of the same oil when it is fresh or new. This will help in comparing condition of oil before and after its use.

Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) is another type of spectroscopy technique that uses inductively coupled plasma to produce excited atoms and ions causing them to emit light at a particular wavelength. ICP analysis is a fast, sensitive and high precision analysis used to detect fine or ultra-fine metals and non-metals or wear debris in oil sample. It can be also used to identify presence of oil additives and contaminants.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy is a very powerful tool used to find the elemental composition of materials. With regards to oil analysis, the XRF is used to find sulphur content in oil. High levels of sulphur can promote rusting of machine parts.

Analytical ferrography is a technique used to separate ferrous contaminants and ferrous wear debris from used oil. The ysed oil is poured down over a special glass slide called a ferrogram. Below the ferrogram a powerful magnet is placed, which attracts ferrous particles out of the oil. These adhered ferrous particles are then further analysed by a microscope to determine particle type, size, shape and concentration. 

Calorimetric analysis is a technique used to measure insoluble materials in oil that can lead to the formation of varnish. The technique is mainly used mainly for turbine oil analysis.

Complementary in-lab oil analysis tests

A total acid number (TAN) test is conducted to check any levels of acid build-up inside the lubricant. Lubricating oils generally have antioxidant additives to suppress corrosion. Depletion of these agents with time can result in the formation of acids that can corrode machine parts. Titration and field test kits are used to find TAN levels.

A total base number (TBN) test is conducted to check the levels of alkalinity additives inside a lubricant. These additives are generally mixed in engine oils to neutralise acidic byproducts of combustion. A low TBN can lead to corrosion, sludge and varnish of machine parts. Titration and field test kits are used to find TBN levels.

Soot index is a measurement of extent to which oil has been contaminated by soot. Soot is a fine black powdery substance produced due to incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. Any spectroscopy can be used to compute soot index.

Harshvardhan Singh is an automotive engineer from India with expertise in tribology and associated fields. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Saudi energy minister reveals why Aramco cut oil target by 1m bpd

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Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, revealed Monday why state-oil company Aramco cut its oil output by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of last month.

On Jan. 30, Aramco, the world's biggest corporate crude producer, announced that the Energy Ministry had ordered it to halt its oil expansion plan and set a minimum sustained production capacity of 12 million bpd, 1 million bpd below its target announced in 2020 to be reached in 2027. The company nor the Energy Ministry provided a reason for the move at the time. 

Speaking about the decision at the IPTC petroleum technology conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz said, "I think we postponed this investment simply because … we're transitioning and transitioning means that our oil company became a hydrocarbons company and now an energy company.”

He noted that it didn’t mean the kingdom was “abandoning things,” and was continuing to use its oil rigs.

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IMAGES

  1. How to take an oil sample, oil analysis reports and online condition

    how to get an oil analysis

  2. How to Perform Oil Analysis

    how to get an oil analysis

  3. How to sample engine oil, how to send oil to the lab for oil analysis. Why oil analysis is needed?

    how to get an oil analysis

  4. How To Make An Optimal Oil Analysis Step By Step

    how to get an oil analysis

  5. Fundamentals of Oil Analysis Interpretation

    how to get an oil analysis

  6. The Basics Of Oil Analysis For Equipment Maintenance

    how to get an oil analysis

VIDEO

  1. OIL CHANGE AND OIL ANALYSIS

  2. Oil productivity declining

  3. On-Site Oil Analysis 40 Year Legacy

  4. Oil Technical Analysis for September 15, 2023 by FXEmpire

  5. Oil Analysis Report Review and Interpretation

COMMENTS

  1. Blackstone Laboratories Blackstone Laboratories

    Oil analysis is a quick way to gauge the health of your engine by looking at what's in the oil. People use oil analysis on cars, trucks, aircraft, marine engines, motorcycles, industrial equipment, and more. It can help you see if there are any problems developing, if your oil is working well, and if you can run the oil longer, among other things.

  2. How to Perform Oil Analysis

    It is easy to perform oil analysis by obtaining an oil analysis kit from Oil Analyzers Inc. For this example, we used a 1998 Toyota* Corolla.* This vehicle was also used to demonstrate testing engine compression. Here's what you'll need to perform oil analysis: Oil analysis kit Sampling pump with hose Gloves Rag' Warm up the engine

  3. How to Do an Engine Oil Analysis

    Or you can do it the no-mess way: use a vacuum pump to siphon oil from the dipstick tube or crankcase filler hole. Such pumps are available at auto supply stores, or often, from the providers of the analysis kits. So what's actually in the kit?

  4. Oil Analysis & Oil Testing

    INDUSTRY TEST PACKAGES RECOMMENDED TESTS & SAMPLE FREQUENCIES OIL SAMPLING PROCEDURES OIL SAMPLE REGISTRATION INTERPRETING TEST RESULTS ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS Take the Next Step Depend on over 40 years of experience in fluid testing and analysis to improve your predictive maintenance programs and reduce unplanned downtime.

  5. Oil sample

    Blackstone Laboratories > Oil samples > Oil sample. $ 35.00. Our standard oil sample is perfect for most people. The standard sample includes: Spectral exam (looks at how the engine is wearing, the oil's additives, and more) Viscosity (checks the grade, or thickness, of the oil) Insolubles (total solids) Flashpoint (checks for fuel and other ...

  6. PDF Time to embrace oil analysis

    By implementing oil analysis for your business, you can take control of your lubrication usage and preventive maintenance: Extend lubricant life Reduce lubricant costs Preserve equipment's service life Know how the oil is performing Reduce unplanned downtime Improve preventative maintenance Reduce costs associated with engine failure

  7. Get An Oil Analysis Before Buying A Used Car

    1. Determine the engine's condition. The primary reason to have an oil analysis done is to determine the engine's health. An oil analysis checks for oxidation, concentration of metal particles ...

  8. Get an oil analysis before buying a used car

    3 reasons to get an oil analysis before buying a used car . It may not be the most common advice when shopping for a used car, but an oil analysis can be revealing. The quality of the engine can ...

  9. Engine Oil Analysis

    How does an engine oil analysis work? Oil analyses are offered by many companies, and accomplished by using spectrometry, which is generally defined as "the measurement of radiation intensity as a function of wavelength". A spectral exam is done by injecting the oil sample into inductive coupled argon plasma, which is around 10,000° Celsius.

  10. How To Make An Optimal Oil Analysis Step By Step

    A test result of 40/40/ would mean clear oil and water, with no emulsion. The Dynamic Demulsibility test measures the ability of an oil to separate from water under actual circulating conditions. The test requires 40 ml Water, 40 ml Oil into cylinder, agitated, then allowed to settle. Timed at intervals to determine the ability to shed water ...

  11. How to Take an Oil Sample for Oil Analysis

    Taking a proper oil sample from your equipment is critical to getting an oil sample that doesn't skew the results when sent in for oil analysis. In this vide...

  12. PDF THE BASICS OF OIL ANALYSIS

    THE BASICS OF OIL ANALYSIS BOOKLET PROTECT YOUR EQUIPMENT WITH ACCURATE & TIMELY OIL ANALYSIS Bureau Veritas' global network of state-of-the-art testing facilities provide accurate and reliable results you can depend on to keep your machines up and running.

  13. The Basics Of Oil Analysis For Equipment Maintenance

    The three things to keep in mind while taking oil samples are: ensuring maximum data density. minimizing disturbance or potential contamination of the sample. setting the right sampling frequency to develop relevant trends. Common techniques are drop tube sampling, pressurized line sampling, and drain port sampling.

  14. Guide to interpreting and diagnosing Engine oil reports

    This engine oil interpretation article is the first in a series of how to read oil analysis reports guide to help end users of oil analysis get to grips with the basics of reading an analysis report. Engine oils are usually the most straight forward to diagnose samples as the different components are made up of different metals.

  15. How to Get Started with Onsite Oil Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Criticality Profile. The first step in this process is to build a list or scope of machinery to test and monitor. Several standard methods have been published to help the end user with this review. The use of ASTM 7874 Standard Guide for Applying Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) to In-Service Lubricant Testing and ASTM D6224 Standard ...

  16. How to interpret an oil analysis report

    A base substance gives away hydrogen ions in solutions, and reacts with acids, like ammonia. In your oil analysis report, an acid number reading and base number reading indicate the level of acidic or basic properties the substance has. An acid number that is too high or low may indicate oil oxidation, an incorrect lubricant or additive depletion.

  17. What is Oil Analysis?

    If the oil flashes lower than it should, then it's probably been contaminated. Fuel is the most common contaminant in oil. We can perform our standard oil analysis on any sample of oil, whether it's engine oil, transmission oil, an oil-based additive, gear oil, hydraulic oil, power steering fluid, biodiesel, or another type of oil.

  18. Oil analysis challenges and how to overcome them

    PS: One of the first eye openers for me was understanding how quickly oil can get contaminants in there. And contaminants don't even have to be that large, of course, it's just a matter of, if they're not kept in a clean, dedicated lube room, it's going to be a challenge to keep even filtered oil clean. MB: It is. I mean, you have a system and ...

  19. Crude Oil Price Forecast

    Brent Crude Oil Technical Analysis. The Brent market sits at the 200 day EMA as well, and also has the 50 day EMA sitting underneath it right at the $80 level. If we can break above the $83.50 ...

  20. PDF Oil Analysis Handbook

    technologies, in-service oil analysis can provide trace information about machine wear condition, lubricant contamination as well as lubricant condition (Figure 1-1). Reliability engineers and maintenance professionals can make maintenance decisions based on the oil analysis results. The immediate benefits of in-service oil analysis

  21. Introduction To Common Oil-Analysis Tests (And How To Take A Successful

    Use clean, sealed bottles and flush the system properly (at least 5-10 times the sample-line volume). This is critical when running particle counts. Collect samples from the right location: Sample from live fluid zones. Fluid is moving through the system. The best spot is the return line back to the reservoir.

  22. Crude Oil Forecast Today

    At the end of the day, the crude oil markets show signs of resilience, with buyers active amid the formation of bullish patterns. While various factors contribute to market dynamics, including inventory data and geopolitical concerns, attention remains on the potential impact of central bank policies on global economic activity and oil demand.

  23. Oil Analysis

    2. TestOil NOW Oil Test Kit. Order a TestOil NOW Oil Test Kit bucket online for routine oil analysis sampling. The bucket kit contains either 5 or 10 sample bottles and everything you need to collect and return your samples. You are given access to our online customer portal, DataSight, to view your reports.

  24. Interpreting oil analysis: What does it tell you?

    The analysis will tell whether the oil has experienced excessive water contamination. The lab may also look at the acid and base numbers. Acid levels indicate the extent to which the oil is overheating or oxidizing. The base number measures the alkaline reserves in the oil, which offset the acid and help prevent corrosion.

  25. A beginner's guide to oil analysis

    ICP analysis is a fast, sensitive and high precision analysis used to detect fine or ultra-fine metals and non-metals or wear debris in oil sample. It can be also used to identify presence of oil additives and contaminants. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy is a very powerful tool used to find the elemental composition of materials.

  26. Saudi energy minister reveals why Aramco cut oil target by 1m bpd

    Saudi Arabia's minister of energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, revealed Monday why state-oil company Aramco cut its oil output by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of last month. On Jan. 30, Aramco, the world's biggest corporate crude producer, announced that the Energy Ministry ...

  27. Global Leaders In Shale Oil And Gas Reserves

    In 2015 the U.S. Energy Information Administration updated its assessment of world shale oil and shale gas resources. The U.S. has the world's largest estimated recoverable resource of tight oil ...