Oil sampling 101

By: Chris Smith


We have all heard of music sampling, that technique so beloved of modern DJs where they take short grabs of

We have all heard of music sampling, that technique so beloved of modern DJs where they take short grabs of a multitude of records and then join them together to form a new sound, but how many operators are aware of oil sampling?

It is a service most oil companies offer, as well as major engine suppliers, but why is it so important?

Well, it works something like this.

Each time you change the oil and filter on a piece of equipment you take a small sample, usually about 50ml of the used oil, as well as about 10ml of the new oil, for comparison purposes and send it in for analysis.

For an extra fee you can even send in a piece of the used filter lining, which undergoes a different set of tests. When your sample hits the test lab, a technician will prepare it using similar techniques to a pathology lab when it receives your blood sample, which, when you think about it, is exactly what they are looking at, the lifeblood of your equipment.

Slides are prepared for microscopic examination to see what is floating around in the oil, while other samples are tested for the amount of protection the oil is offering the machine at the end of its duty cycle.

This is more important than many operators first realise, because even though an oil may be the right grade, it may not be right for a particular application or operating condition, after all, oils ain’t oils, are they?

Read more in the January Bus+Coach.

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