wigginsjsr

Oil Testing for Diesel Engines

14 posts in this topic

Being fairly new to diesel engines I read about some who have their oil tested. Would someone discuss the pros and cons of doing this, how often if done, and where do you get it done? Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a variety of reasons for oil sample testing:

About the only bad one (IMO) is to try to extend oil change intervals.

Good reasons:

Get a base line for your engine, so you will be able to evaluate changes through it's life (appearance of metals in oil indicating wear of specific components).

Determine that the air cleaner is functioning as it should. Testing for dirt in oil can save an engine by identifying in time to replace a defective filter or fix a post-filter leak.

Determine if there is a coolant or other internal leak.

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oil analysis is similar to the full panel of blood test your doctor gives you. Depending on the lab used, standard analysis looks at some 25-35 indicators of your engine, transmission or rear ends health. Each element tells the lab something about your engine. The lab develops a profile for each engine model at particular mileage or hours of it's life cycle from break-in to failure. In most cases these profiles are adjusted as well by findings in the field, such a early failure of particular components.

So when you send in a sample that contains a abnormal amount of lead for instance , that would be a example of bearing failure, Abnormal silicone (dirt) would be a indication that there is a leak in your intake air system and so on. An engine with abnormalities usually will have more than one abnormal indicator at a time. By comparing the amount of particular element(s) found and comparing the type and quantity of element to your particular type engine profile they can predict where your engine is in it's life cycle.

Most engine failure can be predicted quite accurately over the course of multiple samples.

Most of us would rather do planed maintenance at home, than do unexpected maintenance on the road.

The cost of these samples generally cost from $12.00-35.00 depending on who you get them from and who takes the actual sample.

Oil analysis is the most inexpensive form of break down insurance available for engines (gas or diesel), transmissions, and rear differentials.

I use Wear Check USA ($12) you can find them here: http://www.oilanalysis.net

I am not employed by or have any affiliation with Wear Check USA. Just a satisfied 35 yr customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your prompt replies. I plan to have my oil changed in a few weeks. I'll use the old oil for my first analysis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Brett is right you should not use testing to extend your oil change interval...

Agree for the engine oil. However, you can test the trans oil, and if okay, extend the change intervals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my oil tested several times in the last 4 years because I was testing the new K & N air filter which is now available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree for the engine oil. However, you can test the trans oil, and if okay, extend the change intervals.

You are absolutley right. This is from the Allison web site.

Using Allison Approved TES 295® fluid the recommended change for the M3000 or M4000 transmission are300,000 Miles (480,000 km) or 6,000 Hours or 48 Months.

The Allison Transmission maintenance schedules stipulate that fluid/filters should be changed after the recommended mileage, months, or hours have elapsed, whichever occurs first. Local conditions, severity of operation or duty cycle may require more or less frequent fluid change intervals that differ from the published recommended fluid change intervals of Allison Transmission.

Transmission protection and fluid change intervals can be optimized by the use of fluid analysis.

You can get a lot of good info on your transmission from the website “my transmission”

http://www.allisontransmission.com/myallisontransmission/mytransmissioninformation/

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first tested my engine oil after I found an air filter boot tear on an earlier MH. I test at each oil change.

On my current MH, I found large scale rust in the oil filler tube. This propagated to the sample results. Fleetwood replaced the tube under warranty.

I change my 30 quart sump with TWO oil filters annually. I've added an oil drain valve from http://www.oildrainvalve.net.

Everyone dumps on MaxxForce engines, but I have TWO drain plugs! My oil drain valve is in a 45 degree face of the sump. I have a plug in the bottom, which I use for a complete drain. Also, the drain valve does not extend down such that it could impact something from the road.

Bob Erickson

2013 HR Ambassador
MaxxForce 10 engine
Allison 3000MH

Retired, about 8k miles per year

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speedo offers onsite oil testing. I tested at every change on my last 18 wheeler. Western Star tractor with 500 horse Series60 Detroit. If one is convenient I will use them for the Motorhome also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Napa also offers oil sampling, I do ours every oil change. Which is once a year but usually only 6000 miles. I thnk it cost me $12.00 for the kit plus postage

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the spell checker got a word. It is Speedco. I understand that they have filters in stock for PM's on most units as well as filters for the most common genset Onan. Read that somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best way to do your oil analysis is to do it a couple of weeks before you change your oil. I have seen several people get reports back that had indications of problems or they just got a bad sample. The problem is if you do the sample when you change your oil and you get a bad sample you can't re test to see it is just a bad sample.

So I send off my samples before I change the oil. If they come back good I can change the oil or if in doubt send a new sample for comparison.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now