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Q. What should I look for in an oil analysis report?

May 29, 2013

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A. Oil analysis data should provide insight into the oil condition that could lead to lubrication-related component problems or failure. A complete engine oil analysis report may include the following information:

• Oil viscosity – the most important physical property of the engine oil. Maintaining oil viscosity is critical to both low- and high-temperature protection.
• Oil contaminants – coolant, fuel, soot and dirt contamination all can lead to engine problems or premature engine failure.
• Oil condition information – such as TAN (Total Acid Number) and TBN (Total Base Number), can provide insight as to the oil’s ability to provide corrosive wear protection or how much stress the oil has experienced over the course of the service interval.
• Wear element analysis – can reveal unusual wear patterns that can indicate a developing component problem.
• Additive elements – can help identify that the correct program is being used in service.

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Mark Betner

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Citgo Lubricants
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