Engine analysis

Engineer  with engine

This service monitors engine and lubricant conditions to detect premature wear and contamination


Monitoring engine and lubricant conditions help you detect problems and contamination before they result in excessive wear and failure. This analysis is applicable to spark or compression engines in virtually all types of mobile and stationary equipment, and helps to support an Optimized Drain Interval (ODI) program.

Test Purpose Importance of test
Coolant Indicator To determine the level of sodium, potassium and boron in the engine oil Indicative of a coolant leak into the engine via a worn head gasket, cracked block or head
Fuel Dilution To measure the amount of unburned fuel that goes to the crankcase The presence of fuel in the crankcase reduces oil viscosity and weakens detergency. Excessive amounts may indicate potential mechanical problems
Metals To determine the presence and levels of metallic content in the oil, including contaminants and wear particles The level of metals helps determine if equipment components are wearing or if harmful contamination is entering the oil. The level of metals that are part of the additive chemistry are also reported
Oxidation To determine the level of lubricant oxidation and deterioration

Oxidation can mean:

  • Increased wear and corrosion
  • Shorter equipment life
  • Increased viscosity
  • Excessive deposits and plugging
Particle Qualification (PQ) Index To determine ferrous metal fatigue failures and metal-to-metal contact not usually detectable with current spectrographic analysis

PQ Index can detect at an early stage:

  • Anti-friction bearing wear
  • Plain bearing wear
  • Early indications of piston scuffing
  • Gear wear
Soot To determine the soot content in an oil by percentage weight

Excessive soot contamination may mean:

  • Decreased engine performance
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Excessive deposits and sludge
  • Shorter oil life
  • High blow-by
Total Acid Number (TAN) To measure acidic oil oxidation by-products An elevated Total Acid Number may indicate increased oil acidity resulting from increased oil oxidation
Total Base Number (TBN) To determine the reserve alkalinity of the oil used to neutralize the formation of acids

A decrease in Total Base Number may be indicative of:

  • Oil degradation caused by rapid acid formation due to changing fuel characteristics or a high rate of oil oxidation
  • Decreased acid-neutralizing reserve
Viscosity To determine the oil’s resistance to flow
  • An increase in viscosity may be due to high soot or insoluble content, water contamination, or admixture with higher viscosity fuel or lubricant
  • A decrease in viscosity may be due to water contamination, or admixture with lower viscosity fuel or lubricant
  • Both high or low viscosity may result in premature equipment wear
Water To detect presence of water contamination Water contamination may cause severe corrosion and subsequent wear, poor oil film thickness or hydrogen embrittlement