User's Guide to Oil Analysis Services
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get the oil sample out of my equipment?

A: The best and easiest way to retrieve a lubricant sample from your equipment is to use our sample pump (part # G-1206).

Q:  How can I be proactive in my maintenance practices?

A: Do you know oil tells a story and provides a working history of your engine?  With Oil Analyzers, you can get a look inside your engine and get the story without taking the engine apart.  Be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to protecting your investment.

Q: I am using extended drain interval oil. How do I know if it is really time to change the oil?

A: Oil analysis enables you to take the guesswork out of when to change your oil.

Q: What can I do to save money for my business and reduce downtime?

  1. Oil analysis enables you to reduce maintenance costs by establishing safe and effective drain intervals that fit your fleet and your unique business needs.
  2. Oil analysis provides peace-of-mind for all fleet and plant personnel whether they’re on the job or away from work.
  3. Oil analysis can help ensure maximum equipment life by preventing premature failure.
  4. Oil analysis can help you identify potential problems before they negatively impact your business.
  5. Oil analysis should be a critical part of any results based, successful predictive maintenance program.
  6. Oil analysis can help reduce lubricant and disposal costs.
  7. Oil analysis enables you to save time and money!

Q:  How can Oil Analysis help the environment?

A: Extending oil drain intervals translates into less environmental pollution and less dependency on foreign oil.

Q: As a return customer, do I need to completely fill in the information form?

A: The report you receive from us is only as good as the information you provide. The information form should be filled out as completely as possible every time.

Q: This is my first time testing. What is my account number?

A: Your Account number is not assigned until your first test is complete. You account number will be printed on your first report. NOTE: To register for FAX, email, or online reporting, you must first have an account number.

Q: My sample has a high copper number. Where is it coming from?

A: If only the copper is high, but no other metals such as lead, tin, or aluminum are elevated, it is mostly an oxide of copper from the oil cooler. As the oil cooler is exposed to the heat from the engine oil, it can sometimes oxidize the copper, which will show up in the analysis report. This is considered a normal condition and no corrective action is required. This process usually will taper off or stop occurring over time.

Q: Will the oil analysis report tell if I have to change the filter, or just tell me to change the oil?

A: The analysis report can tell you both. In some instances it may be necessary to change the filter only and top off the oil level. In other instances it will tell you to change both the oil and filter at the same time.

Q: Is there a way of knowing what is high or low wear metals for my car?

A: Download the Oil Analyzers Interpretation Guide (pdf 250k) for a more thorough explanation of test parameters and limits.

Q: How long does the laboratory keep an oil sample before it is disposed?

A: The laboratory will keep the oil sample for three weeks.

Q: Will I understand my report?

A: Oil Analyzers INC. reports are easy to read and understand. Customer and unit information identify the equipment for which testing was performed. Technical oil data appears in a quick-read chart with multiple entry capacity for trendlining. Easy to understand recommendations are included so you know exactly what you should do with your oil or component to provide the best care for your equipment. The report shows a detailed explanation of tests and results. Oil Analyzers INC. reports are formatted for clear fax transmission. For a detailed explanation of oil analysis reports consult the Oil Analyzers User Guide (G-2047)

Q:Are used oil samples considered a Hazardous Waste Shipment?

A: No. New or used lubricating oils have been declared by the U.S. Postal Service as not hazardous, flammable or toxic according to its Regulation for Hazardous Material (DMM 601.10.6) which indicates that liquids with a flash point above 200 degrees F are free of restrictions when shipped by air or surface transportation.

The average flashpoint of used engine oil is 380 degrees F and the average flash point of used transmission or hydraulic fluids is 340 degrees F. If the minimum flash point of 200 degrees F is met, the collection and shipping containment provided in OAI test kits is sufficient for shipment by air or ground transportation.

U.S. Postal Regulations requirements state that the sample collection container have a lined, screw-on lid to prevent leakage. OAI’s oil analysis test kits provide a plastic sample collection jar, a lid with an F217 liner and, although not required, a plastic return mailer for secondary containment.


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