How Important Is An Oil Sample in Evaluating a Piece of Used Heavy Equipment?

Posted on: May 31, 2016 - 07:00 AM | General
Author: Darrin Martin

Avoid a costly mistake.

An oil sample can help tell you how much life is left on a used engine by checking for contaminants in the oil. Oxygen exposure, heat and contaminants cause all oils to degrade. Engine oil is particularly susceptible to degradation by sulfur, nitration, by-products of combustion, high temperatures, and water from the combustion process or condensation.

How important is on oil sample? Degraded oil

Degraded oil - CC Image courtesy of Clean Oil Services on Flickr

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when procuring oil samples.

Oil samples need to be taken while the machine is running, not when it is cold. Samples should be collected when machines are at normal operating temperatures, loads, pressures and speeds on a typical day. That will show you the baseline data, from which you can draw an educated conclusion about the engine health of the machine.

How important is an oil sample? Burnt oil

Burnt oil - CC Image courtesy of Clean Oil Services on Flickr

Also, oil sampling/analysis is best suited as a preventive maintenance tool rather than as a one-off random sample.This is because by tracking oil analysis sample results over the life of a particular machine, trends can be established which can help eliminate costly repairs. And, for the owner, a record of routine oil analysis can increase the resale value of used equipment.

How important is an oil sample? New oil

New oil - CC Image courtesy of Clean Oil Services on Flickr

A single oil sample to evaluate a piece of used heavy equipment for purchase should be used cautiously. Without knowing how long or under what conditions the machine was running at the time of the single oil sample, this test should be considered conclusive only if it indicates a problem—a good report could result from either no problems or a short length of service of the oil. That said, even a single oil sample is probably better than none at all. Although an oil sample will not ensure the life of the machine, it can rule out some potential major issues and save you time and money in the long run.

To learn more about this subject or other matters regarding wood waste, tub & horizontal grinding equipment and parts, please contact the wear parts specialists at Grinder Wear Parts, or 800-827-0401.


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