Contaminated Oil is Poison to your Engine
To prevent life-threatening disease, annual blood testing is the most important step aging humans can take .With your blood test results, you can catch critical changes in your body and empowered, you begin a new approach that could add decades to your life.
Clean oil to an engine is like clean blood to your body, with the oil filter as the kidney. Similar to collecting forensic evidence at a crime scene, oil samples are drawn into a small, clean bottle which is sealed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
If you read our previous story ( 5 Ways to Murder Your Diesel) , you would recall that contaminated oil is poison to an engine. Oil provides vital lubrication, cleaning and cooling services to an engine and oil filters remove contaminants. Both the oil and the filter have a useful service life but if they are not replaced, each is capable of creating damage rather than preventing it.
Oil Analysis (OA) is the laboratory analysis of a lubricant’s properties, suspended contaminants, and wear debris. First used after World War II by the US railroad industry to monitor the health of locomotive diesel engines, OA is performed during routine predictive maintenance to provide meaningful and accurate information on lubricant and machine condition. By tracking oil analysis sample results over the life of your engine, trends can be established and these can help eliminate costly repairs. The study of wear in machinery is called tribology. Tribologists perform or interpret oil analysis data.
Oil samples register contaminants in parts per million. We test for deposits relevant to metal wear, coolant entry and external contamination to name just a few. Many mining equipment failures are caused by the introduction of contaminants whist servicing and sampling. Often, it’s not the oil itself but the equipment used to meter and supply the new oil that create the problems . Oil analysis is a particularly great tool for equipment operating in remote locations.
For your diesel engine there are distinct fluid challenges which ultimately decide the operational reliability and longevity of your engine. Torquepower’s technical staff are not tribologists, but they have been trained in the interpretation of oil analysis reports as produced by the laboratories and can reliably advise you of the state of play and of your best maintenance options going forward based on those OA observations.
Industry best practice is to have your engines lifeline tested every 250 hours, 20,000 kilometres or as a minimum in concert with each lube service event. Each element analysed will lead us to specific area of the engine where close scrutiny often provides an early remedy for a pending or potential problem. As was once said by wiser men than I, ” an ounce of prevention is better than a tonne of cure”.
Your OA report will be emailed to Torquepower from the laboratory in a matter of a few days from dispatch of the sample. We will contact you immediately in the event that the report is flagged as “Caution” or “STOP” and discuss the ramifications of the report’s terms.
The technical advice provided by Torquepower is at no additional cost to you. If the report gives an all clear we will retain the information on your engine file both physically and electronically for trend reference down the track as may be required.
A major scuba diving and cruise company in the Solomon Islands have recently asked us to look at the tribology of some of their old hard working high hour power generating engines – some of which show more than 40,000hrs of service since they were last overhauled by Torquepower. Sending us oil samples for analysis allows us to manage and advise on future maintenance requirements with a high level of accuracy and provides the customer with the confidence he needs to take bookings well into the future.