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Motor Oil Analysis

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by pondfishr, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. pondfishr

    pondfishr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I have seen on some auction sites where they analyze the motor oil in equipment that is for sale. They post the results and some how you can tell what shape the engine is in. Does anybody have an idea how you read this type of test and would you recommend doing this before you purchase any used equipment.
  2. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. On diesel engines we send an oil analysis out to show us wear ratings and the silicate levels in the oil which shows how the air filter is performing. When you run extended drain intervals on diesels, it is nice to know how much life was left in the oil.

    That said for a small gas engine this test is not worth a dime. You would have to change the oil, run the engine for a set amount of time and then test the oil.

    All in all, dont waste your money on a oil analysis for a small engine, it will show you nothing!
  3. pondfishr

    pondfishr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    The auctions I have seen were for diesel powered equipment. I guess it applies to the diesel engine and not gas.
  4. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Typically, oil analysis is only useful if it is done on a regular basis. Watching trends will allow you to spot a problem if there is an abnormal amount of one or more elements.

    This costs money and is typically done only on expensive engines (aircraft & industrial). As mentioned, I think it would be a waste of money on a small engine.

    Likewise, just a single analysis probably won't tell you much, either.

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