What’s your Engine Oil Telling You

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Analyzing Oil Continued

You send in a sample of your engine oil and Zengine checks 29 parameters including things like combustion soot, fuel dilution, water in the oil, dispersancy, glycol/coolant, elemental analysis, performance rating to get a total base number for how the oil is reacting. The whole thing costs $39.95.
  • The lab results will tell you how much life is left in the oil and checks for wear metals that tell the experts which engine parts might be in danger of malfunctioning.
  •  Your engine oil lubricates, cleans, and cools the engine, and an oil analysis assigns a total base number to measure the deterioration of the oil by assigning it a number between 0 and 8. This can also reveal the rate at which engine oil additives are being used up.
  • At Blackstone Industries, the test kit is free and shipped to you. A typical test includes results through a spectral exam, insoluble test, viscosity test, and flash point test.
According to its website, Blackstone says, "Oil analysis can identify any problems developing long before they cause you an expensive headache and provide lots of other information too. Can you run the oil longer than the manual says? Will one brand of oil perform better than another? Is there any contamination in the oil? Are your oil and air filters doing a good job? An oil analysis can answer these questions and more."
You can also send Blackstone or Zengine a sample of engine oil from a used car you are considering buying. That way you'll know if there are any internal engine problems before they show up as costly future repairs.