Next time that vehicle is up for an oil change, I recommend getting the used oil analyzed at Blackstone Laboratories. “Oil analysis is a quick, nondestructive way to gauge the health of an engine by looking at what’s in the oil.” Source Located in Fort Wayne Indiana, Blackstone Laboratories provide an easy to understand report of the vehicles engine condition. The test kit from Blackstone is completely free, so there is no reason not to have a test kit laying around. Head over to this page and fill out the form to get a test kit. The process was completely painless for myself, and even caught an issue that I had been overlooking.
At Blackstone Laboratories they perform 4 different test on the oil to gauge the health of the engine based on ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards.
- Spectral Exam D5185 – A small portion of the oil is loaded up into a spectrometer to find out how much various metals and additives are in the oil sample.
- Insoluble Test D1796 – Basically test how good the oil filter is, the Insoluble Test checks for the amount of abrasive solid present in the oil.
- Viscosity Test D445 – Measures the oil viscosity to check for contamination such as fuel, anti-freeze, and moisture or if the oil has been overheated.
- Flash Point Test D92 – Measures the temperature at which the vapors from the oil reach the point of ignition, used to detect fuel in the oil.