Save £££s on your car servicing with this one simple test

This Oil Analysis test should be standard in every garage, says Hillclimb Garage

- Numerous scientific papers recommend 15K mile plus oil change intervals for most modern vehicles made today.

- Many vehicle owners, and surprisingly, many automotive experts, rely on the invalid method of oil opacity, or oil coloration and darkness to gauge their engine oil condition.

Of course, changing oil based solely on mileage is the standard most motorists follow. But this approach fails to take into account

driving habits, climate, traffic conditions, engine condition, oil type,

etc. Because these variables are so difficult to evaluate and quantify,

experts have historically advocated frequent oil changes, just to be on

the 'safe side'.

Knowing Oil Quality Metrics

The most important factors in determining engine oil quality are:

1. Acidity

High acidity content in engine oil causes "pitting", or the eating away of the inner metal surfaces in your engine. This problem is very common, and eventually causes reduced engine performance, excessive oil use, poor fuel economy, and loss of power.

2. Metal

Particulates Metal particulates are also a concern and often indicate rapid wear of bearing, cylinder wall and piston surfaces.

3. Carbonized Particulates

The dark color in oil is caused by engine combustion and is NORMAL. Carbon deposits caused by the combustion cycle are "suspended" in the oil, causing a dark color over time. But this means that the oil is doing its job.

4. Foreign liquids (coolant leaks, water leaks)

Liquids such as coolant and water are detrimental to engines, and can be a major source of internal corrosion. Their presence in oil is an indication of potentially serious engine problems. Catching their presence early will likely save on substantial repair bills. Lubricheck tests for all these variables in the chemistry of the oil. It is a one stop "laboratory on a chip" and provides scientific evidence of your vehicles health at any given time.

Total Base Number

The TBN (Total Base Number) is a scientific metric used by the oil analysis industry to determine the pH level (or acidity) of the oil. As mentioned earlier, high acidity is detrimental to the performance and life of the engine.

The base level can be measured conveniently and quickly with the Lubricheck. In addition, Lubricheck will also react to the presence water, coolant, carbon and metal particulates that may be present in the oil.

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» The Technology

Physics and Chemistry

Lubricheck analyzes a physical property inherent in every tangible object in the universe. It is called the "dielectric" or "permittivity" property of a molecular structure. Lubricheck also measures the high impedance (resistivity) of the oil sample for high carbon content, and metals.

The combination of these two physics principles allows for an accurate measurement of the quality of engine oil. The Lubricheck combines the measurement data for acidity, metal particulate level, carbon level and foreign liquids (except fuel) into one, easy to understand rating of your oil condition.

Determining Oil Quality

Changing oil based solely on miles driven fails to take any of the following important variables into account:

1 Engine condition (poor, fair, good)
2 Driving habits (fast, slow, steady, rapid acceleration, frequent speed changes, number of cold starts, etc.)
3 Environmental conditions (hot, dry, humid, cold, mountains, hills, city vs highway, etc.)
4 Oil type (standard, synthetic, manufacturer's oil quality and additives used)

Up until now, the only way to really know when engine oil needed to be changed was to have an oil sample tested by an oil lab, or by using expensive, industrial type oil testers.

Now, for the first time, consumers have the option of actually testing their own oil with the Lubricheck. Additionally, with data collected over time, your mechanic or auto tech has a better chance of identifying problems early, before expensive repairs are needed.