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How the Oil Analysis Program (OAP) Works

OAP is a 4-step process:

    (1) Purchase Kit(s)
    (2) Draw a Sample and Submit
    (3) Analysis
    (4) Diagnostic Reporting

Step 1 - Registration

    1. Begin the OAP process by purchasing a sampling kit. Simply call AMSOIL INC. at (800) 956-5695 for pricing information or to order kits (and a sample pump if desired). You may purchase kits singly or in quantities of 50 or 100, with lower per-kit prices for larger orders.

    2. Upon receipt of your order, AMSOIL INC. will send out your sample kit, which includes sample bottle, sample information form and mailer.

Step 2 - Sampling

    1. Read the Oil Sampling Procedures on the back of the sample information form.

    2. Fill out the Sample Information Form completely.

    3. Take a sample (minimum: 2 to 3 oz).

    4. Close and seal sample container tightly.

    5. Send the filled sample container and the Sample Information Form to OAI in the supplied mailer.

Step 3 - Analysis

Upon receipt of your sample at the Oil Analyzers Inc. laboratory, all requisite testing will be performed. All analyses include determination of viscosity, fuel dilution (if applicable), water, dirt content, fuel soot contamination (if applicable), plus spectrochemical analysis for 20 elements to determine component wear, airborne dirt, anti-freeze contamination (if applicable), and oil additive concentrations.

The analyses also includes a neutralization value determination - Total Base Number, TBN (primarily for gasoline and diesel motor oils) or Total Acid Number, TAN (non-crankcase lubricants). Oxidation values and nitration values (if applicable) are also determined

Step 4 - Reporting

    1. OAI will mail your analysis report to you the day your sample is analyzed. For even faster results, request that your results be faxed to you, or go online and register to get your results online. Click Here For Online Oil Analysis Results Or To Register

    Note: you must have one current test on file with us to receive the necessary customer information.

    2. If your analysis uncovers a critical problem, such as pending equipment failure, a technician will telephone you directly to advise you of the situation and recommend a course of corrective action.

The Sampling Process
Trend Analysis

A single sampling analysis is useful in providing information when critical failure conditions exist. However, trend analysis is a better tool for estimating the useful life or overall condition of your engine or equipment. Trend analysis samples are taken and analyzed at regularly scheduled intervals. Comparing the most recent analysis to previous reports on a given machine shows the development of trends. Monitoring these trends enables early detection of internal abnormalities. Tested values falling within acceptable limits may show a pattern of subtle variance, which could signal a developing problem.

Machines of the same type will accumulate contaminants and wear at different rates. Performing trend analysis on each machine is the most effective method of giving you an internal look at your equipment and enabling you to deal with developing problems before they become catastrophic situations.
Sampling Frequency

The frequency of sample analysis from your equipment depends on the machine type, machine application and condition, operating environment and other variables. For example, many machines that operate in harsh environments, such as heavy equipment in mining or construction, require short oil sampling intervals - every 100 to 300 operating hours. However, certain power transmission systems, such as gearboxes and hydraulic systems used inside manufacturing and production facilities, require no more than quarterly sampling intervals. The following table lists generic sampling frequencies for common equipment types, and is provided as a guideline only. Additional information is available from Oil Analyzers Inc., your lubricant supplier, and the equipment manufacturer.

Collecting a clean and representative oil sample is critical to the oil analysis process. Put simply, an oil analysis is only as good as the sample taken. The accuracy and reliability of the data produced by an analysis hinges on receiving a representative sample from the equipment to be tested. To assure that the sample extracted is representative of the system, always follow proper sampling procedures.


    1. The component sampled should be brought to operating temperature prior to sampling. This will assure that the insoluble and semi-soluble material is suspended evenly throughout the system. Samples taken from components that have been inactive for long periods are not representative.

    2. Sample should always be taken in the same manner and from the same point.

    3. Do not sample a component directly after an oil change or after a large amount of makeup oil has been added.

    4. Use a clean, dry, unbreakable container. Never reuse containers or sampling tubing.

Collect your sample using one of the following three methods:

    1. Sample Pump Method (See Instructions For Use)

    Request a sample pump when ordering your sample kit. The pump will come with complete instructions and will enable you to draw a sample quickly and easily. Seal the bottle tightly.

    2. Sample Valve/Petcock Method

    The valve should be wiped clean and any stagnant oil should be drained prior to catching a sample run. Seal the bottle tightly. Wipe bottle clean.

    3. Oil Drain Method

    Clean the area around the drain plug thoroughly to avoid sample contamination. Allow oil to drain for three to five seconds prior to catching a sample. Place a clean, dry sample bottle in the oil stream and fill to within 1/2 inch of the top. Seal bottle tightly. Wipe bottle clean.


    * For best results, oil samples should be taken immediately after equipment shutdown, while the equipment is still at operating temperature. Never sample a cold engine and always make sure the oil has been well circulated before taking a sample. Dirt, water and other debris tend to settle to the bottom of the reservoir while light fuels tend to float. This separation will compromise your analysis.
    * Good locations for sampling include an oil gallery, the engine crankcase, the drain plug or dipstick tube and the equipment reservoir or sump.
    * When taking oil from industrial machinery through a bottom drain, be careful to draw oil until your sample has a uniform, representative appearance.
    * Use samples from the drain pan or oil filter only as a last resort. For a failed engine that has had the oil drained, a drain pan or oil filter sample may help detect the cause of the failure.
    * Avoid prolonged skin contact with used oil. Wash exposed skin with soap and water after exposure.

Engine crankcase oil temperatures can exceed 200°F. To avoid personal injury, use protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses and protective clothing.
Your Oil Is Talking, Are You Listening?

Right now, the oil working in your crankcase, gearbox, or sump contains information that could be vital to the performance and productivity of your engine or equipment. Contaminants that can indicate wear or cause serious equipment damage such as metals, water, raw fuel, acids, fuel soot and other solids collect in your lubricant. Using oil analysis to evaluate these contaminants is a scientific approach to predictive maintenance, allowing you a look inside your machinery to spot mechanical wear and contamination in its early stages. You'll extend machine life, head off major maintenance costs and prevent catastrophic failure that can shut down or leave you stranded, and you'll maximize lubricant life.
Oil Analysis Provides a Big Return for Your Small Investment by:

    * Extending equipment life by preventing premature component failure
    * Reducing maintenance costs by eliminating unnecessary component changes and decrease              downtime due to premature scheduled maintenance
    * Enabling calculation of optimum drain intervals that will reduce lubricant costs and assure maximum equipment protection
    * Eliminating complete teardowns based on guesswork
    * Reducing unscheduled maintenance - keeps equipment up and running
    * Enabling better assessment of equipment performance

Who is Using Oil Analysis?

An oil analysis program can provide critical information for any equipment requiring lubricants - both gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, gears, bearings, and hydraulic systems. It's useful for owners of passenger cars, over-the road fleets, off-highway equipment, boats, or high performance vehicles. It's also essential for various industries that focus on managing plant equipment and maintenance costs. As a matter of fact, as many as 70% of today's construction equipment operators use professional oil analysis to assess equipment and lubricant condition. Forty percent of all transportation fleets and 20 percent of industrial plants also rely on lubricant testing as an integral part of predictive/preventive maintenance. These businesses know that oil analysis replaces the guesswork in predicting equipment wear and scheduling optimum drain intervals. The data provided by oil analysis enables them to maximize equipment profitability by minimizing maintenance downtime.

The Oil Analysis Program From Oil Analyzers, Inc.

    * State of the art Laboratory and testing instrumentation
    * Web based and Email Reporting for fast turnaround
    * User Friendly, Pre-Addressed Sampling Kits
    * Accessible Customer Support for Questions and Concerns
    * Maintained Data History for Trending Analysis
    * Easy To Read Recommendations
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