Why take oil samples from heavy used machinery?
Analyzing the oils used in construction machinery can be useful to get information about wear from the contents of the used oil. An analysis of the existing oils only makes sense if you have an approximate idea of how long the oil was in use. If the oil has only recently been changed, an analysis of the condition is not very useful. There are then too few analyzable particles in the oil. If the oil used is much older than permitted, i.e. the change intervals have been significantly exceeded, the values will also be incorrect. But if the oil is in a normal change cycle, you can read a lot of information from the trace elements. It is therefore important to know whether the prescribed maintenance intervals on the construction machine have been observed.
How to take an oil sample from heavy used machinery?
For meaningful results, it is necessary to warm up the machine first. Otherwise there will be many particles deposited on the bottom of the oil pan or in the filter. The oil must therefore be vigorously moved and the viscosity increased in order to obtain meaningful results. Then use a very clean container and a pump to remove the oil, e.g. from the engine/the hydraulic circuit or from the gearbox. The extracted oils need to be sent to a certified laboratory. There, the lubricants are analyzed for their ingredients using various methods. It can be used to determine whether there are increased levels of silicon, sulphur, copper, coolant or other trace elements in the oil.
What can I read from the results?
A professional laboratory for the analysis of construction machine oils usually provides us with an interpretation of the analyzed values. Too much silicon means dirt gets into the machine’s systems and you have to look at where and how dirt gets into the system. If coolant is found in the engine oil, there is a problem in the cooling system. If traces of aluminum are found in the transmission oil, one can conclude that there is increased wear in some components. The same applies to the presence of chromium, copper or magnesium.
Mevas offers oil sampling as additional service during inspections. As soon as we have the results of an oil analysis, our technicians will advise you and describe the possible causes. A hint is given on what to do to avoid early problems. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment below the blog or send us a message.