Miley Marine Surveying & Consulting

Marine Surveys By Miley Marine Surveying & Consulting, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA - Noel A. Miley, SAMS®  AMS® Noel A. Miley, SAMS® AMS®
ABYC Standards & Electrical Certified

Austin W. Miley SAMS® SA

ABYC Standards Certified

Serving all of Florida with offices on both coasts

Do You Need Oil Analysis?

The surveyor uses oil analysis as a means of checking the internal parts of your engine, the parts he can't see. Just as a doctor checks the internal parts of your body through various tests (blood tests etc.). The heart of your engine, the oil pump, moves oil through your engine for the purpose of lubrication and cooling. As the oil passes through your engine, it picks up certain particles and impurities. From these particles one can determine if the internal parts of your engine are wearing at the proper rate. The inside of your engine is made of different metals that are used for a variety of parts. Aluminum, copper, tin, lead, iron and chromium are the most commonly used metals in an engine.

WEAR METAL ANALYSIS, one part of your oil analysis report, checks your oil for these metals. It separates and counts the metals found and measures them in parts per million. When the particle count is compared to a wear metal analysis curve, (incorporated in the software of the computer, and printed in the analysis report) a determination can be made as to your engine's rate of wear, commonly referred to as your baseline.

The baseline or normal rate of wear for your engine is initially determined by the specifications available from your engine manufacturer. They give you a guideline to follow. To further enhance the benefits of oil analysis, these guidelines must be further updated by the regular use of oil sampling. These tests should be incorporated into your engine maintenance program, and done in intervals as close to equal as possible.

One oil analysis test given to an ailing engine can very possibly give you a world of information. While sampling on a regularly scheduled maintenance program can give you a more exact interpretation of wear metal trends over a long period of time, notifying you, in many cases, of a problem long before it happens. For instance, a simultaneous increase, either gradual or above warning values, in iron, tin chromium and silicon (dirt) would indicate that the wear metals are probably coming from the cylinder kits and that the cause may be dirt bypassing the air cleaner. On the other hand, if only the iron was on the increase beyond normal levels, the cylinder kits would not be the cause and some other area of the engine would require attention.

Remember, oil analysis when used correctly in a scheduled maintenance program, is the LEAST expensive, MOST accurate agenda one can find to assure a long and dependable life for your engine. DON'T be penny wise and dollar foolish.

CONTAMINANT ANALYSIS: In addition to wear metal data, oil analysis also tests for other impurities most commonly found in your oil. It checks for water, salt, glycol, potassium, and silicon. When one or more of these properties is found in your oil in any significant quantities, it also is a signal to further investigate the source of origin. By determining the source, the problem can be corrected.

In addition to the above, oil analysis can tell you of the condition of your oil. It determines the viscosity (thickness) of your oil and it's oxidation (ability to lubricate properly).


Oil analysis can be a determining factor in making sure your engine has a long, trouble free life. It can let you know, in many cases, in advance of potential or developing problems so that one can correct the problem before serious breakdowns occur, saving you time, money and aggravation.


Engine lube oil analysis is conducted primarily to determine the overall condition of the lubricant and engine components. Monitoring the oil condition at successive intervals over a relatively long period of time can be used to determine a practical oil drain interval and to check for undesirable crankcase oil contaminants such as diesel fuel, coolant salt, airborne dirt, sand or dust. The identification of these contaminants generally can and should trigger corrective action to eliminate their causes thereby extending engine life.

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