As fleet managers and business owners know, finding ways to save money, especially in the light of record-high fuel and lubricant prices, is no small task. It requires ingenuity, hard work, and careful attention to detail to keep your fuel and lubricant budget in check. But there is one tool that can help companies save money on lubricant costs, reduce equipment downtime, and keep your machinery running longer – oil analysis.

Investing in an oil analysis program may seem like another fuel and lubricant expense. But it’s much more than that. An oil analysis program is an investment in proactive maintenance and monitoring that can help your business save money in the long run. How? Here are the five most significant benefits you’ll see when you sign up for an oil analysis program.

  1. Extended drain intervals

In an article from Machinery Lubrication, it’s estimated that the true cost of an oil change exceeds the cost of the oil by 40%! As any fleet manager can tell, meeting drain intervals isn’t a simple equation. It requires a lot of time and money to change the oil of heavy machinery, and many things can go wrong during the process. For example, in that same article, they list a few risks that come with a simple oil change, including:

  • Introducing a contaminated or wrong oil
  • Introducing a degraded lubricant that was improperly stored
  • Introducing a defective oil
  • Disturbing sediment or sludge that has built up in the engine which can lead to further engine blockages and deposits
  • Dislodging sludge and deposits that can lead to further leakages
  • Dry restarts, dirty oil restarts
  • A human mechanical error can cause engine damage, such as failing to open or close valves, leaving a rag in the engine, damaging engine parts or other mistakes

Every time a piece of equipment is up for a drain interval, a fleet manager has to weigh the pros and cons of changing the oil against the possibility of these risks and the economic costs of taking a piece of machinery out of commission. But, with oil analysis, your team can better manage your drain intervals. In some cases, even extend them past the OEM schedule based on the custom oil analysis recommendations you get from the lab. Extended drain intervals can help reduce equipment downtime so you can keep your machinery working and also help you avoid potential oil change mistakes.

  1. Reduced maintenance costs

Another benefit of oil analysis is the custom recommendations that you get back from the lab on your equipment maintenance needs. These recommendations are like a roadmap for keeping your equipment in tip-top shape and are based on the exact condition your equipment is in right now. Instead of having your mechanics guess what your equipment needs, you’ll be able to know based on the testing that is done in the lab on your lubricant supplies. What kind of testing can you expect? We offer our customers a chance to participate in Chevron’s Lubewatch® oil analysis program, which offers six basic testing packages, including:

  • Basic Lubrication
  • Diesel Crankcase
  • Basic industrial/Natural Gas Testing
  • Industrial Oils
  • Metal Working Fluids
  • Turbine Oils

You can read more about these testing packages in one of our previous blogs.

  1. Prevent potential lubricant contamination

As a fuel and lubricant supplier, we take lubricant storage very seriously because we know how essential it is for preventing lubricant contamination. But not everyone else has our high standards. Your oil analysis results will show you if you think your lubricant storage practices need to be improved. Oil analysis is one of the best ways to catch lubricant contamination problems before you use the contaminated supplies on your equipment. It’s a fantastic tool to prevent long-term engine damage from contaminated supplies.

  1. Improved equipment monitoring

Machines that are properly lubricated run faster and more efficiently. It’s why lubrication is so important. As part of the oil analysis sampling process, you’ll learn to take samples on your equipment while it’s in use or cooling down and in strategic places through the engine. While taking these samples correctly, you can also implement equipment monitoring guidelines to spot potential problems or issues before they become apparent. Aligning an equipment monitoring schedule with your oil sampling schedule is a great way to be even more proactive about equipment maintenance.

  1. Coolant monitoring

The Chevon Lubewatch® oil analysis program isn’t just for engine oil or engine lubricants. You can also get your coolant tested as well for additive and Ph levels. These tests can help make sure your coolant supplies are in great working condition for your machinery!

As a fleet manager, implementing an oil analysis program may initially seem a little overwhelming. But our team is here to guide you. We’ll show you and your team how to properly take oil samples using the proper bottle, tubing and vacuum pump tools to get the best samples you can. We’ll help you develop the best testing schedule for your needs, and when you get your reports back from our partners at Polaris Labs, we’ll go through the results with you.

The Chevon Lubewatch® reports are easy to read and understand, so it’s an easy transition for your mechanical team. The reports are color-coded: green means you can continue your current practices, yellow means there are some cautionary notes to be aware of, and red means an immediate problem that needs attention. It’s a simple system that disseminates the information so your mechanical team can quickly review and assess the lab’s recommendations and plan your fleet’s maintenance schedules accordingly.

Here at Greg’s Petroleum Service, we know how valuable an effective oil analysis program can be for our customers. It’s the best way to get accurate and up-to-date recommendations on your lubricant supplies to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. It will save your business money and time, which every fleet manager needs now. Call Greg’s Petroleum Service today if you’re ready to get started with our oil analysis services!