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Oil Analysis 101
10 Reasons Why You Need an Oil Analysis Program
By Joe Nixon, ConocoPhillips Company, Services Coordinator
Today’s truck and heavy-duty equipment operators demand the most from their vehicles, so having a well “oiled” machine that experiences very little downtime is imperative. Implementing an oil analysis system can help to accomplish this by maximizing equipment efficiency and engine durability. Here are 10 reasons a thorough oil analysis program should be an integral part of your regular business practice:
1. Maintenance “How To” – An effective oil analysis program can assist owners and operators in making more informed maintenance decisions based on the equipment condition information provided by the oil analysis.
2. New Age Technology – The software at work in many of today’s oil analysis programs allows users to capture customized variables such as hours of operation and miles of service, in addition to quickly identifying specific characteristics of a particular engine model, thus influencing overall repair decisions. Just about the only thing you can’t do with this software is download your favorite tunes!
3. Cyber Café – Relax and enjoy your coffee knowing that the Web-based software allows you to compare and benchmark equipment with authorized users throughout the company or world, by combining data from different sites into one database. The result? Fast, effective diagnosis of potential problems via the Internet.
4. Virtual Filing System– By housing equipment condition histories within the computer database, analyzing data has never been so easy and accurate. The reduced paper trail also means no more lost paperwork or files!
5. Good Housekeeping – Just like maintaining a clean house, an oil analysis program will help you maintain a clean engine by identifying trouble spots such as fuel dilution of lubrication, dirt contamination of the oil, antifreeze in the oil, excessive bearing wear and misapplication of lubricants. This can serve as an early warning of impending vehicle problems, stopping wear before it stops you.
6. Your Personal Assistant – You’ll have to remember your wedding anniversary and dry cleaning on your own. But, a thorough oil analysis program can easily identify at risk situations and will offer free, helpful advice, like “check for fuel leak” or “extend service,” thus reminding you to prevent problems before they arise.
7. History 101 – Congratulations, you are moving to the head of the class! The oil analysis system will keep the entire history of all parts and services on file. Thus eliminating time spent troubleshooting, providing the ability to identify potential problems with ease and serve as an invaluable resource and record when it comes time to trade or sell.
8. Life Support System – In conjunction with regular maintenance, you should utilize an oil analysis program to keep your equipment out of the ICU. Full equipment failures can be sidestepped because individual parts are getting some personal attention and major tragedies can be bypassed.
9. Extend Drain Intervals – Because a high-quality oil analysis can forecast potential problems, maintenance decisions are easier and more accurate than ever before, which can result in extended drain intervals and, most importantly, keeping your trucks on the road.
10. Saves You Cash – Go ahead and splurge on that new computer for the office! By identifying small issues before they become big problems, and through the reduction of time-consuming data handling, you can save money on costly downtime and have extra cash left over for the things you really need.