Frequently Asked Questions

How to take a sample

What is included in a kit?

OilVue Report

What are we testing for with Oilvue?

Sampling Questions

When to Start Sampling

Oil analysis’s value increases over the life of an asset (vehicle).  The more that is known about your vehicle, the environment, and conditions you drive in the more trending of problems that can happen over time.   

Ideally people would start when they first have a car as it helps to truly build a trend of the car and what can be happening.   

Does it need to be every oil change?

Likely not in a young car.  Once a year in the early years of an engine should suffice as it is unlikely major issues should happen in the first 3-5 years of an engine.  This could change depending on how many miles you drive in a year (15k or less).  As the car starts to become 5-7 years old (60-75k miles) and starts to get some miles on it the frequency of when you test may want to increase. 

The older the car the more susceptible it is to engine and mechanical failures and the value of oil analysis goes up.  If you have trended your asset over time (at least 3 constant intervals), the analysis will start to give you an idea when things are starting to break down, this is amplified if a trend has already been established.  

By trending a vehicle, we can see things that are rising or dropping which helps to isolate where the problem is and with that information it can start to save people money on the fixes.  Oil analysis does not stop failures from happen but the information you learn from oil analysis can help to prevent the larger (catastrophic breakdowns) that cost too much money to fix, it also gives people a heads up those things are breaking that they normally wouldn’t know.   

How do I take the oil sample out of my Vehicle?

This is a 2 part answer.  You can take a sample when you drain oil at an oil change or you can (if car has dipstick) draw a sample with a pump.  Please view sample instructions.  

Maintenance Questions

How is oil analysis a proactive maintenance practice?

With OilVue oil analysis, you can get a look inside your engine and start to understand the story of without taking the engine apart.  By understanding what is going on early, you are empowered to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to your valued asset.    

The OilVue app will also keep your history, so proof of maintenance can be created with the health of your engine over its history.  

How do I know if it is really time to change the oil?

Oil analysis will tell you if your oil is still healthy enough to be used, over time you will learn the optimal change intervals for your vehicle.  One of the values of oil analysis it that it helps to tell if the oil is working the way it should. 

 Can oil analysis help reduce costs and maintenance of my car?
  1. By establishing safe and effective oil intervals as well as trending wear and contamination, oil analysis will enable you to reduce maintenance costs by helping to eliminate catastrophic failure. Oil Analysis will not stop mechanical breakdown, but it will help you predict it and minimize additional unknown failures.
  2. Oil analysis helps to act as an insurance that the maintenance is working or not, as the oil analysis tells you when changes are happening that could have a negative impact.
  3. Oil analysis can help stop the compound effect of mechanical failure, when failures go undetected, they often lead to additional failures. Each failure can compound the impact on your vehicle driving the cost of repair up exponentially.
  4. Oil analysis can help you identify potential problems before they negatively impact your vehicle.
  5. Oil analysis can help reduce lubricant waste; you may be changing clean oil out before it is needed.
  6. Time is money, oil analysis can help you know when failures are coming so they can be addressed quickly rather than happening at the wrong time. Oil Analysis will give you time to prepare for the maintenance needs you are experiencing.

Submittal Questions

Q: How to I get my vehicle information in? VIN Look up isn't working?

If the scanning of your vehicles bar code is not working then you should be able to insert your vin# manually and the basic car information will pull up.   

What if I do not have a VIN# or look up not working?

If you are testing an engine that does not have a vin# or for some reason it not working, unfortunately that is not made clear in the user interface (we are updating this).

If the user puts something like “JetSki 1” into the VIN Field, that will get entered into the UNIT ID field in our system and the sample will be processed as normal. 

Complete attached Vinless# form and submit through the app while including the paper form.

Vinless Form

This will allow submittal.

What if my oil type is not in the system?

Submit the sample with the fluid “Unidentified” and then we can update it manually when it arrives.  Simply add a note in the package and we will add the oil to our database. As we currently have access to thousands of oils across the globe this should be rare.  

Accounting/Reporting Questions

This is my first time testing. What is my account number?

Your Account number will be assigned in the app and automatically generated with your first test. Your account will be crated and the VIN# or identifier will be attached to your account.  

Will the oil analysis report tell if I have to change the filter, or just tell me to change the oil?

The analysis report and diagnostic is specific to your oil at the time you tested it so it could can tell you both. It is possible that it may be necessary to change the filter only and top off the oil level. In other situations, it will tell you to change both the oil and filter at the same time. 

Will I understand my report?

OilVue reports are easy to read and understand. Customer and vehicle information for the vehicle being tested is easy to see. Technical oil data appears in a quick-read chart with easy to understand recommendations that are included so you know exactly what you should do with your oil or component to provide the best care for your vehicle. 

To better understand what the report means, follow the interactive report: Tour a Report – OILVUE

Environmental Questions

Are used oil samples considered a Hazardous Waste Shipment?

No. New or used lubricating oils have been declared by the U.S. Postal Service as not hazardous, flammable or toxic according to its Regulation for Hazardous Material (DMM 601.10.6) which indicates that liquids with a flash point above 200 degrees F are free of restrictions when shipped by air or surface transportation. 

The average flashpoint of used engine oil is 380 degrees F and the average flash point of used transmission or hydraulic fluids is 340 degrees F. If the minimum flash point of 200 degrees F is met, the collection and shipping containment provided in OilVue test kits is sufficient for shipment by air or ground transportation. 

U.S. Postal Regulations requirements state that the sample collection container have a lined, screw-on lid to prevent leakage. OilVUE oil analysis test kits provide a plastic sample collection jar, a lid with an F217 liner?  

How can Oil Analysis help the environment?

Extending oil drain intervals translates into less environmental pollution and less dependency on foreign oil.

How long does the laboratory keep an oil sample before it is disposed?

The laboratory will keep the oil sample for up to one month before the sample is disposed.