5 Things to Look for in Equipment Fluids | Empire Cat

5 Things to Look for in Equipment Fluids

FluidSampleValve

Expert fluid analysis is a key part of good equipment management. It helps you maintain overall equipment health – so you can maximize uptime and avoid costly failures. During SOS Services analysis, multiple tests are performed on engine, hydraulic and drive train oils – plus coolants, too.

Take a closer look at our tests and see what we’re looking for to help you maximize your equipment.

 

1. Component Wear Rate

 Why we do it:  

Each oil-washed system has a particular concentration of wear metals produced during normal operation. By evaluating wear inside the lubricated compartment, we can see if rates are normal or not. (For example, high levels of iron and chrome can stem from problems with your engine’s cylinder liners and/or piston rings.)

What are we looking for? 

  • Wear metals – including iron, lead, copper, aluminum and chrome.
  • Silicon – indicates dirt entry depending on local soil conditions.
  • Sodium – a potential indicator of water or coolant entry. 

2. Oil Condition

Why we do it:

Wear occurs when oil depletes its additives and begins to deteriorate. This can damage components in oil-washed compartments. It’s important to know if the oil has reached the end of its useful life. 

What are we looking for? 

  • Viscosity (how the oil flows) – too low and wear can occur; too high and oil won’t do its job.
  • Oxidation (oxygen molecules joining with lubricant molecules) – in diesel engines, oxidation can trigger sticking piston rings; in hydraulics, oxidized lubricants will increase pump wear and damage valves.
  • Sulfation (sulfur combining with water during diesel fuel combustion) – can corrode valves, cylinder liners and more.
  • Nitration (generally a problem in natural gas engines) – may result in oil filter plugging, crankcase deposits and other issues.

3. Oil Contamination

Why we do it:

5 Things Fluids Testing

This robust analysis involving several tests can determine if anything harmful has entered the oil.

What are we looking for?

  • Soot (from partially burned fuel) – can plug oil filters and cause engine wear.
  • Fuel – can come from the combustion process and cause low viscosity.
  • Water (such as from condensation, leaks, wet conditions) – can cause wear, rust and sludge.
  • Coolant – can contaminate engine oil.

4.Oil Identification

Why we do it:

The wrong fluid in the wrong compartment can affect performance and lube protection or even severely damage major components. To tell if it’s the right fluid, it’s important to take an accurate sample with the right labeling.

What are we looking for? 

  • Viscosity – is it optimal for the geared compartment and your application?
  • Additive chemistry – is the oil appropriate based on its unique chemical makeup? 

5. Coolant Analysis

Why we do it:

Today’s heavy-duty engines produce a lot of power from a small package, and cooling systems have to do more with less. Also, clients may be extending drain intervals or recycling to reduce disposal costs.

FluidSampleValve

What are we looking for?

  • Coolant type – with so many on the market, they all have different chemistries.
  • Boil & freeze protection – to monitor a fluid’s ability to provide adequate protection.
  • Condition - to test health for pH, conductivity, nitrite, solids, odor, color and appearance.
  • Contamination – has anything harmful entered?  

 


After testing, Empire Fluid Labs can provide recommendations based on possible trends and preventative care based on the root cause.

Want to test your equipment fluids? Contact us at 480-633-4835.

 

Contact Us

 


 

This article is one of a six part educational series that will give you the knowledge to protect your machinery investment with fluids analysis.

Next up:

7 Reasons to Choose Empire SOS Services

 

 

  • EREFOOTER1
  • SITECHFOOTER1
  • allenfooter1
  • BPWFOOTER1
  • topsfooter1
  • tntfooter1
  • agfooter1