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 Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:59 am

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Thought this was quite interesting, but then I've become a bit geeky about my oil condition.

Assuming it sort-of-works, I'd guess the marketing problem they still have is that an oil change really isn't THAT expensive, so better-safe-than-sorry is likely to prevail, and therefore most people wouldn't save any money by using one.

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The gadget is claimed to measure a combination of dielectric constant and resistance.

Industrial monitoring of oil condition measures a number of parameters, such as pH, TAN (Total Acid Number, by titration against KOH) TBN (Total Base Number, by titration against, IIRC HCl) [I can't get my head around how you can measure those two parameters imdependantly, by titration, but that seems to be the way they are discussed], viscosity, oxidation, particle counts and metallic contaminants/wear metals.

Some of these MIGHT be within DIY scope if one was very keenly geeky, but they aren't trivial to measure.

Changes in these parameters tend roughly to correlate with changes in dielectric constant, so (with many but not all oils) you can allegedly use this as a rough proxy index of oil quality. I've seen some independent peer-reviewed-journal research that seems to support this.

Comment from people who've tried it (or its Oilyzer predecessor) is generally guardedly positive, but some units have been unreliable, its vulnerable to cross contamination if the electrode isn't thoroughly cleaned (I'd probably use alcohol but they don't suggest that AFAIK), and it apparently doesn't work with the additive packages of some oils.  

Few punters, even on BIITOG, have "control" data from conventional oil analysis, to compare it to, and it doesn't give direct numerical output of the parameter its measuring, but an LED "quality index".

Its about $40, but I dunno about shipping to Taiwan. I'd consider getting one, though I do wonder if one could make any useful measurements using a multimeter and a suitable electrode.
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PostSubject: Re: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:11 pm

RE: Delage oil sample - turned out to be head-gasket failure. Just thought I'd mention it as the blot test clearly indicated something wrong with the oil (loss of dispersancy, possibly accelerated by glycol contamination?).
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:22 am

That's a convincingly dark central zone.

I'd quite like to get a flat-bed scanner and play around with this kind of thing some, but I don't currently have any time (or a scanner, and I'm not BUYING one specially.).

I can use a scanner in the admin office, but I'd really need to have it hooked up to my own PC to play around with settings n such.
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PostSubject: Re: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:29 am

Thought about getting a digital microscope. They're not that expensive. Also started measuring the inner and outer settlement areas and using that to calculate the percent area covered by the inner deposit relative to the total area. Deciding a condemn limit is tricky. I've referenced blot test charts to get an idea. Just thought it'd be a way to quantify the result as the test currently relies on subjective interpretation.
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PostSubject: Re: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:23 pm

Just like to underline the importance of taking the sample from a recently run engine. I took oil from a cold engine (my parent's Chevrolet Matiz, which I'll be servicing shortly) and it looked in really good shape for the 10,000 miles it had done. Suspicious, I did another test after running the engine to circulate the oil. The result is noticeably darker with a more pronounced inner and outer deposit area. I call false negative on the first result. Contaminants in the oil stratify when left un-agitated, perhaps?
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PostSubject: Re: Lubricheck Oil Condition Monitoring Gizmo   Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:28 am

Justwatching wrote:
Just like to underline the importance of taking the sample from a recently run engine. I took oil from a cold engine (my parent's Chevrolet Matiz, which I'll be servicing shortly) and it looked in really good shape for the 10,000 miles it had done. Suspicious, I did another test after running the engine to circulate the oil. The result is noticeably darker with a more pronounced inner and outer deposit area. I call false negative on the first result. Contaminants in the oil stratify when left un-agitated, perhaps?

Mine certainly do, but my main contaminant lately has been ferrous metal, (see other thread) which perhaps is more likely to settle out than, say, soot.

This doesn't seem to be generally recognised though, and I've had professionals express disbelief that stuff was actually settling out on the upper side of the dipstick.

Another "uncontrolled variable" might be void spaces in the engine. I say this because my oil pump mounting is hollow and was full of sludge. If it gets in, it can presumably get out, so if oil gets dirty after a change the assumption that the muck is new muck might not be valid.
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