Updated: Nov 18, 2020
1) Visual Inspection of Oil in a Sample Bottle:
- Colour: wrong or mixed oil, photo-catalytic reaction, oxidation and thermal degradation, soot, chemical contamination
- Emulsions and Cloudiness: haze to buttermilk, cuff, stable or unstable, additive floc, salt, air, glycol
- Free Water: colour, speed of separation, level
- Sediments – colour: amber, black, translucent, settling rate, density and particle size, laser through the bottle
2) Using Oil Colour as a Field Test:
- You can check the colour of the oil sample with the help of an oil change colour gauge by using glass or PET plastic bottles
- Without a gauge, you can compare the sample with a new oil sample and observe the colour, if you find that colour of the oil is milky or dark, then check the contamination & moisture in oil with the help of an Oil testing kit
3) Moisture Detection by Vision:
- Visual inspection
- Transparent container
- Use comparators and good lighting, laser pointer is also effective
- Hazy to milky appearance may indicate water emulsion
4) Routine Inspection of Sight Glasses in Oil Analysis:
- Change in oil level – up or down, sudden and significant changes are serious
- Sight glass foaming
- Oil colour, darkening, turbidity, etc.
- BS& W bowl shows oxidised oil
- Use a blue pen-light for checking the oil level and quality insight glasses
5) Other Audible Inspection:
- Gearing – A singing gear is a happy gear, usually, it means it is one that is hitting
- Hydraulics – High metallic sounds from pumps means there is water in oils
- Marbles on the tin roof mean cavitation
6) Using your Sense of Touch:
A) Lube: Oils should feel slippery, not clingy. Greases should feel buttery, not stringy or lumpy
- Grease consistency can be estimated manually with a butter knife, you can tell the difference between #2 and #3
B) Contaminants – Sludge: hard, pasty, sticky
- Particles / Sediments
- Filter debris
7) Using Oil Odour as a Field Test:
Purpose quickly detect odour – Producing changes in an oil’s chemistry and constituents.
For best results with scenting, use comparators for examples, bottles of new oil, oxidised oil, burnt oil, diesel contaminated oil, etc.
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