When it comes to maintenance, most truckers are concerned with brakes and tires, so long as their engine is humming along.

However, keeping up with your truck’s engine will save you time, money, and a lot of headaches. That’s because problems with the engine are avoidable, as long as you can catch them in time.

Unfortunately, many engine problems only become apparent once things start to go wrong. The good news is, there’s an easy way to see the health of your truck’s engine.

To find out how to quickly and easily assess the health of your truck’s engine, then continue reading below.

Assess Engine Health With Oil Analysis

Oil is the lifeblood of a commercial truck. Problems in the engine can become noticeable within the oil long before a problem can sprout up.

That’s why many fleet managers and owner-operators send their truck’s oil to a lab for analysis. Testing the oil from a commercial truck can provide valuable insight into the engine’s health.

Walk-around inspections and scheduled services often don’t catch problems that oil analysis can. Oil testing is one of the best and quickest preventative maintenance measures you can do for your truck.

How Does Oil Testing Work?

Many fleets choose to test their oil before their oil change. However, some fleets test their oil halfway before their following oil change and right before.

When testing oil, a sample is taken from a truck within 30 minutes of the truck shutting off. The sample is then sent off to a lab for testing.

Within about 2-3 days, the test results come back—revealing what’s going on inside your truck.

What Can Oil Analysis Tell Me About My Truck’s Engine?

Getting your first oil test results might be a bit confusing. You might see that there’s oxidation, copper, lead, aluminum, fuel dilution, and much more.

What’s in your oil can tell you that there might be a problem on the horizon. After all, without oil analysis, you wouldn’t have noticed problems like these:

  • A lot of iron, aluminum, and lead means excessive engine wear.
  • The presence of silicon, sodium, and water can point to a coolant leak.
  • High amounts of fuel could be a sign of a leaking injector.
  • Excessive copper and lead mean the bearings might be close to failing.

Of course, this isn’t a complete list, but a sample of what you can find out with oil testing. Also, oil testing should be done consistently.

One oil test isn’t going to be as useful as multiple oil tests, which will give you a better picture of your engine’s health.

Avoid Engine Breakdowns

With oil analysis, you can quickly find and fix major problems with only a little time and effort. Many issues that can turn into costly engine breakdowns can be caught early with oil testing.

You can avoid having to repair or replace your truck’s engine with a bit of preventative maintenance. The benefit of preventing major engine problems is worth the cost and effort to send oil for sampling.

Oil testing is also completely affordable and accessible for owner-operators and fleets alike. If you want to stay on top of your truck’s engine health, then consider using oil analysis during your next oil change.

How to Quickly Assess the Health of Your Truck’s Engine was last modified: by