On-site Oil/Lubricant Analysis

Matt Diagnostician Red Wing, Minnesota Posted   Latest  

As a shop manager, I'm always looking for ways to expand the market that our repair facility has access to, or add services that other shops may shy away from (ie: European vehicle service, programming, etc) or would not normally consider (key cutting, fuel injector flow testing and ultrasonic cleaning, hybrid HV battery "repair", etc).

I've been kicking around oil/lubricant analysis, namely engine oil but really anything on the vehicle.

I don't know that it's possible to justify the cost of the machine, whether purchased outright or leased. I don't know that I can create enough local support from other repair shops as well as a couple of leasing companies we have nearby (large fleet shops that service over-the-road trucks, school buses, etc).

One system that caught my eye is this: spectrosci​.​com/product/microl…

I have a quote request submitted, so I can't tell you how much it is just yet.

I'm curious how many of you, if any, have such systems or experience with such system. Would you have any insights on such an endeavor?


Jacob Manager
Sacramento, California
Jacob Default

I think that oil analysis has value in the medium and heavy duty area detecting EGR cooler failure. Other areas where I have used them is cement trucks that live next to concrete plants most of the time you can find things before its to late. If you do a lot of fleet work I think it would be marketable for sure.

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Randy Curriculum Developer
Raleigh, North Carolina
Randy Default

That would be a pretty unique profit center for an independent shop. I have seen but not used this machine first hand. We know the value of oil analysis but the big question here is how do we teach our customers about the value. The Spectro website has a pretty neat savings calculator built in that could help sell fleets, etc. For the average customer that might be a harder sell. Most fleets…

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Matt Diagnostician
Red Wing, Minnesota
Matt Default

Yeah, for regular clients I was thinking once to start a "program", maybe purchase a year's worth of services upfront, and then once a year after that unless we pick something up. Then, of course, selling it to local repair shops as another diagnostic resource for vehicles they're working on and suspect of. If the local fleet shops find out I have a machine like that, what's to prevent them…

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Steve Owner/Technician
Mankato, Minnesota
Steve Default

That system was mentioned in one of the trade magazines one or two years ago, thought about it and gave them a call. The least expensive one was about 100K,kind of lost interest at that price.

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Jay Technician
Ridgecrest, California
Jay Default

Have you considered using a traditional testing facility? You buy the collection kits and take a sample during a service. Send it in and have online results in days. Standard testing $30 Here is one we have used: blackstone-labs​.​com/tests/standard…

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JB Owner/Technician
Minneapolis, Minnesota
JB Default

I worked for Caterpillar (a dealer network). We had an oil analysis lab. Tremendously useful for commercial truck and heavy equipment. I think now with direct injection and plenty of consumer diesels you could absolutely make a case to your customers about why it should be done. I think if you're on a 5k oil change interval, doing an analysis every 10k could help find signs of trouble. It's also…

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Jan Owner/Technician
Ashland, Ohio
Jan Default

I bought a kit from NAPA which comes with bottles and paper work to send samples away for testing. If I remember correctly there were 6 kits in the package.. I would suggest checking with your local NAPA dealer for details.

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