What is Oil Analysis?

When a person goes to the medical doctor for a health check-up, one of the processes
used is the taking of a blood sample. This blood sample is then sent to a qualified (often
also certified) laboratory who will perform a specified series of universally accepted
tests which, when properly diagnosed, will inform the doctor about the health of the
blood, and insofar as problems with the body are transferred into the blood, also about
the health of the body.

Because the lubricant (the oil) is the lifeblood of the machinery it is lubricating, the
analogy is precise.


Oil analysis, properly done will, like the medical laboratories, use standardized testing
methods proven to define the property or characteristic of the material (the oil) which is
required to be known.

Metro Tech Systems Ltd. uses ASTM test methods because they are the standard.
They are the test methods used to define the quality of the new product and they are
the methods that have been agreed upon by the manufacturers of the equipment, the
manufacturers of the lubricant and others whose expertise is the analysis of lubricants,
as the best way to do the test.

The types of tests to be performed depend upon the nature of the operation. Essentially
however, they will include specified tests to compare the quality of the oil when
sampled with the new oil properties and a series of tests designed to determine the
types and quantities of contaminants that have entered into the oil while it was in

Then, using the test results, the information provided with the sample and previous
history when there is a history a DIAGNOSIS can be given by a qualified specialist.
Oil analysis is NOT the only way to run equipment; it is a TOOL TO BE USED by operators
and maintenance to maximize the utility of their equipment. A good operating system
and a good maintenance program uses oil analysis. It is imperative however, as it is in all
things “the right tool in the right place”.

Standard test methods such as ASTM test methods are the right tools.

For more information on Viscosity Units, click here.

For more information on Sources of Elements, click here.

What does an oil analysis tell me?

An oil analysis tells you the health of your equipment. The lubricant is the lifeblood of the equipment, so analyzing the oil is the equipment’s check-up.

Why should I follow a Routine Oil Analysis Schedule?

A Routine Oil Analysis Schedule will inform you about subtle changes in your equipment over time insofar as the condition of the equipment is transferred into the oil.

Oil Analysis along with following proper operating procedures and a regular maintenance program will ensure the longevity of your equipment

How do I send my Used Oil Samples to your laboratory?

We can provide you with sample containers that have been approved for transport through First Class Mail and by all major couriers. Our sample kits consist of sample bottles in quantities of 6, 12 or 24 which hold a size of sample that is consistent with our laboratory procedures and an outer shipping container that minimizes the possibility of leakage during transport. Please contact us and your carrier prior to sending any samples in a non-approved container. Please note also that non-approved containers are subject to an additional processing and disposal charge. Samples may also be delivered personally to our Lab and if after normal business hours, a secure drop box has been provided.

Do you accept walk-in customers for a one time only test?

Yes, and we accept Visa and MasterCard.


How long does it take to receive my Routine Oil Analysis Results?

Normally a routine series of tests takes one day. If you bring in your sample or it arrives at our Lab before 12:00 hours (12:00 PM) your report for the Routine Analysis will be ready for the next working day.

How do I receive my Oil Analysis Results?

Reports can be emailed, faxed, or picked up. If there is a serious emergency we will contact you by telephone as soon as we discover the problem.

Will this analysis tell me how to fix my equipment or what to look for?

While an Oil Analysis will not tell you how to fix your equipment, it is an essential tool in the diagnosis and prevention of equipment failure. An Oil Analysis provides a quantitive determination of conditions which may be detrimental to the equipment and provides a possible source for the condition.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you suspect something is wrong, save your oil filter: It may not be necessary to analyze what is in the filter however; if a routine analysis detects a serious problem, analysis of debris in the oil filter may be performed for a more in-depth study.

Is there someone I can talk to or ask questions about my results?

YES. During regular business hours (Mountain Time Zone) there are specialists available to answer your questions.


Do you provide services other than Oil Analysis?

We now offer surface imaging and chemical analysis on a variety of materials through the use of our Scanning Electron Microscope and Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (SEM-EDS).

Our consulting and analytical laboratory services are available to assist product development and independent quality control during manufacturing. With our competent staff of chemists and technicians, we can assist you with any problems or questions you may have about petroleum products and their use.

Why does Metro Tech Systems Ltd. use ASTM and ISO standard test methods?

The test methods we use are methods that manufacturers of equipment such as General Motors and Caterpillar; manufacturers of lubricants such as Imperial Oil and Shell, and users such as the U.S. Navy and other major organizations, have all agreed are the best test methods available. ASTM Standards are recognized throughout the world.