This article discusses how far diesel engine oil needs to be drained at fixed time intervals, despite recent advances on in-vehicle computers and oil-analysis laboratories. Manufacturers' advice has become more sophisticated, linking drain-interval recommendations to duty cycle severity, determined by km per year and average fuel consumption. The Telligent servicing system on the Mercedes-Benz Actros lorry takes this one stage further, by capturing data from the engine's electronic management system and using it to refine estimates of when oil needs changing. However, oil analysis is still required on certain occasions, for example to find out whether it is time to remove the sump plug. Oil analysis at least tests the oil itself. The number of UK lorry and bus operators, recognising the potential of oil sample ('condition monitoring'), has been rising rapidly during the last six or seven years, as wholly or partly synthetic oils have appeared. At present, the demand for oil analysis is more likely to come from operators, unprompted by oil suppliers. The article describes various laboratory tests that are now being conducted to assess oil quality. It summarises tests of physical oil properties and spectrochemical analysis at three laboratories, each following its normal test procedure.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Road Transport Engineeers

    1 Cromwell Place
    London SW1 25F,   England 
  • Authors:
    • WILCOX, D
  • Publication Date: 2000-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-6
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00793073
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: May 31 2000 12:00AM