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Old 06-23-2006, 07:27 PM   #1
Bus Nut
phillbus914's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 786
Anyone send an oil sample to a lab?

I changed my oil in my bus recently and got to thinking; should I send this to a lab? I saved some in a jar & did some searching online.

I found a place in Washington State, so I called them. For only $26.50 they will do a basic lab test checking for metal deposits, viscosity, antifreeze, fuel contamination and a few other things I don’t remember. They send you out a test kit; you put oil in it and mail it back to them. Results only take 2-3 business days.

Has anyone sent their oil to a lab before? I was thinking it'd be a good idea since my bus sits for long periods of time, and then is driven for 1,000's of miles at a time.

Here is a link to the site I found…

Seems worth $26.50 to me, what do you guys think? I wish I had thought of this before I put hundreds of dollars and countless work-hours into my bus.

My Old Bus :(
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:52 PM   #2
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,657
personally i think ignorance is bliss! lol What ya gonna do if i find that it has a lil coolant or fuel ect in the oil? Tear the motor down?

ok ok, i'm just rattling your cage, I think sending the oil in to the lab is a great idea.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:04 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 448
Yep very good idea. Many truck fleets do this regularly to catach problems before they cost them big bucks. I would also do this before buying a bus. If the seller is not willing to give a sample run.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:25 PM   #4
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 529
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 International diesel
Rated Cap: 60
VERY good idea and it can save you a lot of heartache. I don't think you would send in oil that you've been running for 5,000 miles. Do an oil change, note how many miles are on the bus, take a trip, and note how many miles you traveled. Maybe 100 miles or so. THEN take your oil sample and send it in. I could be wrong though. The oil lab can tell you exactly when to take your sample.

I'm an aircraft mechanic and for our jet engines, we take oil samples every 250 hours or so and send them to the lab. They can pick up trace amounts of ANYTHING and tell you exactly which part, such as a bearing, is going bad. They can tell you if your oil is getting contaminated with anything too. It saves the military and the airlines millions of dollars. When we take our oil samples, we do it right after the oil is changed out during a phase inspection (every 6 months). The engines on the jet I work on hold 28 quarts. Not all of it is changed out. Usually about half of it. But we fill it up with oil, run the engines for about 20 minutes, shut them down and take the oil samples within 30 minutes of the engines being shut down. That way, any contaminates are still suspended in the oil. We also take it from the top of the oil tank so we don't get stuff that's sitting on the bottom of the tank. I don't know how exactly you're supposed to do it in a truck engine though. Anyways, it's a very accurate test. For $26, you can't go wrong. Matt
1993 International Carpenter 10 Window bus
7.3L diesel w/AT545
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