How does your engine oil fail?

Based on UK vehicle condition monitoring and warranty failure samples.

I was asked last month what proportion of engines have fuel dilution problems in the UK. I had a rough idea, but couldn’t find any up to date figures for this online. There were some stats for the USA but very little for European and UK markets. Hence I took matters into my own hands and did a study based on the samples we receive. We deal with many of the vehicle OEMs so I thought this would give a good spread of data. I took over 5000 vehicles as part of the study including condition monitoring and warranty failures and put together some stats on how engines fail. Some things were not surprising such as fuel dilution and coolant leaks, but some were a little unexpected. Such as nearly 1 in 10 is simply down to oil selection and another 1 in 10 due to missed oil changes. That means you can reduce your chance of a failure by 20% simply by selecting the right oil and changing it at the right time.

Keeping your oil clean reduces the chances of a failure by another 20%. That means simply using the right oil, keeping it clean and changing at the right time can reduce 40% of engine failures. That’s a pretty big improvement for just doing the basics.

“40% of engine failures can be avoided by using the right oil, keeping it clean and changing at the right time.“

The remaining common causes of failures include coolant leaks, fuel leaks and soot buildup. Each of these are part of a routine oil analysis programme in addition to the wear materials being generated by engine components such as pistons (Aluminium), rings (chromium or molybdenum), liners (iron) and bearings (copper, lead and tin). So much can be detected with a single oil analysis and all the failures mentioned were detectable with oil analysis, especially with the exceptionally accurate LubeWear technique. With a LubeWear analysis you don’t even have to wait to build up a trend to start gaining the benefits and can tell right away if you have abnormal wear with the unique diagnostic technique of Oil Analysis Laboratories.

If you want to find out more about how your engine is doing then you can’t get better than testing your oil today. We are used by many of the OEMs and engine manufacturers to determine the cause of failures and to help prevent them. You can help prevent problems too by dropping us a message using the contact us button at the bottom right of the screen.

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