What oil analysis

Oil analysis as an X-ray view into the engine

Buying a used car is always a game of chance: Even a well-groomed appearance does not provide any information about the technical condition of the engine. An engine oil analysis can be helpful here.

A result in a few days

Motor oil is the blood of the machine. The analysis of the engine oil allows conclusions to be drawn about the maintenance and wear condition of the engine. Looking into the oil is almost like looking into the engine - only that it doesn't have to be opened. The process is simple for the car buyer: Simply take a representative sample of the still warm used oil and send it to the provider of the oil analysis. He then has the sample examined by a laboratory, which tests the sample within a few days. After the analysis has been carried out, you will receive a detailed report from the provider by email. The costs for such an evaluation are usually in the upper double-digit range.

The analysis

There are several small particles in the engine oil that are examined individually. Chemical compositions of the oil are also examined. The chemical analysis determines the metal abrasion after metals and provides information about the wear. With cooling water in the oil, this can mean a defective cylinder head gasket or use as a short-haul vehicle. The viscosity additives are also analyzed for this purpose. Even dubious chip tuning can be determined with the oil analysis. The downtime of the vehicle can also be determined in this way, but material fatigue is difficult to detect in the oil.


An engine oil analysis is a useful check that can protect against buying a used car in poor condition. The examination is also affordable and can save high bills for repairs.

More on the topic at www.oel-engel.de.