I got an engine oil analysis done on my 1991 CAT 3116 with 124,000k miles on it. I received a sheet of what I presume to be the result of some kind of spectrometry. As I'm not an analytical chemist, I don't really know what to look for here and don't have another oil analysis from this engine (Will repeat analysis after 2500 miles for comparison). The engine runs perfectly and hasn't shown any mechanical issues since I've had it. I'm asking the below questions more for my knowledge and the coolness factor of understanding this information than anything else.


  1. How can one analyse this data to tell what maintenance is/is not recommended?
  2. What are some of the things to keep an eye out for on these kinds of results?
  3. How does one know when to change the oil?

The sheet says:

Oil Type                   DELO 400 LE
Oil Weight                 14W30
Viscosity Limit 40C        115-147
Viscosity Limit 100C       13.8-17.6

Nitration                  3.0 abs
Oxidation                  <2.0 abs
Total Base Number          7.5 mg KOH/g
Viscosity @ 100C           16.1 cSt
Viscosity @ 40C            132 cSt
Viscosity Index            130

Potassium                  5 ppm
Silicon                    5 ppm
Sodium                     3 ppm
Soot                       1.6%
Water                      <.1%

Wear Metals
Aluminium                  5 ppm
Chromium                   <2 ppm
Copper                     |||||||||||||||| [this has a large black bar through it]
Iron                       |||||||||||||||| [this has a large black bar through it]
Manganese                  1 ppm
Molybdedum                 71 ppm
Nickel                     0 ppm
Lead                       3 ppm
Tin                        <2 ppm
Titanium                   0 ppm
Vanadium                   1 ppm

Barium                     0 ppm
Boron                      215 ppm
Calcium                    2642 ppm
Magnesium                  801 ppm
Phosphorus                 1678 ppm
Zinc                       1879 ppm
  • 2
    I would look at how the metals increase over time, so your subsequent analyses will show how things are wearing. If you see something increase rapidly, like lead for example, then it means a bearing surface is wearing. This is just my opinion - others may have a better insight. How the oil is standing the test of time is by the viscosity readings - if it is still "matching" the range stated on the can ok, but if not it's due for a change, again my opinion., which is why I am not posting this as an answer.
    – Solar Mike
    May 1 '19 at 22:22
  • 1
    You might find this link helpful :machinerylubrication.com/Read/29598/oil-analysis-report
    – Solar Mike
    May 1 '19 at 22:24

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