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Rising Oil Costs and Environmental Concerns 
Resource Responsibility

Wearcheck USA Oil Sample Kits

WearCheck USA is the brand of oil analysis kits that Kleenoil USA recommends and sells to its customers. As opposed in doing our oil analysis in house, like some of our competition, we choose to have it done by an independent, reputable, third party company to ensure accurate and non-biased results for our customers.

WearCheck USA, a Division of Liberty Analytical Corporation, is a member of the WearCheck International Group. The WearCheck International Group has affiliated laboratories currently in 8 countries worldwide. Labs are located in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, and South Africa. The WearCheck Group has been in the oil analysis business for over 30 years. The WearCheck USA laboratory is located in Cary, North Carolina, convenient to Raleigh, the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

WearCheck’s customer base represents a wide variety of market segments. WearCheck is proud to serve customers in the commercial transportation fleets, oil companies, aviation, marine, pulp and paper, construction and original equipment manufacturing.

WearCheck USA’s parent company, Liberty Analytical Corporation, has been a leader in environmental analytical testing for over 20 years and is a major provider of services to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Defense, as well as many other federal agencies. It is WearCheck USA’s goal is to provide the highest degree of friendly, responsible service and exceptional quality at competitive prices.

The management team at WearCheck, combined with the seasoned professional staff at WearCheck USA, offers clients a significant degree of technical experience and know how that will result in efficient, accurate and timely analysis and reporting of test results. The finest state-of-the art equipment has been employed to provide the most sensitive and reliable results attainable by current approved testing methodologies.

Kleenoil USA Inc. can assure you that WearCheck USA is a professional and responsible oil analysis laboratory that will get you timely and accurate oil sample results.

As a company owner, fleet maintenance supervisor, or simply an owner-operator that wants to know what is going on in his or her equipment, WearCheck oil analysis sampling will allow you to your own job more quickly and accurately by giving you results you can count on, in order to make the right decisions for your truck or fleet.

Kleenoil USA Inc. sells two versions of oil analysis kits from WearCheck USA:

Type of Oil Analysis Kit HSAM - Advanced Test Kit Mobil 1 Fleet Kit with TBN
Kleenoil USA Part # HSAM Mobil 1 Fleet with TBN
Primary Uses of Oil Analysis Kit Advanced Engine, Hydraulic, Transmission, Compressor, Gearbox, and Differential Oil Testing, Coolant Test Kit Advanced Diesel Engine Testing, Transmission, Differential and Gearbox Testing, Coolant Test Kit
Photo of Kit    
Contamination Testing Included in Kit? Included in Kit?
(Engine) Coolant / Glycol ASTM D2982 Water Treatment Chemicals and Wet Chemicals  Yes Yes
(Engine) Fuel Dilution  ASTM D3524 Gas Chromatography  Yes Yes
(Engine) Soot Load  FTIR Comparative Infra-red  Yes Yes
Water ASTM D1744 Karl Fischer, Titration  Yes Yes
Silica - Dirt Entry  ASTM D5185 ICP Spectrometer  Yes  Yes
Particle Count ISO 4406 Laser - Flow Decay Particle Counter Yes Not Included
Wear Generation Testing
Wear Metals in Parts per Million ASTM D5185 Visual Debris Scan, ICP Spectrometer Yes Yes
Oil Condition Testing
Viscosity ASTM D445 Automated Temperature Viscosity Baths Yes Yes
Additive Metals for Baseline ASTM D5185 ICP Spectrometer Yes Yes
Oxidation (Oil Degradation) FTIR Comparative Infra-red Yes Yes
Total Base Number (TBN) ASTM D2896 Automated Titration (Diesel Engines) Yes Yes
Total Acid Number (TAN) ASTM D974 Wet Chemistry (Non-Diesel Engines) Yes Not Included


The following is a more detailed explanation of the various tests that are done with the WearCheck USA oil analysis kits as well as common causes for issues:

Contamination Testing:

Coolant / Glycol (ASTM D2982) - One of the worst enemies of lubricating oils is glycol. Found in most anti-freeze solutions, glycol can enter oil supplies in many of the same ways water does. When mixed with oil at operating temperatures, the glycol/oil mixture changes chemically to form highly corrosive sludge deposits.ICP analysis is used to detect two of the main constituents of engine coolant, sodium and potassium. When sodium and potassium levels surpass 300 ppm and 200 ppm respectively, a coolant system inspection is advised. Coolant system inspections performed when sodium and potassium levels are less than the above stated limits are negative. When the inspections resulting in negative results are performed time after time two issues are brought to attention. Unnecessary maintenance actions resulting in downtime, and most importantly the lack of confidence in the oil analysis program by service personnel.

Glycol can enter the system from:

  • Cracked cylinder heads.
  • Leaking gaskets.

Fuel Dilution (ASTM D3524) – Fuel dilution is reported as percent volume on any liquid fueled engine. Dilution of oil results in lower oil lubricity, overfilling of engine sump, lower miles per gallon and loss of power.  Cold starts, over-rich mixtures, dribbling injectors, leaking fuel fittings and seals, ruptured pump diaphragms, inadequate operating temperatures, use of improper fuel, excessive idling, over-choking and faulty carburetion all contribute to oil "fuel dilution" problems, by not allowing the fuel to completely vaporize.  Lubricating oil thins out (lower viscosity) when fuel contamination is present. This results in inadequate lubrication and scuffing of engine parts.  Bearing failures, increased fuel and oil consumption, oxidation, sulphanation, oil detergent loss, lowered operating temperatures and power loss can all be associated with "fuel dilution" problems.  Fuel additives, combustion by-products, lead and sulphur compounds all contribute to the development of corrosive acid deposits, providing increased probability of accelerated engine wear and shortened component life.

Fuel dilution can be caused by:

  • Leaking fuel injectors
  • Over-rich fuel mixture

Soot Load (FTIR - Fourier-Transform Infra-Red) – Soot is a product of diesel fuel combustion resulting from blow-by, low temperature and overload operation, rich-mixture excessive idling and/or poor ignition. Engine "sootiness" levels reveal the engine's overall combustion efficiency.The presence of soot causes overall degradation by increasing oil viscosity, promoting sludge and deposit formation when moisture is present. Additionally the function of many oil additives can be seriously impaired.While some soot contamination is normal and expected, excessive amounts rapidly increase wear and shorten component lifetime.

Increases in soot load can be caused by:

  • Excessive Blow-By
  • Excessive Temperature and/or Overload Operation

Water by Karl Fischer (ASTM 1744) – Water is reported as percent volume, and it’s source can range from atmospheric condensation to internal coolant leaks in liquid cooled systems. Water reduces the oil’s film strength causing friction and the welding of moving parts. Where small amounts of water are critical to machine performance, a water by Karl Fischer test is recommended. This test accurately measures water contents as low as 20-ppm. In a refrigeration compressor, excessive water together with oil and freon accelerates the formation of acids. The Karl Fischer test gives a very accurate measure of the quantity of moisture, or water present in an oil sample. analysis allows the analyst to determine when some process and environmental contaminants are present, and when an incorrect make-up oil has been added to a reservoir.

Water can enter the system from:

  • Damaged oil coolers, and heat exchangers.
  • Oil breather tubes.
  • Improperly filtered make-up oil.
  • Loose or missing bolts, clamps, inspection plates and filler caps.

Particle Count (ISO 4406) – Fluid cleanliness is critical in hydraulic and other systems where high pressure and velocity are involved. Excessive fluid particulate contamination is a major cause of failure of hydraulic pumps, motors, valves, pressure controls, and fluid controls. Particle count measurement is recommended by most equipment and hydraulic component manufacturers. Particle counts consist of counting and classifying particles in the oil. The results are reported in six size categories: >2, >5, >15, >25, >50, and >100 microns. Also included is a three tier ISO Code, a numeric rating system which gives a reference for relative contamination of fluid.

Wear Generation Testing:

Wear Metals (ASTM D5185) – The spectrographic analysis of the sample consists of nineteen basic metals found in used oil. Each metal can be related to specific additives found in the oil or the makeup of a specific part of a machine. From the wear metals that show high amounts, specific types of problems can be diagnosed. Spectrometric Analysis produces a quantitative report on the elements present in an oil sample. The elements can be divided into three categories; wear metals, contaminants, and additive levels. ICP analysis allows the analyst to determine when some process and environmental contaminants are present, and when an incorrect make-up oil has been added to a reservoir.

ICP analysis is a useful tool for detecting liquid contaminants just as it is useful for detecting solid contaminants and identifying incorrect make up oil.

Spectrometric Analysis for wear is the oldest use for oil analysis.  In the 1940s the railways used Atomic Absorption units to detect iron, chromium, copper and lead in railway engines.  Today modern ICP units can analyze for over 20 elements in under 1 minute.  

Wear metal analysis by ICP can detect potential problems sometimes months before they actually show up in vibration analysis.

The purpose of the spectrographic analysis test is to:

  • Early detection of component wear
  • Detect specific wear signatures

Oil Condition Testing:

Viscosity (ASTM D445) – Viscosity is defined as an oil’s flow characteristics at a given temperature in relation to time. It may also be described as an oil’s resistance to flow. The unit of viscosity is designated as the stoke. WearCheck USA reports viscosity in centistokes, which is one one-hundredth of a stoke. Viscosity is categorized by the rate of flow into what are called viscosity grades. The slower the flow, the higher the grade. The level of cohesion between the molecules of oil determines the grade of viscosity. Cohesion is the force that holds any substance together. Molecules of high viscosity hold themselves together with more force than molecules of lower viscosity oils. Oils with high cohesion of molecules are heavier, or thicker than oils with a low cohesion of molecules. Using an oil which is too heavy provides insufficient lubrication because cohesion of the oil molecules between each other is so high, it will not adhere to moving parts. Using an oil which is too light causes insufficient lubrication because the cohesion of molecules between each other are too weak to build a sufficient layer of oil between moving parts.

Viscosity is deemed abnormal when it has decreased by 10% or increased by 20% of the baseline value.

Fluctuations in viscosity indicate you should:

  • Detect incorrect oil make-up/contamination
  • Detect severe oil oxidation

Oxidation (Oil Degredation) (FTIR - Fourier-Transform Infra-Red) - All engines, transmissions and drive-axle component oils oxidize. A chemical reaction between oil molecules and oxygen takes place at high operating temperatures. This reaction increases viscosity, causes formation of insoluble engine deposits and corrosive acids which further increases component wear.Higher operating temperatures, fuel consumption, rapid additive depletion and substantial loss of power can also be expected when oil oxidation takes place. When severe, oxidation makes the oil very hard to pump causing lubrication starvation to moving parts, with inevitable results. Oils that are oxidized have a very pungent, sour odor.

Causes of increases in oxidation:

  • High Operating Temperatures
  • Prolonged Oil Usage

(TAN) Total Acid Number (ASTM D974) – TAN is the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide required to neutralize one gram of oil. It indicates the amount of acid and acidic constituents in the oil. An increase in TAN over a lubricant’s service life typically indicates lubricant oxidation or contamination with acidic products. Acid Number (AN) measures the level of acid and acid-products present in the oil. The corrosive acid level tolerable before damage occurs to a component varies with both the oil and application. A high AN in oils correlates with increased wear and could signal high oxidation or overheated oil.

Increases in TAN or AN will:

  • Determine when oil requires change-out
  • Detect overheat condition

(TBN) Total Base Number (ASTM 2896) – TBN indicates the level of alkalinity in an oil sample, which indicates the ability of the oil to neutralize corrosive acids. It is expressed as the number of milligrams of acid, expressed as potassium hydroxide, required to neutralize one gram of oil.  Base Number (BN) is the measure of oil's reserve (remaining) alkalinity. This procedure is used to determine the oil's reserve alkalinity and any depletion changes are always measured from "new" oil levels. Oil change-out should be scheduled when the reserve alkalinity has depleted 50%. BN is measured by determining how many "milligrams of Potassium Hydroxide are required to neutralize 1 gram" of oil sample (mg/KOH).

Increases in TBN or BN will:

  • Determine when oil requires change-out

Direct Reading Ferrographs (DR Ferrography) – Measures the concentration of the iron wear particles in lubricating fluid. The procedure gives a value corresponding to particle sizes at >5-microns (large) and a value corresponding to particle sizes at <5-microns (small). When subsequent readings indicate elevated values, an abnormal wear condition can be expected. DR Ferrography is used on reduction gearboxes in the WearCheck USA Program.