When it comes to aviation engine oil analysis, there is no better name than Lab One Aviation. This Lab One oil analysis kit includes a small plastic bottle for your sample, a plastic zip bag to prevent leaks and a submission form. This kit can be used on aircraft and helicopter engines, but is also capable of testing any component which uses oil. An oil analysis can help prevent major problems before they occur, testing filter debris and particles in the oil. Lab One evaluates each oil analysis with an in-depth report, connecting the analysis to the (if any) problem.
- I have regular service perform on my airplane. Why do I have to spend more money on oil analysis for something my mechanic could tell me?
Answer: Your mechanic is very much like the doctor who gave you your last flight physical. The doctor examined the outside of your body and listened to the inside, just as a mechanic does to the engine. At the end of the exam, the doctor took body fluids to see what is going on inside. This is the same as the mechanic taking an oil sample and sending it to the lab. The mechanic can see what has happened by compression checks and boroscoping, but the oil analysis forecasts future wear, by seeing particles under 10 microns. This forecast can allow you to fix problems before they become serious ones, and by doing this, you can save a lot of money.
- Are all labs the same? Can I bring my oil to my local "CAT" dealer to have an analysis done?
Answer: Most labs can come up with the numbers, although they may vary depending on what kind of spectrometer they are using. Since aircraft engines are quite different from ground engines, most labs will not be able to correlate the values to the problem. Lab One Aviation has been testing aircraft since 1985 and can convert those numbers into a comprehensive report spelling out where any problem may exist. That is the difference between a lab and Lab One Aviation.
- How soon will I get my results? Answer: All samples are processed within 24 hours of receipt. A phone call is made in any case we would deem critical to the safety of flight. Reports can be emailed and will soon be available on our website.
- If I am buying a used airplane, would oil analysis tell me anything?
Answer: Yes! If the engine was having any serious problem, it would show higher wear metals than we would have for the average limits we have developed for each engine. Oil analysis is always best if done on a “Trend Basis.” What you are looking for is a deviation from what is normal for “your” engine. All engines make metal, some more and some less. By developing a trend, you will find out what is normal for your engine. Since we are referring to PPM (parts per million), even if your engine is on the high side of the average, it does not mean that your engine is wearing out faster, nor conversely if it is on the low side that it will last longer.
- If I purchase an airplane that has been on oil analysis can I continue?
Answer: All of our records are proprietary to protect our customers. Therefore, we would have to have written permission of the previous owner to do so. If you have a copy of a lab report on the aircraft from this or another lab, send it to us and we can input the information into your report as previous history and this would give you continuity.
- Can I use this kit to do a sample on something other than my airplane?
Answer: Yes, we also can test cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, construction equipment, and basically any oil wetted area. The report form will look different because of the fact that on other equipment, the elements we test for are different and there are more of them. Some of these elements are not relative to aircraft engines. On experimental aircraft, where automobile engines are used, we would do a ground report. If you have a fleet of trucks or a business that has other types of equipment, which could be tested, contact us for more information pertaining to our ground equipment side for a quote.
- Do I send my oil filter in each time with the oil sample?
Answer: No, a filter analysis should only be done when there is a problem. It would be recommended that the filter be saved until the oil analysis is completed just in case the analysis shows something abnormal, and filter debris can be used to resolve anything questionable. If you have only a screen, it would be prudent to back flush it into a coffee filter and save that until the results come back.