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Stay on the road with oil analyses

Lorries, locomotives, aircraft and ships must be able to run on a variety of fuels, often in harsh operating conditions, across the globe. The lubricants, oils and coolants used face very specific challenges.

Tight maintenance schedules

Whether land, sea or air: if there is damage to an engine, gear or bearing, transport costs increase and guaranteed delivery times can no longer be kept. Considering the narrow windows built in for maintenance and repair works, early damage detection and planning the best possible time for an oil change are absolutely crucial in the transport industry.

Lorries are the workhorses of the transport industry, expected to provide several hundred thousand kilometres of service. An oil change takes place at up to 125,000 km. The oils used therefore have to pull their weight.


Exhaust gas regulations complicate operations. Bio-diesel, which can enter the motor oil in an uncombusted state, also impacts performance. It does not evaporate and acids may be formed which lead to deposits. Regular oil analyses detect such impurities and other irregularities. Engine damage and costly repairs are avoided, as oil change intervals can be adapted accordingly.

Railway vehicles are in use in a wide range of climate regions on various routes worldwide. Air containing dust, water or salt may enter the engine or gears and cause abrasive or corrosive wear. The gear "breathing" as a result of significant temperature fluctuations can also cause impurities to enter. In diesel locomotives, coolant ensures that the engine does not overheat. When it is no longer able to do its job, there is a risk of engine damage. Regular lubricant and fuel analyses allow early detection of any changes.


The grease-lubricated wheelset bearings are not only required in high-speed trains every day. As safety-related components, their lubricating grease should be regularly investigated for wear and relubrication at intervals should take place where required.

The four-stroke marine engines used in transport ships and large passenger ships may contain quantities of oil of several thousand litres. These use a wide variety of lubricants and combustants, with a wide variety of potential problems.


In large two-stroke engines, whose cylinders are individually supplied with fresh oil, the system oil may become mixed with the cylinder oil. The HFO (heavy fuel oil) which is used as fuel, with fluctuating quality, can also enter the engine oil.


For marine engines, condition monitoring using oil analyses is essential, as this is the only way downtime can be avoided during journeys lasting weeks and maintenance work can be planned precisely for the next port of call. In our SDA analysis kit for two-stroke engines, the oil in each cylinder is investigated separately, in order to produce the most precise findings regarding wear and feed rate.

Engine oil from the engines of propeller aircraft run on aviation fuel is analysed and diagnosed in the same way as car engine oil. Jet turbine drive oils are assessed for the most part in the same way as oils from gas turbines.


Oil changes are carried out for piston engines usually every 50 hours. At this stage, the engine is already inspected visually and using the magnetic drain plug for any irregularities. An oil analysis allows this to be diagnosed in even more detail. Special oils, different from standard oils, must be used for air-cooled petrol engines. They do not contain any ash-forming additives. If leaded fuel (AvGas) is used, the results of oil analyses usually show amounts of lead which are too high.

Recommended analysis kits for transport

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