Oil is the lifeblood of an engine. Regular oil analysis for
fleets of any size can be as important to the health of a vehicle as a medical
check-up is to a person. In the world of police fleet management, where vehicle
performance and reliability are critical to law enforcement and public safety,
oil analysis becomes an even higher priority.
For more than 50 years, Universal Lubricants®
, manufacturer and distributor of
the high-performance Eco Ultra®
line of sustainable engine oils, hydraulic oils and transmission fluids, has
conducted oil analysis for its commercial customers.
Our company celebrated a significant customer service
milestone this year when we completed our 2 millionth Engine Guard oil
analysis. While numbers tell part of the story, the bigger picture includes the
bottom line benefits of conducting regular oil analysis for fleets of any size
where performance matters—and how it’s done.
In a nutshell, the Engine Guard oil analysis program is a
valuable tool that helps Universal Lubricants’ customers achieve the highest
levels of performance and reliability in all of their equipment. Today’s high-performance
engines need to be monitored and supported to perform reliably and keep
maintenance costs down.
The Engine Guard program allows customers to keep their
fingers on the pulse of their vehicles and equipment. It’s an early indicator
of problems that can be corrected before they cause sudden equipment failures
or prolonged downtime. With fleets valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars,
failure can result in productivity losses and enormous repair costs.
Universal Lubricants’ Quality Assurance Laboratory is located
adjacent to the company’s state-of-the-art re-refinery in Wichita, Kan. In the
lab, we monitor the quality of Universal Lubricants products to ensure they
meet or exceed all performance specifications. And we conduct the Engine Guard
oil analysis to help customers extend oil drain intervals and keep their
All a customer has to do is draw a sample, submit it in our
specially designed, postage-paid Engine Guard test kit, and we do the rest. Our
lab team generates reports within 24 hours of receiving samples and makes them
available via a password protected website. More importantly, we immediately
notify customers if there are any abnormal or critical results.
This in-house quality assurance
lab is a key differentiator for our company and an integral part of our closed
loop strategy. We control all used oil collections and do not outsource our
blending process, oil analysis, or any other function of the closed loop
When a customer mails an oil sample to Universal Lubricants,
we put the sample through wear-metal testing, moisture content and viscosity
checks. Customers may request additional testing to check total base number,
soot content, additive metals, and other factors.
Upon completion of testing, lab technicians analyze the data
and provide clear recommendations for action. Samples with Caution (“C”) and
Warning (“X”) ratings are reviewed immediately by Universal Lubricants’
technical representatives. Results are posted on the password-protected Engine
Guard portal of our website, which allows customers to immediately access their
oil analysis data. The secure site allows customers to manipulate their oil
testing data to develop statistics, reports, predictive maintenance, and trend
Our lab team is committed to completing the entire testing
process within 24 hours of receipt of a sample, which is a rarity in the oil
analysis business. We recognize that a fast turnaround can be a huge benefit to
our customers. The sooner they get the results, the sooner they can determine
what needs to be done with the vehicle or equipment.
Long-time Universal Lubricants’ customer Hamm Inc., a Summit
Materials subsidiary located in Perry, Kan.,
submitted the 2 millionth engine oil sample for analysis. Hamm credits our
Engine Guard program with lengthening their oil change intervals and keeping
their wide variety of vehicles and equipment running longer and more
Universal Lubricants collects over 40 million gallons of used engine and motor oil annually and
transports it back to our re-refinery where impurities are removed to produce
crystal-clear Group II base oil. This base oil is then spiked with high-performance
additives and returned to the marketplace in the form of high-performance motor
oils and engine oils, as well as other lubricants. This infinitely repeatable closed loop cycle puts
our company at the forefront of today’s sustainability movement.
Our lab is involved in every step of this closed loop process
from testing waste oil that arrives by truck and rail, to sampling the finished
products to ensure that our oils and other lubricants are the highest quality available
on the market today. We now test more than 80,000 samples each year. We keep up
with the latest OEM and API requirements, and looking for ways to extend a
customer’s drain interval, increase equipment life, improve reliability,
minimize downtime, and reduce maintenance costs.
Mike Wyant is Universal
Lubricants’ Manager of Technical Services and oversees the Engine Guard Program
and all testing in the company’s Quality Assurance Laboratory in Wichita, Kan.