Two Minute Tips  

Using Oil Color as a Field Test

Paul Dufresne | SR. Advisor, Lubrication Engineers, Reliability Playbook

Have you ever wondered how or why the color of oil changes? The main causes for oxidation of oil are heat, air, moisture and metal catalysts. As oil starts to oxidize the color may change (darken), by using a color gauge scale you can see the change in your oil and take action to replace. In many cases, abnormal discoloration is a reliable field indicator of oil that is distressed.

Oil Change Color Gauge








With gauge compare sample to a previous and/or new sample.

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About the Author

Paul Dufresne SR. Advisor, Lubrication Engineers, Reliability Playbook

Paul Dufresne started Reliability Playbook in 2017 which is a service provider offering expertise to companies in nearly every industry. Primary offerings include maintenance and reliability best practices; lubrication program development; predictive maintenance program development; and support for MAINTelligence and Lube-It software. Specific services include audits/assessments; training and certification; troubleshooting; root cause failure analysis; program optimization; database construction; route configuration; PM optimization; field walk downs; and coaching and mentoring of technicians.