Eurofins ANA Laboratories >> Resources >> Taking Samples

Sampling Guidelines

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It is important to take an oil sample that is representative of all the oil in the machine. Always be sure the oil is hot and thoroughly mixed before sampling. Handle hot drained oil with care as it could cause serious burns.
The easiest time to obtain a sample may be when the oil is being drained for an oil change. Sampling at this time usually involves letting some of the oil drain and then catching a sample in an appropriate container.
You also can obtain samples without draining oil by suctioning oil out through plastic tubing routed down into the oil reservoir. In any case, it is important to have an appropriate container and follow sampling directions thoroughly. A lot of testing laboratories will provide you with a kit that includes a sample bottle. Many of the tests are for measuring materials on a parts–per–million basis. So, the container must be sterile or the test may pick up contaminants what was in the container before.

Oil analysis is only as good as the sample taken. The goal is to take samples that are truly representative of the oil in the engine.

When to sample?
Take samples during operation or within 30 minutes of shutdown.

Where to sample?
We recommend an oil galley, the engine crankcase, the drain plug or dipstick tube. Do not take samples from the oil filter or drain pan. Draw from the middle of the reservoir to avoid any sludge at the bottom.

Be consistent.
Take samples from same location every time. Consistency is key. 

Cleanliness counts.
Make sure that the sample container is totally clean and dry before use. Do not re–use tubing, pumps, probes or dirty rags. Test results are often measured in parts–per–million, so the container should be as clean as possible.

Close tightly.
Seal the container securely to prevent any contamination or loss of oil during transit.

Fill it out.
Fill out the sample information label accurately and completely.

Wrap it up.
Wrap the sample information label around each sample container, and attach with a rubber band.

Send right away!
Mail, courier or deliver your samples to us immediately so we can return your results as soon as possible.

Any questions?
For additional information on proper sampling techniques, call us at (800) 648–2625, or e–mail us at ANALaboratories@eurofinsus.com.