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Fluid Analysis

Fluid Analysis

Our Caterpillar ‘Images of Excellence’ certified lab performs oil and coolant analysis for most machines, like dirt conveyors, to help prevent catastrophic failure. Findings reported for both oil and coolant analysis include:


  • Wear Metal results
  • Physical Test results
  • Abnormalities
  • Corrective measures recommended
  • Follow-up by Parts & Service Representative


  • Percent Glycol
  • pH Level
  • Conductivity Level

S·O·S Fluid Analysis Products

Latest generation sampling kits offer key improvements.


  • Clear plastic design for easier viewing of fluid samples vs. previous opaque bottles
  • Manufactured and packaged using robotics for optimum contamination control
  • Fill line molded into side of bottle for easy measuring
  • Hot fill rating to 91° C (195° F) — highest performance plastic fluid analysis bottle in the industry
  • Improved Probe and Probe Holder designs allow 20% faster fill times
  • Redesigned Probe offers better flexibility and reach for ease of use
  • Reusable metal Probe Holder guides probe into the valve when drawing oil samples

How to Take Oil Sample

Developed by Caterpillar, our S·O·S program helps detect problems before they lead to costly repairs and downtime. Recommend sampling for fluid compartments is every 250 hours AND each oil change. Recommended sampling for on-highway truck engines: every 15,000 miles (25,000 km) AND each oil change.

Oil valve probe

This sampling method requires a Brass Probe (8T9208) and approximately 15 cm (6 in) of tubing. If sampling several compartments, begin with cleaner systems—usually the hydraulic system, then the transmission or steering system, and finally the engine system. Use a new piece of tubing for each machine or engine. Important: discard tubing after sampling engine oil because soot and oil additives may contaminate other samples.

hymac-step-aSTEP A

Set the engine at low idle and remove dust cap from the valve of the compartment you want to sample.



hymac-step-bSTEP B

Insert probe into the valve and collect about 100 ml (4 fl oz) of oil into a waste container. If oil flow is slow at low idle, it may be necessary to accelerate the engine to high idle while extracting the sample. Dispose of waste oil properly. (This process cleans the valve and helps ensure a representative sample.)


hymac-vacuum-cSTEP C

Insert probe into the valve again and fill the sample bottle three-quarters full—do not fill to the top. Do not allow dirt to enter the bottle or bottle cap.



hymac-step-dSTEP D

Withdraw the probe from the valve and secure the bottle cap. Then place the bottle with the completed label into the shipping cylinder.

Avoid Contamination

To avoid contamination, do not take samples from the drain stream, a waste oil container, or a used filter.


Ensure accurate S•O•S results

To ensure accurate sample results, supply all information requested for each machine compartment:

  • Fill out sample label completely!
  • Model, serial number, and service meter units on equipment and oil are critical.
  • If necessary, obtain oil type and classification information and the meter reading of your last oil change from shop records. Indicate whether or not the oil was changed when the sample was taken. New oil samples are necessary for oil condition analysis. When you receive a new brand or shipment of bulk oil, submit a sample and indicate on the label the brand, type, and classification of the oil. Fill out the sample label information before you begin taking samples to keep the label oil-free and easy to read.

Vacuum extraction

This sampling method requires a Vacuum Pump (1U5718 or equivalent). This method should be used for pressurized systems not equipped with sampling valves. Again, it is important to use a new piece of tubing after sampling engine oil due to soot and oil additive contamination.

hymac-vacuum-aSTEP A

Turn engine off. Measure and cut new tubing to the length of the dipstick. If compartment to be sampled does not have a dipstick, cut tubing so it reaches about halfway into the oil depth.




Insert tubing through the head of the vacuum pump and tighten retaining nut. Tubing should extend about 4 cm (1 in) beyond the base of vacuum pump head.



hymac-vacuum-cSTEP C

Install a new sampling bottle onto vacuum pump and insert the end of the tubing into the oil—do not allow tubing to touch the bottom of the compartment.



hymac-vacuum-dSTEP D

Withdraw tubing from the compartment. Remove bottle from the vacuum pump and secure the cap on the bottle.



hymac-vacuum-eSTEP E

Place the bottle, with completed label, into the shipping cylinder.



Use separate pump for coolant samples

Do not use the vacuum pump used to extract oil samples to take engine coolant samples. Although the fluid does not enter the barrel of the pump, glycol residue from coolant samples can cause a “false positive” in oil samples taken using the same pump. Designate a separate pump for coolant samples.

Tips for easier sampling


Most Cat® engines and machine models are equipped with sample valves for pressurized oil compartments. While some may not have these valves, it is easy and inexpensive to add. It is important to install valves in the correct location in each system and avoid system contamination during installation. We can help with specific installation procedures.


Cutting tubing with a pocket knife is difficult—and allows particles that can contaminate your sample into the tubing. To avoid this, use a Tube Cutter (1U7648), which allows quick, clean cuts with one hand. Replacement blades (1U8589) for Tube Cutter are available.


Keep new, empty oil bottles capped and store bottles and tubing in dust-free plastic bags. The vacuum pump and brass valve probe should also be protected from dust. If you suspect a sample may have been contaminated, discard and take another.

Schedule service for your machine now.


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