The Role of Engine Oil Formulations on Fluid Diagnostics 2002-01-2677
Historically, vehicle fluid condition has been monitored by measuring miles driven or hours operated. Many current vehicles have more sophisticated monitoring methods that use additional variables such as fuel consumption, engine temperature and engine revolutions to predict fluid condition. None of these monitoring means, however, actually measures a fluid property to determine condition, and that is about to change. New sensors and diagnostic systems are being developed that allow real time measurement of some lubricant physical and/or chemical properties and interpret the results in order to recommend oil change intervals and maximize performance. Many of these new sensors use electrochemical or acoustic wave technologies.
This paper examines the use of these two technologies to determine engine oil condition and focuses on the effects of lubricant chemistry on interpreting the results. Data are presented which demonstrate pitfalls from dependence upon a single sensing strategy for interpreting the complex decomposition pathways of modern lubricants.