Lubricating oil taken from the sump of a direct injection diesel engine has been analysed for the concentration of hydrocarbon contamination over a period of time. The oil was filtered and the sediment SOF analysed together with the filtrate. The results showed that there was an increase in the contamination in the used oil for both the filtrate and sediment hydrocarbon contamination. The carbon number distribution of the filtrate and sediment SOF were different. The filtrate representing contamination of the oil by fuel dilution and the sediment SOF contamination by particulates adsorbed into the oil in the combustion chamber. The highest contribution to the hydrocarbon contamination of the oil was from the filtrate in the early ageing period with an increasing contribution from the SOF of the sediment.