VehicleDNA is a state-of-the-art, unique adaptation of “Fluid Analysis” (a.k.a. Oil Analysis), a process first performed by U.S. railroads nearly 70 years ago. Interested in reducing costly locomotive diesel engine failures, railroad labs used a spectroscope to quantify wear metals in the engine’s oil. Wear metals were evaluated against time on the oil.
The principal wear metals analyzed for (Iron, Aluminum, Copper, Lead) represented the preponderance of the composition of the diesel’s lubricated parts. By analyzing thousands of samples from a variety of manufacturers and models, the railroads were able to determine ‘acceptable’ concentrations in the engine’s oil. Significant deviation from typical ranges indicated wear problems.
For example, high levels of copper and lead would most often indicate main or connecting-rod bearing wear. High levels of copper alone were more likely to represent bushing wear, a subtle but important difference when an inspection for abnormal wear is contemplated.
The decision to monitor engine wear saved the railroads millions upon millions of dollars. Not only were valuable engines prevented from cratering entirely, such that relatively minor repairs could be made, but the engines were not long out of service, if at all, greatly contributing to the railroads’ bottom line, where the real savings was.
In the late 1950s a physicist, Walter Baird, invented the ‘Direct-Reading Spectrometer’, a game-changing way of analyzing for wear and other metals in oils. The time to analyze per sample went from several hours to 1 minute! And there were less errors because a tedious human task was left to an analytical instrument. “Oil Analysis” went viral. Commercial labs went up all over the U.S., along with U.S. military participation. Off-highway equipment, always operating in hostile environments, became the most prolific user on a percentage basis, over 95%. Caterpillar (CAT) dealers have their own labs to assist their customers with this valuable tool, called “Oil Analysis”.
2017: VehicleDNA is the most advanced iteration of this proven, essential service. Our unique approach literally brings the process to you in a way not possible, until now. Now you can know what’s going on INSIDE your engine and transmission… Peace of Mind.