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Lubricheck will let drivers know when their oil needs changing

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May 10, 2011

The Lubricheck analyzes the capacitive and resistive properties of engine oil samples, to ...

The Lubricheck analyzes the capacitive and resistive properties of engine oil samples, to determine if an oil change is needed (Images: WaveOn Technologies)

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Imagine if every time you bought a pair of socks, you automatically threw them out after six months, regardless of their condition. While you would certainly always have newer socks, you would also likely end up throwing away quite a few pairs that could have lasted a while longer. When it comes to changing the oil in our vehicles, most of us do take the "every X miles" approach, however, as there's no easy way of telling if that oil really needs to be changed ... or is there? The designers of Lubricheck claim that their device will save money and minimize discarded oil, by analyzing samples of engine oil and letting drivers know if it's still good.

To use the credit card-sized Lubricheck, users place several drops of their car's oil in the device's sensor cup. By measuring the capacitive and resistive properties of that sample, it determines the oil's acidity, metal particulate content, carbonized particulate content, and the level of foreign liquids such as coolant or water. An LED display will indicate if the oil is in good condition, if it's so-so, or if it needs changing.

The Lubricheck analyzes the capacitive and resistive properties of engine oil samples, to ...

Users will also be able to log their results on the Lubritrack database tracking service, which will compare them to algorithms established for the make and model of car in question. If the numbers aren't where they should be, then users can check for possible engine trouble.

Lubricheck can assess standard or synthetic oil designed for gasoline engines, with a version for diesel engines in the works. Some newer vehicles do already come with built-in oil quality sensors, so they obviously won't need it.

Although not yet available for purchase, Lubricheck should sell for US$30. Interested parties can reserve one by pledging that amount towards product development, through the company website.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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10 Comments

if accurate, impressive, gonna pledge, yes I work in the German car service industry

Bill Bennett
10th May, 2011 @ 07:16 pm PDT

I change my oil about every 10k miles. Test or not. I put in synthetic oil. I think this is a great Idea, but I have my doubts this will ever make it to market and for only $30.

Michael Mantion
10th May, 2011 @ 10:48 pm PDT

Here in europe, every car has a minimum of 15000 miles between oil change.

My new dacia duster diesel have the change at 20000 miles !!!

Oil is Elf Solaris DPF.

Francesco Ferrara
11th May, 2011 @ 11:37 pm PDT

yes , Francesco - your duster has a long oil change period - but I doubt it does any good to the engine . the sad fact is , in europe we drive less , so they can make the period longer - causing damage to the engine - but the statistics show that they will fail after the warranty goes south . this is a common concept in european car manufacturing :(

I'd buy this tester today .

Károly Hőss
13th May, 2011 @ 10:37 am PDT

Today I was at the blending plant of BP (Castrol). They introduced the production and the product. If you are using fully synthetic oil (EDGE) you are good for up to 50.000.

The catch is the turbo. If turbo is in the question you have to deal with much higher temperatures, especially in the case of diesels. Stick to synthetic and in the case of PDTI oil change every 15000 kms is worth it (it is drinking 1L/ 7000 kms anyway...).

They are already working on oil and they have ready mixtures in testing which will last for a lifetime (150.000. kms).

Fabian Fanton
13th May, 2011 @ 01:01 pm PDT

Good idea, I'll buy it

wiarus2000
14th May, 2011 @ 03:14 pm PDT

This is a pretty sweet deal, if it works right. My Corvette has an online oil calculator, based on time and engine parameters...but my other cars I just change the oil based on hours/mileage. This will save me time, money and be a bit "greener" so one is not changing oil un-necessarily (and expensively, to boot!).

Kudos! Great little gadget if it comes to fruition.

Matt Rings
16th May, 2011 @ 09:02 pm PDT

As Lucifer said to Baltar, "Let us hope so!" Don't see how it couldn't become a megaseller, a compact easy-to-use [and cheap] device to help even the most I Don't Know Nothin Bout Cars dumb broad keep better & more precise track of them pesky little oil changes. While I still go with, give or take a few miles, my longstanding limit of 4444 miles between changes, it'd be nice to know that if/when circumstances prevented this - like the few occasions I had to wait until 7500! - just exactly what the oil's condition is. I'm not only pledging on this one, I'm sending this info around to more interested parties I know, especially those in the Leadfoot family!

RandolphStreet50
17th May, 2011 @ 10:35 pm PDT

I don't understand a lot of the techno speak either about how this works but I'm mesmerized by the idea of the product and it sounds real. It even tracks the oil use on their website and from what I understand, can notify if any weird things happen to your engine. Why hasn't this been invented earlier? I signed up at kickstarter.com, looks like they'll make it (funding).

Spogee
19th May, 2011 @ 12:16 pm PDT

We at Lubricheck are PLEASED to announce that we are now shipping product! Our price crept up to $39.95, and is available for immediate shipment on our website, www.lubricheck.com. Thank you for the enthusiastic comments listed above!

Chad Erickson
1st March, 2013 @ 07:50 am PST
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