My experience with Caterpillar is limited to earthmovers where everybody does 
the samples. They sample hydraulic fluid too, a breakdown at a job site is way 
more expensive than pulling samples.

I was under the impression over the road truckers were doing it too, another 
case where a breakdown simply isn't worth it.

I'm a little surprised there aren't systems to polish the oil or heat the 
condensation out of it. Seems like a little heat would be big savings if we 
were talking about that substantial an amount of oil.


 From: Dan Penoff via Mercedes <>
To: Mercedes Discussion List <> 
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [MBZ] Mobil 1 $23 at Wally World

> On Jul 16, 2014, at 5:38 PM, Curt Raymond via Mercedes 
> <> wrote:
> Is the lack of analysis on stationary engines a factor of short run times?

Mostly. Because of the typical short cycle times, the oil is often contaminated 
by condensation in the engine. This is exacerbated by the engines rarely being 
run under load, and even then the load is fairly small.  It's not uncommon to 
find the waxy white deposits in the bottom of the crankcase in these engines 
due to their not getting hot enough to boil off moisture in the crankcase.

> Caterpillar has a super aggressive program of analysis that helps them keep 
> machines running for way longer than ever before and lowers maintenance costs 
> by allowing fluids to run longer. If I had an engine with a sump that held 
> 100 gallons you bet I'd want to get all I could out of that oil, changing it 
> early would be crazy talk compared to running a $20 analysis...

Caterpillar does this themselves, but I can tell you from direct experience 
that very few of their standby power end users do it. The expense is often seen 
as something of an extravagance, and since the typical life of these units far 
exceeds their service life, most customers forego sampling.

Customers who have fleet operations will do it as they have the programs in 
place already. Prime power users will do it due to cost.  It's the ones who 
have one or two units onsite that balk at the expense.

Understand that a typical oil analysis for an industrial engine from a 
certified lab can run into several hundred dollars by the time it's marked up 
by the service provider.  Ask one of those Cat customers what an oil sample 
costs them.

> I find it interesting that the "Mercedes Martha Stewart" doesn't care about 
> whats going on INSIDE the engine. My cars get the opposite treatment, I don't 
> really mind what they look like, they have to perform. Then again I drive 
> like 4x as much as you do.

My cars perform, and perform well.  If I found that my cam bearings were 
wearing, for example, I would dump the car.  It's not that I don't care, as 
that would suggest that I don't maintain or follow MBs recommendations, and 
that's simply not true. I follow the service intervals religiously. With that 
in mind, my expectations are that the car(s) should last as long or longer than 
MB would predict.  If fluid sampling was relevant or added value under normal 
operation, I would do it. Mercedes doesn't consider it necessary, nor does any 
other car manufacturer.

Again, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it. In my mind, it's 
overkill and the cost doesn't justify the expense, that's all.


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