How it works

Firstly this testing method is not new technology, it comes from the 1950’s and was used extensively by engineers at that time. We have just re-introduced it to the public at large. It was like many things in life today that are replaced by ‘new technology’. In this case this method was substituted by laboratory analysis.

There is a definite need and a place for lab tests and they can be far more telling than our simple OIL SPY test, but they take time and are expensive. OIL SPY is a ‘here and now’ test that will tell you vital things that are wrong and can prevent major damage occurring. Think of it like a blood test, identifying what is wrong with vital organs… aka engine.

The science behind it is chromatography: oil has specific qualities that allow it to lubricate and cool, and it also has specific properties of friction reduction, dispercency, detergency and viscosity. In basic terms it lubricates, cools by moving around quickly, and carries and cleans the foreign bodies (soot, ash, carbon) that result from the combustion cycle in your engine. OIL SPY identifies how your oil has reacted to heat and overloading of these elements and changes in its vital viscosity. Also it identifies extraneous substances that have nothing to do with the combustion cycle but have contaminated the oil such as water, coolant, and fuel.

One drop of warm oil from the dipstick in the centre of the test card will spread into a circular stain in about fifteen to twenty minutes. The characteristics of the stain are really easy to identify and are constantly repeatable. In a short while you will not need to refer to the instructions and check sheet, as you will know what to look for. There are only four places to look:

All of these issues are discussed in more detail in the instructions which you can download at the bottom of the page. The consequences are obvious and by no means isolated to classic cars. Look on the Internet under “oil sludging” and you will read of the thousands of modern engine failures currently due to this.
Incidentally, the OIL SPY method is the only simple way to identify this problem. We hate to say it, but at under 50p per test – why would you not do it from time to time? Especially as a number of car manufacturers have refused warranty claims for engine failure due to oil sludging and/or gelling, saying it is poor owner maintenance. Don’t’ take our word for it… look on the Internet and the proof is there.

Download full instructions