Run the engine before you take the sample to get the oil at operating temperature (driving about 20 minutes should do it). Getting the oil up to operating temperature should help cook out any moisture or fuel build-up from the last time you drove. Then let the engine cool down a bit before you pull the sample. We don’t want you to get burned, and we don’t want to melt the tubing if you’re using a quick-draw pump to pull the sample.
- If you’re taking your sample while changing the oil, let some oil drain before you fill up the bottle. Try not to get either the first or the last oil out of the pan.
- If you are using a pump to take your sample, thread the tube down the dipstick and pump the oil up into the sampling bottle. Do not force the tubing! If it’s not going down, the tubing may be too thick for your dipstick. We can send you thinner tubing.
- We need 3 oz to complete all our tests. But even if you only have 1 oz, we can still do at least two, if not three, of our tests. If you have questions about whether we’ll be able to work with your sample, call us.
- Complete the oil sample information slip.
- For the Unit Number field, please identify what you’d like to call this engine (e.g., Truck 1, Old Blue, 2015 Civic).
- For the Make-Up Oil field, please put the number of quarts added between oil changes.
- Do you want a TBN? This is a test used to measure the amount of active additive left in the oil. It may be useful if you are interested in extending your oil usage. The test costs an extra $10.
- Wrap the gray material around the oil sample and put both in the plastic bag. Roll together the sample, information slip, and a check or credit card number. Put it all in the black mailer tube and send it to us.
Having problems using our pump? We fold that tubing pretty tight when we send it, and chances are good the end still has some curl to it. The tubing may have gone into the oil, then curled back up and out of it. Test the pump by just putting the end of the tubing into a new container of oil and drawing it up. If you get oil, the problem is that the tubing is curling up and out of the oil. Try straightening the end out (use a hair dryer to soften and bend it if needed) so that it sits straight down in the oil.
Some post offices mistake oil samples for hazardous material. Oil is not hazardous material. Blackstone Laboratories’ oil sample kit meets all postal requirements. To see a letter you can give the post office to help reassure them, please click here.