Fluid Analysis

Keep Your Fleet Running at Peak Efficiency

Monitor the health of your fleet with Peterson's Fluid Analysis Lab Program. Fluid Analysis can provide early detection of mechanical problems, avoiding costly failures and extending the life of your trucks. Regular oil and coolant testing are excellent tools to help detect impending system failures and ensure that your equipment is being protected.

How can fluid analysis make a difference in your fleet?

Your trucks have been engineered to precise standards to ensure peak performance, and fluids are an important factor in this equation. Failed or worn parts can be analyzed to provide vital performance information, and fluids can tell a similar story. Help avoid large repair bills and costly downtime with Peterson's S•O•S and Coolant Analysis programs.

After processing, each report is carefully reviewed, the results explained, and (if required) recommendations are made. All of this is to ensure that Peterson Fluid Analysis is truly your value-added service.

Oil Analysis

Wear Rate Analysis

  • Identifies the type of wear metal elements present, reported as PPM (parts per million)
  • When samples are taken at regular intervals, these elements can be trended to often spot the onset of a progression towards premature wear or failure
  • Element combinations help pinpoint problem areas. These combinations aid in the identification of the source of excessive wear
  • Monitor environmental contaminants, such as silicon/sodium, that indicate dirt entry into the system
  • Lower your overall coefficient of wear, ultimately extending the life of your component

Oil Cleanliness Analysis

  • 70% of all hydraulic system failures are caused by some form of contaminant
  • Particle count analysis is used to detect metallic and non-metallic impurities in oil, such as friction disc material or contamination, which are otherwise undetectable
  • Combined with wear-rate analysis, this provides a more comprehensive evaluation of hydraulic and powertrain component health

Oil Condition Analysis

  • Determines lubrication properties of your oil
  • Infrared analysis is used to test for soot, sulphation, oxidation, and nitration, determines the extent of oil deterioration and if your oil is performing to spec

Detection of Fuel, Water, Glycerol

  • Fluid contaminants can degrade oil performance rapidly and are often signs of problems elsewhere that could require immediate attention


  • Is a measure of your oil's lubricity, or its ability to lubricate your truck's internal moving parts

Additional Tests

  • TAN (Total Acid Number): A measure of the buildup of acidic byproducts in your oil, which can lead to corrosion and premature wear of internal metallic components
  • TBN (Total Base Number): A measure of your oil's alkalinity reserve and its ability to neutralize acidic contaminants and prevent corrosion
  • Both TAN and TBN numbers can help to indicate when your oil should be changed

Coolant Analysis

S•O•S Coolant Analysis program

An estimated 50% of all engine failures or poor performance incidents are associated with cooling system problems. For this reason, Peterson uses Caterpillar's S•O•S Coolant Analysis program. S•O•S Coolant Analysis is recommended for all cooling systems, regardless of the type of coolant used.

Coolant requirements for diesel engines are more severe than those of automotive engines. Diesel engines are designed to operate at higher temperatures and higher energy levels than engines in cars or small trucks. Today's heavy diesels produce a tremendous amount of power from a small package. This increases the requirements and demands placed on the cooling system.

How Can Peterson Trucks Help?

Peterson offers a two-level program that indicates a truck's overall cooling system condition and identifies issues with maintenance procedures and operational practices.

Level One: Basic Coolant Maintenance Check

  • Up to seven observational parameters and four analytical tests
  • Indicates major problems with coolant and predicts major system problems
  • Results can be used to determine if a Level Two analysis is required

Level Two: Comprehensive Cooling System Analysis

  • Extensive chemical evaluation of coolant and its effects on the system itself
  • Identifies subtle system problems, identifies causes, and prioritizes issues
  • Performed at Caterpillar labs in Peoria, Illinois

Coolant Analysis Can Save You Money

Used coolant disposal requirements have become more stringent and expensive. Fluid Analysis customers may extend their coolant drain intervals, or recycle or recondition their coolant, thereby reducing their disposal charges.

Our Laboratory

The Peterson Fluid Lab's interpretation of S•O•S and coolant analysis results are supported by nearly fifty years of database records and experience. Our knowledge of your trucks and their maintenance and operational procedures, combined with our technical expertise, significantly enhances our ability to provide you with sound preventative maintenance advice, not just numbers or graphs.

Abnormal results are automatically sent to product support personnel to advise you on the most appropriate course of action. We build historical data on your fleet as part of a fully-integrated repair and maintenance program.

Our knowledge of International trucks is unmatched, and our direct working relationship with International helps us solve virtually all mechanical issues. Our employees know trucks inside and out, including all the makes and models of your fleet. The resources and experience network available through our organization gives you a huge advantage with any truck in your fleet.