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Oil analysis


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Just did an oil analysis on the 99 Volvo d12 motor. For the first time since I have owned it there is glycol in the oil. There is no specified amount. Oil has probably 8000 miles on it and has not been changed since last spring. I have not had to add any coolant and am not building pressure in system like a head gasket. I'm thinking maybe an injector cup? Any ideas or what to look for would be appreciated.

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Are you losing coolant? Some of the oil additives on the market have high potassium levels which can throw an oil analysis. Before I got too worried, I'd send a second OS to another lab and compare results. A second test may warrant a cooling system pressure test.

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Thx for the replies. Not losing coolant. Had a pressure test done and system did not leak down. Think a second is a good idea. This is the first one from this particular lab. Had both engine and transmission tested. Transmission tested positive for glycol as well, go figure. I'll get a second test.

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It's fairly common for std 10 speeds to have a oil cooler, but many are fairly small surface Air / Oil unit coolers often mounted between the frame rails above the drive-line aft of the trans.


We had some marine coolant oil samples some years ago that were traced to oil spout that was used to top-off the oil but on fairly occasions used to top-off coolant as well. It seems that once coolant gets introduced into a spout or funnel that may also be used for oil it may look clean but coolant seems able to cling in trace amounts just enough to trigger a coolant alarm in a oil sample.


The bummer in our case was, that coolant once in our oil, was pretty hard to get out of the engine without a oil change......


The common "problem" related to your samples that we also had coolant in both of the marine gear-set on that tug so that helped point the finger to outside contamination.


Obviously a closed loop marine system is not what we deal with in trucks but outside contamination could be a common factor.


It appears that fairly small amounts of coolant likely trigger alarms in oil samples but the amount of coolant in the oil can vary due to many sample factors we were told.


The good news we did not have to torch-up a few tons of steel decking and then pull a big diesel out of a deep, dark hole in the bilges of the old tug......


Maybe something to consider.....


Best regards,




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