A reader asks: We suspect that an oil change shop put the wrong ATF in our Dodge Ram transmission. Can your oil analysis testing determine if the transmission fluid that they installed is ATF+4 compatible?

Answer: Let’s expand your question. Can oil analysis testing determine the type, specification or brand of oil submitted when this information is unknown? Unfortunately the answer to these questions is no. The type of testing that you require is beyond the scope of typical oil analysis. Oil analysis testing is used to provide the following information for oils in engines, transmission, gear boxes and various industrial components.

  • Determine the condition of the oil and suggest whether it is suitable for further use.
  • Report on the levels and types of wear metals in the oil.
  • To detect contamination from items such as fuel, coolant or dirt.

Unless the actual brand and type of fluid is known, the lab cannot pick out whether it meets a particular specification or not. Despite having the profiles of thousands of oil types on file, general oil analysis cannot necessarily determine the specific brand, model or specification of a given sample.

Again the oil testing is meant only to offer a comprehensive report on the condition of the fluid. These reports can be very helpful for automotive and industrial applications.

Questions? Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.