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  • Brenda Wozencraft

The Benefit of Fluid Analysis


How Complete Fluid Analysis Significantly Reduces Your Risk of Purchasing the Seller’s Engine, Transmission or Generator Problems.

RV Services & Solutions provides fluid analysis through JG Lubricant Services on fluid samples pulled during pre-purchase RV inspections.

The NRVIA fluid sampling and analysis program includes review of the condition of the engine oil, automatic transmission fluid, generator oil and engine coolants (both main engine and generator engine), as applicable. NRVIA certified RV inspectors are specifically trained to drawn samples from these chassis’ installed powertrain and power generation components.

JG Lubricant Services periodically reviews NRVIA fluid sample data and provides us with a summary of what the inspections show. The table below shows the most recent summary of results. The data represent samples drawn over the past 5 years and are summarized by Component Type and show the percent of tests that come back as either ABNORMAL or CRITICAL. As shown in the table, we have found that a significant number of sampled RV components show alarming levels of Abnormal or Critical test results. These important systems would not be considered ‘road ready’ due to the need for either additional preventative maintenance, further diagnostics or possible repair.

Think of it this way…fluid analysis gives us the ability to “look inside” these complex and expensive driveline and power generation components. Just pulling the dipstick to check for fluid is not enough. Fluid sampling and analysis permits the next level of inspection. There’s just no other way to get this kind of information before you purchase your RV, except through fluid sampling and analysis from your certified NRVIA inspector’s report. Most abnormal reports indicate something to be monitored or perhaps only the need to change the oil or coolant. These items can often be negotiated into the deal just as in a home inspection. Critical reports, on the other hand, show a more immediate need for attention as they may indicate either internal part wear or more serious fluid contamination issues.

Fluid Samples for RV Fluid Analysis

Complete fluid analysis has proven to be a real eye opener to buyers as it reveals the true condition of these expensive driveline and power generation components. On more than a few occasions, fluid analysis results have been the deciding factor in proceeding with the purchase. Fluid analysis provides protection against the

chance that you might inherit someone else’s existing engine, transmission or generator problem. It could definitely make the difference between having peace of mind and having to continually worry whether you might experience costly powertrain or generator repairs down the road. Just as with home inspections, the RV inspection should cover all major items including fluids. That is why NRVIA inspectors recommend complete fluid analysis.

As you can see from the tabulated data, it turns out there’s a good chance that fluid sampling and analysis may find at least one maintenance deficiency issue. Finding one critical issue will alone pay for the complete fluid analysis. Better to find issues with these complex and expensive systems during the pre-purchase inspection. Again, adding complete fluid analysis significantly reduces the risk of unknowingly purchasing engine, transmission, generator or cooling system problems.

The NRVIA strongly recommends having the complete series of fluid samples drawn during your pre-purchase inspection. If any of your test reports indicate issues, you‘ll have the chance to work with the seller to get them taken care of as part of the deal. Fluid sampling and analysis will reduce risks and give you peace of mind.

ABNOMAL indicates maintenance issues related to diminished oil or coolant properties where a simple oil and filter or coolant change should alleviate the problem.

CRITICAL indicates more immediate problems related to contamination and/or component wear. These issues may require immediate maintenance and/or repair.

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