Oil Testing Program

A routine oil sample will be analyzed for most or all of the following parameters. ASTM methods may be obtained by phone, fax or email from the Sparks office or by directly contacting ASTM International, or the volume may be purchased from:

ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Drive
West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania 19428

Consumer Alerts

PQIA Consumer Alerts

Flashpoint by ASTM D93

Flash point is defined as the temperature to which a fuel must be heated to produce an ignitable vapor-air mixture above the liquid fuel when exposed to an open flame. Flash point is important primarily from a fuel-handling standpoint. Too low a flash point will cause fuel to be a fire hazard, subject to flashing, and possible continued ignition and explosion. In addition, a low-flash point may indicate contamination by more volatile and explosive fuels, such as gasoline. A very important reason to maintain the flash point as high as possible is due to the electrostatic hazards in pumping distillate fuels. 

The flash point as specified is not directly related to engine performance. It is, however, of importance in connection with legal requirements and safety precautions involved in fuel handling and storage, and is normally specified to meet insurance and fire regulations.

Kinematic Viscosity by ASTM D445

Kinematic viscosity is an important physical property affecting lubrication. Oils with extremely low viscosities may not provide sufficient lubrication for closely-fit pumps and other parts.
Kinematic viscosity is a test run at elevated temperature to simulate the environment of a hot engine. This is one of two viscosity measurements determined for oils

Apparent Viscosity Using Cold-Cranking Simulator by ASTM D5293

The Cold-Cranking Simulation (CCS) apparent viscosity of automotive engine oils correlates with low temperature engine cranking. CCS apparent viscosity is not suitable for predicting low temperature flow to the engine oil pump and oil distribution system. CCS apparent viscosity need not accurately predict the engine cranking behavior of an oil in a specific engine. However, the correlation of CCS apparent viscosity with average engine cranking results is satisfactory.

The correlation between CCS and apparent viscosity and engine cranking was confirmed at temperatures between –1 and –40°C by work on 17 commercial engine oils (SAE grades 5W, 10W, 15W, and 20W). Both synthetic and mineral oil based products were evaluated. A correlation was established in a low temperature engine performance study between light duty engine startability and CCS measured apparent viscosity. This study used ten 1990s engines at temperatures ranging from –5 down to –40°C with six commercial engine oils (SAE 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, and 25W).

The measurement of the cranking viscosity of base stocks is typically done to determine their suitability for use in engine oil formulations. A significant number of the calibration oils for this method are base stocks that could be used in engine oil formulations.


The Nevada Revised Statues call for oils to tested for sediment by centrifuge. Excessive amounts of sediment in oil could lead to system malfunctions in critical applications.