Kasai, M., Yoshimura, N., and Watanabe, K., "Evaluation of Engine Oil Deterioration Using a Comb-Shaped Electrode," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-2317, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-2317.
At present, the lifetime of engine oil is judged by chemically measuring the changes in its properties while running of an actual vehicle or by setting the standards for its replacement cycle in terms of travel distance and time. The advantage of the former is that the lifetime can be judged with a high degree of reliability, but its disadvantage is that information on the lifetime is difficult for users to obtain. The problem with the latter is that the standards are unreliable. Therefore, users need a simple and reliable method to evaluate the degradation of engine oil so they can determine the appropriate time to change it. We examined the possibility of evaluating the lifetime of engine oil by measuring its capacitance using a comb-shaped electrode. As a result, we found that the capacitance of four types of engine oil collected at markets tended to decrease during the initial stage of degradation and then increased in the later stage. Thus, the lifetime of engine oil can be estimated with a high degree of reliability by continuously monitoring its capacitance using a comb-shaped electrode.