Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 404, Issue 4, pp 1197–1209

Monitoring automotive oil degradation: analytical tools and onboard sensing technologies


DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6186-1

Cite this article as:
Mujahid, A. & Dickert, F.L. Anal Bioanal Chem (2012) 404: 1197. doi:10.1007/s00216-012-6186-1


Engine oil experiences a number of thermal and oxidative phases that yield acidic products in the matrix consequently leading to degradation of the base oil. Generally, oil oxidation is a complex process and difficult to elucidate; however, the degradation pathways can be defined for almost every type of oil because they mainly depend on the mechanical status and operating conditions. The exact time of oil change is nonetheless difficult to predict, but it is of great interest from an economic and ecological point of view. In order to make a quick and accurate decision about oil changes, onboard assessment of oil quality is highly desirable. For this purpose, a variety of physical and chemical sensors have been proposed along with spectroscopic strategies. We present a critical review of all these approaches and of recent developments to analyze the exact lifetime of automotive engine oil. Apart from their potential for degradation monitoring, their limitations and future perspectives have also been investigated.


Onboard assessment of oil quality: the sensors and spectroscopic strategies proposed for this are reviewed


Engine oil degradationOnboard sensingAcidic productsAutomotive sensors

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Analytical ChemistryUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of the PunjabLahorePakistan