May 122011

Imagine if every time you bought a pair of socks, you automatically threw them out after six months, regardless of their condition.

While you would certainly always have newer socks, you would also likely end up throwing away quite a few pairs that could have lasted a while longer. When it comes to changing the oil in our vehicles, most of us do take the “every X miles” approach, however, as there’s no easy way of telling if that oil really needs to be changed … or is there? The designers of Lubricheck claim that their device will save money and minimize discarded oil, by analyzing samples of engine oil and letting drivers know if it’s still good.

To use the credit card-sized Lubricheck, users place several drops of their car’s oil in the device’s sensor cup. By measuring the capacitive and resistive properties of that sample, it determines the oil’s acidity, metal particulate content, carbonized particulate content, and the level of foreign liquids such as coolant or water. An LED display will indicate if the oil is in good condition, if it’s so-so, or if it needs changing.

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