Trends below are indicating an issue with soot in only a relatively new engine, resulting in higher than typical wear, even for a typical break-in period.

Soot-Trends Soot Trends on new engine


The soot issue is further confirmed by the site group trends for this machine model. This shows that the soot levels elevated from both a machine, and fleet perspective.

Machine Group Trends Soot Abs/ CM

The problem

Due to the abrasive nature of agglomerated soot, iron is likely to trend with it. High iron from excessive soot levels is likely from valve train wear or liner wear (bore polishing).

Soot polishes off protective antiwear soap films in boundary zones such as cam and cam-follower zones, and piston ring to liner.

High soot levels can cause filter plugging and sludge deposits on valve covers, rocker boxes, oil pans and head decks.

Being a relatively new engine, the damage being caused is robbing the engine of potential component life.

Set Generic Alerts vs Data-Based Algorithms

Typically, oil analysis labs have generic limits based off of overall machine trends, which are set high to take into consideration different oil types and machine operation, which can have a direct impact on the rate of wear and/or soot generation. However, in some instances these generic alert limits can result in an abnormal condition progressing to failure without any issue being flagged.

In this instance the lab has flagged the sample due to elevated iron levels, but hasn’t flagged the elevated soot. This can potentially result in unnecessary downtime chasing the outcome, but not the actual root cause.

Algorithms used to review the historical oil sampling data and reference the new sample (to predict normal levels), have flagged the issue as soon as the machine returned to work. They have also correctly identified the root cause of the elevated wear as being the elevated soot. This has enabled specific actions/inspections to be undertaken to investigate the cause of the high soot and rectify the condition causing the soot generation.