The A to Z of Lubrication Innovations
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The A to Z of Lubrication Innovations

The automotive service industry has traveled forward on the strength of a multitude of innovations. When it comes to lubrication technology, it is easy to point out such creations as multi-viscosity motor oils, the spin-on filter and the humble dipstick. However, there are two often overlooked inventions that have changed the paradigm of delivering efficient and effective service.

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The first is Oscar Zerk’s brilliant little device that transformed how chassis components were lubricated. The “Zerk” fitting was created in 1919 and later patented in 1923. It created a way for grease to be easily injected into precise spaces to keep moving components lubricated. Beginning in 1924, this simple and efficient device was incorporated into the design of all vehicles manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. By 1934, further advancements (now by Bassick and Stewart Manufacturing) made Zerk fittings a standard item on 99% of all American-made cars and trucks.

The second notable lubrication service innovation was created a little closer to modern day. About 20 years ago, Ron McElroy was searching for a method to analyze the exact condition of in-service crankcase oils. This was to document and backup the performance benefits for his Magna-Guard Oil Filter Magnets. What he discovered, developed and brought to market was a patented method to instantly test all automotive vital fluids — including brake, transmission and power steering fluids and gear lube. This simple and quick on-site test procedure became Vital Fluid Analysis from Fluid Rx Diagnostics; a tool and process that educates motorists about the benefits of fluid preventative maintenance and shows them “why” and “when” these services are required based on fluid condition.

Today, Vital Fluid Analysis is quickly becoming a “must have” addition to the Multi-Point Inspection process.

“Consumers are better informed and more savvy than at any time in history,” said McElroy, Magna-Guard, Inc. CEO. “However, with the complexity of modern cars and trucks, they seek out and are thirsty for expert advice — service recommendations they can put their trust in and rely upon. As opposed to pitching subjective odometer readings or time in service schedules, Vital Fluid Analysis gives customers the information they require to make educated decisions based on science. It also provides instant credibility for your service recommendations.” McElroy concluded, “Proof it’s time to change sells the service.”


Fluid Rx Diagnostics’ Vital Fluids Analysis diagnostics charts differentiate between and perform separate testing for all four major variations of transmission fluids and all four major variations of power steering fluids, as well as brake fluid and gear lube — this includes separate testing for transfer case and front and rear differentials. The test provides a comprehensive evaluation of each fluid including a measure of the additive package, dispersant properties and total sludge or debris content.

All modern lubricants contain additives that inhibit breakdown. When these additives become depleted, the fluid degrades and can no longer perform its intended function. Fluid Rx Diagnostics measures additive depletion and the level of sludge or debris in fluids or oil. The ISO (International Standards Organization) Diagnostics Charts show how specific fluids appear at various points of depletion on their certified Test Sheet, “GOOD” – “CHANGE” – “OVERDUE.”

Fluid Rx Instant Lubricant Diagnostics follows all Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) Standards and California BAR guidelines when making fluid service recommendations. Fluid Rx Diagnostics provides technicians and consumers with the information needed to make an informed decision on why and when fluid services are to be performed.


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