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By Glen Konorowski

Once in a while, an intriguing new product catches my attention: this time it was the Motor Checkup. This product is a simple test to find out the condition of your vehicle’s engine oil by giving you a sample diagnosis of that oil.

The Motor Checkup can accurately evaluate any oil from a four-stroke gas or diesel engine. However, people with two-stroke engines are out of luck, as gas and oil are mixed together and thus will give the Motor Checkup a false reading. The Motor Checkup is a fairly simple kit and any one can do it just by reading over the instructions and following the right procedure.

The kit comes to you in a DVD case in which you find a “how to” video, six Motor Checkup tests, a test analyzing pamphlet, and some tracking sheets to record the data you get from the test. The video is pretty straight forward explaining how the test is to be conducted. This gave me a better understanding of what to do and how to read the test.

First, you start your vehicle to get the engine oil warmed up. In my case, I made a short hop to the store to get the engine up to operating temperature. Next, I popped the hood and pulled out the dipstick as I would normally do to check the oil. Being careful not to drip oil on yourself, you take the end of the dipstick and slowly but carefully drip some on to the MotorCheckup test paper. The test paper has a special spot to drip the oil on, so you need to be accurate so the test will be easy and accurately read.

The MotorCheckup test paper soaks the oil in a certain way depending on the condition your engine oil is. It is this drying process result that gives you the condition of your oil. The instructions say to let the oil sit on the test paper for two to 15 minutes. In our case I left it about an hour or two (after getting distracted with something else).

Once the oil had time to soak into the test paper, I looked it over, and discovered that it wasn’t that dirty even though I was pretty close to the Liberty’s regular oil change. The Motor Checkup pamphlet has printed pictures of what clean, dirty oil and gas soaked oil should look like. You simply take your test paper and compare it with the pamphlet to see what is up.

Since the people at MotorCheckup sent us a few extra test papers we tried the test out on my friend’s 2001 Chevy Pickup. As we guessed by the areas he drives regularly (a dusty recycling depot) his oil was exceptionally dirty in just 2,000 km. This test told us that even though he changes his oil regularly at 5,000 km, he should change his oil more often during the dusty summer months.

The MotorCheckup is a unique product that will help a vehicle owner better evaluate the condition of their oil and the condition of their engine. This little kit could be really helpful when buying a used vehicle as it gives an analysis of the oil and an idea of how well the engine is taken care of.

The kit sells for $29.95. Retail locations selling the MotorCheckup can be found at

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