Ok, we all know oil changes are important. If you drive an internal combustion engine you should already be on top of routine maintenance like that. But an oil report, has anyone ever had you get one? This is something that I admittedly didn't think about until I spent a fortune having an engine built for the shop's race truck. Suddenly the health of my engine was the most important thing in the world. I sent in the break in oil sample and every oil change since then it's gone off for testing. Through these tests I learned that my machine shop did a clean job, a lack of silicon (a substance used in the machining process) meant they cleaned up after themselves and normal or below average levels of precious metals, that tapered off after the initial break in period, meant my main bearings and other pretty important parts were happy. A lack of fuel or glycol contamination meant that my injection lines were not leaking and that I didn't any coolant contamination, which made me feel good since I had the engine more torn apart and modified than anything I'd ever touched before. I then got super into oil samples and reading the results, I sent in a sample from every other truck I own. When I purchased a new Duramax I was sure to send in my first two oil change samples. The added stress on an engine from the exhaust aftertreatment system can wreak havoc inside the engine and show up in the oil. I'm happy to say that the health of my engine is still good.
Oil samples are an extra cost, $30 for the company I use. They may not be useful at every oil change especially if you receive a good report. But they are a great way to determine the health of your engine and relatively cheap diagnostic tool for a problem that may not be causing a drivability issue yet (fuel in your oil is a big one).