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Most of us dutifully change our vehicle’s oil more or less at the recommended interval — your car might even throw a dummy light if it thinks it needs a change. But for the true maintenance fanatic, the IntelliStick will tell you the chemical state of your engine lubricant at any given time, via your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, PDA, or computer.

The IntelliStick replaces the dipstick on your vehicle with a probe that leads to an electronics module, which analyzes your oil and transmits its findings via Bluetooth. You can monitor metrics like viscosity, detergent level, and levels of ZDDP, an additive that many older cars benefit from — so you can perform oil changes exactly when they’re needed.

The $350 price tag will put off all but the most devout car nut — but if it gives you peace of mind, who’s to say what a good night’s sleep is worth?

IntelliStick [Official Site]


16 Responses to Don’t Lose Sleep Over Your Oil

  1. It would be truly interesting to see what the real oil change interval was for different vehicles and how different driving patterns affect the interval…for that matter if there is any advantage to using synthetic oil.

    At $350 this is a little steep for an average car owner, but at a $100 price point I bet it would be a killer father’s day gift.

  2. DLone says:

    Thank God! I can’t tell you the number of nights I’ve lain awake worrying about whether I have enough ZDDP in my oil.

  3. ambush27 says:

    I’d worry more about a clogged oil filter more than old dirty oil. It’d be cool if they had a filter that shows when the bypass opens.

  4. ToolFreak says:

    Great item for the synthetic oil freaks who pay $8-10/qt for a quart of shady-distributor-operation “synthetic” oil, more $$$ for an oil analysis, etc. etc. etc.

  5. Bart'sDad says:

    This product doesn’t replace an oil analsys.It doesn’t show what contaminants are in the oil. With the oil packages available today and modern fuel injection crankcases are much cleaner longer than they were just a few years ago.As long as my oil levels are good, and they are changed regularly, I’m sleeping like a baby.

  6. Brau says:

    Intelligent? Tsk! An intelligent system would simply add oil when needed and only notify me when the reserve is low or a change is necessary. Why this isn’t done already is beyond me.

  7. eschoendorff says:

    Simpl, Brau…. that wouldn’t sell oil changes!

  8. Toolaremia says:

    I get all those answers and more when I send an oil sample once a year per vehicle to Blackstone Labs. I get a good picture of the condition of the engine. It costs about $25 including shipping, so you’ve got tens year’s+ worth of tests instead of buying this dipstick. They also do transmission and differential fluid.

    For the record, these guys all use ordinary dino juice, not synthetic, in their own vehicles. They have the tools to test whether it makes a difference, and they don’t use it, so draw your own conclusions.

  9. ambush27:
    Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t this device going to tell you why your filter’s being bypassed? Your oil is going to start to go south pretty fast. I’d imagine the viscosity’s going to change pretty rapidly once it’s not being filtered and carrying a bunch of sludge.


    I don’t know where you’re buying you synthetic from but I just bought some Mobile 1 for $4 a quart. Call me a freak but, for $30 bucks I can change my oil myself and know it’s done right, rather than spend the same amount for a service to do the same and

    1) put the wrong weight oil in my truck (true story)
    2) put questionable quality oil in my truck
    3) not tighten the oil filter and have oil leaking all over the place (true story)

    I know the benefits of synthetic are probably questionable, but it’s not hurting anything, and for a few extra bucks an oil change I do sleep better at night.

    Cool, I’ll have to look into Blackstone Labs, but I still see the advantage of having tons of data points over a year versus a single data point in the same timespan. Plus I’m an Engineer, I like data…mmm data.

  10. Bart'sDad says:

    You can also get a test kit and have it processed from your local Caterpillar dealer. They can test basically any lube or coolant.

  11. Robert says:

    I’m a certified lubrication analyst. This thing intrigues me.

    Partly from a “How does it work?aspect, partly from a “Do I want several?” aspect.

    It may even be useful at work.

    Time to look long and hard.

  12. SuperJdynamite says:

    “An intelligent system would simply add oil when needed and only notify me when the reserve is low or a change is necessary.”

    A well designed engine in good repair should keep almost all of it’s oil between changes.

  13. Donny B says:

    Ok so countless hours of studies, reading over numbers and anlysis for ASE, SAE, SME, …….. I can tell you one simple thing

    KISS ………… Keep it simple stupid

    Put some ” …….. oops i will say it MOBIL 1″
    in your car or tractor and go spend money on An air filter and some wax.

    P.S. remember that time and miles are both factors….

    Simple 6k or 90-120 days depending on humidity and temp changes….

  14. Toolaremia says:

    @Bart’sDad: That’s some good information. There’s a CAT shop a few miles from my house. They say the analysis is $12. Sounds like it might be complete, so I’ll try it and see. Thanks!

  15. Bart'sDad says:

    I like to use the season changes as a reminder to service the car or truck. Our daily driver gets more miles than most and gets serviced once a month. Right before winter it usually gets the real good once over.

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