Top 5 Black Engine Oil Symptoms

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What does having black oil in the engine imply? What are black engine oil symptoms? When dirty oil is in your engine, you’d notice a drop in engine performance, and your car’s check engine light would also come on.

The oil in your engine is black because it has accumulated several debris, dirt, and contaminants as it was flowing to the engine, from the oil reservoir.

But won’t the oil filter block these debris and contaminants?

Well, the oil filter can also get dirty over time – as it continues to trap dirt in the oil flowing into the engine. When the filter accumulates too much dirt, the flowing oil would take some of the dirt into the engine, and that’s why you’ve got black oil in your engine.

Can You Drive With Black Engine Oil?

When the oil in your car engine starts turning black, it’s obvious you’re due for an oil change and that should be done as soon as possible.

Leaving black engine oil in the engine can cause several anomalies, and may even lead to a fatal breakdown, which would cost you more than you’d have spent on an oil change. Here are some signs that indicate you could be driving with black oil in the engine.

Black Engine Oil Symptoms

Black Engine Oil Symptoms

Although these symptoms would also show up due to some other issues with your car’s engine, they are clear signs of black engine oil.

1. Check Engine Light Illuminates

When the check engine light comes on, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your engine.

If everything else looks good in the engine bay, then the illumination of this light was triggered because your engine is running with dirty oil simply use the dipstick to check the state of the oil in your engine when this light comes on.

2. Noise Coming From The Engine Bay

Dirty oil won’t provide enough lubrication needed to keep the engine’s component running without friction, and this can cause loud noise as the components glides against each other while the engine is running.

Therefore, when you start hearing such unusual gliding noise, it is best to check the state of the engine oil.

3. Thick and Dirty Exhaust Smoke

Dirty/black engine oil can affect the type of smoke that comes out of your car’s exhaust pipe. When you start seeing dark, thick exhaust fumes instead of light gaseous fumes coming out from the exhaust pipe, it’s a sign that you should check the oil in your car’s engine.

4. Untypical Poor Performance and Response From The Engine

Suddenly your engine stopped performing as it used to? Check the oil. When an engine stops getting clean oil, it starts performing inefficiently.

An engine relies on the additives and ingredients in oil to deliver outstanding performance; once the engine isn’t getting those benefits, it won’t perform well – as expected.

5. Oil Check Light/Icon is Turned On

Although this feature is not available in many cars, for cars that have the feature, it’s turned on once the oil in the engine is no longer as good as needed. So, if you see the “Oil Check Light” illuminated on your car’s dashboard, check your car’s engine oil.

How Long Does It Take For Oil To Turn Black?

There is no certain duration it would take for oil to turn black – instead, the color of the oil inside an auto engine is determined by quite different factors. If you haven’t changed the oil filter in a while, it could contaminate the new oil you just changed, and it’d appear black inside the engine.

Also, engine oil gradually turns black as you keep driving; so, if you skip an oil change interval, there’s every possibility you’d be driving with a black oil until you decide to go for a change. Furthermore, the following factors can cause oil to turn black:

  • High heat
  • The additives used in making the oil
  • Containment in the path through the oil has to pass to get into the engine.

What More?

Listed above are the commonest black engine oil symptoms you could experience. However, having black/dark oil in the engine doesn’t necessarily mean you should change your oil immediately. No! Sometimes the additives used in making these oils are what makes it turn black, and even at that, they are still effective.

You should only be concerned about the black oil in your engine if you’re very much closer to your oil change interval, or you’ve exceeded the interval and still haven’t done a change. Hopefully, this article explains what you were seeking to know about having black oil in your car’s engine.

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