Most people would want the oil in their car’s engine to look as pure as it appears in the oil container. That’s not going to happen, once oil is poured into the engine, the color would definitely change. For diesel engines, the newly poured oil might even turn black. But what should oil look like after oil change?
The color of motor oils after a change is typically “Amber.” But then, some motor oils are very thick and have a dark color; such motor oils would get a bit darker poured into a car.
There’s pretty much to know about the color of motor oils once they’re poured into the engine, and this article explains it all!
Let’s get started!
Why is Newly Refilled Oil Dark/Black?
There are two main reasons why oils turn black immediately they are poured into the engines: dirt and contaminants. This is most applicable to diesel engines because they are subjected to high compression, which produces more carbon deposits than gasoline engines.
When you drain the old oil in your car’s engine and pour in another one, you expect that when you check with the dipstick, the oil should still have a light color. Your guess is right, but if oil turned black immediately, it simply means your engine is very dirty on the inside.
Well, the dark color oil would still deliver good performance to your engine since it is still new. It is dark/blackish because it mixed with the carbon deposits inside the engine – the moment you poured it in.
What Should Oil Look Like After Oil Change?
New, clean oil is amber in color; it’d get darker as you keep driving, but initially, it is “amber” in color. The color of engine oil does not completely tell us everything we need to know about the oil.
What does this mean? It means that even if the oil turns dark immediately it is poured inside the engine, it’s not basically a bad omen.
Nevertheless, if the oil in your engine is looking too dark after an oil change, it is important to know the actual cause of that; was it your diesel engine that caused it or there’s so much dirt inside the engine?
Also, the additives used in some motor oils can make the oil darken faster than you expected. All these are things to consider.
Furthermore, over time, as you drive your car after the oil change, the oil color would keep changing – below are some tips about oil colors and what they could signify.
Oil Color Explanation
- Milky or Cream Color Oil: If the oil in your car’s engine appear in this color, and then you notice that your car drains more coolant than ever, that could be a sign of a leaky head gasket.
- Thick or Dark/Black Oil: This typically indicates that your engine is full of dirt and contaminants. But then, if you noticed the dark oil after driving many miles, it could be a sign that you’re due for an oil change.
- Creamy Oil: Did the oil on the dipstick seem creamy? That’s indicative of an oil contaminated by water/coolant liquid.
So, what should oil look like after oil change? The typical color of new, clean oil is “Amber.” The color starts changing the moment you start driving – then it begins to get darker, and possibly thicker too (due to contaminants, dirt, or other factors).
Remember, having black oil in your engine doesn’t mean the oil is bad; however, it calls for concern about the state of your engine – you should use an oil with high detergent and cleaning additives because inside the engine is very dirty and needs to be cleaned up.