Car Oil Light

Symptoms of Contaminated Engine Oil in Your Car

by admin April 19, 2022

Engine oil is essential for your vehicle’s smooth running. It is a viscous fluid that keeps your engine lubricated, preventing friction between the engine’s internal components. All manufacturers have recommendations on when to get an oil change and the type of oil for the engine’s optimal performance and longevity.

The oil begins to wear down after an extended period of use. Although newer engines tend to travel longer mileage before requiring an oil change, most engines require an oil change after 3,000 miles or 3 months.

Over time, the oil picks up ash from your engine’s cylinder walls and collects contaminants as it cycles through the engine. Dirty engine oil affects the proper lubrication of your engine, causing significant engine wear.

Signs of Contaminated Engine Oil

The wear down of your engine oil is further accelerated by a worn-out engine or bad oil filters. When the engine oil is compromised, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Check engine light: The check engine light activates for various reasons but mostly indicates an issue with the engine or one of its components. When you have contaminated oil flowing through your engine, it triggers the check engine warning.
  • Oil check light: Besides getting contaminated after extended use, the engine oil also thins out and becomes less viscous. This, in turn, affects the capacity of the oil to lubricate your engine, which triggers the oil check warning. Other factors, including oil leaks, could also trigger the warning, so you should always treat the warning with expediency.
  • Loud engine operation: The engine oil prevents the engine’s components from friction and allows its smooth operation. Dirty engine oil hinders the efficient lubrication of your engine and causes loud engine operation. It may be a banging or rumbling noise. Whichever is the case, it is an indication that your engine is slowly ripping itself apart due to a lack of oil.
  • Poor performance: If the oil is too old, it will contain particles, which clogs the oil filter. A clogged oil filter impedes the smooth flow of oil through the engine, thereby limiting the engine’s performance. You may notice delayed acceleration and sluggish response.
  • Overheating engine: An overheating engine is usually associated with low oil levels and a failed cooling system. When your engine oil is old, it becomes contaminated and thick, which affects the efficient lubrication of the engine’s moving parts. An insufficiently lubricated engine leads to overheating.
  • Poor fuel economy: Old or contaminated engine oil has reduced oil viscosity. The poor oil viscosity affects the oil’s ability to lubricate the engine parts, thereby reducing the engine’s efficiency. The poor engine efficiency, in turn, impacts the vehicle fuel economy.
  • Excessive smoke from the exhaust: The dirty, clumped, thick oil affects your engine efficiency. A less efficient engine hampers the flow pattern of the fuel injectors, resulting in increased production of hydrocarbons. The increased vehicular emission has negative environmental impacts.

While it is normal for your engine oil to become contaminated over time, leaving it unchanged could damage your engine. Therefore, you should conduct routine oil changes for the smooth performance and longevity of your engine.

Causes of Contaminated Engine Oil

Since the engine oil is always working to lubricate and keep the engine cool, it could get contaminated for various reasons. The contaminants usually result from the ash on the walls of the engine cylinder, metal particles and specks of dirt that mixes with the oil as it cycles through the engine.

The oil filter catches these contaminants, preventing them from damaging the engine. Over time, the oil filter also grows clogged, which impacts its effectiveness. Hence, you should always have regular filter replacements. Experts have recommended an oil filter replacement every second time you get an oil change.

Mcllvain Motors: Tempe’s Independent Go-To Shop for Your Porsche

At McIlvain Motors, we are highly Car Engine Oil Change confident you will find our service thorough and precise. Our well-trained technicians are equipped with the latest factory tools and equipment to carry out a routine oil change or filter replacement.

If you reside in Tempe, AZ or the surrounding areas of Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, please call or visit our shop today to schedule your next service appointment.