What should be the color of drained oil

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Austin, TX
Having completed my first oil change on my own ... there seems to be more questions from the exercise than I had before getting into it. I change my oil every 3500 miles thro my dealer and my car has 43,000 on the odometer. But since my 36000 mile servicing, I started to get less miles/galon and my suspisions grew as what is happening to my baby. So I took it onto myself to do the oil change, upon constant pushing from my colleague who does his oil change everytime by himself. When I drained my oil it was dark brown and watery (more like mud water). The oil I filled in was Mobil and it was in honey color. I told this to my colleage and told me I may have been running the car with infrequent oil changes ... which I said "NO". He thinks it should not be dark brown but somewhat darker that the honey seen in new oils. Do you guys see something wrong in the color of the oil?
 
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Do a used oil analysis. Things don't seem correct, but I have seen oil turn pretty dark and be fine. The mud water part scares me. You may have sludge or worse a funky head gasket or something. Oil analysis will tell you. But you were using Mobil1 before or just the dealer oil? What kind of oil before? [ September 22, 2003, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: Pablo ]
 

MaximaGuy

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Well, I don't know what kind of oil the dealer was using, having said that, it should be one of those "dino" oils. I predict that the dealer may have not have changed the oil/filter inspite of charging me. When you pay one expects they the job, but I don't want to be judgemental before I do the oil analysis. I drove my car this morning to work, and it drives like a well behaved engine... but before the oil change the vehicle would surge while downshifting gears... All that I can see here with the oil color is that it does not look right!!!!
 
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quote:
Originally posted by MaximaGuy: Having completed my first oil change on my own ... there seems to be more questions from the exercise than I had before getting into it. I change my oil every 3500 miles thro my dealer and my car has 43,000 on the odometer. But since my 36000 mile servicing, I started to get less miles/galon and my suspisions grew as what is happening to my baby. So I took it onto myself to do the oil change, upon constant pushing from my colleague who does his oil change everytime by himself. When I drained my oil it was dark brown and watery (more like mud water). The oil I filled in was Mobil and it was in honey color. I told this to my colleage and told me I may have been running the car with infrequent oil changes ... which I said "NO". He thinks it should not be dark brown but somewhat darker that the honey seen in new oils. Do you guys see something wrong in the color of the oil?
The only way you will know for sure is by analysis. With that said though, I've seen oils come out of gasoline engine cars that were pitch black but the engine was o.k...it was just the detergents/dispersent additives in the new oil cleaning out some of what was in their before. If your engine is dirty, you will notice the Mobil1 turning black pretty quick, as its detergents/disperent properties are superior to those of regular mineral oil. Remember, an engine gets dirty over time, and even with 3500 changes, over the period of 50,000 miles, you could have accumulated a good deal of deposits in the engine. Like I said though, the only way you will know for sure is through analysis. BTW, how did you get your drain plug out? [Big Grin] [ September 22, 2003, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: Jelly ]
 

MaximaGuy

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BTW, how did you get your drain plug out? ============================================= Well I waited for the oil pressure to come down and then it open up quite easily...
 
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Mobil 1 always get real dark in my truck, like a thick, dark mahogany stain for wood or a deep rich coffee with no cream. Different oils react differently. Royal Purple would turn black as coal on me and Quaker State Syn. would stay nice and clear amber. If your oil is more like coffee with cream in it, you probably have a coolant leak somewhere. But to mimic the other responses, only an UOA will tell.
 
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Get UV and Pressure test of your cooling system ASAP. The oil analysis is wise too. A water leak and contamination of your oil will lead to the DEATH of your engine and or transmission. If you do not think I am serious? A radiator ATF-Coolant leak juat killed my parents transmission. Cost was 3,000$ for a remanafactured Jasper GM 4T40-E Transmission...and new radiator to go along with it. Otherwise the car has 200,000 trouble free miles [Smile] Water is deadly to the powertrain-
 
I just have another idea. Change the PCV valve now and then do a UOA later. This could be a simple fix and the UOA will prove it to be true or not. A PCV valve should run you around $1.99 or slightly more, but may be a very good investment. It is simple to change. Just ask your friend if you have any questions. It should be in one of the valve covers - just slides out of a rubber seal & has a vaccum hose that just slides off. Replace in the same way you removed it.
 

MaximaGuy

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I am quite sure that there is no coolant missed in the oil, as there is no bubbles in the drained oil. Iam going for an engine oil analysis and shall keep you all posted of the results...
 
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