Dipstick oil analysis may sound a little goofy, but it works. No worry. Sit tight for five easy lessons on reading your oil dipstick. With the engine hot, park on level ground and shut off the engine.
Wait a couple minutes for the oil to return to the oil pan. Open the hood and find the dipstick on the engine - a metal loop or grip sticking out of the end of a metal stalk. With a rag or thick paper towel in one hand, pull on the metal loop or grip and remove the dipstick with the other.
Wipe the oil-wet straight end of the dipstick and push it back into the stalk you pulled it out of. How much oil should be on the dipstick? Examine the end of the dipstick and notice where the oil ends. There are markings that indicate the level the oil should reach. Sometimes there are holes instead of marks. If the dipstick is not showing an oil level, you need to add oil immediately. The amount of make-up oil you would expect to add will vary depending on the age of your car, type of engine, total mileage and driving conditions.
The dipstick is your gauge for abnormally high oil consumption. Real concern begins at about one quart for every 1, miles 0. Is it OK to be a quart low? The sidebar at the bottom of this article can answer this question. In certain cases, the oil level may have risen since the last time you checked or there is too much oil on the dipstick. This could be due to condensed water from combustioncondensed fuel or a coolant leak - all are causes for concern. Fuel-diluted motor oil from blow-by or leakage can substantially reduce oil viscosity and thin additive concentration.
The odor of diesel fuel can often be detected right from the dipstick. Free and emulsified water is harmful to the oil and the engine. For short-trip drivers, water condensation may be more acute if your engine has the flexible fuel vehicle FFV option and you are burning an alcohol-gasoline fuel blend. It is important to remember that combustion produces water in your engine - more water than the fuel consumed. Most of the water goes out the tailpipe, but if the engine is cool, much of it may condense in the crankcase.
A simple way to detect water in used motor oil is to put a drop of oil from the dipstick on a hot exhaust manifold. If it crackles sounds like bacon frying this is an indication of water contamination. Beware that there is some risk that the drop of oil may catch fire.
Read more about using the crackle test. In this case, an oil and filter change may be merited.The yellow gunk which appears on your oil cap is normally caused by short trip driving. As long as you have checked the dipstick and have done a quick check of the valve cover inside comes out when it is clean, you will be in a position to eliminate any problem with the engine.
So the yellow gunk should not be a cause of alarm as it is very normal after a short trip driving.Known snitches
When you see moisture beads on your dipstick and some type of white smoke coming out of the exhaust of an engine which is warm, it can be an indication of a coolant of the head gasket leaking into the system of the oil which is not a good thing. In case it is condensation, then it will be minimal moisture seen in the system and heat can be in a position to help to burn it off. Whenever you are performing maintenance checks on your car, you might omit to open the engine oil cap.
Why is my oil dipstick rusting?
The only time you could tend to open the oil cap is when you are scheduled for an oil change. Sometimes you might just end up topping up your engine oil between oil changes. It is during such times that you might notice that your oil cap has a milky, creamy white stuff. This might lead you to want to know what it is all about and what could have caused it.
Whenever you see your oil cap milky, the first thing that might come into your mind is that moisture or water has mixed with your engine oil. This normally creates creamy, white sludge on the oil cap and the surface of the engine oil port.
Which is true. But because of the way the modern combustion engine is designed, it is very hard for the water or moisture to be able to mix with the engine oil. And thus, whenever you notice this white sludge on the oil cap, you will need to give it all your attention and find out what is causing it.
There are several possible causes of the milky appearance on your oil cap. In most instances, the white stuff which is forming under the oil cap is normally a mixture of moisture or water and engine oil.
So the question you should be asking yourself is that, how did it end up there? The water spray at high pressure can force water through various connections into the engine of your vehicle. This could include areas which are under the oil cap. It is also possible that the water could be able to enter through the housing of the air filter, the power steering cap, and the oil dipstick of the engine.
The same effect can also be exerted when you use degreasers applied with a form of high pressure. Whenever this happens, you tend to increase the risk of forming white stuff on the oil cap. In case there is a need to clean the bay of the engine, you should utilize a water spray which is of low pressure. You will need to also avoid spraying the engine seals such as the ones which are found on the cover of the valve.
In case you observe your gas emission carefully, one of the byproducts will be water. This means that, at any given time, you will have moisture or water vapor in the engine of your vehicle.
But as the engine warms up at its maximum working temperatures, it can eliminate the moisture build-up via evaporation. In the process, it leads to a pile of white stuff under the oil cap. So if you are the kind of driver who uses your vehicle for 5 to 10 minutes, at any given time, most likely the engine will not reach its optimum temperatures to enable evaporation to take place.
The same is also true if you are a driver who drives your vehicle at very low speeds. If you can be able to drive your vehicle for 30 minutes on the highway at 60MPH, you will not have this issue of the frothy build up under your oil cap. It could also be that your oil cap seal is either damaged or worn out. The same applies when you have been taking good care to avoid introducing any moisture to your engine while car washing. If that is the case, the only explanation left for the white stuff on the oil cap is that the head gasket is blown up.I am not loosing power too my engine I do use a synthetic oil in my truck I hav changed oil and it is still doing it This is on a 92 Ford ranger I had the heads milled na dthe gasket replaced just under 2 years ago, and these symptoms are just now showing up I also have alum heads on my truck.
Sorry, you DO have a real problem. The white foam on your dipstick is a sign that the oil has absorbed more water than the detergent additive can keep in suspension. What makes "white smoke"? You are right - steam. You are very likely to have a blown, leaking head gasket that permits water to enter one of the cylinders. If your car has a four cylinder engine, don't lose you sleep, the head is easily taken off an the gasket replaced.
If it's a V8 or a V6, feel worse, they are harder to get the head off, also it is difficult to establish which one of the two that has the bad gasket. Whatever you do, don't keep on driving. The oil us ruined, will not lubricate well and you risk an engine seizure.
Big bucks - end of car? I'd lay money that if you got a better look at that puff of smoke from the tail pipe that it is sleightly "blue tinged". Fact of the matter is there are only a few places a white milky like substance could be coming from.
Having seen what dried out radiator fluid looks like - I'm betting its that. But I won't rule out that it could be gasket sealant from the head gasket.
In either case though, it would mean you probably have a small leak somewhere on the head gasket. Also get that thermostat checked as if the radiator fan isn't cooling the engine properly because the thermostat is jacked then pressure buildup from coolant could be forcing it back into the cylinders. You might have a head gasket leak, cracked head, water jacket leak into crank case, but you say you changed the oil and it's not there now.
Repair everyone will tell you the same thing. So good luck. The white milky stuff is water. If the engine does not heat up, the moister in the oil cannot be boiled off. Your thermostast is bad,failed open, or your not running one.
Or you take lots of short trips.Engine repairs are one of the most expensive costs associated with cars.R ii 10
If the engine, transmission or body is shot, those repairs can easily overwhelm your budget. Sludge forms as motor oil oxidizes and breaks down, leaving behind deposits recognized as sludge. This glutinous muck is known to impede important oil pathways, including oil flow and return passages as well as filter elements.
Engine sludge can even lead to severe damage necessitating complete engine replacement. However, if you operate your car in extreme conditions, such as city driving or off-road use, then follow the extreme-duty schedule. This typically means oil changes once every 3, miles. Any changes in engine performance should concern you. A key symptom is an engine that has difficulty turning over. As long as the starter and all electrical connections are fine, spark should ignite promptly. You may also observe problems when checking the oil.
Pull out the dipstick and if you notice globs of gelatinous material adhering to the stick, then sludge is likely present.
Causes and Solutions To A Milky Residue At The Oil Cap Gaskets
Signs of engine sludge should serve as a red warning flag for vehicle owners. Once sludge has been detected it can be difficult to remove. Depending on sludge severity, the fix here may involve using a product such as Sea Foama fuel system additive, and synthetic motor oil, such as Valvoline SYNPower designed to combat three areas of engine stress: heat, deposits and wear.
In more severe cases the engine will have to be disassembled and special tools used to remove sludge. Take note of recalls and service bulletins related to your car and have all repairs handled immediately. Maintain your receipts because if something goes wrong, you have proof of the work done. If you shop for a used car, inspect the service records.
Take a look under the hood; a burnt oil smell is a sign of a possible problem. With the engine off, remove the oil cap. Excess black deposits under the cap point to poor maintenance.Oil In Coolant "What to Check when you find Oil in Antifreeze"
Lastly, take note of the vehicle warning lights. If the check engine light is illuminated it may mean that the gas cap is loose, damaged or missing.GigaTigga New Member. Hi everyone, pretty worried here. I have an 05 prius with almost k on it. I bought it about 7 months ago with about k, i have a pretty short commute.
I don't seem to have too many issues with it less the rough shut downs that i can't tell if are normal or notbut i always check my oil whenever i get gas, that is, when its not super cold. I had checked it several tanks when it was winter and noticed that the oil was showing on the dip stick no problems.
Q: Oil cap is milky, but the dipstick isn't and the coolant isn't bubbling. Please advise.
Recently i took it in to have an oil change and tire rotation completed. They screwed up and didn't tighten one of the back lug nuts, as a courtesy they offered to do the oil change again, after i had just had one 5 days earlier and only 30 miles earlier.
They said the oil looked fine and everything was good to go. Fast forward a week and today i'm getting gas, i go to check my oil, i pull out the dip stick and always wipe it off the first time, plug it back in, wait a sec, pull it out, and i notice the oil line is faint, very thin as usual, but this time there is some grime brownish stuff at the bottom of the stick. I cleaned it, did it again, same thing, did it again, same thing. Now i'm worried.
Where could this crap be coming from? Should i worry? Any help would be great. Photo Mar 18, 6 43 48 PM. Photo Mar 18, 6 44 07 PM. SageBrush Senior Member. From your pictures it appears to me as if the oil is low. I do not offer this opinion as definitive, and will not be insulted if any poster tells me I'm totally wrong. Because I could be. But, from your pictures? That doesn't look like anything.
I mean your oil might only have miles on it, but the vehicle is 5 years old and has k. All engines over time produce an amount of contaminate that usually forms as sludge or varnish.Spc energy
Since obviously, I'm judging from pictures and not "hands" on, I'd continue to monitor it. I know some automotive dealerships, service centers offer an "engine flush" type of service that supposedly is designed to remove and reduce engine sludge.
I've personally always been wary of such services as the cure seemed worse than the poison. Again, I could be wrong. I'm far from a mechanic but engines are not anticeptic enviroments. Even though the oil you may of recently put in is "clean" with k on the engine it is quite possible the engine is not, and may have contaminates especially at the bottom. Thanks for the replies.Presidential suite room plan
They redid the whole service to "prove" to me it was done correctly. Should I be worried about this? Or is it normal for dealer oil changes?Does this mean I hve a bad head gasket? That would be my conclusion also. I suggest that you get the car into the shop a. The milky substance is water in the oil, as you suspect, but it may not mean the head gasket is bad, especially since you say there is no coolant loss.
If so, you may just need an oil change and a highway drive now and then to cook all the condensation out of the oil. There are tests that can be performed to verify a bad head gasket. Try the easy, inexpensive things first. Many cars exhibit this during cold weather. Combustion blow-by contains much water vapor. But sometimes this moisture can condense on the cold dipstick and form the sludge you see…It will disappear when the weather warms up.
At K miles, your PVC system probably needs a good cleaning from end to end…This will improve crankcase ventilation…. Yes, the milky substance could simply be the result of excessive moisture condensation in the motor oil.App llama papa noel
OP—Do you do a lot of short trips 5 miles or less in the winter months? Moisture condensation in the motor oil is nowhere near as injurious to the engine as is coolant leaking into the oil, but it is still not a good thing.
This has the potential to lead to severe sludging of the engine, and over the long term, this can cause lots of expensive problems. Thanks a lot. VDCdriver July 5,pm 2. Good luck. Caddyman July 5,pm 6. VDCdriver July 5,pm 7.
Only on the stick or also on the underside of the fill cap?This is a discussion on Why is my oil dipstick rusting? Forum Rules. Remember Me? What's New? Results 1 to 5 of 5.
Why is my oil dipstick rusting? Add Thread to del. Thread Tools Show Printable Version. I just bought an 02 CETA a couple of weeks ago and the only thing it had in the tube was the handle and about two inches of rusted metal. I bought a new dipstick and have checked every couple of days and the top few inches are covered in rust, or atleast it looks and feels like rust. I clean it off and it comes right back. We sprayed some cleaner down in the tube and used a thin brush hoping to clean it out but no luck.
Share Share this post on Digg Del. Moisture in the engine will condense on the upper part of the dip stick as it cools off faster than the rest of the engine. Vehicles that are short tripped a lot have more moisture issues as the engine does not have a chance to get up to temperature for a long enough time to "burn off" the moisture.
Chances are you probably have a yellowish sludge on the inside of your oil cap as well -- there is a current thread on this issue. Over time, your dipstick simply rusted out. This does not speak well of the prior owner's oil change routine. My question -- if all you had was the upper part of your dipstick, where is the rest of it?
You may want to remove your dipstick tube to see if it is has fallen down and you can pluck it out. I believe it is a 15 mm bolt and then you can pull the tube up out of the oil pan. If it doesn't want to come out, you can get under the car and pop it with a small flathead screwdriver, although access is tight without removing the starter.
Let us know what you find. Well my mechanic ran a long wire down the tube to see if he could feel if the rest of the stick was down in there and he said he couldn't feel anything. The new dipstick went down in there without a problem, so we hope everything is OK. Yeah, I still hope it's not somewhere down in there though. You never know if it broke off while the stick was out and they just put the top of the stick back on or if it broke off down in there.
Of course the man that sold it to us said he didn't know anything about it.
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