Having dirty oil can cause major issues for your car, truck, or SUV, and failing to replace your vehicle’s oil, when its needed, can lead to wear and tear on engine parts and ultimately total engine failure. Oil is an essential part of your Phoenix vehicle’s operation, so keeping it clean and at an optimal level is extremely important for any and all vehicle owners. If you are the kind of owner who checks their oil regularly, as you should, you may notice that yours seems to always be dirty. Why? What makes vehicle oil dirty faster?
What Makes Vehicle Oil Dirty Faster?
Does it seem like you are always needing an oil change due to dirty oil? Is there nothing out of the ordinary that you can think of that could lead to your oil getting soiled faster than it should? The truth is, even if you follow normal oil change timing recommendations, dirty oil can still happen. No matter how routine you are about having an oil change, over time, your vehicle’s oil can collect dirt, debris, and filth. If your vehicle’s oil seems to get dirty faster, there could be a reason. We review some possible causes below.
- Your Oil Filter Needs Replaced: This is the number one reason for contaminated oil. Having an old and grimy oil filter can make your vehicle’s oil get dirty faster. The oil filter in your vehicle is responsible for catching the contaminants in the engine oil, but over time when the oil filter gets old, it doesn’t work as efficiently; thus, you can expect the engine oil to get dirty. A dirty oil filter can create a lot of issues for your vehicle, so if you haven’t had yours replaced in a while, and you notice your oil is dirty more frequently, it may be time to have a new filter installed.
- Engine Overheating: Heat is one of the leading causes of engine oil breakdown. Heat directly attacks the engine oil viscosity by disrupting airflow in the engine compartment and breaking down larger molecules. If you drive in conditions that causes your engine to work harder, such as stop and go traffic, in mountains, or in excessive temperatures, this can cause your engine to overheat. Engines can overheat for various reasons. Typically, an overheated engine is caused by a problem with the vehicle’s cooling system. Regardless what the cause, it can make vehicle oil get dirty faster.
- An Overdue Oil Change: If you are waiting for too long between oil changes, then obviously the oil is going to get dirty. Every vehicle is different, so you should check your owner’s manual to know when it is recommended for you to have an oil change on your specific car or truck. Depending on your vehicle age, type of oil used, and driving conditions, oil change timing will vary. It used to be normal to change the oil every 3,000 miles, but with modern lubricants, most engines today, have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. If your car’s engine requires full-synthetic motor oil, it might go as far as 15,000 miles between needing an oil change. Regular oil changes can help you avoid dirty oil.
Above we have reviewed a few of the things that can make vehicle oil dirty faster, the point we are trying to make is that if you check your oil and it’s dirty, you need to change it. If it seems to be a reoccurring thing that you are needing to change your oil more than normal, you should visit a Phoenix automotive repair shop so they can diagnose if there is a larger underlying issue.
Why Does Dirty Oil Matter?
Dirty oil can be more damaging than no oil at all. If your oil loses its viscosity or becomes filled with dirt, metal, and other debris, it could become aggressively corrosive, effectively causing your engine parts to wear down. Dirty oil also lowers your vehicle’s fuel economy. With dirty oil, your engine is susceptible to overheating or simply breaking down entirely. Dirty oil can cause major damage to your vehicle before you even realize there is an issue.
To prevent dirty oil from impacting your vehicle, you should check your oil every few weeks for signs that it is becoming soiled. A low reading on the dipstick should be topped off, but if your translucent, golden-hued lubricant, now looks sooty and opaque, it is likely time to change it, as it is dirty.
Advanced Transmissions & Emissions, is the leader in auto repair and service in Phoenix, AZ. Our team of auto technicians are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the best service for your vehicle. As a Phoenix locally-owned and operated auto repair shop, we make it our priority to ensure to treat our customers with the respect they deserve.
Your car, truck, or SUV’s engine is a complex arrangement of parts and components. When smoke billows from the hood or you hear unusual noises, you require a professional mechanic who can find and fix the problem. We offer solutions at great rates.
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