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oil - how does it get so dirty so quickly?


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The colour of oil has nowt to do with its performance. And usually it's not dirt either. It just changes colour. In some (diesel) engines the oil turns brown/black within minutes.

Basically (natural) oil isn't clear to begin with. It's often made that way because it looks nice and clean.

What's important is the viscosity. Take the dipstick out and rub some oil between your thumb and index finger. It should feel very smooth. If it were 'dirty' you'd feel some fine 'sandy' particles between your fingertips (this can happen if it's been overheated f.i.).

Put a drop of oil between your thumb and index finger, and move them apart (a tiny bit) slowly. If the viscosity is right, you'll see it'll try to hold on to itself, creating a 'thread' between your thumb and finger.

A more scientific approach is to send it to a lab and test it. I bet with a healthy engine, the quality of the oil is still just as good as new oil from the bottle.

So don't worry. It may be black, but it probably isn't 'dirty' at all.

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