What Is an Indication of Bad Engine Oil?

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A number of different things can be an indication of bad engine oil. Find out about what can be an indication of bad engine oil with help from an expert in the automotive industry in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Car Repair Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Today, we're going to talk about when your oil is bad and how do you tell, what are the indicators. One of the indicators is simply don't look at the condition of the oil. If we check the oil in this particular car, we can see that it's slightly dirty. I can still see through the oil that I can see the dipstick. So, it's fairly clear. As the oil ages and the gasoline that goes through the combustion engine sends a by product called carbon into the oiling system, the oil captures this carbon. It turns it black color. When you can't see the oil dipstick through the oil, it's usually is an indicator of a time to change your oil. Another indicator is history. When was the last time I changed the oil in my engine? It should be changed every three to four thousand miles with standard motor oil; every five to six thousand miles with synthetic motor oils. But, the key indicator is to check the oil. The level, make sure that it's full and what it looks like. You should be able to see through the oil into the dip stick. If you can't see through the oil, it's too dirty and needs to be changed. Another indicator to see if your engine oil is bad is to look at the oil cap on top of the engine. If you see deposits, white deposits, these would be condensation or moisture and the oil doesn't have the ability to absorb this moisture and dissipate it normally. Or you could have a plug PVC system, but that's another video altogether. So, one of the other indicators is to check the oil cap and make sure there are no deposits. Also, you can smell the oil to see if it's got a burning smell to it. It it smells burnt, it's really time to change your oil. It should smell fresh like the oil that you're taking out of the can. So these are a couple of tips on how to tell when it's time to change your oil or if your oil is bad. So, indicators to tell whether your oil is bad are the condition, the level and the odor of the oil. I'm Bob Holcomb from Apex Automotive in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.


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