An oil change is a good time to be checking on the health of you vehicle's oil. If you experience gritty dark oil in the pan it could be a sign your engine is having some serious problems. The good news is that these problems are usually pretty easy to prevent or fix as long as you stay aware. You don’t need to be an auto mechanic or expert to take care of your vehicle - you just need to know the basics. Read your car’s user’s manual and learn the following 3 common engine oil problems so you know what to look for the next time you go to check your engine's oil.
This is a very common engine issue, but also a very dangerous one. Oil is used to lubricate the engines moving parts to prevent friction, as well as to decrease the amount of heat in the engine. When there is insufficient oil to lubricate the interacting parts of the engine the pieces start to grind together and create friction. At that point your engine has to work harder to overcome the friction and still propel the car forward. The friction can damage the pieces of the engine, causing irreversible damage if left untreated. The friction will also increase the heat in the engine, which can cause overheating, melting, and malfunction. The easy fix is to add more oil, but first you will have to determine if there’s a leak. If there is a crack or hole anywhere in the engine that is losing your oil it will need to be found and fixed first.
If the oil circulating in your engine is contaminated or impure then it could cause engine problems. Dirty oil will leave deposits as it circulates through your engine, meaning lots of gunk and debris. Over time this gunk can build up in your engine and cause blockage, friction, and overheating. This is usually a pretty easy fix - you may need a new oil filter, possibly an engine flush, and then a fresh batch of quality oil.
Oil Pump Failure:
There are a few reasons you could be experiencing oil pump failure, but no matter what it is a serious problem. If your engine is failing to pump the oil through the proper channels to lubricate successfully, your engine will experience oil starvation and it could be fatal! Check the pump itself to see if it’s working effectively, and then check the viscosity of your oil. If it’s too viscous (resistant to flow, thick, sticky) or not viscous enough it could be causing problems for your oil pump.
A great option for any car owner would be to use a simple fuel additive like CleanBoost EMT which will help your oil run cleaner, lubricate better, reduce friction, and improve your engine’s efficiency. Just add a few drops to your preferred engine oil to enjoy a healthier engine and fewer engine oil problems down the road.