As a general rule of thumb, new, clean oil is amber in color. It should also be clear when you pull out the dipstick. If the oil is milky or creamy colored, it could be indicative of a head gasket leak. Another good way to pick up on this, is if your exhaust is blowing white smoke and the vehicle is losing coolant.

What is a good color for oil?

Oil can be very, very dark (black even) and still be effective. However, as a general rule: New, clean oil is amber in color. As engine oil gets darker, it can indicate a) high heat, b) contaminants, or c) the presence of additives that cause the oil to darken during normal use.

When should I change my oil color?

If your oil becomes dark and thick, it's a sign it need to be changed. There is one caveat with this, however. Dark oil isn't, by itself, a sign that it needs to be changed. Oil usually goes in as a light amber color, but it will quickly darken when it is inside the engine.

How do you know if your oil is dirty?

  • Checking your dipstick for the color of your oil as well as the oil level.
  • Hearing sounds like knocking or louder engine performance in general.
  • Oil smells within the cabin.
  • Noticing a smokier exhaust.
  • Related Question What color should my oil be?

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    Why does my oil look like mud?

    Coolant. If coolant is leaking into your motor oil, it will turn the oil tan or milky on the dipstick or underneath the oil cap. Leaky coolant can build up underneath the oil cap, too, so check that monthly. Almost always, coolant leaking into motor oil is because of a faulty head gasket.

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