The Auto Shop

What color should your oil be?

First of all, it almost goes without saying that many of us can’t even remember the last time we got our vehicle’s oil changed. With the advent of more advanced computer systems in cars these days, many people only even consider it when there’s an indicator light that comes on in the dashboard when you hit a certain mile-marker or the oil life percentage dips too low.

But what about for people who don’t have this feature on their vehicle? Getting an oil change in Phoenix isn’t always simple, and to be honest you may still be a long way off from needing one!

And for those of you who pay meticulous attention to the condition of your vehicle (and its oil) do you really know what the color of your oil means? There’s a lot more to it than a general amber (meaning new) versus black (old) comparison.

Here’s what some of it could come down to. And if you’re ever wanting more information about oil changes in Phoenix, give The Auto Shop a call today!

If you switch from a full synthetic oil to a conventional oil off the shelf of your grocery store, you’re probably not going to have a great time. While there are tried and true brands of oil out there, the technologies have become so advanced that there’s often little distinction between any one or other. That being said, some brands do look slightly different from one another.

Weather can affect oil color as well, which is why it’s important to stick with the proper weight of oil based on where you live. Thinner oil (such as 5w-20) is generally fine for places like Phoenix, but not always good for back east in the winter, for example. More than anything, just follow your vehicle’s manual.

Some engine oil colors can also mean there are problems with your engine.

Milky, foamy, frothy, or creamy oil can mean there is a head gasket leak, especially with white exhaust smoke combined with loss of vehicle coolant. But, engine oil with this kind of texture can also mean there is water contamination. If white smoke and low coolant levels aren’t a problem, water could be working its way into your engine oil.

Thick, dark oil indicates dirt or contaminants. Off-roading or driving in extreme conditions can easily expose an engine to dirt that can discolor your engine oil.

The Auto Shop is the oil change king in Phoenix! Stop by our shop or give us a call at (602) 256-6164 today and we’ll have you in and out in a jiffy the next time you need an oil change in Phoenix!

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