Motor oil can be considered the “blood” of the engine. The stability of the motor depends on its composition, in many respects. That is why car owners are advised not to neglect timely oil changes during vehicle maintenance.
With the active operation of the engine, especially if the car is not new, various elements can get into the oil. Quite often, engine oil mixes with water, and there can be many reasons for this. Let find out why this occurs, how to determine the presence of water in the oil, and how to correct this situation.
What is the danger of water entering the engine?
It would seem that there are several liters of oil in the engine, and what will happen if a small amount of water gets into it. It may seem that this will only dilute the oil a little. But this is not so.
The ingress of water into motor oil is, first of all, a violation of its composition, which can cause various chemical reactions. After water enters the engine oil, it acquires the structure of an emulsion, it becomes less fluid and more dense. There are changes in the characteristics of the oil, and the additives contained in it may not work properly due to contact with water.
Such a problem is fraught with a stuck oil emulsion in various areas of the engine, where it passes during the operation of the motor. Depending on the amount of water, and its quality, which got into the oil, the negative consequences of such exposure will change. In the best case, emulsion oil will lead to the occurrence of rings in the piston fingers. In the worst case, engine overhaul may be required due to damage to the pistons, crankshaft and camshaft.
How to determine the presence of water in oil
The driver often may not suspect that the engine oil in his engine is mixed with water. Some symptoms may indicate this:
- Losing coolent level. This is one of the main symptoms that indicates a problem with engine oil;
- The presence of light plaque on the dipstick. It indicates that the oil has the wrong composition, which most often occurs due to the ingress of water into it;
- Oil color change. During regular diagnostic activities, a good driver must look at the oil level in the engine. At this point, he draws attention to the color of the oil. If the nearest maintenance is still far away, and the color of the oil has changed a lot (it has become more rusty), this indicates the presence of oxidation processes of engine parts that may be caused by the presence of water in the oil.
It is worth noting that if there are suspicions of the presence of water in the oil, you can make a small experiment. You need to take a little oil from the engine, and then start to boil it. If, during boiling, the hot liquid starts to “spray” and “explode”, this indicates the evaporation of particles of water. Pure engine oil will simply smoke.
Why water gets into engine oil
To eliminate the problem of water entering the engine oil, you need to establish the reason that leads to this. There can be many reasons for this, and these are not always serious problems with the motor:
- Air quality at the place of use. Experts recommend that drivers when changing a vehicle in a humid environment change oil more often. This is due precisely to the fact that if the air is moist, it will penetrate into the motor, where moisture will begin to accumulate, including getting into the oil;
- Oil quality. It is recommended to purchase oil from trusted manufacturers. If you take the oil “from hand” from unknown suppliers, this may lead to the fact that it will not be of the highest quality . For example, it may initially contain particles of water;
- Improper storage of oil. Even if the oil is of high quality, the issue of its storage isimportant. Service centers often buy oil in large containers. Water can get into them if the specialists of the service center are not careful about sealing such containers;
- Engine problems. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that oil problems are caused by engine malfunctions. For example, diminishing antifreeze, which is one of the symptoms of water in the oil, is most often a problem caused by loss of tightness. This can be either a crack in the engine, or damage to the nozzles or cylinder head.
Please note: When operating the car in the winter season, a large amount of moisture can also accumulate in the motor, especially if the trips made are short-term.
In order to avoid the unpleasant consequences of water getting into the engine oil, it is recommended regular maintenance with oil change, as well as minimize the number of short trips, or “dilute” them with long-term rides, at least 100-200 km.