You’re driving down the road, and all of a sudden, your car starts to make strange noises. You pull over to the side of the road and pop the hood. Steam is pouring out from under the engine, and there’s water in the engine oil pan. What do you do?
If this has ever happened to you, don’t panic! In this article, we will discuss some of the causes and symptoms of water in the lubrication oil of a car. We will also provide some tips on how to fix the problem.
Table of Contents
Purpose of Water & Engine Oil
Most car engines generate a great deal of heat, and overheating can cause serious damage. Many modern engines are equipped with both water and oil cooler systems to prevent this. The cooling water system circulates coolant (usually a mixture of water and antifreeze) through the engine, while the oil cooling system circulates lubrication oil through a heat exchanger. This helps to keep the engine cool and prevent it from overheating.
Many people are curious about the purpose of these cooling systems and often ask why they are needed. The answer is quite simple: the engine would overheat and be severely damaged without them. So if you’re ever wondering why your car has a cooling water system, now you know!
Can Water & Motor Oil Get Mixed in Engine?
The short answer is yes, water and motor oil can get mixed in the engine. One of the most common reasons for water to end up in your oil is because of a coolant leak. If your car’s cooling system isn’t working properly, it can cause the coolant to overflow and mix with the oil. This can lead to all sorts of problems, including decreased engine performance, accelerated wear and tear, and even engine failure.
If you notice that your car has been leaking coolant, make sure to take it in for repairs as soon as possible. Failing to address the problem could result in serious damage to your engine.
Why Mixing of Water in Engine Oil is Harmful to Engine?
The water mixed with the lubrication oil can cause rusting and corrosion of different engine parts. The water droplets can also lead to the formation of sludge and varnish, making the moving parts sticky and eventually decreasing the engine’s performance. The presence of water in the lubrication oil can also cause the oil to freeze in cold weather conditions.
The main problem with mixing water and motor oil is that they create an emulsion. An emulsion is a mixture of two liquids that can’t be separated. When the water and oil mix, they create little droplets that are dispersed throughout the liquid. These droplets can cause all sorts of problems in your engine.
One problem is that the emulsion makes it difficult for the oil to flow through the engine. This can cause the engine to overheat. The emulsion can also cause the oil to break down faster. This will lead to less protection for your engine and increased wear and tear.
It’s important to keep water and motor oil separate in your engine. If you mix them together, be sure to flush the engine with clean oil as soon as possible. This will help remove the emulsion and prevent any damage to your engine.
Causes of Water in the Car Engine Oil
Following are the most common causes if water gets mixed with the lubrication oil of your car:
- Blown Head Gasket
- Cracked Cylinder Head
- Cracked Engine’s Crankcase
- Cooling System Leaks
- High Moisture Motor Oil
Let us see these reasons in bit detail:
1. Blown Head Gasket:
The head gasket is a seal that sits between the engine block and the head. It helps keep the coolant and oil separated and prevents them from mixing. If the head gasket blows, it can cause coolant to leak into the engine oil. This can be very dangerous, as it can lead to engine failure.
If you think that your head gasket may be blown, it’s important to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.
2. Cracked Cylinder Head:
The cylinder head is the part of the engine that sits on top of the cylinders. It contains valves, spark plugs, and coolant passages. If the cylinder walls cracks, it can cause coolant to leak into the lubrication oil. This can lead to a decrease in engine performance and even engine failure.
Failing to address a cracked head can cause serious damage to your engine, so it’s important to be proactive about it.
3. Cracked Engine’s Crankcase:
The engine’s crankcase is the housing that holds the crankshaft. If it cracks, coolant can leak into the lubrication oil. This can lead to a decrease in engine performance and even engine failure.
If you believe your automobile’s crankcase is cracked, you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible. They will be able to identify the issue and make the necessary repairs.
4. Cooling System Leaks:
If your car’s cooling system is leaking, it can cause coolant to mix with the lubrication oil. This can lead to a decrease in engine performance and even engine failure.
It’s important to be proactive about cooling system leaks. If you notice any coolant on the ground, make sure to take your car in for repairs as soon as possible.
5. High Moisture Motor Oil:
Some motor oils are of inferior quality. They contain high moisture content and cheap additives, so naturally, you will end up with water mixed in engine oil. This may not be an immediate problem, but it will have deleterious long-term effects on engine health.
If you are using a high moisture motor oil, it’s important to switch to a better quality oil as soon as possible. This will help reduce the amount of water in your lubrication oil and prevent any serious damage. So, always use branded motor oils that come with a warranty.
Symptoms of Water in Engine oil
If you are seeing water in your lubrication oil, it is important to determine the source as soon as possible. There are a few common symptoms of water in lubrication oil:
The water might have got mixed with the engine oil if your car is heating more than usual. This issue needs to be fixed by a mechanic as soon as possible. Otherwise, the hot engine might be damaged beyond repair.
If you’re not sure whether the engine is heating more than usual, then you can take your car to a mechanic and ask them to check it out. They will be able to tell you if there’s something wrong with the engine and whether or not it needs to be fixed.
Water on Oil Dipstick
One other thing to watch out for is if you see water on the oil dipstick while checking the oil level. This can indicate that water is getting mixed with the lubrication oil. If this happens, it’s important to take the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible, as water in the oil can cause serious engine damage.
Milky Color Smoke
If you see milky color smoke coming out of the exhaust system, it might be an indication of water getting mixed with the lubrication oil. This can happen when the engine is overfilled with oil, or the water pump isn’t working properly. If you see this, you should take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.
Another potential issue that could cause milky smoke from the exhaust is a blown head gasket. This means that the gasket between the engine block and the cylinder head has failed, allowing engine coolant and oil to mix together.
Sweet Smell in Cabin
If you can smell a sweet odor in the passenger cabin, it might be an indication of water getting mixed with the lubrication oil. The oil will start to break down and release a sweet smell when this happens. If you notice this smell, it’s important to get the vehicle serviced right away, as the oil could start to smoke and create a fire hazard.
The odor is usually most noticeable when the air conditioning is turned on. The problem can be caused by several things, including a coolant leak that’s allowing water to mix with the lubrication oil or a sealant used on the engine that’s starting to break down and release a sweet-smelling vapor.
Water on Drain Plug
If you see water dripping out of the oil pan drain plug, it might be an indication of water getting mixed with the lubrication oil. This is not a good thing and will require an immediate diagnosis.
There are other possible causes of water dripping from the oil pan drain plug, including a faulty water pump or a bad gasket. If the water is coming from the gasket, it can be fixed with a new gasket. However, if the water is coming from the water pump, then the entire water pump will need to be replaced.
If you see water dripping from the oil pan drain plug, it is important to get it checked out right away to determine the cause. Ignoring the problem will only lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road.
Low Oil Viscosity
If water is getting mixed with the lubrication oil, it will reduce the viscosity of the lubrication oil. This will make the lubrication oil less effective in lubricating the engine’s moving parts and can cause damage over time.
One way to check if there is water in your lubrication oil is to look at the oil’s color. If the oil is light brown or golden, then it could mean that there is water present. If you see that the color of the oil has changed, it is best to take your car in for a check-up.
Another way to tell if there is water in your engine oil is to check the oil’s consistency. If the oil is thick and sticky, then it could mean that there is water present. If you see that the consistency of the oil has changed, it is best to take your car in for a check-up.
How To Remove Water From Engine Oil?
There are a few ways to remove water from engine oil. One is to use a water separator, which is a device that sits in the oil pickup tube and separates the water from the oil. Another way is to use an electric heater to evaporate the water. The third way is to change the oil.
If you’re using a water separator, make sure to clean it regularly, as the build-up of oil and dirt will reduce its effectiveness. If you’re using an electric heater, be careful not to overheat the oil, as this can cause damage to the engine.
If you’re changing the oil, make sure to do it regularly, as water can build up over time and cause damage to the engine.
Water in Motor Oil Fixing Cost
The cost of fixing the water in lubrication oil will depend on the cause. If the problem is a coolant leak, it will be fairly inexpensive to fix. Coolant leaks can be easily fixed for under $300.
However, if the problem is a blown head gasket, it will be much more expensive to fix. The cost of replacing a blown head gasket is around $1,000.
If you have water in your motor oil, it will eventually cost you. The water causes the oil to break down and corrode the engine components. You can fix this issue by draining the oil and replacing it with new oil.
The cost of this procedure will depend on the type of vehicle you have and where you take it for service. However, it is generally not a very expensive fix.
If you’re seeing water in your lubrication oil, it’s important to get it checked out right away to determine the cause. Ignoring the problem will only lead to bigger and more expensive problems down the road.
When water and motor oil mix, the water can cause the oil to break down. This means that the oil won’t be able to lubricate the engine as well as it should, and eventually, the engine will wear down.
In addition to causing the engine to wear down, water can also cause corrosion. This is because water is a conductor of electricity, and when it mixes with the metal in the engine, it creates a potential for electronic damage.
If the water gets mixed with the lubrication oil of your car, it’s important to take the car to a mechanic as soon as possible. The mechanic will be able to drain the water and replace the oil, which will help to protect the engine from further damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive a car with water in the oil?
The short answer is no, you can’t drive a car with water mixed in the engine oil. The long answer is that it’s not recommended and could potentially cause damage to your engine. When water mixes with the oil, it creates a sludge that can clog up your engine and lead to serious problems.
If you’re caught in a bind and need to drive your car with water in the lubrication oil, you can, but it’s not recommended, and you should have it checked out as soon as possible.
How much water does it take to damage an engine?
The amount of water it takes to damage an engine varies depending on the make and model of the engine. However, in general, it only takes a small amount of water to cause serious damage. For example, just a few tablespoons of water can cause an engine to seize up.
Water can enter an engine in many ways. It can be sprayed up from the street when you drive through a puddle, it can seep in through the air intake, or it can get into the engine oil. Once water gets into the engine, it can cause all sorts of problems.