The most essential component that offers cooling, lubricating, and cleaning of the delicate parts of the vehicle is the engine oil. It is necessary for ensuring the durability and resilience of the vehicle. Under normal conditions, the color of the engine oil is usually golden to amber.
But the main confusion that arises in the minds of vehicle enthusiasts is why the color of the engine oil has suddenly changed to shades of red as it might make you doubtful about your vehicle’s condition. In this article, we will examine the main concern behind this color change and what steps can be taken further.
Why Is My Engine Oil Turning Red?
If you have noticed a sudden red shade in your engine oil that is something to be concerned about. There might be several reasons that are causing this color change, you need to investigate the causes before coming to any conclusion.
1. Additives and Dyes:
The color change may be because modern engine oil has a portion of additives and synthetics in its composition that give it a red color. Also, some manufacturers use some special additives that help them differentiate their oil product in the market, so if you are using a different brand of engine oil than you were using before then this color change might be due to that reason.
2. Contamination of Transmission Fluid:
If you have unintentionally mixed the transmission fluid with the engine oil then red shades might appear as the transmission fluid is red in color itself. If there is a sudden leakage or malfunction that allows these fluids to mix with transmission fluid, it can make the oil turn red.
3. Coolant Contamination:
If the engine coolant has accidentally intermixed with the engine then the color may turn red because the engine coolant is somewhat red or pink. This unwanted mixing may be due to a cracked engine block or damaged head gasket, this process is known as “coolant contamination.”
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4. Power Steering Fluid:
Another red fluid that is frequently present in the vehicle’s engine is the Power Steering fluid. If there’s a leak or a mistake that causes engine oil to mix with it, the color of engine oil will automatically turn red.
5. Fuel Additives:
If a certain additive is used in the formulation of the engine oil, particularly the additive that contains a red dye then the color may change. The use of such additives may be because the manufacturer wants to differentiate its product from the market thus turning engine oil red.
6. Microbial Development:
Although color change due to microbial development is rare, the color may change if engine oil becomes contaminated by microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi.
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What to Do if Your Engine Oil Is Turning Red:
1. Seek Professional Inspection:
If you are unable to diagnose the root cause then you are advised to seek help from a professional. A skilled mechanic can identify the core reason and carry out diagnostic procedures.
2. Perform Fluid Analysis:
This step assists in identifying the impurities present by offering comprehensive information about the composition of the engine oil. This step involves sending a sample of the oil for laboratory testing.
3. Resolve Leaks and Malfunctions:
If the main problem is caused by leakage or malfunction, try to get them repaired as soon as possible. Repairing leaks is the best way to prevent contamination and further damage.
4. Consider an oil change:
It is advised to look for an oil change considering the level of pollution and the additives that are causing the red color in the engine oil. Get an expert opinion before taking a call to action.
It can be disturbing if a sudden red color appears in your engine oil, but there’s no need to worry. Going through steps one by one will help identify the root cause. If you know the potential cause no matter if it is the use of an additive or any sort of leakage or microbial development then you will be able to look for the possible solutions.
Taking good care of your car’s engine by doing regular maintenance, spotting leak detection, and following manufacturer recommendations. If you find yourself wondering over the fact that your engine has turned red, then you must know that is the signal for you to investigate the reasons behind it rather than just worrying about it.