Why Does Engine Oil Change Its Color?

Why does engine oil change its color? Regularly checking the engine oil to determine its color change is ideal as it will reveal your various issues, such as oil leaks and the general health of your engine. Surprisingly, many drivers do not know what multiple oil colors in their trucks mean. For you to be well conversant with the oil in your engine, this guide will at various colors of engine oil and what they mean.

Why Does Engine Oil Change its Color?

As the oil does its role of lubricating your truck’s engine, it will change in color. When you are keen on the color of your oil, you will realize that it gradually changes from light to dark. 

The primary function of the engine oil is to lubricate the moving parts and minimize friction between them, enabling them to work optimally. As the engine is working to generate energy, it produces products that get suspended from the combustion chamber through the exhaust system. 

The byproducts, plus the high temperatures to which the engine oil is exposed, force it to change its color over time to brown and finally dark. The oil can be super black if you ignore changing it in time. It is recommended to change your oil every 1000 miles

Colors of Engine Oil

Amber Oil

Amber is the color of brand-new engine oil. It is not easy to determine the exact color of the engine oil because various brands have various tints.

Slight Brown Oil

The brown color indicates that the engine oil has been exposed to heat from the engine. A brown engine color is an indication that your oil has been covered. 

Dark Brown Oil

It might be dark brown or black to indicate that the engine oil is exhausted, and you should consider changing it.

Milky Oil

Milky oil is an indication that the oil has been contaminated with coolant. In such a situation, you will realize that your exhaust pipe puffs white smoke. 

Different engine oil brand has various colors, and they insist that their brands are the best. But what is the actual color of engine oil?

Healthy engine oil should be amber in color or close to yellow. Dark and thick color is an indication that the oil is contaminated. 

When to Change Engine Oil

At some point, you will feel that you need fresh engine oil. But how often should you do this? It is not easy to determine the exact time to change engine oil because various factors determine the lifespan of your oil. 

When your truck is still under warranty, never void it but follow the recommendations like the type of oil, mileage, and recommended time to change. 

When your truck is out of warranty, apply common sense to determine when to change your oil. It is necessary to consult your mechanic. 


Oil plays a vital role in giving your engine life and smooth operation. It wears out and therefore replacing it is crucial. Knowing the different colors of engine oil is necessary as it will help you determine your oil’s health.

Posts Tagged with… ,