I was checking the oil in our cars the other day and found something rather unsettling with mine.
Pulled the dipstick out and it had clumps of something on the end... Okay... Wiped it off, tried again - same clumps of something that almost looked slushy at the end of the dipstick and a few bubbles of something further up. I wiped the slushy substance between my fingers and it was instantly gone. Tried breathing on the other bubbles on the dipstick and they dissipated as well, turning into a small drop of something watery. Wha???
Was this ice on the thing?
FYI, this is Motorcraft 5W20 syn blend that was 1750 mi old.
At the time of the check it was 32F and the car had been sitting overnight when it dropped down to 9F. It was driven the prior day at lower speeds (didn't exceed 50 mph) for a 30 minute round trip in 14F temps so I doubt the engine got warm enough to really take care of any condensation that may have built up.
Here's what I was seeing then:
The next day I took her out and gave her a workout. Checked the oil when warm and it looked fine, no evidence of moisture in it. I haven't seen whatever that was in the above pics return.
Here is what it looked like today when warm:
Is this simply condensation or do I have a greater problem with coolant going places it shouldn't? The oil doesn't look particularly milky to my untrained eye and under the cap looks alright to me.
Can't see much because of the baffle but it still looks pretty clean inside at almost 76k.
I read that a bad PCV valve could cause too much moisture to build up, so I went ahead and ordered one. Back in the day you'd replace these often I guess not anymore. The dealer didn't even have one in stock because the parts guy said they never go bad in these cars. Probably a waste of $13 but whatever...
If it warms up a touch I'll do an early change as a precaution with a different oil and see what happens. It might be worth it to spend the $25 and get an analysis done to see if there are any abnormalities, then let the dealer address that..
What do youse guys think? Ticking time bomb or just keep driving it? :P