Water In Engine Oil – How It Got There?

Rather recently, readers asked this blog this question. “How come I discover traces of water in my engine oil or lubrication oil?”

First of all, I am not a mechanic. But as every question asked has to be answered, so here goes the explanation.

The engine compartment of a car, should ideally contain engine or lubricating oil only, and definitely no water. If water is found in this area, it means something is amiss or wrong with the car mechanically.

For those not too competent in mechanical aspects of a car and wish to ask, “How did water appear in the engine oil,” you have to know a few basic mechanical terms.

The water actually came from the radiator or tangki air, as they say in Bahasa Malaysia. The radiator has no bearing or connection with the engine. Water from the radiator in fact runs along tracks within the engine block. Its purpose is to keep the engine cool and thus the temperature meter low.

In the process of keeping the temperature low, the fan obviously plays an important part too, as well as the thermostat. Failure of the radiator system causes overheating. Constant overheating will eventually cause the engine to jam up. It happens when the temperature meter reaches H or High.

Should the above situation persists too often, it would lead to the engine gasket getting burnt. In layman language, this means the gasket is destroyed. When this happens, water, which is meant to cool the engine block seeps in to the engine compartment and mixed with the engine oil. This cannot be allowed to happen.

What happens when this were to take place?

Water level in the radiator will certainly decrease. You will then have to fill your radiator regularly. That becomes troublesome, isn’t it?

Two, the car temperature will perpetually rise above normal and reach the higi level. And the result is, you will have to stop driving. Thirdly, water begins to be mixed with engine oil in the engine compartment. This will cause the viscosity of the engine oil being lowered. This will lead to engine damage.

If steps are not taken to rectify the problem quickly, what then will happen?

An engine, that is filled up with too much water will lead to engine failure as explained earlier. Too much water in the engine compartment is also dangerous!

Compression building up in the engine can sometimes cause the engine to explode, especially when the engine is started. Allow me to explain a case, whereby the son of a friend who topped up the engine oil to the brim (full), finally caused the engine to explode. This led to massive damage and the car needed expensive repairs or “overhaul”.

Having explained rather extensively regarding the presence of water in the engine compartment, it is hoped that readers should take immediate steps to rectify the problem. Your mechanic would be the best person to advise you regarding this problem.

Basically, the problem of water present in the engine oil can be solved by carrying out a top overhaul. You have to replace the leaking gasket.

By | 2012-09-22T00:04:59+08:00 April 14th, 2010|Car Maintenance|0 Comments

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