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Can Black Oil Damage Your Car?

by Nick Schwartz

Motor oil insures your car's engine runs properly and provides you with reliable transportation. The oil should be changed according to the manufacturer's instructions for optimal performance and longevity.


Fresh motor oil is an amber color. Black oil is oil that has collected dirt and impurities from your engine. The purpose of motor oil is to lubricate the moving parts of the car's engine so it can perform as specified. When oil is black, it means its viscosity (the ability to flow as a liquid) is impaired. It will not flow and lubricate as easily and the engine's moving parts will suffer more wear from daily activities and wear out more quickly.


All car manufacturers have different standards for motor oil. The optimal amount of time to change oil is usually measured in miles. The common rule of thumb used to be 3,000 miles, but many auto manufacturers have increased that to 7,500 miles. For best results, refer to your car's operation manual or contact your auto manufacturer or a qualified and licensed mechanic. It is best to refer to these sources as it differs for each car.


Black oil indicates engine health. Black oil generally means the engine requires an oil change. Engines also can use up oil as they age or are used more frequently. If the car is driven more than usual, changing the oil before the mileage limit specified by the car manufacturer is recommended.

About the Author

Nick Schwartz has been writing since 1996. He has written for "Cellar Roots." His main areas of expertise are film, culture and politics. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electronic media and a Master of Arts in literature from Eastern Michigan University.

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