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Oil gets dark pretty fast

Old Oct 31, 2018, 04:49 PM
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Question Oil gets dark pretty fast

Hi guys, I use Full Synthetic High Milage Mobil 1 5w30 (from Walmart) in my 2003 Lancer ES (100k miles and is full stock). My oil goes to dark brown within the first 100 miles or so. I have been changing it every 3000 to 5000 miles (most have been closer to 3k but I am trying to start changing at 5k since this synthetic is supposed to be 5k oil). Im assuming the oil is burning since the car is 16 years old now? But when I smell it, it just smells like normal oil, no burning smell.

I drive mostly in city (not too much traffic but can sometimes hit lots of lights). I am pretty gentle with acceleration/braking, I dont drive it like I stole it. I also live in Southern California, so we dont get freezing here.

here are 2 pictures, one in the shade other in the sun so you can see the color. This particular pic is taken at 3.5k miles after change (which is fine, I kind of expect it to be that dark after 3.5k) the problem is that it basically got to that color within first 100 miles or so after change. I change filter every time.

Shade pic -
Sun pic -

Anyone have similar experience? How long should it take for the oil to brown? Is it a thing specific to this oil? Should I try run a different oil? I dont want to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Last edited by Chrushev; Oct 31, 2018 at 05:03 PM.
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Old Oct 31, 2018, 05:19 PM
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If you are concerned, send out for a Blackstone oil analysis kit. Best way to determine the health of the engine & the oil

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