It isn’t always water or coolant leaks that may cause engine malfunction or water in your engine oil. Even a perfectly functioning seal tight engine can get water in its oil, and this is because of a phenomenon called condensation. 

In our early classes, we have all studied that condensation is a natural phenomenon by which water vapour in the air is changed into liquid water by the effect of temperature. Well, this is what actually happens within the engine too.

condensation in Engine oil

Now, why does this happen? How to get rid of condensation in engine oil? What happens if you do nothing about it? As you read, you will have the answer to all your questions as you reach the end of this article.

Why Does Condensation Happen in Engine Oil?

While many factors may trigger and affect the condensation in engine oil, you have to consider every possibility for treating this matter. How you keep your engine and how you drive your car may become the first possible reason for it.

If you run your car repeatedly for very short trips, such a type of driving does not allow the engine to properly warm.

As the engine warms up and then starts to cool down, the moisture in the air inside the crankcase condenses into liquid or water form on the engine’s internal cold parts and is carried throughout the engine by the engine oil. 

In the other cases, when cars are parked not in use for quite some time and are normally parked where the engine is subject to cold outdoor temperatures. Every day with the dropping temperature, moisture and water in the air naturally form droplets.

These droplets are formed inside the engine, and they gradually roll down to the bottom of the engine where they can get collected, and as time flows, a water layer is built up on top of the motor oil.

Sometimes, well-sealed engines may come to a disadvantage as well, as when the engine cools down, this condensation cannot evaporate into the air.

Here’s a quick video that explains condensation in engine oil briefly. Give it a thumbs up if you liked.

Effect of Condensation of Engine Oil

If you don’t drive your car frequently enough, there are high chances that the motor oil may build up a lot of water, promoting rust inside the engine significantly shortening engine life. Not only this but, even lots of short trips and not enough engine heating cab lead you to the same problem.

The quantity of moisture in engine oil matters too. When you think about it, there is always a small amount of condensed water in your engine oil. This does not cause any major impact on the engine as it will boil off and vent out as the engine operates. 

Small amounts of water will just evacuate as you drive the car, whereas when the quantity of water is much more like when water and oil mix or even try to mix, the resulting oil looks milky.

It won’t be a smart choice to drive with milky oil as it will just increase the friction, heat, and abrasion, which will cause premature wear on internal parts of the engine and engine failure over time.

If you didn’t get rid of condensation in engine oil quickly, it might turn into a whitish sloppy or sticky semi-fluid matter on the oil fill cap, dipstick and inside of the valve cover. You can probably fix the dipstick by reading it but not the other issues listed here easily.

How to Get Rid of Condensation in Engine Oil?

The only thing that can get rid of condensation in engine oil is heat. The goal is to drive the car long enough to get the oil hot enough to boil it off and vaporise the moisture. 

Condensed moisture will never evaporate if you won’t allow the engine to attain or reach its full operating temperature and maintain it for a reasonable time. Even a 30 minutes ride at an optimum temperature would be enough.

Just in case, if you left your car outside for a month without driving and the next day you find out that the engine oil had turned milky, then the oil needs to be drained and replaced as soon as possible without any compromise. 

Avoid taking short trips, and if possible, try to increase your driving time to heat your engine at enough temperature.


Be more cautious with your engine’s health. At last, it all comes to you, and it is all in your hands that how you keep and maintain your vehicle and driving. I hope that this article answered all your questions about how to get rid of condensation in engine oil.

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