To drive your car smoothly, it is very important to have a clean and ample amount of engine oil in your vehicle. Being said that, viscosity of engine oil is equally important. People often complain about their engine oil getting dirty so quickly and can’t figure out why this is.

We have got you covered if you are facing this problem or just curious about knowing the answer to this. Let’s check out!

Why Does My Engine Oil Get Dirty So Fast?

You might have noticed your car’s engine oil getting dirty so fast. That might be because you are not regularly replacing your old oil with a new one. Engine oil is mandatory for your car to run, and it keeps all the parts lubricated and cools down the engine. That said, engine oil also helps protect parts from rust and dust.

There are various reasons why your car’s engine oil gets dirty so fast. Let’s have a look at them!

Causes Of Engine Oil Getting Dirty So Fast

Following are the various causes that make your car’s engine oil get dirty quickly:

Breakdown of oil due to excessive heat

As you run your car, the engine gets heated, and as a result, engine oil gets heated while your car is in motion. After a particular point, the engine oil breaks down due to excessive heat and loses its viscosity and resistance to protect from dust. As a result, it is no longer able to resist the dirt from the outside environment and components of the engine.

Dirty Oil Filter

Before oil flows to the parts for lubrication and other purposes, it must go through an oil filter. Now the main purpose of an oil filter is to filter any dust particles and contaminants. Still, if this oil filter gets too dirty, it will start making the oil dirty that passes through it, so even if you add new oil, you will notice it getting dirty after some time. Changing the oil filter is the best option in this case.

Rust and carbon deposits

Over time the parts inside the engine start getting rust and carbon deposits. As mentioned above, engine oil also helps in keeping the parts clean, so as a result, engine oil takes away that rust and carbon deposit, but this will make the oil dirty so frequently if there are too many rust and carbon deposits.

Dirty Oil Pan

Engine oil in your car is stored in an oil pan, and if the base of the engine pan contains dirt or has a cloud of stubborn dust that has stuck to the walls or base of the pan, this will make your engine oil dirty so fast. This is the reason behind a car’s engine oil getting dirty so often, even after the frequent change. 

Engine Cylinders

The high viscosity of engine oil makes it hard to flow smoothly sometimes, and as a result, extra effort is made by the car’s battery to make it flow. Now when this thick oil flows through engine cylinders, it might get stuck to the walls and slowly move to the pan when the car is on rest or turned off. 

The walls to the inside of the engine cylinders contaminate the oil with dust and other harmful contaminants deposited over time. This small portion makes complete oil dirty. 

How Will I Get to Know that my Engine Oil is Dirty?

  • Primarily you might notice the engine oil having small particles of contaminants or dust present in it. 
  • Heavy or dense smoke from the exhaust is also a sign of poor or dirty engine oil.
  • Originally, the color of engine oil is somewhat near to the color of honey. You might see a dark color or oil getting black day by day, and that’s a sign of dirty engine oil.
  • The foul smell of oil inside the car is also a sign of dirty engine oil
  • Some weird sounds might also be a symptom of poor and dirty engine oil.


Is it safe to run a car with dirty engine oil?

It is not safe to run a car with dirty engine oil for too long. Dirty engine oil can cause severe harm to your engine if not replaced with a new one for a long.

What harm will dirty engine oil cause to my car?

Running your car with dirty engine oil might cause wear of parts. As mentioned above, engine oil might get dirty due to rust, so if this is not diagnosed at the earliest, there is a possibility that some parts will break down and cause low performance of your car.

Also, dirty oil will get thick due to excessive breakdown and usage, and the battery will have to make extra effort to make it flow.


Engine oil gets dirty over time, which is part of its work. But there might be a possibility of it getting dirty so fast. This article has mentioned the various causes that make your engine oil dirty too quickly. We hope you find it useful!

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