Little water in oil dipstick

SpeedyA

Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
37
So I had my oil checked at a filling station today and the attendant used a wet tissue to wipe the dipstick and put it back in while it was still soaking wet. When he pulled out the dipstick, the oil looked a little milky-white in between. I drove abit and checked it again and the oil seemed to be fine and not milky white after that, I suspect the water diluted in. I just want to know, would that water cause any damage to my engine or any parts, or would it just burn away while I'm driving? Thank you in advance.
 

bromster

Executive Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
5,251
Test it later again. If it's still grey, problems. Make sure to test it periodically over the next few weeks to see if it gets worse.

Open the cap on the top of the engine where you would fill the oil. Look inside the hole with a light. If you see anything other than smooth, golden brown oil in there, then the car will need urgent attention and it's not a very good idea to be driving it in that condition.

The usual suspect for grey sludgy oil in the engine is the cylinder head gasket. One or more o-rings or gaskets has probably become worn and is allowing oil to mix with the water. This problem will not go away by itself.

If you repair it in time, you may only need a few hundred bucks' worth of spares and pay for labour. If you leave it and the car overheats or seizes, the sky is the limit.
 

MightyQuin

Not amused...
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
25,652
Test it later again. If it's still grey, problems. Make sure to test it periodically over the next few weeks to see if it gets worse.

Open the cap on the top of the engine where you would fill the oil. Look inside the hole with a light. If you see anything other than smooth, golden brown oil in there, then the car will need urgent attention and it's not a very good idea to be driving it in that condition.

The usual suspect for grey sludgy oil in the engine is the cylinder head gasket. One or more o-rings or gaskets has probably become worn and is allowing oil to mix with the water. This problem will not go away by itself.

If you repair it in time, you may only need a few hundred bucks' worth of spares and pay for labour. If you leave it and the car overheats or seizes, the sky is the limit.
Did you actually read the OP's post?

He/she thinks that a wet tissue being wiped down a dipstick, will be enough to contaminate the vehicle's whole oil supply with water.....
 

TheChamp

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
41,845
So I had my oil checked at a filling station today and the attendant used a wet tissue to wipe the dipstick and put it back in while it was still soaking wet. When he pulled out the dipstick, the oil looked a little milky-white in between. I drove abit and checked it again and the oil seemed to be fine and not milky white after that, I suspect the water diluted in. I just want to know, would that water cause any damage to my engine or any parts, or would it just burn away while I'm driving? Thank you in advance.
Condensation happens in a car, especially when the car is not regularly driven, rainwater can also find its way into the dipstick thing, especially if you constantly checks the oil and someone does not make sure the dipstick is properly seated. Monitor it and it will be evident soon if there's a problem.

Word of advice, check your own oil and water, don't go around allowing everyone to poke their head under the hood. Unless there's a leak the oil is not going anywhere so it's not something to check frequently. The guys at the filling station are trained to fill your tank, and tyres, you are the one who has the car manual and you are the one who lives with the car.
 

ubercal

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
3,066
Condensation happens in a car, especially when the car is not regularly driven, rainwater can also find its way into the dipstick thing, especially if you constantly checks the oil and someone does not make sure the dipstick is properly seated. Monitor it and it will be evident soon if there's a problem.

Word of advice, check your own oil and water, don't go around allowing everyone to poke their head under the hood. Unless there's a leak the oil is not going anywhere so it's not something to check frequently. The guys at the filling station are trained to fill your tank, and tyres, you are the one who has the car manual and you are the one who lives with the car.

baba is correct
 

bromster

Executive Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
5,251
Did you actually read the OP's post?

He/she thinks that a wet tissue being wiped down a dipstick, will be enough to contaminate the vehicle's whole oil supply with water.....
No. I thought I'd just give some unsolicited advice like everyone else on here.
 

MightyQuin

Not amused...
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
25,652
Condensation happens in a car, especially when the car is not regularly driven, rainwater can also find its way into the dipstick thing, especially if you constantly checks the oil and someone does not make sure the dipstick is properly seated. Monitor it and it will be evident soon if there's a problem.

Nonsense....

Word of advice, check your own oil and water, don't go around allowing everyone to poke their head under the hood. Unless there's a leak the oil is not going anywhere so it's not something to check frequently. The guys at the filling station are trained to fill your tank, and tyres, you are the one who has the car manual and you are the one who lives with the car.

Correct...check your oil in the morning before starting the car. The oil would have settled overnight in your sump and the dipstick will show the true level of oil.

By the time you get to the garage, oil would be circulated through the engine and indicate lower on your dipstick.

Buy your own, correct oil and keep it at home if you drive a car that need regular top ups and do it yourself.
 

RedViking

Nord of the South
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
41,835
My golf had milky oil for all the years I had it. Then engine was mostly fine and only jerked now and then. But it never blew up. :ROFL:

I don't think the milky white was from the wet tissue. But I would not worry about it at this stage if you don't notice it again. Check it again once the engine has cooled down and also once you have driven it for a while.
 

Big Rat

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
867
Do not test oil at petrol station, the oil needs time to drop down into the sump to correctly measure.
I doubt a wetwipe will cause milkyness on the dipstick, if you can check in from the top where you pour oil in, have a look there.
If rain can get into the dipstick, you have a problem. make sure it is closed.
 

thehuman

Expert Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Messages
3,764
Most vehicles need to check oil when car hot
So you would wait a few minutes for oil to settle down to sump


Regarding OP wet dipstick i am sure one or two drops of water in oil would not be a problem.
It could even evaporate when at operating temperature.
 

ubercal

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2005
Messages
3,066
Most vehicles need to check oil when car hot
So you would wait a few minutes for oil to settle down to sump


Regarding OP wet dipstick i am sure one or two drops of water in oil would not be a problem.
It could even evaporate when at operating temperature.
no , check oil when car is COLD !!!!
 

Stokstert

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
7,410
Oil is not as thick as tar, a minute or two is enough to let it settle down for measurement, especially hot oil.
It looks like most people have never seen the viscosity of hot oil, it's nearly like water and doesn't take hours to settle down.
But everyone should do their measurements as they prefer, warm or cold.
 
Last edited:
Top