my dipstick oil is too clean, shows no usage


Asked by Jan 28, 2016 at 08:48 PM about the 1990 Toyota Camry DX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

for a month now, oil on dipstick shows no wear. car is 25 yrs old, should be changing colors

10 Answers


Well that is a new one. Complaining about a good thing! How many miles on the oil change? How many miles on the car?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Depends on the oil brand you are using, and yes, if it looks clean after 2000 to 3000 miles on it, piss poor oil, lack of detergent for cleaning the inside of the engine.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have 176,000 on my engine and after 2,000 the oil looks very clean and I use quality oil. At 3,000 it looks light brown. Of course my engine is clean because I am a stickler for oil changes and ever since I installed a K&N air filter my oil has been a lot cleaner. The efficiency of the K&N seems to be far better than the stock paper air filter.


But on a 25 year old car you would see the oil change to a darker color if the oil was any good. Back in the day Havoline was good for not cleaning inside of the engine, no matter what kind of car we put the oil into, then somebody started having problems. Also I remember with Pennzoil one time had a recall on there oil because of this. Pennzoil is ok now but I would never use it again. Like to know what this guy put in there, On my new motor you can tell the oil is doing its job. Gets darker in color.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Maybe the original poster had their oil changed at a oil change shop. I would NEVER go to one of those as they use generic oils that they claim are one size fit all.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

That could be, you really never know what you get from them when it is just getting pumped into the engine, and I have heard of many horror stories just from one of our Quick Lube Shops were I live.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Check it after 2,000 miles

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If your engine is clean inside the oil may look good way down the road, most of my rigs the oil never started changing color for at a minimum of 1500 miles. But if your worried about it change it and the filter.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You might want to verify how "clean" the inside of your engine is by removing the engine OIL FILL CAP and with a strong light look into the top side of the cam cover. Then take a few pipe cleaners and swab the inside and see if the pipe cleaner color is the same as what appears on the dip stick. Careful....don't lose that pipe cleaner inside the engine.


Thanks for all the answers, So here is my problem. When taking off the oil cap, it is nasty, filthy, sludgy. The oil change is black, and still the oil on the dipstick is clean. I'm wondering if the oil isn't circulating correctly, and how to hunt down my problem. I just changed the oil, so I will try the pipe cleaner idea in a few more miles. Thanks everybody

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