Is My Engine Oil Supposed to be Milky Brown Service FAQ in Olympia, WA
Schedule a engine oil change service at Hanson KIA in Olympia, WAKIA engine oil color service FAQ

Should There Be Thick, Milky Brown Oil in my Engine? Hanson KIA Service FAQs for Olympia

Get engine oil color questions answered

Milky, tan-colored oil can settle under the oil cap of your engine when water or coolant is allowed to mix with the engine oil--and it's a sign of trouble. The engine oil is stored in a totally closed system. Water and other fluids can't be allowed to mix with it. The result is contaminated oil that's no good for lubricating your engine. That's bad news, and can quickly lead to severe engine issues like overheating. The most common cause of this is a blown head gasket, and fixing one is a major, urgent repair.

Get answers about engine oil color for your KIA

It's a good idea to periodically check inside the oil cap of your Kia engine for a brown, gooey, milky substance. Milky engine oil that collects inside the oil cap can indicate a serious engine issue! Or, it could indicate nothing unusual at all. So it goes with auto maintenance. Car engines are extremely complex machines, and it can be hard to diagnose problems. That's why you'll find factory-trained Kia maintenance experts at every authorized Kia dealership. They've got the know-how and experience to look more closely at your engine to find out what - if anything - is wrong with your car.

Schedule service online at Hanson KIA in Olympia, WA

How do I Tell if my Head Gasket is Blown?

The potential upside is this: In more rainy, humid regions like the Pacific Northwest, small amounts of moisture from condensation can sometimes collect in the engine. It's usually evaporated by the heat of the engine as you drive - but, if you have a very short commute, or typically only drive your car infrequently and for short distances, the condensation may not entirely burn off. It remains in the engine and collects under the cap, where it forms this milky brown substance. In that case, it's totally harmless!

Order parts online at Hanson KIA

However, the more likely scenario is a failed head gasket. When the head gasket blows, oil, coolant and fuel are all allowed to mix where they shouldn't. Water contaminates the engine oil - ruining its lubricating properties and forming the tell-tale milky brown substance. Coolant also gets burned up with the fuel, creating white smoke from the tailpipe, another common sign of head gasket failure. To repair it, we'll need to dismantle the engine entirely and install a new gasket, so your oil stays isolated from water and coolant and protects your engine the way it should.

For repairs big and small, Hanson Kia is your authorized Kia dealership serving DuPont and Hawks Prairie.


Hanson Kia

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Sales: (360) 339-5079
  • Service: (360) 339-5079
  • Parts: (360) 339-5079
  1. Hanson Kia

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales: (877) 816-5820

Map Data
Map data ©2018 Google
Map DataMap data ©2018 Google
Map data ©2018 Google