Is oil ever red?

sjpitts

 
 
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I am afraid that I am going to regret asking this question-- but I just changed the oil in my wife's 80 and it came out looking like it had a significant red tint to it. It is a 93 with 134k miles on it. The oil was just some regular old valoline semi-synthetic when it went in-- I am pretty sure it was without a red tint going in.

Other than having a red tint the oil looked normal enough.

It doesn't overheat, and when I last did the bubble check it came out fine. No noticable loss of coolant.

The only thing that may be unusual is that it seems to burn more oil then normal. I haven't been good about tracking this-- but I would say once every month or so my wife mentions that the oil level light came on briefly after startup-- not to be seen again for the rest of the day -- so I will add half a quart of oil and the problem goes away. Like I said, I have not been responsible about tracking how often this really occurs-- so that is really guess.

I didn't think about doing a blackstone test until after I saw pondered the problem. So I saved some oil, but only after it had been sitting in my dirty pan for a while. I can't decide if it would be worth it to send in a potentially contaminated sample.

So back to the basic question-- does "normal" used oil ever have a red tint to it?

Jared
 

landtank

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check the fluid level in your Power steering tank. When the front seal goes on the pump RED PS fluid dumps into the crankcase.
 

Romer

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If you still have some of the old Oil, I would recommend having it analyzed and then you will know exactly what is going on. You could also go to bobistheoilguy.com and search. There is a whole forum like this one dedicated to oil, lube and synthetics.
 

sjpitts

 
 
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nuclearlemon said:
are you sure it's oil, not atf or extended life antifreeze...both those are red.
I drained it out of the oil pan myself-- not the tranny pan. So it is definately oil. It just has a red tint to it. I really didn't notice it was red until I saw it dripping off the axle from the oil filter--- then with the light behind it you could see it had red tint to it.

Like I said, it might be totally normal. It just seemed odd.

Jared
 

sjpitts

 
 
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Romer said:
If you still have some of the old Oil, I would recommend having it analyzed and then you will know exactly what is going on. You could also go to bobistheoilguy.com and search. There is a whole forum like this one dedicated to oil, lube and synthetics.
I have some oil saved. Not sure how much. Maybe 10-15 ounces. The only problem is that I did not save it directly from engine. I poured it out of the oil collection pan--- and that pan wasn't that clean to begin with. I know it would be better to have a pure sample-- taken right from the source-- but I wasn't thinking that far ahead.

Jared
 

sjpitts

 
 
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landtank said:
check the fluid level in your Power steering tank. When the front seal goes on the pump RED PS fluid dumps into the crankcase.
I checked the PS level-- looked the same. It certainly wasn't missing enough to make 7 quarts of oil look red.

So basically we have three possible sources of red in the oil 1) PS Fluid 2) coolant 3) ATF

Is that it? I guess the fourth option is that it is just natural.

Jared
 

Romer

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That should be enough. Do a search in this forum with the words "oil analysis" and you should get some info on having this done. You can PM the individuals who have had it done for more specifics.
 
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sjpitts said:
I checked the PS level-- looked the same. It certainly wasn't missing enough to make 7 quarts of oil look red.

So basically we have three possible sources of red in the oil 1) PS Fluid 2) coolant 3) ATF

Is that it? I guess the fourth option is that it is just natural.

Jared
#1 If it's not leaking that's not it.
#2 Coolant is water based, won't mix with oil, that's not it.
#3 Could be, I don't see how it would get in the oil, is the trany fluid low?
#4 Probably just normal, the stuff you saved is it red like ATF or just slightly tinted?
 
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Could be the result of something in the oil oxidising. Do you know what make of oil it was? Anyway now you have put in fresh oil pull the dip stick now and then and check the color, and as others have said keep an eye on all the fluid levels. Is this a new truck or did you do the last fluid changes? Be sure to check the level in the TC and GB as often they put transmission fluid (red) in there.
 

sjpitts

 
 
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The more I think about it--- the more I am inclined to beleive it is natural color variation, and not caused by any leak. But I think I will send in my possibly contaminated sample to blackstone just to see what they say.

If it comes back clean, then I should be good to go. If it comes back contaminated I will probably have to send in a known "good" sample in a few thousand miles to verify.

Jared
 
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