Understanding Engine Oil Cap Residue

January 13th, 2020 by

A standard thing that almost all drivers have done is checked their oil. While not everyone knows how to change their oil, every driver should at least know how to check it. This allows them to identify any issue with their oil in between their regular oil changes that should be occurring about every 5,000 miles or maybe more if they are driving an older used Hyundai in Muncie.

However, even when most drivers check the oil, all they do is lift up the dipstick and examine the level and color of the oil on the stick. While this is a vital part to checking the oil, it is also important to go and unscrew the engine oil cap every once in a while as well. The mechanics are doing this every time they do an oil change, but it also benefits the driver to do this themselves in between their regular oil changes. Unscrewing this cap is one of the ways that they identify if there are any serious issues going on with their engine oil.

One thing that might occur when they finally unscrew their engine oil cap is that they see a milky white substance on the ridges of the oil cap. This might not seem like a huge deal at first but it actually indicates that the engine is experiencing some serious trouble. Here is everything that a driver will need to know about white residue being on their engine oil cap.
What the White Residue Indicates
When a driver unscrews the engine oil cap on their certified Hyundai in Muncie and sees that white residue on the cap, it indicates that thee engine oil has inadvertently mixed with water. When engine oil mixes with water, it creates a foamy white substance that then gets onto thee engine oil cap.

While a little bit of water in the engine oil might not seem like a big deal, the design of the modern engine is one that is meant to keep water out of the engine oil. Therefore, the presence of this amount of water in the oil indicates that something is wrong with the vehicle’s internal system. Here are the main reasons why this white substance might be located on a vehicle’s engine oil cap.
Application of High Water Pressure
Some drivers seem to think that their vehicle’s engine gets so dirty that it requires a high pressure spray during a car wash. This is one of the worst things that they can do to a vehicle. By spraying the engine with a high powered stream of water, it puts the delicate components of the engine in danger. With enough pressure, water might be able to force its way through the engine oil cap and collect in the tank, eventually forming the white residue.

If the driver feels like their engine needs a wash, then it is best to indirectly spray it with a low pressure stream of water. This will help to avoid any kind of intense force being applied to any part of the engine.
Excessive Moisture In the Atmosphere
In certain locations, the presence of humidity and moisture might be so intense that it can actually affect the performance and wellbeing of the engine. In a typical situation, moisture is allowed to build up in a vehicle’s engine. This is usually not a big deal because the vehicle regularly reaches an internal temperature that is hot enough to evaporate this moisture out of the engine. However, if the engine never reaches a hot enough temperature, then it will result in the moisture not being evaporated and left to collect.

This can happen quite frequently when drivers are not operating their vehicles for long enough durations. Just driving their vehicle down the street to the store and back is not enough time to get the engine warmed up enough to the point where it can start getting rid of the moisture that has naturally built up in the engine. So if they are not driving their vehicle enough, then they are just allowing the moisture in their engine to continually build until it reaches the point that it can start to cause that white residue to form.

Although it is not just the length of the drive that matters. The vehicle also needs to reach a certain speed, otherwise, the engine will never be able to get hot enough to evaporate the water. While there is no set speed that a vehicle needs to achieve, it is generally recommended that the driver go at least 60 mph for a few minutes every day. This will help the engine get hot enough that it can begin to get rid of any excessive moisture that has built up within the system.
Faulty Head Gasket
If neither of these previous causes seem to be the culprit, then it is likely due to something even worse. Having a blown head gasket is not something that should be taken lightly, since the head gasket is responsible for several very important functions of the engine. Without the head gasket, the engine cylinders would never be able to operate at their maximum potential.

The head gasket is in charge of creating an airtight seal that separates the engine’s cylinders from the engine block. This helps to ensure that both the engine coolant and the engine oil will not be able to leak into the engine’s cylinders. It also makes sure that the engine will be operating at maximum compression in order to produce the best results possible.

Once the head gasket no longer works properly, it can allow engine coolant to start leaking into the combustion chamber and engine oil. When this occurs, it leads to the whitte residue forming on the end of the engine oil cap.

If a blown head gasket is the reason for this residue, then there should be other visual indicators as well. The driver should look for white smoke coming out of their vehicle’s exhaust, as well as the beads of moisture being present on the vehicle’s dipstick.

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