I was changing out the serpentine belt today. Decided to take a look at the oil and noticed water droplets all up the dipstick. The oil did not look milky or anything but there was clear water droplets all over the dipstick. Part of it I believe is my driving situation. I live one mile from one job and 4 miles from my other job. Minus the 35 mile drive to visit my cousin every so often I don’t drive much. I don’t warm up the car, I live in WI, as I believe it does more harm than good and I use mobil 1oil because I drive short distances. It is due for an oil change this week which I plan on doing. Is the water droplets due to my driving habits? Also seeing I drive so little is there much more I can do to prevent this besides using synthetic and taking a longer drive more often?
I agree that most likely the issue is the short drives. As long as you follow the severe maintenance schedule, I don’t see a problem here.
Part of normal combustion is water vapor. The crankcase can get filled with it. If you habitually drive a single mile to work without warming up the car, the engine will not warm up enough to purge itself of this moisture, and it will collect inside the crankcase, including the dipstick.
Taking it on more frequent trips to your cousins house, or just a weekly drive for 20 to 30 minutes, would purge out that built-up moisture.
Does the oil still look like oil?
It doesn’t look like coffee, does it?
Check the PCV system. Any obstruction or loss of vacuum will cause moisture to accumulate in the engine and it will show up at the highest/coolest points in the engine.
Yeah I know that I don’t drive enough to purge the condensation that naturally occurs. Huge part of the reason I switched from dino oil to synthetic No it still looks totally fine like normal oil. 6 days a week I drive one mile each direction to work. A couple days a week I go 4 miles both ways and most of my errands are around town in city driving. Occasionally errands are out of town but I live in a suburb of Milwaukee so everything is close.
You’ll be fine. Take it out for a long drive once a week.
An occasional extended drive would likely be worthwhile especially just prior to an oil change. Running the engine until the oil filter is too hot to touch should boil off the water.