Will The Wrong Oil Damage My Engine?

In order to function well, a car engine needs oil pouring at regular intervals. You should put the proper oil prescribed by the car manufacturer. But what happens when you put the wrong oil. Will the wrong oil damage my engine?

How will the wrong oil damage my engine?


It is good to know that engine oil is an integral part of a car engine. It lubricates the engine and makes it run smoothly.

When there is not enough oil or when you put the wrong oil, you can notice many different problems. Your engine may become loud, there might be mileage reduction or you can notice oil leaks.

No matter what problems you notice, there is a solution to the problem.

You should recognize that your oil is not adequate for your engine, and you should immediately change it. Only in this manner can you save your engine from further damage. [1]

What are the most common wrong oil in car symptoms?


You can notice some very obvious symptoms that speak about the fact that you put the wrong oil in your car. Some of the symptoms are more dangerous, and that is why you need to know how to react and what to do when you put the wrong oil in your car. Some of the main symptoms are:

  • Burning smell – When there is the wrong oil in an engine, it starts to raise the temperature until it reaches the point when you can sense the burning smell. This usually happens when the oil grade is too thin, and the temperature is too hot outside.
  • Oil leaks – It is very important to consider the age of your vehicle. In cars that are newer, drivers usually use synthetic oils that can pass through tighter areas more easily. If you use synthetic oil in vehicles that are older, you may notice oil leaks that could be very dangerous.
  • Ticking noise – When you put thick oil in your engine and the temperature outside is cold, you may notice the thinking noise that comes from the engine. This is because engine components cling against each other and produce an annoying sound. [2]

When you notice some of these symptoms of the wrong oil in a car, you should react accordingly. You should not drive your car because you can further damage your car’s engine. At the same time, you should change the oil and replace it with a suitable solution that will be more appropriate for your car engine.

Will thinner oils damage your engine?

Each oil solution comes with the exact viscosity type and you must know that the viscosity of the oil is responsible for the overall thickness of the oil. The higher the viscosity, the higher the thickness.

The temperature outside is also very important for the thickness of the oil, which is why different oils behave differently when it is hot or cold outside. When it is cold, oils usually become thicker.

The opposite stands for the times when it is hot outside. In these conditions, the oils become thinner. But, there is one question. Will thinner oils damage your engine?

If you use slightly thinner oils, there will not be problems with your engine. However, if you use very thin oils that are not made for your engine, you may face some problems.

Viscosity is one of the most relevant factors in oils, and it is important to use the right viscosity level that is presented in your owner’s manual. You can see the viscosity type on the oil package.

If you have 5W-30 oil and your car engine should be fueled with 10W-30 oil, there should not be problems. You can use an oil that is one grade higher or one grade lower than recommended, and this should not be a problem for your car engine.

We can notice the most recent trend in the automotive industry where numbers on oil packages are becoming lower and lower. You can buy 0W-60 oils and this is where most manufacturers base their approach on the efficiency of the engine. The lower the numbers, the better the engine efficiency. [3]

Related: Can You Mix 5w30 and 5w20

What are the engine oil too thin symptoms?

In general, using thin oil can damage your car only if you apply the oil that is too thin. If you put slightly different oil than recommended, you might not have problems, but if you put the oil that is too thin, you may experience the symptoms like:

  • Low oil pressure – This indicates that something is not working properly inside the car. You may be experiencing a situation where there is not enough lubricant in the car’s system. When there is not enough lubricant, this can lead to metal-to-metal contact and complete dysfunction of the car.
  • Engine ticking – This happens when a car is ticking at idle, or during acceleration. At the same time, it happens after changing oil. If the oil is too thin, the engine will react and it will be ticking when you are driving a vehicle in regular conditions.
  • The smell of burning oil – This is another symptom that the engine oil is too thin. You may sense the smell of burning oil when you are in the car, and this could be very dangerous. In this situation, it is best to drive the vehicle to the nearest repair shop and inspect the oil that might be the source of the problem.

Can wrong engine oil cause smoke?


Yes, wrong engine oil can cause smoke, and this might be very problematic. If you notice white smoke from your car, this could be a sign that you put the wrong oil.

If the oil type and viscosity are not right, the engine will produce smoke extensively and this happens because the oil is not burning correctly. The oil goes to the exhaust and this results in blowing white smoke from the car.

Except for the wrong oil, there is a possibility to notice smoke from the car if you overfill the engine oil. In this situation, the overfilled engine oil is forced up to the cylinder wall and it is also forced into the combustion chamber. This creates an over-pressurized crankcase because the sump is overfilled.

Can the wrong oil cause overheating?

car temperature

In some cases, the wrong oil can cause overheating, and that is why you should consider this fact next time when you see that your car is reaching higher temperatures than usual. In perfect conditions, your car parts should work normally, and this should keep the temperature levels under normal conditions.

If there is a problem with your oil, you can notice that your car is overheating. It is especially important to define the main root of the problem and to be sure that overheating comes from the wrong oil, not from the other sources.

One of the roles of the oil in the engines is to cool the engines down when there is a higher temperature inside the car system. When the oil is not adequate or when there is not enough oil in the engine, this situation can lead to overheating. The engine components will create more friction, and this can be very problematic for all engine parts.

In order to solve the problem of overheating, you should check the necessary fluid levels and see if everything is correct. If you notice that your oil or coolant levels are low, you should refill these fluids and solve the issue of overheating.

If you put the wrong oil, you should replace it with the right one, and this could be the right solution to the problem. [4]

Related: Castrol vs Liqui Moly

What if a mechanic put wrong oil in car?


In some cases, you can go to the mechanic shop and leave your car there. You may ask a mechanic to put the oil in your car, but this could end in the wrong way.

Your mechanic can put the wrong oil and you can notice it by driving the car later on. Your car starts to make loud sounds and you may notice the strange smell from the car system.

In this situation, you can go back to the mechanic and report the problem. It is best to ask a mechanic to show you what kind of oil he put in your car. If you find out that the oil is wrong, you can ask for oil replacement. A mechanic should always put the adequate oil that is presented in the owner’s manual. In this manner, oil replacement might be a good solution.

Read Next: Reduce Oil Level Mercedees


Now you know the answer to the question “Will the wrong oil damage my engine?” It will certainly produce damage and that is why you should be very careful every time you put the oil into your car. If you put the right oil, you will prolong the life of your car, and your driving experience will be good every time you use your car.