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Dipstick looks burned

2325 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  chiph
Is this what ur dipstick looks like? The oil I used was the Honda 5w20 but it had been sitting in garage for over 2 years. I'm concerned. Looks burned


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2 years on the shelf? How long in the engine?

Most oil mfrs. say 5 years for shelf life.

Honda says replace the oil in the crankcase at the recommended mileage following the Mileage Minder or Honda's chart recommendations or 1 year max regardless of mileage.
Sorry. 2 years on the shelf in the garage. Just a few months in the engine. I just don't remember it looking like that but maybe it did. I don't know.
That is strange. Might be a good idea to check the coolant as well.

Is it just the dipstick that changed color or the oil? Maybe have a lab check the oil itself (Blackstone Labs or NAPA can arrange a fluid analysis).
Not sure where your located, but Lab One is in Arizona, and quite affordable.
No, my '13's dipstick (with ~27,000 miles) does not look anything like that. It is clean and shiny. The appearance you see is not terribly uncommon, though. There really isn't oil 'flow' on the upper areas of the dipstick, so the oil that's there can easily coke, sludge, varnish, oxidize, or otherwise stain the 'stick.

Higher temps, fuel(!), and contract-minimum spec oil will all contribute. What you see on the dipstick is also present in various areas throughout the engine.

This is one of a complex of reasons why I do not run minimum-spec fluids out to the max length of time/distance Honda calls for.
You sure it isn't rust? The film strength will not lubricate that or any other part for 2 years. If it's rust (the dipstick is not stainless and will rust) then I would be very careful starting this engine. Drain the fuel, change the oil, and if you can remove all the spark plugs and just crank it without compression to build up non-destructive oil pressure would be the best case scenario.

Why did it sit for two year without being started. Obviously the battery is highly suspect. Many other things going on. Just one start for 10 minutes per month could avoid all of these problems.

Good luck.
Sorry for the confusion. The oil set on the shelf for two years cuz I bought a case. The trucks is used every other day. I've ordered a kit from black stone. I'll check the coolant in the morning. How do you check the coolant? I know where the reservoir is but should the engine be cold?

Thanks as well
Never seen a dipstick look like that before.

I hope that engine is OK!
What protocol would you guys take?
You've got a couple of suggestions above: Test your fluids... engine & radiator.
You might just ask a local (qualified) mechanic to look at it... they wouldn't charge you for a look at the dip stick.
Otherwise, just clean it up & move on.... monitor as you go.
Unless your seeing OBDII codes or error lights on the dash. I'd clean the dipstick and monitor.

If I wanted to go the extra mile I'd, Test the fluids, Lab one could test everything for less than Blackstone would charge for just the Oil and coolant, and you could test a few other samples for other vehicles
Coolant should be changed every 3 years or so. Just drain + fill with Honda-brand pre-mix. You can test the specific gravity (water/coolant ratio) with a hydrometer, the auto-parts store will sell you one. Just use the vacuum bulb to suck some up and see where the pointer is pointing. You should also look at the color - clear and blue is good. Cloudy or the wrong shade is bad.

Chip H.
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