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Foamy Oil?


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#1 nospamprl

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 06:32 PM

Mini 998cc 1989.

Just changed the oil, and the oil came out with some foam which disapeared after about 15 minutes.

Prior to change it I warmed the enginefor about 5 minutes, so probably its just the shaken oil.

My radiator is full snd antifreeze seems clean.

Oil is 20w50

Is this normal or a blown gasket?

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#2 Quinlan minor

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 06:57 PM

What oil do you use, and when was it last changed?

Foam in oils is bad. What colour is the oil itself? Is it milky? Not a good sign!

Is the car driven regularly, more than forty miles at a time, or only used on short trips?


Edited by Quinlan minor, 12 January 2020 - 07:01 PM.


#3 nospamprl

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 07:27 PM

Its 20w50, changed 1 year ago but only 300 miles driven. Yesterday I took it out for about 20 miles, a long drive for me, almost never I do 40 miles and although I try to start it every week for 3-5 minutes, I only drive it about once a month. .

After 15 minutes the foam dissapeared and I would say the oil looks normal, not milky. Antifreeze looks fine.

#4 imack

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 07:49 PM

Running it weekly for 3-5 minutes won't be doing it any good at all, you'll never get the oil up to temp in that time, it needs at least a 20 minute drive.
Probably condensation caused by very short run periods.

#5 Quinlan minor

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 08:51 PM

What imack said.

Better not to start and run 3-5 minutes weekly. That'll do more harm than good.

Best run it reasonably hard (once it's warmed up) on de-restricted roads for 20-30 minutes, every couple of months, at least.

Get the oil up to 90° plus before you park it up for any extended period.

Water in the oil and condensation inside the engine are killers.


Edited by Quinlan minor, 13 January 2020 - 11:13 AM.


#6 nospamprl

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 09:03 PM

Ok, thanks for the advice.

Another reason I thought about maybe an overfill in the last oil change.

For me it is difficult to determine the level on the dipstick when the oil is clean. Maybe it was sbive the proper level.

#7 Chris1275gt

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 09:14 PM

Ok, thanks for the advice.

Another reason I thought about maybe an overfill in the last oil change.

For me it is difficult to determine the level on the dipstick when the oil is clean. Maybe it was sbive the proper level.


I had to spray the bottom half of my dipstick with heat resistant satin black paint. The oil level is then easily visible.

#8 Steve220

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 10:42 AM

As above, either leave it entirely for winter or drive it for 20 minutes.

#9 absx2

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 07:57 PM

Also sometimes it can be the brand of 20/50 you use, I can`t remember which ones where the worst but I know Minispares own brand doesn`t give any issues with my 4 mile each way daily trip. 



#10 DavidN

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 06:06 PM

20 minutes is good to know - thanks. They are building at the end of our road - much mud and sludge to add to the winter damp. Therefore the car gets little use.  Generally end up driving around in winter circles for about 10 miles per month....when it's dry. 






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