Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Black flakes in oil

asked by on

My brother has a used car and the oil has small, black flakes. I think it is a sign of gasket wear. What do you think?

It depends on where the black flakes are. If you are talking about when you change the oil and there are black flakes, then you will need to have them analyzed.

If those are pieces of metal, it means that the engine is coming apart inside. Get rid of it fast because, if you don’t, then you’ve got to rebuild the whole engine.

If it’s just carbon, it means that the guy didn’t use the vehicle much and it just needed to be changed up because carbon built up in it. If you need to have this inspected, I would recommend having a technician, such as one from YourMechanic, analyze the sample to let you know what needs repair.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Valve Cover Gasket 2006 Toyota Highlander

Hi there - a leaking valve cover gasket can cause misfires if spark plugs, plug wires/boots or coils get wet with oil, and there is a risk of fire if oil leaks onto the exhaust manifold. So it makes good...

Q: Thrown rod in car

Lack of lubrication can definitely result in a "thrown rod bearing." Bearings are cooled by oil flow, so lack of oil can result in bearing overheating and failure. The first thing I would do is add oil to the engine...

Q: Water in oil

Hello. If the engine has never been overheated then it is typically caused by a failing intake manifold gasket. This is very common on this engine. In order to determine what the issue is, a mechanic would typically do a...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...