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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Black flakes in oil

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: WHEN YOU REPLACE MANIFOLD GASKETS DO YOU REPLACE UPPER AND LOWER?

It depends on what you are doing. If you only need to replace the upper then replace just the upper. If you need to do the lower then you will need to drain the coolant. On these engines, they leak...

Q: My ford 500 2007 leaked out the oil and shut down on the road. The leak is fixed but it wont start. What could be the problem

When you leaked out all the oil, the oil pressure was lost in the engine. This loss of pressure caused all the moving parts to be starved of oil and no longer lubricated. You most likely seized the engine bearings....

Q: Wondering about gasket or manifold issues

This engine is well known for having intake gasket leaks, so I'm fairly confident the gasket is the problem. With this engine, the first sign of a failed lower intake gasket is oil/coolant intermix. There is an upgraded gasket available...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...