How To Remove Water From Engine Oil With Easy 6 Steps In 2024


You’re cruising down a green open road and feeling freedom with the shake of wind in your hair and the engine’s hum. 

But, your freedom won’t last long for the hidden danger of your engine optimization. 

What’s that?

Water in your engine oil. 

You are overwhelmed thinking…How to remove water from engine oil. 

And we are here to unravel a lesser-known challenge of removing water from engine oil. We cover everything related to engine oil and water to make your vehicle as horsepower as it was. Let’s dive in.

How Much Water In Oil Is Bad?

It’s essential to know how much water is harmful to your engine. 


It helps you to understand when you have to take action to remove water immediately. 

Or when you have some time. 

Because if you are on a trip and it seems water is in the oil. And you don’t access the required tools. It helps you not to panic in that situation. 

Less than 0.12% water in the oil isn’t too risky. That doesn’t impact your driving or damage your engine instantly. In that case, you have some time to remove it. 

On the other hand, if the water is more than 0.12%, it’s too much. This amount of water can be dangerous. You should try to remove the water from the oil without wasting any time. 

How Water Enters Your Motor Oil

Precision brings supreme performance in the realm of vehicle engines and its mechanism. But there are many moments when the unexpected visitor, the water, sneaks into your motor oil. Such as 

  1. Condensation Woes

In the humid climate or winter, early morning mist is natural. You find dewdrops like diamonds on leaves. A similar scenario can unfold in your engine oil. 

Air takes the form of condensation when the temperature rises and falls. And that gets inside the engine components or the oil reservoir. 

  • Short Trips Are The Hidden Threats

Do you love a series of short trips for dropping off kids, going to the grocery store, or a quick errand?

These short journeys aren’t convenient for your engine to give it enough time to warm up thoroughly. 

Less optimal temperature vapors water and settles into your oil. It infiltrates your vehicle’s inner sanctum like a silent invader. 

  • Coolant Leak Is The Dripping Menace

A small leak in your engine cooling system/gasket deep water into the engine oil. And it makes your engine lifeblood contaminated. 

These contaminated fluids can lead to engine distress, manifesting in a milky texture.

  • Sealing Failures Is The Unwanted Intrusions

Seals are the guardians of your engine system to prevent unauthorized entry. Inappropriate sealing (oil filler cap or the dipstick) creates gaps between the engine components. And those gaps can be the pavement of water’s unwelcome intrusion.

  • Rainy Adventures Have The Splash Effect

Think you are driving on the rain-soaked terrain. These journeys must splash water that may seep into your engine components during exhilaration. Mingling water with oil creates a faulty lubrication environment. That leads to potential component friction and damage.

How to Remove Water from Engine Oil

An alchemist’s work is to separate elements to extract gold. Now, you  have to act like an alchemist removing water from your oil to restore your engine’s vitality. Let’s see the step-by-step instructions with precision and care. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Arsenal

You are the vigilant knight who is preparing for battle. Arm yourself with the required tools to combat water-contaminated oil. Here’s the list of the tools

  • A socket wrench
  • An oil drain pan
  • A new oil filter
  • Hand gloves and safety goggles.
  • Clean cloth or rugs 
  • Fresh engine oil (that match your vehicle’s specifications)

Step 2: Position Your Vehicle

Wear your hand gloves and goggles to ensure safety. Now, you have to position the car for safe action. 

  • Park your vehicle on level ground. It helps to drain oil evenly.
  • Engage the parking brake to keep it stable during fluid exchange.
  • Leave your engine for at least 5 minutes to cool down. It prevents yourself from burning from hot oil.

Step 3: Drain the Contaminated Oil

Draining contaminated oil is the next task. And your oil drain pan is the vessel to receive the liquid you drain. 

  • Position the oil drain pan exactly beneath the vehicle. 
  • Then, remove the oil drain plug with the socket wrench. It works as an opening like a floodgate. 
  • Wait until each drop of contaminated oil won’t drain. 
  • Wipe the oil-draining surroundings to ensure no impurities are there. 

Step 4: Replace the Oil Filter

It’s not wise to use the old oil filter as it is already faulty. So replace it. 

  • Remove the old oil filter.
  • Pick the exact size of the new oil filter and set it in that place.
  • It ensures that only the purest oil enters your engine’s chambers.
  • Reinstall the oil-draining plug. 

Step 5: Pour Fresh Oil 

Now the oil tank is empty and ready to get new food to thrive in your driving.

  • Open your vehicle hood to reach the oil pouring plug. 
  • Open the plug and wipe the space with a clean cloth.
  • Pour the purest oil into the reservoir. 
  • Check the oil level with the dipstick. 
  • When it reaches the maximum level, re-attach the plug. 

Step 6: Start Your Engine To Observe

You have almost done your job. This time you have to ensure everything is okay to roar the engine on roads.

  • Start the engine and let it run for 5 minutes. 
  • In the meantime, the new oil will circulate through the components.
  • Clean the remaining traces of water-contaminated oil, if there are any. 

How Do You Know If There’s Water In Your Oil?

Here’s some tricks to detect water in the oil.

  • Check your oil dipstick to detect water visually. Insert the dipstick into the oil tank back to back. Finding milky fluid on the dipstick is a clear indicator of water contamination.
  • Collect a few drops of oil and fall them on  the hot road or surface. If the drops evaporate within a few seconds, there is water in it. 
  • Check the oil consistency with your fingertips. If you feel the oil is thicker than usual, or gritty sensation. It indicates water contamination as the water interaction with oil increases its viscosity grade. 
  • If you find poor lubrication in your engine system than before. Maybe it’s because of excessive water in the oil. 


Can I use additives to remove water from oil?

HEET Gas-Line Antifreeze, Tank Dryer, and many other additives claim they can remove water from oil. But, the most worthwhile solution is to drain the contaminated oil and pour the purest. 

How long does it take for engine oil and water to separate?

It depends on the water density, engine temperature, and oil droplet size. However, It may take a few minutes to hours. 

Can I prevent water contamination?

Sure. Some practices help you to prevent water contamination. Such as 

  • Check the oil regularly 
  • Fix coolant leaks instantly after detection
  • Drive your vehicle at highway speed 

Does water damage oil?

Yes, water damages your engine oil in two ways. First, it harms the strength of the oil. Second, it generates extreme temperatures and pressure in your vehicle loading zone. 

Related articles 

  • How to Separate Gasoline from Motor Oil
  • What Causes Air Bubbles in Engine Oil


Attention is necessary to maintain engine health, even with minor water contamination. 

Follow our step-by-step guide and ensure your engine is well-lubricated to perform at its best.

Never ignore water in the oil. Because a bit of prevention today will save significant engine troubles on the road, and a good amount of repairing cost.

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