I'm looking at a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L with 57,000 miles. I
pulled the dipstick and the oil looked dark and smelled a bit cooked.
The vehicle had been taken in trade at a [Dodge] dealer. The salesman
showed me the shop work that had been performed on this vehicle to
ready it for resale. Among other things such as brakes and stabilizer
bushings, the engine oil and filter had been changed. The van had
about 50 miles on it since the oil change.
Although I put a deposit on the 2002, I am concerned about the care
that the engine was given by the previous owners.
Why would the oil be dark so quickly?
What inspections or tests can be performed to determine the overall
health of the engine?
When I change the oil in my current van (1994 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L
with 180,000 miles), the used oil is very dark, nearly black at 5,000
miles. The fresh oil is nearly clear and it takes a few hundred to a
thousand miles before the oil is dark again.
I also have a 1997 Corolla. I changed the oil last week and have
driven over 1,000 miles since the change. I check the oil level today
and the oil is still clean and clear!