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Does Oil Suffer if Engine Overheats due to Coolant Loss?
 
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Question:
Does Oil Suffer if Engine Overheats due to Coolant Loss?
I have a 2004 Cadillac SRX. I lost the coolant and it overheated but I stopped before any harm was done. I have used Mobil 1 from day one and had just had the oil changed. But now it is telling me to change the oil. Could the over heating have hurt the oil?
-- Howard Leach, Houston, TX
Answer:
Oxidation due to extreme high temperature is one of the biggest enemies of engine oil life. Fortunately you were using Mobil 1™ synthetic when the vehicle overheated. Your oil sensor is probably programmed to indicate an oil change is needed if a certain engine temperature is exceeded, which likely occurred when it overheated. You saved an engine but to be on the safe side we would consider changing the oil just in case the oil was partially degraded. You may want to also check your coolant level frequently for the next few months to make sure you have not caused a coolant system failure as well.
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