2004 Chevy Cavalier oil

  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • 92,000 MILES
At my last oil change, the technician showed me the "dip stick" and the oil was caramel colored. After the oil change, which flowed normally out of the engine, he showed it to me again. Caramel colored again. He has concern there might be something leaking into the oil. He said to keep an eye on it and mention it to the next mechanic that works on the car. Any ideas as to what this could be? Should I get into a service station now?
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, April 1st, 2010 AT 8:25 AM

1 Reply


First of all. Most oil is carmel colored to begin with, so maybe that was a bad choice of words there. But if the oil is coming out a different color then its going in RIGHT after an oil change. Then there is a very simple explanation for that. I recently had to deal with that on my cavalier myself too recently.

Your water pump may be going out.

Cavalier's use dex-cool an orange coolant. Which when the bearings on your water pump go out, it begins to bleed out a small hole in your pump (designed this way to warn you to change it asap), and it also leaks into the engine as well if you let it go on like that.

Without seeing your car for myself I can only be about 90% sure that is your issue from what you described. And i'm very shocked the mechanic you went to wasn't educated enough in his field to know to check for this. Even if its not the problem it should have been one of the first things he checked. Many cars are desinged that way when their water pumps are in the timing chain assembly. The pump itself is only around $30-40 but the labor is what can be expensive. Depending on your engine it can be a less than 2 hour job or a 6-7 hour job.
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Friday, April 2nd, 2010 AT 2:06 AM

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