February, 14, 2007 AT 7:43 PM

I went to the dealer to have my oil changed but after the oil change the oil color on the dipstick was brown, not the usual honey or clear color I used to see on my previous vehicles' dipsticks following an oil change. I suspect the dealer did not change the oil because they either forgot in the midst of their busyness, or they simply forgot to do it. The dealer swears that the oil was changed, but I've never heard of a car's oil color being tan to brown in color following an oil change (assuming the filter was changed, as it was supposed to have been). Please let me know if I am being paranoid or if this does happen in Volvos or other cars. Thanks in advance!


3 Answers


Service Writer

February, 14, 2007 AT 7:56 PM


Need the specifics to help answer.

How often do you really change the oil?

How does the filter look from the outside, you should be able to tell if it's clean and new from the outside.

Some motors will tend to darken oil quicker due to hot spots from poor design.

Oil that is not changed 3month/3000 miles will be more apt to give a dark color, sometimes immediatly.

Some oils are darker than others.

Oil may have not been fully drained.



February, 14, 2007 AT 8:15 PM

This oil change was at 9,600 miles. My first oil change was at 4,000 miles, and the very same thing happened (dirty appearance of oil after the change). The first time, I didn't worry about it too much. This time I became much more concerned.

Thanks for the info about possible other causes; I now realize that it's much more plausible that this could just be the way things work with these types of engines. But then I wonder why did the dealer not tell me this when I made a big stink about it at the dealership. If he had told me that many Volvo S40s have the same problem, I would have understood and let it go. Thanks again though for the help.


Service Writer

February, 14, 2007 AT 8:47 PM

IMHO, change your oil every 3000 miles, oil is cheaper to replace than metal.

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