A regular oil change is one of the most essential maintenance measures needed for every motor vehicle to ensure that it runs smoothly. Oil is like the blood that keeps the motor alive. However, unlike the blood in the human body that gets purified and creates new blood cells over time, engine oils are not capable of that.
Regular oil changes should be part of ongoing maintenance. Keep in mind that engines need oil for lubrication to keep the components moving. An oil change is relatively straightforward; however, since they are not needed for months at a time, most drivers forget or put off this task until it becomes too late.
Frequent oil changes may be needed for your vehicle as it ages, drives in more extreme weather conditions, or increases in mileage. Failure to change the oil can lead to problems. They could range from reduced fuel economy to more serious engine damage. Worse, it can totally destroy the engine.
While most people rely on mileage as a way to identify that an oil change is needed, there are other factors that need to be considered. So what are the signs that you need an oil change? Pay attention to these warning signs – it could save your engine and money from costly repairs or replacement.
Dirty or dark oil
Clean, new motor oil is slightly translucent and has a bright amber color. When your engine oil becomes dirty and old due to residue build-up, it turns a darker color – sometimes black. Make it a habit to check the condition of your oil regularly. Check the oil dipstick to know the color of your engine oil. Or, to get a more accurate result, wipe the end of the dipstick with a paper towel. One of the basic signs you need an oil change is if you see a dark color in your engine oil.
Falling oil level
To help extend the period of time between oil changes on your vehicle, occasionally topping off the oil can help. However, if you notice that the oil level is falling too quickly and constantly, then it could be an indication of a problem in your oil system.
If this happens, an additional repair may be required on top of the oil change.
Excess vehicle exhaust
Modern vehicles are designed not to release visible emissions from their tailpipes. However, if you notice something odd and smoke seems to trail behind your vehicle, it could mean a serious issue. Excess vehicle exhaust means that the engine oil is too old to function well.
Keep in mind as well that these exhaust changes may be an indication of a much bigger problem like cracked gaskets. Make sure to have this symptom checked immediately.
Increased engine noise and knocking
Engine oils provide a protective coating between engine components and parts to keep the engine running quietly and avoid metal-to-metal brushing. You will notice an increase in the engine noise if your oil is not functioning properly. In extreme cases, knocking or rumbling sounds can be heard while your vehicle is running. It signifies lack of lubrication and that your engine is tearing itself apart piece by piece.
Oil smell inside the car
An oil smell inside the car can only mean one thing – there is an oil leak. Schedule maintenance as soon as possible if you smell gas or exhaust fumes in the interior of your vehicle. The leak may be severe so a repair must be done immediately. If you fail to do this, further damage could happen to the engine and may even result in its destruction. Your car may also overheat due to lack of oil and if the oil on the engine ignites, a fire may happen.
While the ones mentioned above are just the simple warning signs, there are still other various indications to know if your vehicle needs an oil change or not. In the end, what is important is to always check the condition of your car. Ensure that it is being serviced and maintained at the right time. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that you are using the correct weight and type of oil for your vehicle. Any signs of overheating, oil leaks, low oil, or weird noises should be addressed as soon as possible.
Whenever you need an oil change or any vehicle maintenance, visit The Auto Warehouse. Our friendly and professional technicians will ensure that your precious vehicle is in tip-top condition at all times.