Your vehicle needs regular oil changing so you can extend its engine’s longevity and improve its overall performance. The question now is, when and how often should you change your car’s oil? Plenty of drivers usually rely on the mileage to know when to schedule a service appointment. However, there are actually plenty of warning signs that a vehicle requires an oil change. Here are some of the indicators:
Oil Is Dark or Dirty
You should make it a habit to check the color of your car’s oil on a regular basis or at least once a month. It should be amber and slightly translucent. But if you notice that it’s dirty or dark (almost black), then it means that you need to change the oil. A motor fluid changes color and gets dirty over time because of the particles collected from the engine.
Check Engine or Change Oil Light Is Illuminated
The most obvious indicator that your car’s oil needs changing is when you see that the change oil light is illuminated. This means that there is not enough oil in the system. If you see that the check engine light is on, you should call a professional mechanic right away. This could mean that the engine is at high risk of damage due to broken parts or lack of oil.
Engine Is Making Loud Noises or Knocking Sounds
Your car’s engine does produce noise. But the sound is usually very soft that you don’t normally hear them. If you hear loud noises coming from the engine, you need to change your oil.
The motor oil provides a protective barrier between engine parts to avoid metal-to-metal brushing and keep them quiet while you’re driving. When there isn’t enough fluid to lubricate the parts, the engine noise will increase. You can hear knocking, roaring, and rumbling sounds.
Burnt Oil Smell Inside Your Vehicle
When you start smelling burnt oil inside your car, you should schedule maintenance immediately. This could mean there’s an oil leak, and it’s dripping on the hot engine parts.
Sometimes, the oil smells can also mix with gas or exhaust fumes. This indicates that your car is overheating, which can be dangerous. It would not only cause serious damage to your vehicle but might also ignite a fire.
Car Is Overheating
There are many reasons why cars overheat, such as cooling system leaks, broken water pumps, and blocked or faulty hoses. But it can also be caused by low oil.
The motor oil helps control the engine temperature by minimizing friction. So, if your car is low on oil, there won’t be enough fluid to lubricate the internal engine components. This can cause friction, which generates excessive heat, and potentially lead to engine overheating and failure.
Smoke Coming Out of Your Car’s Tailpipe
Normally, you can see a translucent vapor coming out of your tailpipe, especially during the cold weather. But if you notice that smoke is being emitted, you might need to change your oil. Exhaust smoke usually indicates that there’s an oil leak or there are faulty parts in your engine. To know what the problem really is, calling a professional mechanic would be best.
Although every vehicle is different, most cars require oil replacement after traveling a distance of 3,000 miles. But if your vehicle is new, you can drive up to 6,000 miles before changing your oil.
So, if you’ve just returned from a long road trip or if you believe you’ve already driven plenty of miles, you should consider changing your fuel immediately. Also, keep in mind that if you have an older vehicle, you should use high-mileage oil.
Change Your Oil on a Regular Basis
To ensure that your car is running properly, one thing you can do is to change your oil regularly. Many experts recommend that you should replace your oil either every three to six months, depending on the vehicle you have.
In case you want to know other warning signs that your car requires an oil change, feel free to reach out to a professional automotive technician or mechanic. This way, you can make sure you’re getting a fuel change at the right time.