Signs Your Vehicle Needs An Oil Change

Regular oil changes keep your vehicle running smoothly, but how do you know when it’s time to change? Here are some signs to monitor:

Dashboard Warning Light

Many modern vehicles have a dashboard warning light that indicates when it’s time for an oil change. If this light illuminates, have your oil changed as soon as possible to prevent engine damage.

Dark Or Dirty Oil

Regularly checking your oil is a simple way to monitor its condition. If the oil on the dipstick is dark, dirty, or gritty, there’s a clear need for a fresh change. Fresh oil should have a golden or amber color and a smooth consistency.

Engine Noise

As oil breaks down and becomes less effective, you may notice increased engine noise, such as knocking or ticking. This is often due to inadequate lubrication, leading to friction and wear on engine components.

Decreased Fuel Efficiency

Old or dirty oil can cause your engine to work harder, decreasing fuel efficiency and increasing fuel consumption. If you notice a sudden drop in your vehicle’s gas mileage, it could be a sign that your oil needs changing.

Exhaust Smoke

Excessive exhaust smoke, particularly blue or gray smoke, can indicate oil burning in the combustion chamber. This can occur when old or degraded oil leaks past worn piston rings or seals. If you notice unusual smoke coming from your exhaust, have your vehicle inspected by a professional.

Engine Overheating

Oil dissipates heat from the engine, so it may struggle to perform this function effectively if it becomes too degraded or contaminated. This can lead to increased engine temperatures and potential overheating issues.

Paying attention to these signs and scheduling regular oil changes can ensure your vehicle’s engine stays healthy and performs optimally for years. Consult your trusted auto repair shop for guidance on the best oil change interval for your vehicle and driving habits.

Image by thitimon toyai from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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