Oil is the lifeblood of your car’s engine. It lubricates the engine and prevents wear and tear. Regular oil changes increase the engine’s life and improve fuel efficiency. If the oil is not changed, it can cause engine damage requiring you to replace it. In severe cases, the engine may experience internal combustion due to a lack of lubrication.
Thus, it is an important part of car service.
6 Signs You Need an Oil Change
Oil change should be one of the highest priorities in car maintenance. Despite this, many car owners are unaware of when to change their car oil. An oil change is required when its levels are too low, or it loses its quality over time. Here are 6 warning signs that your car oil needs a change:
1. “Oil Change Light” is illuminated
When oil levels are low, the car’s oil change light will be illuminated, giving you the first clue that you need an oil change. As more oil gets used up, there will be more friction, and the car engine will be at severe risk due to lack of lubrication. At this point, the check engine light illuminates. If there is engine damage, you will need a trip to a car repair workshop.
To check the oil level, park the car on level ground and pop the hood. Turn off the engine and pull the dipstick out. Wipe the dipstick and insert it back all the way in. Pull it back out again and check how far along the oil is there is a mark on every dipstick that indicates the correct oil level. It could be 2 pinholes, ‘min’ and ‘max,’ a crosshatch or ‘L’ and ‘H,’ signifying ‘high’ and ‘low .’
2. Change in Oil Color and Consistency
The oil is usually the color of honey. It has a slightly translucent quality. The longer the oil remains in your car, the darker its shade becomes. The darker black shade is because it accumulates particles from the engine over time.
This color change is not very apparent. You need to check your oil every month to ensure its quality. You can check the oil color during an oil level check. After immersing the dipstick in the oil, check whether it is visible. The oil needs changing if the dipstick can’t be seen through the oil.
The color change isn’t the best confirmation for oil replacement. It’s better to check the oil consistency. If the oil is smooth and less dense, then you are safe. But if the oil feels grainy when you touch it, you need to change it. The presence of metal particles in the oil may indicate engine damage. In this case, go to a car repair workshop for a better diagnosis.
3. Smell of Oil
The smell of oil in your car often indicates an oil leak. The car may be overheating if this is accompanied by gas and exhaust fumes. This is a major sign to change your car oil.
4. Knocking Sounds
The most important function of the oil is to provide lubrication to the engine parts. If the oil is old or contaminated, it loses some of its lubricating properties. When the oil levels are low, or the oil has lost its lubricating properties, the engine parts will grind against each other, causing loud knocking sounds.
It should not be ignored if your engine starts to make unfamiliar noises. Head to a car service station if you do not know how to change oil.
5. Smoke in Exhaust
Some vapor is common in a car’s exhaust. However, if this changes to smoke, it indicates something’s wrong. It could be an oil leak or engine damage. Go to a car repair workshop and get it checked.
There is a general rule that the engine oil needs to be changed every three months or 3000 miles (almost 5000 kilometers). However, this period varies with the car model, oil quality, age of the car, and how it’s driven. The owner’s manual will have a schedule for an oil change. If you are overdue, it’s time to change the car oil.
An oil change is a necessary part of car maintenance and one of the least expensive procedures. Changing the oil on time will save you multiple future trips to a car repair workshop. Whether you use the car or not, the oil needs to be changed periodically. Make the safer choice and head to a car service shop if you aren’t sure whether an oil change is an issue.
If your car is old, high-mileage oil is a better choice. If you are unsure which oil to get for your car, head to Swift Tyres Specialists for the right advice and the best car service.