change engine oil alert

Oil Overdue: 4 Hard-To-Miss Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

As most of us know, oil changes are an essential part of car maintenance.  The problem is, we don’t all know when exactly to go get one.

While a lot of drivers use mileage as the primary gauge of when their oil needs to be replaced, there are other factors as well.

The quality of the oil, the age of the car, and the way the car is driven all come into play as well.

Read on for four unmistakable signs that your car needs an oil change

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Signs Your Car Needs An Oil Change

Having enough good quality oil is essential to your cars’ performance. As your oil gets old, dirty, or loses its proper texture, your car will let you know it’s time for an oil change.  Below are four signs you should not ignore.

1. Increased Engine Noises

You know better than anyone how your car sounds on a daily basis.  It’s pretty easy to hear anything that sounds out of the ordinary. 

Motor oil keeps your engine parts lubricated so they run smoothly. When your car is low on oil, these parts rub together. Your engine does not operate optimally. 

At this point, you may begin to hear rattling or knocking coming from your car’s engine.  If you continue to drive without oil, you may soon need more serious car repair than an oil change.

2. Extra Mileage

If you have recently taken a trip out of town, or changed your driving habits in a way that adds more miles to your car than usual, it is probably time for an oil change.

Each car is different.  When it comes to oil changes, however, the rules are pretty standard. In older vehicles, oil should be changed every 3,000 miles or three months. New vehicles can go longer and won’t need an oil change until around 7,500 miles.

3. Your Check Oil Light is On

Even if you don’t check your car’s oil levels regularly, in most cases, your car will let you know when its time to change the oil.

A dashboard light or message will come on when your next oil change is due. Your manufacturer sets the reminder per their recommended schedule.  You must reset this light after each oil change.  There will be information in your owner’s manual on how to do this.

4. Dark or Dirty Oil

When oil is fresh and clean it has a light amber color and is slightly translucent.

As it runs through the engine, it collects dust and particles and gets darker.  This doesn’t happen all at once, so it is important to keep an eye on things under the hood.  Check your engine oil at least once a month. 

In order to do this, you must remove the dipstick and check the oil color.  After bringing the dipstick out the first time, wipe it off before putting it back in.  Pull it out once more.  If you cannot see the dipstick through the oil, it’s time to get it changed.

Let Us Help

Listen to your car.  It will always give you many signs that it is time for an oil change.  Once you have determined that one is necessary, you can visit a mechanic for or you can do it yourself.

Oil changes are a great place for the DIY mechanic to start.  It is a pretty straightforward procedure that can be done in an afternoon.

Visit us for more DIY car repair tips!