Routine oil changes are a critical step in keeping your vehicle running like new. Depending on how often you drive the vehicle, you’ll probably need to have the oil changed at least twice each year—but you should always check your owner’s manual to find out for sure.
It’s also wise to familiarize yourself with some of the telltale signs that your oil is dirty and needs to be replaced. Here are five red flags—key reasons to get an oil change ASAP!
Signs Your Vehicle Need its Oil Changed
There’s no oil in the tank!
It’s smart to open your hood and use the dipstick to gauge your engine oil levels at least once a month, and always before you embark on a long road trip. If you find that your oil tank is dry as a bone, that’s a major warning sign. You need to add some oil to your engine right away, preferably without driving the vehicle until you do so.
The oil is dark and dirty.
Your engine oil is supposed to be amber in color—so if you use that dipstick to check your oil level and find that the fluid has become dark and dingy, that’s another warning sign. It simply means that your oil has become contaminated with a lot of dirt and debris, and needs to be changed out sooner rather than later.
Your engine is making loud noises.
One of the reasons you need engine oil in the first place is to lubricate the engine—but as the oil gets old, the fluid breaks down, thins out, and simply doesn’t lubricate quite as well. As such, you may begin to hear louder engine noises. In particular, a loud “knocking” sound coming from your engine is a major sign that your oil needs to be changed out.
You have smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe.
It’s normal to see a bit of translucent vapor rising from the tailpipe of your vehicle—especially in cold weather. But if you notice thick, dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, that means there could be an oil leak somewhere in your engine. This is reason enough for you to take your car to the local service station for an evaluation.
Your check engine light comes on.
Finally, and perhaps most obviously, if your check oil or check engine lights come on, you should definitely change your oil, or make an appointment at the service station of your choice. Remember that regular oil changes help preserve the life and enhance the performance of your vehicle, so don’t put off this important task!
Keep Your Vehicle in Top Condition
Know the indicators that your vehicle is due for an oil change—and when you spot them, don’t delay! Keep your oil fresh and clean to get the most out of your vehicle. And as always, if you need to find your next top-condition used car, reach out to Get My Auto.