When you should change your oil?
Fresh, clean oil optimizes your vehicle’s performance by lubricating parts and keeping the engine clean and healthy. But with time, the fluid breaks down and has difficulty performing its duties. Once this starts, your car will exhibit the top five oil change warning signs below.
1. Dark and Dirty Oil
Clean oil is an amber color. After a while, the fluid darkens and gets dirty from all of the particles it collects from the engine.
You won’t know exactly when its color starts to turn, so we recommend checking the condition of your oil every month. To do this, remove the dipstick from your engine, wipe it off, and put it back in. When you remove it again, if you can see the stick through the oil, the fluid is fine. However, if it’s thick and dark, schedule an oil change right away.
2. Louder Engine Noise and Knocking
Clean oil provides a barrier between engine parts that protect against metal-on-metal contact and keeps your engine quiet when driving. However, when the fluid begins to break down, it doesn’t lubricate the parts as well and causes greater engine noise.
If you ignore the increased engine noise, you may start to hear knocking, rumbling, and even roaring to let you know that your vehicle is in dire need of an oil change.
3. Oil Change or Check Engine Light
An illuminated oil change light on your vehicle’s dashboard indicates that there’s too little oil in the system. So once you see this light, check your oil level with the dipstick and if it’s insufficient, change your oil as soon as possible.
In more serious instances, your check engine light will turn on to let you know your vehicle is at high risk of engine damage due to the lack of fluid or damaged parts.
4. Exhaust Smoke
It’s common to see a translucent vapor coming out your tailpipe when the weather gets colder. But if you notice smoke being emitted, check your oil because there could be an oil leak in your engine.
Smoke can also indicate faulty parts in your engine. So if you see there’s enough oil in your vehicle, have a professional perform diagnostics to pinpoint the problem and repair it immediately.
5. Oil Smell Inside the Cabin
Getting a whiff of oil inside the cabin is a huge warning sign. Generally, the odor is strong and means there’s a leak. However, this scent can also be mixed with the smell of gas or exhaust fumes. This indicates that your vehicle is overheating and oil is burning into the exhaust area.
An overheating engine can cause serious damage to your car and even ignite a fire. So once you smell oil inside your car, get an oil change right away.
So oil changes are a simple service, but are one of the most beneficial things you can do for your vehicle. Having scheduled oil changes helps to keep your car healthy and extend its life.
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