When it comes to keeping your car in great running condition, nothing is more important than factory recommended maintenance. Getting a vehicle tune-up and also changing the motor oil regularly is especially critical. Here are the biggest signs you need an oil change.
1. Motor Oil Looks Nasty
Over time, motor oil gradually starts to become dirty. When this happens, your engine is far more prone to experiencing premature wear and tear. To be on the safe side, never wait too long to get an oil change.
As you check the oil, take note of its appearance on your dipstick. If the oil looks extremely dark and grimy, this is a tell-tale sign you need to schedule a trip to your local repair shop. Fresh motor oil typically has an amber color.
2. Illuminated Oil Change Light
If your vehicle features an oil change monitor, you’re already one step ahead of the game. By constantly tracking the engine-operating conditions, the system can determine exactly how much life the oil has left. Drivers love the extra convenience.
After seeing your oil light come on, you should plan to get an oil change within the next 50 miles. During this time, you can continue to drive your vehicle without worrying about jeopardizing its reliability.
3. Engine Sounds Louder Than Normal
If your car engine has started to sound louder than normal, have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible. You may simply need an oil change. When motor oil starts to break down, metal-on-metal contact within the engine is more likely to occur. Because there’s not as much lubrication, the engine naturally starts to produce more noise. This is one of the key reasons why car owners often report a quieter ride after getting a fresh oil change.
While an engine that’s running slightly louder isn’t extremely alarming, a knocking sound is especially serious. There’s a good chance you allowed the oil level to get too low.
4. You Notice Bluish Exhaust Smoke
Healthy gasoline engines should not smoke. Although smoking can stem from a variety of different issues, failing to get regular engine oil changes is a common cause. Some of the engine seals may have become brittle.
Although an oil change is clearly required, you could also need a few more repairs. Aside from replacing the worn-out seals, your mechanic will also need to inspect for sludge. Sludge, which is often a result of infrequent oil changes, can ultimately destroy an engine.
5. You’ve Racked Up A lot of Miles
Like so many other drivers in the Asheville area, you probably use your vehicle for commuting on an everyday basis. It doesn’t take long for a person to rack up a lot of miles, especially if their job is 20 minutes or more away.
In the event that your vehicle doesn’t have an oil monitor, be sure to keep tabs on your mileage. To find out your specific vehicle’s recommended oil change interval, consult the owner’s manual or ask your mechanic.