How to Tell When Your Car Needs an Oil Change

does my car need an oil change?

So, you’ve just bought your dream ride and are happily cruising around town. Exciting! Then you start hearing chatter about the importance of changing your oil regularly, and you may be wondering…

“Is changing your oil REALLY that important?”

Well, it is. Changing the oil in your engine on a regular basis is essential to get your car in optimal working condition and extend its lifespan.

Why You Need Regular Oil Changes

The engine of your car is an incredible invention. It is made of different components that all work together. Getting your oil changed frequently is essential to keep the different parts of your engine in good condition and avoid a breakdown. Here are a few reasons why you need to get the oil in your car changed on a regular basis.

  1. It provides lubrication for your engine and reduces wear-and-tear of the different components.
  2. It keeps your engine clean by clearing away buildup of dirt and other particles.
  3. It cools down your engine. A car engine can heat up immensely when in use. Changing your oil is essential to keep your engine from overheating.
  4. It reduces gas consumption of your vehicle. Cars tend to burn up more gas when the engine is not in good shape, and an oil change can fix that.

How to Tell When You Need an Oil Change

Thankfully, getting an oil change is a quick process that doesn’t cost a lot. The general rule is to have the oil in your engine changed after every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, while some cars wait until the 7,000-mile mark is passed. Some people also choose to get an oil change every 3 months on the dot!

However, not all cars are the same, and everyone drives differently. Therefore, those rules may not apply in every case. These are some tell-tale signs that you need an oil change immediately.

  1. Noisy Engine: One of the easiest ways to tell when you need an oil change is when you start to notice that your engine is getting loud. As indicated above, oil reduces friction among the different parts of your engine. When the oil is dirty, or the level is low, it is unable to perform this function effectively. Hence, your engine gets noisier from friction, and your car doesn’t start smoothly.
  2. Oil Looks Dark: Another straightforward way to determine when you need an oil change is to look at the color of the oil in the oil compartment of your car engine. Clean oil has a honey brown/amber hue.

However, when it is filled with soot and dirt particles, the oil will look black. You don’t want to be driving with oil that looks like that!

Checking the color of the oil in your car is easy. Just pop open the hood of your vehicle, open the oil compartment and pull out the dipstick. You can see the color of the oil from the stains on the dipstick.

If you can’t quite tell the color of the oil from the dipstick, you can check its consistency by touching the dipstick and rubbing your fingers together. If the texture feels gritty, this indicates that there are particles in the oil and it needs to be changed.

  1. Smoky Exhaust: Most new cars are designed to produce vapor when in good working condition. However, when you start to see smoke coming from your exhaust, this may be an indication that you need an oil change. It could also be a sign that something else is wrong with your vehicle.
  2. Oil Replacement Light: If all else fails, one way to know for certain that you need an oil change is to check if the oil replacement light on the dashboard of your car is on. Many new cars have this feature. It is a very convenient way to tell when you need an oil change.

The oil replacement indicator is usually represented by a can dripping oil. If you can’t locate the oil replacement indicator on your dashboard, consult the manual that came with your vehicle.

Run with Clean Oil

Changing your car oil regularly will go a long way to prolong the life of your engine and keep it running smoothly.

Ultimately, you’ll spend less on repairs. It is essential to check the recommendations of your car manufacturer regarding the frequency of changing your oil. Not all cars function the same way, and some vehicles may need more regular oil changes than others. It can also depend on your driving habits.

Auto Repair Experts You Can Trust

Do you live around Tucson, Arizona? And do you think your car needs an oil change? We can help. Accurate Service is a full-service auto repair shop.

We have been in the auto repair business since 1996, and we work with all car models. Call us today at 520-620-9129 or go online and schedule an appointment with us to get your car checked.