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6 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

An Evans Tire ASE-certified technician performs a conventional oil change service on a vehicle.

Regular oil changes are essential to the efficiency of your car’s operations. Because the frequency of oil changes a car requires varies over time, you may not know when it is time for an oil change. When you are overdue for an oil change, your engine runs on dirty oil.

Eventually, the contaminants in the dirty oil clog up your oil filters. Unfiltered oil is abrasive and causes more wear on engine components. Contaminated oil cannot lubricate engine parts well, so your engine wears more quickly.

You risk engine failure when you neglect oil changes, so you must be aware of warning signs of an overdue oil change. This post explores signs that indicate it is time for an oil change.

  1. Engine Noises

Oil lubricates the moving components in your engine, which keeps them from rubbing against each other as the engine runs. But when the engine oil is too dirty, it cannot provide adequate lubrication. As a result, your engine noise increases as your engine’s moving parts stop gliding smoothly over one another.

  1. Excess Exhaust

Modern vehicles do not produce a lot of exhaust, and even the exhaust they produce is translucent. Thus, it is worth checking your motor oil when you see smoke released from your vehicle’s exhaust pipe.

  1. A Burning Smell 

Have you noticed the smell of burnt oil inside your car? If you have, the oil levels in your engine are likely deficient. Motor oil helps keep your engine cool. Thus, when it is insufficient, your engine overheats and produces a burning smell.

A burning smell can also point to an oil leak. Oil leaks are serious problems that call for immediate remediation. Schedule maintenance servicing immediately if you smell something burning in your car.

  1. Dark Textured Oil

Engine oil collects particles as it runs through the engine, and with time, the oil turns dark. If you never check your oil, you will not notice the color change. Therefore, regularly check your oil.

To check your oil, turn the engine off, then take out the dipstick. Wipe the oil off the dipstick with a rag, then put the dipstick back into its tube, pushing it all the way in. Pull the dipstick out and check the oil level indicated by the mark on the dipstick. While checking the oil level, check the color of the oil and its consistency.

If your vehicle’s oil level is on or below the low mark, has a dark color, and feels grainy, you need an oil change.

  1. Blinking Check Engine or Oil Change Light

Some vehicles have an oil change light that blinks when the car needs an oil change. If your car does not have an oil change light, your check engine light may blink when your car needs an oil change. Check your engine oil levels to see what the light in your dashboard means.

Alternatively, schedule an appointment with your mechanic. A mechanic knows what to look out for to determine whether you need an oil change to resolve the issue with your car.

  1. Increased Fuel Consumption

As oil picks up more particles, it becomes more viscous and moves more slowly through the engine parts. The engine has to work harder to carry the thick oil and thus consumes more fuel. Thus, an oil change may help improve your car’s gas mileage.

Are you still unsure if your car needs an oil change? If so, the mechanics at Evans Tire & Service Centers can inspect your vehicle and give it an oil change if it is necessary. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an oil change or a vehicle check-up.

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