Getting an oil change at the proper time is necessary if you want your car to run for a long time. You don’t need to follow the much-repeated dictum of changing the oil at every 3,000 miles or three months. However, it’s important to do it on time to stop sending your vehicle to the graveyard early.
Getting an Oil Change: The Warning Signs
You should check the service manual to know the recommended oil change interval. If you are too lazy for that, look out for these red flags. If you notice any of these, change oil yourself or take the auto to a nearby service center.
The Oil Light Is On
It means that your vehicle is experiencing a problem that you need to address immediately. It can indicate the time for an oil change or an existing mechanical issue. You don’t need to do anything more than replacing the lubricant in most cases, especially when the vehicle is new. Sometimes, the light could be indicative of an engine problem or low oil pressure.
Loud Noise from the Engine
Oil lubricates the engine parts and prevents them from friction and grinding with each other. If you make a delay with the change, the oil will collect dirt and debris and spread them through all the important parts. The result is clicking or tapping sound, reminding that it’s time to getting an oil change.
Sometimes, you may hear rapping or loud knocking, which comes from the engine rods knocking together. It needs prompt attention because fixing the damaged rods costs a great amount of money.
Low oil pressure can also cause a clapping noise, which actually indicates a malfunction in the upper valvetrain. It will gradually become louder, and the engine will ultimately stop working.
Dark and Dirty Oil
If you can’t remember when you’ve changed the oil last time, take a look under the hood. Take the dipstick away, wipe with a piece of cloth, and insert it again into the cylinder. Pull it out and check the oil’s color. Rub it into a white paper towel to become sure.
Fresh oil has a yellowish-brown (amber) shade. It starts getting darker with time. It may even look black if you haven’t changed it for a long time. Dirty oil poses the risk of creating a mechanical malfunction.
Smoke coming out of the tailpipe is not a good sign. It could signal oil leakage or an engine problem. In either case, getting an oil change is recommended.
Smell of Oil Inside the Vehicle
It should never happen. If it does, it could mean overheating of the engine or an oil leak. As it can lead to a serious problem, take your car immediately to a service center and opt for an oil change.
The constant high temperature for a long time makes the oil form sludge and dirt. It also loses the viscosity and becomes less efficient in lubricating the metal parts. Change oil at regular intervals if you don’t want the fluid to accelerate engine wear.