How do I know if my car’s oil needs to be changed?

One of the most significant yet the most convenient measures any automotive requires to run smoothly is a regular oil change. Engine oil can easily be thought of like the blood of your vehicle. The engine needs oil to lubricate its moving components and keep them operating smoothly. In fact, engines of all kinds need oil in order to function. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a motorcycle, generator, or even a lawnmower. If it’s got an engine, then it needs to be lubricated with oil. However, because oil changes are fairly straightforward and usually are not needed for months at a time, some drivers may put off or forget this task.
An engine constitutes parts that are constantly moving and rubbing against each other. This constant rubbing creates heat from all the friction and it is absolutely essential that oil flows through these moving parts so that it can absorb the heat and prevent overheating. Oil that’s in good condition does this task of avoiding friction easily but old oil doesn’t and that’s why it is required to be replaced. Oil change is a simple and cheap service, but when performed regularly, it can really help to extend your engine’s longevity and enhance its overall performance. At Ultimate Car Care near Little Elm, The Colony & Frisco, TX, we want to help your car run like new for as long as possible. So, we’ve created the ultimate guide to the top signs that you need to be aware of to know that your car’s oil needs to be changed.
1. Visual Confirmation: Color & Consistency
If you’ve never seen clean, new motor oil before, it has a bright amber color to it. But when oil becomes old and dirty from the build-up of residue particles in the engine, then it turns into a much darker, almost black color. Check your vehicle’s oil monthly by removing the dipstick and observing it visually. However, there is one caveat with this because dark oil isn’t, by itself, a sign that it needs to be changed. Oil usually goes in as a light amber/honey color, but it will quickly darken when it is inside the engine. It happens all the time and it doesn’t mean the oil needs to changed. What you want to pay attention to is whether it becomes unusually dark and whether it becomes thick.
2. Louder Engine Noise
If your engine’s making more noises than usual, such as ticking, knocking or rumbling sounds that become louder when you try to increase the speed, this could be because the engine parts have started to rub or grind against each other creating more noise than usual.
If you keep ignoring this for too long, you could be looking at worn out rod bearings. In the best-case scenario, these noises indicate low levels or wrong viscosity of oil and in the worst-case scenario, with loud noises the damage could already require major technical work.
3. Exhaust Smoke
In a cold environment, you are used to seeing vapor emitting from the tailpipe of your vehicle. However, for drivers living in the heat of Little Elm, TX and surrounding areas, if you start seeing blue or gray smoke come out of your exhaust, then you probably have an oil leak. This goes along with a burnt oil smell and the smoke is the result of not enough oil being in your engine to lubricate its parts, due to the leak. So, come over at Ultimate Car Care and get that oil leak fixed and the oil replaced by our experts.
4. Strange Smells Inside The Car
If you’re sitting inside your car and the interior of your car smells oil, then that’s a surefire sign that there’s something wrong. If it isn’t an oil leak, then it could mean your engine is overheating, which causes oil to be burned in the exhaust area. An odor of oil strong enough to be detected inside the car can be an indication that your vehicle is overheating and oil is burning in the exhaust area.
It doesn’t take a master mechanic to know that an overheating engine is bad news and can cause damage to your car, even start a fire. So, if you do smell oil inside your car, you should really want to get an oil change right away by the skillful mechanics of Ultimate Car Care in Little Elm, TX.

Vehicle damage? We'll fix it

We realize that you lead a busy life, so we've made it easy for you to drop off your vehicle 24/7.
Scroll to Top