3 Signs You Need To Change Your Car's Oil

Posted on: 13 April 2023

Regular oil changes are crucial to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently. But how do you know when it's time to change your oil? 

Most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 7,500 miles or six months, whichever comes first. But this can vary depending on your specific driving habits and the type of oil you use.

To help you avoid engine damage and costly repairs, here are three signs your car's oil needs changing.

Dirty or Dark Oil

One of the most noticeable and visual signs that you need to change the oil in your car is the color of the oil itself. When you pull out the dipstick, the oil should appear amber in color and relatively clean. It should also have a smooth texture and should not be gritty.

However, as the oil ages and accumulates contaminants, the color will start to darken and become murky. If the oil looks noticeably darker, has particles in it, or appears to have an irregular consistency, it could be time to change it. You don't have to wait until it's completely black before replacing the oil.

Low Oil Pressure Warning Light

Another sign that your car's oil needs changing is a low oil pressure warning light or notification. This warning light is usually shaped like an oil can and will light up on your dashboard when your car detects low oil pressure. It can come on even if the oil level is adequate, so it's important to have a mechanic check your car if this happens.

Low pressure could be due to various reasons, such as a clogged oil filter, but oftentimes, it's an indication that the oil has become too dirty and thick to lubricate the engine's moving parts properly. The result is friction and heat, which can cause significant damage to the engine.

Engine Knocking or Louder Engine Noise

As mentioned earlier, if your car's oil is old and full of contaminants, it won't be able to properly lubricate the engine's moving parts, making them grind together and causing friction. This could lead to engine knocking or a louder, more pronounced engine noise.

If you hear a knocking sound coming from your engine or notice that your engine has started to sound louder than usual, it's time to get your oil changed. The sooner you address the issue, the less likely you'll have to deal with more serious and costly problems down the road.

Regular oil changes are essential to extending the life of your car, preventing costly repairs, and maintaining optimal engine performance. If you notice dirty or dark oil, a low oil pressure warning light, or an engine knocking sound, it's time to schedule an oil change.

Contact an auto service to learn more about getting an oil change