Here are the 10 common signs your car needs an oil change:
- Engine knocking
- Weird oil texture
- Low oil
- Warning lights illuminating
- Strange exhausts smoke
- Vehicle vibration when idling
- Reduction in fuel economy
- Difficulties changing gears
- Engine ticking
- Weird oil consistency
Your vehicle contains many fluids, and each fluid has an important role. One of the very critical fluids in your vehicle is oil. When your vehicle has enough oil of the right quality, you'll see that it's operating great, and you'll not notice any problems.
However, as the oil gets older, your vehicle will start complaining and show some signs indicating that you need an oil change. This is primarily because the oil is getting older and unable to cool down the engine and drop its temperature when it overheats.
This article highlights the 10 most common signs that your car needs an oil change. You must take your vehicle to the nearest oil change location so you don't deal with engine overheating and other problems that could kill your vehicle.
10 signs your car needs an oil change
When your vehicle doesn't have the right oil quantity or quality, it will complain, and we'll show some signs to bring your attention to internal problems. You, as a driver, must maintain close attention to these signs and prevent ignoring them because this only leads to more problems and will cost you a ton of money to fix the issue.
Automotive experts spent extensive time learning about all potential signs that your car needs an oil change immediately. Our team conducted an in-depth review of automotive experts’ recommendations to help you identify when your vehicle is due for an oil change. Let's take a closer look at the most common signs your car needs an oil change:
1. Engine knocking
When you deal with engine knocking, the first and most critical thing you must keep an eye out for is indicating that your vehicle is due for an oil change. Engine knocking is very critical, and when it happens, it can be very scary to many inexperienced drivers.
Whenever you feel that your vehicle’s engine is operating differently, it is important that you never ignore the issue because it sometimes indicates an internal critical problem. Engine knocking is not a cool situation, and the more you wait on it, the more you will deal with significant engine damage that will cost you the entire vehicle in some scenarios.
2. Weird oil texture
The other thing that you must keep an eye on is your vehicle’s oil texture. Oil should be very smooth, and if you've never seen a good oil, you might want to familiarize yourself with a clean oil texture. This way, you can tell when the oil is not in good condition.
Use the dipstick and look at their vehicle’s oil texture. If you feel it's not normal and not close to the clean oil, your vehicle is probably due for an oil change.
You can then check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and see if you missed an oil change. In some scenarios, you might notice a change in your oil texture just because it's not good quality or because of other external factors. In that case, even if your owner's manual is not indicating a time for an oil change, you'd better talk to your mechanic to see if you need to perform an oil change immediately.
3. Low oil
When your vehicle’s oil gets dirty, it increases the pressure on the different internal components around the engine. In that case, your engine will start pushing oil outside the weak seals, causing oil leaks.
Therefore, if you'll notice that your oil level is dropping significantly, it could be that your vehicle is due for an oil change. Take a look underneath the vehicle and see if you notice any signs of fluid leaks or puddles underneath the car.
Keep in mind that there are many fluids in your car, and many of them could leak under the vehicle. Therefore, you need to familiarize yourself with what oil looks like and smells like so you can tell if it's oil or something else.
It's critical that you understand that whenever you deal with an oil leak, you might be dealing with this critical situation that might prevent you from driving your car. In other words, if you feel that the oil leak is extremely significant, you need to call the mechanic immediately and see if you can drive the car to the repair shop or tow it instead.
Once you confirm that you have a low oil, the next step is to perform an oil change or figure out what's causing the oil leak. Sometimes your mechanic needs not only to perform an oil change but also to take care of the cracks and other damages around the engine to prevent oil from leaking in the future.
4. Warning lights illuminating
In some scenarios, when your vehicle is due for an oil change, your vehicle will try bringing your attention to this problem. If you didn't realize the issue, the vehicle would start showing warning lights on the dashboard.
There are a ton of warning lights on the dashboard, each of which has its job. In most scenarios, when dealing with a situation related to an oil change, you'll most likely see that the engine temperature warning light is illuminating. Probably the check engine light is going to be illuminating as well.
This is saying that your engine temperature exceeds a maximum threshold, and you'd better take action immediately. When the engine is very hot, it could be a problem with the cooling system, but also it could mean that your vehicle is due for an oil change.
Every driver needs to pay attention to these warning lights because they typically refer to internal issues. Sometimes they can be related to a minor problem, but in many situations, they can indicate a significant issue, like when your vehicle is due for an oil change.
5. Strange exhausts smoke
If you were looking at your car and noticing the exhaust smoke, you shouldn't see a clear exhaust color unless you're driving an old vehicle. However, if you start noticing that the exhaust is making weird small cars, there might be a problem related to an oil change.
Therefore, automotive experts always recommend that you never ignore any clear, colorful smoke because it could be something you need to take care of immediately. Your mechanic should tell you if it's related to the oil change issue or something else.
6. Vehicle vibration when idling
Your vehicle should not cause any vibration; when it does, it might be related to an internal problem. There is a very common situation where your vehicle starts vibrating every time you're idle, and this is typically because your vehicle is due for an oil change.
Whenever you notice the vehicle vibration, you should pay attention to the problems, especially if it happens every time you put your vehicle idle. Talk to your mechanic and see if he recommends performing an oil change so you can get rid of the problem and have your vehicle operating properly again.
7. Reduction in fuel economy
Another important symptom you must keep an eye out for when your vehicle is due for an oil change is a significant reduction in fuel economy. If you realize that you need to visit the gas station more frequently than often, it could be an internal issue. Many issues you might be dealing with are related to the oil change.
Unfortunately, you cannot immediately assume that your reduction in fuel economy is linked to oil changes because it might be linked to a more severe problem that has to do with major parts like the engine or the transmission.
You must be proactive about the problem and never delay it. If you feel the issue is related to a significant component, your mechanic will provide details about potential repair options and repair costs.
At this point, you must decide whether you want to pursue these repairs or sell your vehicle instead.
8. Difficulties changing gears
Another potential issue you might deal with when your vehicle is due for an oil change is difficulties switching gears. Although the oil is typically linked to the engine, it might impact the performance of your transmission.
A low-quality oil can easily lead to difficulties operating or transmission, and when this happens, it can also impact your safety. Therefore, whenever you feel that your transmission is not operating, you have to talk to the mechanic, take a closer look at the potential problem, and get it done immediately.
9. Engine ticking
You must monitor your engine’s behavior every time you jump into your vehicle. If you feel that your engine is causing some ticking noises, this can be extremely critical and might be linked to engine overheating issues.
When your vehicle is due for an oil change, the engine will overheat and might start making these ticking noises. In that case, you must consult the mechanic and perform an oil change to prevent other complications that could cost you thousands of dollars on repair.
10. Weird oil consistency
Finally, if you take a closer look at your oil consistency, you might notice that it's not the same. In other words, your oil will look much different than when you first added it to your vehicle.
Strange oil consistency is never a good sign and indicates that your vehicle is due for an oil change. Therefore, consider consistency if you're looking for important science and your car needs an oil change.
Unless you're familiar with how the clear oil looks, it can be hard to tell whether the consistency is normal. Therefore, we always encourage drivers to look at the good situation to identify when things are not going well. Thus, if you're planning to become more familiar with your vehicle’s oil, look at the new oil and see how consistent it is. Then, compare to the current oil in your vehicle to tell whether your vehicle is due for an oil change.
Ten signs your car needs an oil change: Final thoughts
Your vehicle must have the right quantity and quality of oil to operate properly and to prevent overheating. When oil gets old, your vehicle will show some important signs to bring your attention to internal problems and help you know that your vehicle is due for an oil change.
This article provided the 10 signs that your car needs an oil change. You must always pay attention to these signs because the more you wait on them, the more complicated the problem gets and the higher the repair costs.
If you're feeling that your vehicle is consuming more oil than it should and asking for additional oil changes frequently, there could be an internal problem causing this issue. In that case, you get to investigate what's going on and understand the potential repair costs to eliminate this problem.
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