Changing out oil is a necessity for any car. It’s a quick and easy process that can be done at home or an autobody shop. Oil is vital to lubricate your vehicle’s engine. You need good, clean oil for your car to perform at its best. It can also help to extend the life of your engine. Your oil should be changed regularly for the health of your car. Oil lubricates moving parts of the engine to keep it running cleanly and smoothly. Over time, oil can get dirty and break down—making it less effective.
Most rely on their mileage to determine when your oil needs to be changed. While this can be telling, many other factors should also be considered. How old is your car? What kind of oil is it using? How much has your car been driven? Once a vehicle reaches the point that it needs oil changed, it will exhibit warning signs.
If a change oil light comes on, oil should be changed as soon as possible. When a change oil light comes on, it’s a sign that your engine is at risk. When there is a lack of lubrication, the moving parts of your engine can be damaged. An oil light would go on if there was not enough oil in the car. You can double-check this by checking your oil dipstick.
Even if your car has enough oil, the oil may be dirty. Oil should look translucent and be an amber color. If the oil looks darker and has small particles in it, it has been well used. Check your oil about once a month. Using your dipstick, dip it in the oil and wipe it down. Does the oil on the cloth appear to be clean or dirty? If the oil is unclear, it’s likely time for an oil change.
Most people change their oil about every three months, which may be enough—but if you drive more mileage during those three months, you may need an oil change sooner. Oil should be changed about 3,000 miles, which most people drive in about three months. However, if you recently took a road trip or drove an excessive amount, more mileage warrants a need for an oil change. It is also a good idea to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual—some cars may not need oil changed as often. Many new cars need an oil change closer to 6,000 miles or six months.
There are many signs of oil leaking. You may see oil marks under your parked car. There may also be a smell of oil inside or around the vehicle—this will smell like gas or exhaust fumes. An oil leak will drain your oil quickly, leading to engine parts grinding and brushing against each other. If this is the case, you may start to hear noises coming from your engine. If you see any indication of an oil leak, it’s time to take your car in for maintenance.