10 Signs Your Car Needs Oil Change | Engine Oil Guide

Just like our body needs blood to function, a car needs engine oil to keep running smoothly.

Changing engine oil regularly plays an important role in lubricating engine parts, keeping them clean, and ensuring everything runs as it should.

Fresh and clean engine oil optimizes the performance of your car. But, as the time passes, this oil starts to break down, much like a body getting fatigued after a long hectic routine, struggling to perform its duties effectively.

That’s when your car starts sending out warning signs that it’s time to change engine oil.

So, let’s explore these warning signs indicating oil change!

10 Signs Your Car’s Oil Needs Changing

1. Dashboard Warning Light / Oil Change Engine Light

When your car’s engine oil light pops up on the dashboard, it’s one of the warning signs your oil needs change. Older cars might use a “check engine” light to flag general engine issues.

So, the first thing you’d want to do is see if your car’s oil is due for a change. It’s like giving your car a quick checkup to keep everything running smoothly.

2. Engine Noise and Knocking / Louder than Normal

Have you ever started your car and heard a strange knocking or ticking sound?

It’s not something you should ignore. Sometimes, this noise lasts only a few seconds, but other times, it can continue and even get louder. If you notice this happening, it’s a sign that your engine might be struggling due to dirty or low oil levels.

It’s when the engine oil gets old or contaminated, leading to strain, noise, and potential damage. If you hear your engine making unusual knocking sounds, it’s a sign your oil needs changing. Ignoring engine noises can result in costly repairs down the road, so it’s better to address them early on.

3. Dark, Dirty or Gritty Oil

When you first pour engine oil into your car, it’s clear and golden, just like you’d expect. But as it does its job in the engine, it starts to change.

You might notice it getting darker quickly. That’s normal. What’s not normal is when it turns into a sludgy or gritty mess. That’s not how healthy oil should look. When you see that, it’s definitely time to change engine oil.

4. Smoking Exhaust

Seeing dark smoke coming from your exhaust is like your car waving a red flag, signalling that something’s wrong with your engine oil.

Normally, you might see a bit of clear vapour coming out, but when it turns dark and smoky, it’s one of the prominent signs your oil needs change. This shift could mean there are problems with engine parts or even an oil leak, so it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible to avoid any bigger issues down the road.

5. Low Oil Level / No oil on Dipstick

Dropping oil levels is a common issue for many drivers. It can be easily checked by using the dipstick in your engine.

Ideally, your oil should be between the two markers on the dipstick. If it’s below this level, it’s one of the clear signs your oil needs change.

As oil gets older, it loses its effectiveness in lubricating and protecting your engine from heat. This means your engine starts using more oil to work properly, leading to faster oil consumption.

6. Burning Oil Smell Inside the Car

The smell of burning oil inside your car often signals a problem, usually caused by a low oil level or your engine running too hot.

To avoid potential damage, just take a quick look at your dipstick and check your oil level. This simple step can save your engine from trouble down the road.

7. Excessive Car Driving

If you’ve been driving a lot lately, it’s worth thinking about whether your car needs an oil change sooner than usual.

Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles or three months, but newer vehicles can go up to 6,000 miles or six months. Check your owner’s manual for exact recommendations. Older cars might benefit from using high-mileage oil to keep everything running smoothly.

8. Car Feels Slow

If you notice your car feeling slow when you step on the gas, it could be a sign that your engine oil needs changing. As oil gets older, it breaks down, becoming thicker with contaminants. This can slow down engine performance, making your car feel heavier and less responsive.

9. Rough Texture and Consistency of the Oil

The colour of your engine oil doesn’t always tell the whole problem.

Pay attention to how the oil feels and looks. If it starts to feel gritty or rough, that’s a sign its quality is declining. Dust and grime can mix in, making the oil texture irregular. Switching to a high-quality engine oil can keep your engine performing at its best.

10. High Degree of Friction in Engine

Lastly, when your car’s engine experiences high levels of friction, it’s a clear sign to change engine oil.

This friction doesn’t just impact engine performance but also affects how efficiently your car drives. If you notice these symptoms, consider changing engine oil or seeking advice from a car expert for the best course of action.

How To Change Engine Oil?

Changing engine oil and filter might seem like a daunting task if you’ve never done it before, but with a little preparation and the right steps, it’s something you can easily do yourself.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to changing engine oil:

1. Preparing for the Oil Change

Before getting into the oil change process, take some time to prepare:

  • Know Your Vehicle’s Engine Displacement: Check your owner’s manual, look for engine information, or use a VIN decoder to find your engine size.
  • Look for the Right Oil Type: Different engines require specific oil viscosities. Check your manual, or oil cap label, or consult a dealership for the right oil type (e.g., conventional, blend, synthetic).
  • Determine the Amount of Oil Needed: Refer to your owner’s manual or contact a dealership to find out how much oil your engine requires.

2. Lift the Car and Open the Oil Drain Pan

Lift your car using a hoist, ramp, or jack stand to access the underside. Remove any plastic undertray covering the oil pan and oil filter.

3. Unplug and Drain It

Position an oil container beneath the oil pan, then loosen and remove the drain plug to let the old oil drain out completely.

4. Remove the Old Filter

Find and remove the old oil filter using an oil filter wrench if needed. Make sure the old filter’s gasket or seal is not stuck on the engine.

5. Drain Plug and Oil Filter On

Replace the drain plug with a new seal if necessary, and tighten it securely. Apply a light coating of oil to the new oil filter’s seal and install it by hand, then snug it up with a wrench.

6. Fill It Up with Oil

After you’ve done replacing the oil filter and drain plug, lower the car and open the hood. Now, using a funnel, pour in the right amount of new engine oil. Replace the oil cap as well.

7. Check the Oil Level / Make sure it doesn’t leak

Lastly, start the engine briefly to circulate the new oil and then check the oil level by using a dipstick. Look for leaks around the drain plug and filter.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully changed your engine oil and filter! Enjoy the satisfaction of saving money and keeping your car running smoothly.Top of Form

How Often Does Your Oil Needs Changing?

Wondering how often should change engine oil?

Typically, it’s recommended to get an oil change every 10,000 to 15,000 kilometers, or roughly every 6 to 12 months.

How To Reset Change Engine Oil Soon?

To reset the ‘Change Engine Oil Soon’ notification, follow these simple steps:

  • Turn your key to the ‘On’ position, which is two turns of the key without starting the engine.
  • Press the gas pedal completely down three times within ten seconds.
  • Turn off your vehicle.
  • Start your vehicle again to ensure that the oil light has reset.

Looking for an oil change for your car?

If you’re thinking, ‘Where can I find a car engine oil change near me?

Reach out to All Aspect Motors!

We offer quick and professional oil change services along with a range of car repairs, including engine, brake system, transmission, and head gasket repairs.

Get an Appointment

Contact All Aspect Motors for Reliable Engine Oil Change Service Now!

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