Engine oil is like the blood of a vehicle, and without it, it can’t operate efficiently. The engine gets extremely hot. Oil lubricates the essential components within the engine to absorb heat and prevent it from overheating. If the oil is old or sludgy, significant friction can occur, resulting in engine damage. While it’s important to get your oil changed every 3,000 – 5,000 miles, a change in driving habits can mean a change in how often your oil should be changed. Below are five signs that it’s time for your old oil to be replaced to prevent a hazardous driving experience.
1. Dirty Oil
Clean oil is usually bright amber. If you go too long between oil changes, the oil will appear black and sludge-like. Make a habit of checking the oil after driving several thousands of miles. Remove the dipstick, wipe it, reinsert it, and inspect the quality. Dark oil signifies that it’s ready to be changed.
2. Poor Fuel Economy
Old oil turns thick, leaving little resistance to the engine’s moving parts. Thus, the engine works harder to power the vehicle. If the engine is struggling to provide power, the fuel economy will drop. You’ll notice that the gas mileage will not be as efficient as it used to be.
Oil lubricates the engine and prevents overheating. If the oil is low due to neglect, the engine will overheat. Fresh oil will fix this problem before additional engine damage occurs.
4. A Strange Noise is Coming from the Engine - Various mechanical issues can cause a vehicle to struggle to start. If the battery is working and the spark plugs are in good shape, the oil may need to be changed.
5. Dashboard warning light - All vehicles have computer sensors sensitive enough to notify you if there is a problem. If the oil needs to be changed, the oil light will illuminate on the dashboard. However, it’s important to note - you should never wait until the oil dashboard light comes on to change your oil. If the engine light comes on, this usually indicates a mechanical problem that’s severe enough to cause engine damage.
Oil changes are quick and easy ways to maintain the life of your vehicle. If your car is due for an oil change, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle in, we’d be happy to serve you.