Your car’s engine is at the center of every action the vehicle takes, making its maintenance essential if you want it to be reliable. While maintenance is essential for your engine, you might not know the signs that it requires maintenance. Recognizing the signs that you need an oil change necessary to prevent unexpected breakdowns of your engine and guarantee smooth travel.
At Paskett Auto, we understand that you may not recognize the signs that your engine needs an oil change. However, with the help of this blog, caring for your engine may become much easier. If you aren’t sure what the signs that you need an oil change are, keep reading to learn how your vehicle behaves when it is time for this crucial maintenance appointment.
1. Diminished Fuel Efficiency
Ensuring your car is the most fuel-efficient is essential for saving yourself from costly gas bills every time you head to the pump. However, if you notice that your car is not getting as many miles as it used to, this could be a sign that your engine is working harder than it should be. Old and dirty oil is often much less effective at lubricating engine components, causing increased friction and decreased fuel efficiency. If your fuel efficiency has dropped significantly, it is a clear sign that you need an oil change to return it to its previous state.
2. Dark, Dirty Oil
If you aren’t sure if you need an oil change, one of the easiest ways to check on the health of your engine’s oil is by inspecting its color and consistency. When your oil is freshly poured, it is amber in color and has a smooth texture. As it circulates through your engine, it will pick up dirt and debris, causing the color to darken and the texture to become much grittier. If you believe you need an oil change, pull out the dipstick, wipe it, reinsert it, and check the color of your oil. If it is a deep, almost black color, this is a sign that it is time for you to schedule an oil change.
3. Dashboard Lights
If you drive a newer vehicle, it may come with sensors that monitor a variety of aspects of your vehicle’s performance, including your oil quality. If your engine oil pressure light comes on, this means you need an oil change. With these modern advancements in your car’s dashboard technology, it is important to listen to these sensors when they notify you of maintenance needs, as it will guarantee your car maintains peak performance.
4. Exhaust Smoke
If you notice excessive smoke coming out of your car’s exhaust pipe, this may be a sign of burning oil. Old, dirty oil can lose its lubricating properties as it gets older and thicker, leading to increased friction and heat within your engine. As this heat and friction increases, it may cause your oil to seep into the combustion chamber, resulting in more exhaust smoke than your car generally produces. If you notice gray or blue smoke coming from your tailpipe, this is an indication that you need an oil change.
5. Loud Engine Noises
When your engine is well lubricated with oil, it operates quietly. However, as the oil in your engine becomes old and loses its viscosity, you may begin to hear louder-than-usual noises coming from it. This noise may be a result of the increased friction between the moving parts of your engine. If you begin to notice more noises coming from your engine than usual, you need an oil change.
The Risk of Not Changing Your Oil
While you may think ignoring a necessary oil change can’t cause much damage to your engine, it may be more detrimental to your car than you realize. Some of the potential consequences of not performing regular oil changes on your vehicle include the following:
- Engine damage, leading to costly repairs or complete engine replacement
- Decrease fuel efficiency
- Engine overheating
- Reduced engine performance
- Voided warranty
- Shortened engine lifespan
To protect your engine from this kind of unexpected and costly damage, it is important to schedule your oil changes in a timely manner. On average, your car requires an oil change every 5,000 miles to ensure proper care of your engine.
Don’t Put Off Maintenance When You Need an Oil Change
Neglecting oil changes poses some serious risks to the performance of your vehicle, your car’s overall efficiency, and the longevity of your engine lifespan. Regular maintenance, including timely oil changes, is a small investment that may end up saving you from significant repairs and headaches down the road.
If you’re looking for a reliable auto repair shop to schedule regular oil changes, you should consider working with our team at Paskett Auto. With years of experience performing maintenance on cars for car owners across the Northern Utah area, we’re confident that we can quickly and reliably maintain your vehicle so it runs smoothly for many years to come.
In addition to oil changes, our team performs tire rotations, air conditioning, and heating system repairs, and much more. If you need an oil change and would like to schedule an appointment with our team, contact us today.