Cars are complex vehicles with a lot of moving parts. So when something isn’t sounding or handling quite right, it’s important to make sure there isn’t a serious problem. Oil changes aren’t that costly or that complicated, but they can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Read on to see how you can tell if you’re in need of an oil change.
3 Reasons to Get an Oil Change
There are a couple of sure-fire ways to know that your oil needs to be looked at. First, most vehicles are equipped with sensors that can alert you with a warning light on your dashboard if your oil needs to be checked. Furthermore, an easy and effective way to see if it’s time for an oil change is to check your manual. This is a guide to everything important about your vehicle and should be consulted before taking advice from even a trusted mechanic.
Take a Look
If you pop the hood and get a close look at your oil, it can tell you a lot. First, you need to make sure your oil level isn’t low, as this will cause problems down the road. It’s also important to make sure the oil looks as it should.
As oil begins to age, it may get darker as sludge begins to form. Sludge can do irreparable damage to your engine components if not dealt with quickly. If you need more reason to make sure your oil isn’t getting thick, sludge offers more resistance to your engine parts, which lowers gas mileage.
Signs You Can See and Hear
If your vehicle begins to overheat or is making a knocking noise, it’s possible your oil is to blame. Because oil is used to lubricate the engine components, ineffective or low oil causes more friction than your vehicle is prepared to handle. You may even notice blue or gray smoke exiting your exhaust pipe. This may be a sign of an oil leak, so don’t delay and bring it in for service.