Do you notice that your car engine is making some strange sounds? Maybe, it’s not even moving so smoothly on the road as it used to. It’s probably time for an oil change. Oil changes are important to keep your car running smoothly, so don’t put it off! If you are a car owner, you probably know that most cars are recommended to have an oil change every 3,000 miles.

But have you ever wondered what are the consequences of not getting your oil changed? The short answer is damage to your engine and poor performance. There are several signs you can look out for to know when it is time for an oil change. For instance, if your engine sounds louder than usual or if the check engine light turns on, then you should request a mechanic to visit you as soon as possible.

Read on to learn more about the signs that make it clear when it’s time for an oil change.

6 Warning Signs Your Car Needs Oil Change

1.Extreme vehicle exhaust: Gone are the days when vehicles used to release pitch dark, thick exhaust fumes from the tailpipes. But if your car is releasing such exhaust frequently unlike before, the sudden change indicates a serious problem in your car. Usually, excessive release of the dark, soot-like exhaust is a warning sign saying the motor oil is too old to be used and must be changed as soon as possible.

Check if the tailpipe is releasing blueish exhaust. Bluish smoke is released when the oil seeps inside the engine and burns with the fuel at the same time. The oil level in the engine, can be low as well. Also, there could be an external oil leak due to which the oil is trickling into the exhaust system.

2. Unusual noise from the engine: Do you know what is the primary use of engine oil? It is used to keep the moving parts well-lubricated. And when there is a lack of proper lubrication, this is when the components inside the engine start singing a song…errrrr….make noise! The parts come into contact with each other frequently and as a result, what you hear is knocking or tapping sounds from your car.

No. If your car has become noisy, it isn’t possessed by any music-loving ghost! It’s simply trying to tell you, ‘I need an oil change!’ And don’t be shocked if you hear a cam bearing noise/lifters and understand that your car needs the engine oil to be changed quickly.

Read more: How Often Should I Go for Car Servicing?

Checking your engine oil regularly is an important part of your car maintenance routine

3. The oil looks dark and dirty: New engine oil looks so fine and clear, isn’t it? It is generally light or dark golden, depending on the thickness or weight. However, almost everything wears out with time and age and so does the engine oil. With regular usage, the light/dark golden oil becomes completely unrecognizable – black and dirty. This is because of heat and also for collecting plenty of impurities over time and through regular use that travels through the engine.

There’s a very simple way to keep a note of your engine oil’s colour – just keep checking the dipstick often and when you find the oil appearing dirty or dark, change it.

4. The smell of oil inside the car: After getting inside your car, do you smell oil first but not your car perfume? Well, it indicates you have an oil leak inside your car. Not only that, but the oil is also trickling down to the hot portion of the engine or exhaust and is combusting. It is also important to know that oil leaks can occur not from one but several areas in your car and this includes:

  • Oil plug – Your engine’s oil plan is composed of a component called an oil plug. This is taken out during oil changes and again put back. Oil starts dripping when this plug isn’t tightened properly or the gasket has deteriorated.
  • Oil sending unit: Also referred to as the ‘pressure switch’, you’ll find this installed at the back of the engine. Should the gasket be damaged, the oil can leak down and clog this unit.
  • Head gasket: If oil is leaking from the head gasket, it can drip onto the top part of the engine. In such a case, you may have to replace the engine. Don’t worry! You can contact certified mechanics by just posting a request on Swezo.
  • Valve cover gasket: The valve cover gasket is located at the top as well as towards the lower bottom of the engine. However, there can be more than one valve cover gasket, depending on the size of the engine. Oil can leak from the edges surrounding the valve cover gasket.
  • Front/rear seals: Do you notice an oil leak either in the front or rear main seal? Then you should know that the oil is dripping down to the right or left side of the engine, at the front or back. And you shouldn’t be delaying in availing an oil change near me service from a trusted auto shop.

Read more: 4 Most Popular Car Tyre Myths & the Truth Behind Them

Keep the signs in mind & check your engine oil at regular intervals

5. Oil check light on the dashboard: Take a look at your car’s dashboard. What do you see? Numerous striking illuminative warning lights, right? Out of these, there is one sign called ‘check engine light’. There’s also an oil check light. You can easily identify this by looking at a red dripping oil can shape symbol.

Now, if you find this symbol blinking while driving, pull over to a safe place and turn off the engine. This light can be a sign of multiple things but it usually illuminates when the oil level drops dangerously low. Even a damaged oil pump or excessively low oil pressure could be the reasons behind the glow.

Whatever maybe the reason, it’s advisable to refrain from taking a risk and inform a professional mechanic to diagnose the issue right away.

6. Overheating problem: Many car owners aren’t aware of this but if the engine is overheated, the reason could possibly be extremely low coolant as well as oil levels. Your car can be excessively heated even if the engine has an optimum level of coolant. In that case, the problem lies with the little amount of oil left in the engine; the engine continues to heat up since the engine coolant takes a longer time to release the heat in the absence of engine oil.

When your car is overheated, the first thing you need to check is the coolant level. If that is fine, then check the oil level. Has it dropped low? Then fill it up right away.

Read more: Idling Your Car vs Restarting: Which One Needs Less Fuel?

Searching for an Expert Mechanic to Evaluate Your Car Engine?

You may be wondering what you need to look out for when it comes to your car’s engine. The key is checking the oil regularly and getting regular maintenance, such as an oil change every 3 months or so. There are many signs that indicate your vehicle needs a new filter, but there are also some more general ones like overheating problems and unusual sounds coming from the car. If these happen suddenly with no warning then we recommend visiting Swezo now! We can help you find an expert mechanic who will evaluate your car’s engine and provide a detailed report on its condition.

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