Similar to the way your HVAC filter needs to swapped out every so often, your car’s oil needs to be changed after a certain number of miles. This oil lubricates the parts inside the engine, which produce heat through movement. As the oil absorbs the heat and picks up sediment over time, it becomes thicker and grainier—and therefore worse at facilitating smooth movement. If you’re wondering when to schedule an oil change for your engine, look out for the following warning signs.
3 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change
1. Strange Noises
As you drive your car, you’ll start to memorize its sounds and movements, which will enable you to determine when something’s not right. If your engine starts to sound louder when in operation or you hear a loud knocking noise, you might need an oil change. This sound means the oil is either too thick or there’s not enough of it, and the metal parts are knocking or grinding against each other.
2. Smoke From the Exhaust
The only gas that should be coming out of your car’s tailpipe is clear in color and almost impossible to see. Therefore, if you notice darker gas or smoke escaping the exhaust system, your engine might need an oil change. In most cases, a leak has caused the engine’s oil to drip onto the road below, leaving your engine without enough lubrication to operate smoothly and smoke-free.
3. Dark or Thick Oil
While you should visit a professional for an oil change, you can find out if you need one by popping the hood yourself. The engine oil receptacle will include a dipstick, which you can use to observe the quality of the fluid. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it off, and then insert it back into the oil supply. When you pull it out again, you should see a thin coating of amber oil; a darker, thicker oil that covers the stick indicates the need for an oil change.
If your vehicle is due for a fresh supply of oil, contact Professional Automotive in Anchorage, AK, for a change. They have over 25 years of experience performing auto maintenance services, including diagnostic testing and brake repairs. With an Automotive Service Excellence-certified team, you can rest assured your ride is in capable hands. To learn more about their work, visit their website. You can also call (907) 562-2471 to schedule an appointment for an oil change.