Oil changes are typically a quick and inexpensive maintenance procedure. Engine oil is vital to keep the engine's fast-moving parts lubricated. When the oil is clean, it extends the life of your vehicle and dramatically boosts its performance. Skipping oil changes can cause the engine oil to break down and thin over time. As the engine oil thins, it will also collect dirt, metal, and other particles causing it to lose its efficiency. If you suspect it may be time to change your oil, below are five signs to look out for.
If you have driven more miles than usual, you may need to schedule an oil change sooner than expected. Most vehicles need to change their oil every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Check your vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific vehicle. It's also important not to rely on your vehicle's mileage. Your engine oil may wear faster than the suggested mileage. That's why it's especially important to pop the hood and visually inspect the engine every so often.
If you've already gotten into the habit of regularly checking your engine oil, you're already two steps ahead of the game. The engine oil will signify when it's unhealthy. Oil should be an amber color and free of any floating contaminants. If the oil looks exceptionally dark and sludge-like, it's time to have it changed. In some cases, the sludge can build up, limiting how much oil lubricates the engine.
A strong smell of burning oil inside your car cabin can be a sign of an oil leak. If there's a leak, the oil will hit hot parts of the engine producing a burnt oil smell. If you notice an oil smell inside the vehicle, it's important to have it inspected. In some cases, there may be additional issues, such as a worn clutch or brakes.
Exhaust should be mostly translucent and very distinctive. If the exhaust vapor suddenly appears like thick smoke, you'll want to schedule a time for maintenance.
If you drive your vehicle with dirty oil, the engine's moving parts will rub together and cause extreme friction. Without lubrication, these hot engine parts will cause the engine to overwork and eventually overheat.
If you notice any of the above signs, City Garage has 14 convenient locations with expert automotive technicians available to service your vehicle. We have over 20+ years of repairing all vehicle makes and models, including fleet.