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Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

The heart of a car (except for electric cars) is the internal combustion engine or ICE, that powers the drivetrain and is the main reason you get from point A to point B. Maintaining your car essentially means maintaining the engine, and the primary thing that comes within the ambit of maintenance is oil changes. You see, lubrication is extremely important to the engine’s functioning, and without it, it may simply cease to function, which defeats the whole point of having a car. So, it is important to know when your car needs an oil change. Today, we’ll look at some signs that your car needs an oil change. 

Now, before we begin, cars do come with a general instruction of the time that should elapse during oil changes. Or rather the distance between oil changes. For hot weather and cars with excessive workloads, 3000 miles is the ideal distance between oil changes. For passenger cars and your everyday SUVs and sedans, 5000 miles is enough. This can go even longer with synthetic oils, but we’re getting off-topic. Look at the signs that will let you know your car needs an oil change.

Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

Here are six signs with which your car will let you know that it’s time for an oil change. Many factors can affect the lubrication effect and the life of engine oil and as such, you should be prepared to take your car in for an oil change if any one of these signs manifests.

1. Oil Warning Light On the Dashboard

Modern cars have an impressively well-organized dashboard, and it contains all sorts of warning lights and indicators to let you know what is going on with your car. The oil warning light, which lights up to let you know if there might be anything wrong with the engine oil in your car, is a red lamp-like light that is usually in the instrument or gauge cluster of the car. While this indicator lights up every time you start the car, that is just to display that the oil has started heating up in the car and is ready to provide your engine with the lubrication it needs. However, should you get this warning while driving, or it suddenly pops up and stays on after you start your car, you should never ignore it. Instead, it usually means that something is wrong with the engine oil, and you should always pull over and check. Usually, if the engine oil is running too thin, it might be time to take your car for an oil change. 

2. Knocking Engine Sound

Another sign of your car in need of an oil change is any weird sounds that may emanate from the engine during operation. Usually described as knocking or tapping, these sounds are proof that the moving parts of the engine are no longer lubricated enough, meaning that either the engine oil is running low, too thin or is dirty and contaminated. Either way, it’s in need of an oil change. Since an internal combustion engine has a lot of moving parts, and these parts need considerable lubrication to keep performing efficiently and as intended, oil lubrication is crucial. Oil runs thin the more you run it, meaning that oil will need to be changed after a certain time or distance has elapsed. If this isn’t done, your engine will produce this knocking sound, and from there onwards, your engine runs the risk of getting seriously damaged

3. Smudgy, Dirty Oil

If you check your oil regularly and are present when the oil change happens, you will notice that new oil is either golden or red (depending on your engine specifications) when its new, and at the end of its life, it’s blackened. That is what happens to oil inside the engine, but that is not the problem. The problem is excessively smudgy and dirty oil, oil that might have small particles or contaminants in it. If you continue to use your car with deteriorated engine oil, it will damage the internal components of the car, and you will see excessive fuel consumption and other signs from using it. When you check your dipstick and see that the oil has just become too dirty and contaminated, it is a sign to take your car to the garage and have its oil changed. This way, not only do you save your engine from excessive wear and tear, but also save money on gas.

4. Gray, Bluish Exhaust Smoke

Your exhaust smoke is like an indicator for what condition your engine is in, and as such, it also provides a sign for when your car is due for a much-needed oil change. The key indicator in this case: gray or bluish smoke from the exhaust. Even excessive smoke from a petrol engine can mean something is wrong with the engine. Billowing smoke from the exhaust means that your car is burning oil, and this usually means that something is wrong with the engine itself, and not the oil. However, if you notice a rather strange burning smell and your exhaust smoke is grayer than usual or bluish, it means that the engine oil is low in the chamber, or the oil is too thin for the engine. Then, it might be time to take the car to the garage and have its oil changed or topped up, depending on how much viscosity the engine oil has left.

5. Lower Fuel Efficiency

The main responsibility of engine oil is to provide lubrication and keep the internal parts of the engine from overheating and fusing together. This is because an internal combustion engine generates a lot of heat during operation and high pressure within the internal components makes it heavily dependent on some sort of lubrication, usually in the form of engine oil. Which is why, if you do not change your oil regularly, you will see temperature warning lights on the dashboard and excessive heat emanating from the engine bay, which is usually a sign that the car is in desperate need of an oil change. If you do not do so, the risk you run is enormous; the engine may seize and fail to operate altogether, necessitating a swap. It might stall and strand you somewhere you really don’t want to be. So, if your engine is overheating, start by checking your dipstick and whether your oil is up to the mark in both quality and quantity. 

Why are Timely Oil Changes Crucial?

As stated beforehand, oil is the lifeblood of the engine, and without it, an engine will fail to perform at all. Which is why, timely oil changes are crucial; not only to the engine, but to you, the user as well. Since a car with old, depreciated oil is no longer reliable, you will start experiencing more and more issues and problems with your car. The older the oil gets, the more damage it does to the engine, which can be permanent. Timely oil changes will ensure that your engine keeps running ideally and saves you from expensive and extensive repairs down the road. Make sure to check your dipstick every time you start your car and be generally mindful or how much time and distance has elapsed since your last oil change, and you won’t have any problems with your car at all.

Magnum Autoclub Pampers Your Car So You Can Get the Most Out of it

Magnum Autoclub understands that your car does an important job everyday and cannot fail on you. Your car also requires care and regular oil changes, but since most mechanics can come across as rather shady, Magnum Autoclub is the answer to all your car worries. Experience industry-leading services and honest, clear communication with Magnum over what your car needs and what it does not need. Your car will be given the ultimate treatment because we are staffed by car enthusiasts that understand cars better than anyone else. Whether it’s a synthetic oil change or tire/ rim change, trust Magnum Autoclub with your car and treat yourself to a refreshing experience that is a far cry from what your average run-of-the-mill garage has to offer.

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