Cars are complex machines with different moving and non-moving parts. One part could fail at any time, leading to other parts malfunctioning. So many things can go wrong with a car, so paying attention to your vehicle at every opportunity is recommended. As blood is essential for human life, so is engine oil in a car. Therefore, when you decide to buy a car, you should remember that one of the most important things to do is a periodic oil change. A vehicle’s engine needs oil to lubricate the moving parts and keep them running optimally. Engines of all kinds need oil to function properly. An engine typically consists of several consistently moving parts, which often rub against each other. This constant action creates heat from the friction. Therefore, you need oil to run through these moving parts so that it can absorb the heat and prevent overheating. To accomplish this task, you need an oil that is in condition; in other words, new, fresh oil. Old oil does not get the job done.
So, how do you know when it is time to change your oil. Let us explore some signs:
- Warning lights
Most vehicles today have computers and sensors that make it easy to detect a problem early. For example, some of these sensors monitor oil levels and engine performance. If you notice an indicator light illuminating your dashboard, consult your vehicle manual to understand what the light represents. The warning light will alert you about all kinds of problems such as transmission malfunction, low battery, a burnt-out tail light, etc.
- Dirty, Dark oil
When the oil is new, the color is usually light to dark gold. However, as the car is being used, the oil darkens over time. This is often caused by heat, debris, and impurities it picks up while running through the engine. So, if you pull the dipstick and notice the oil is very dark (almost black in color), then it is time to change it.
- Exhaust smoke
In most cases, the exhaust from your car should be invisible. However, if you notice anything other than that, it is a sign to change your oil. For example, if you notice blue or grey smoke from your exhaust, you may have an oil leak.
- Poor fuel economy
Change in gas mileage could mean your oil needs to be changed. As engine oil ages, it becomes an almost sludge-like substance if not changed. Thick oil reduces your engine’s moving parts, causing it to work harder and use more fuel. Poor gas mileage could also be associated with the fuel and exhaust system, wheel alignment, tire air pressure, transmission, or engine.
- Overheating engine
Bad oil could lead to overheating; however, other factors may contribute to your engine overheating. For example, overheating happens when your coolant is low.
- Engine noise or knocking
The primary job of the engine oil is lubrication. When there is insufficient oil, moving parts within the engine do not get lubricated. As a result, the components tend to make metal-metal contact which may cause light tapping or knocking sound. When you notice this sort of noise, change the oil immediately.
- Burnt oil smell
If you smell burnt oil in your car’s interior cabin while driving, you may have an oil leak dripping on hot engine parts. It could also mean your engine is likely low on oil, causing it to overheat. So take care of the oil leak immediately and put in fresh oil.
- Reduced engine performance
Old or low-level engine oil could cause some noticeable performance problems in your engine. Starting the car and getting the engine to turnover may be difficult. It may stall out when you come to a stop or idle roughly. You might even hear strange ticks and other noises to tell you something isn’t right.
What happens if you do not get the oil changed?
Getting your car oil changed may be easy, but there are grave consequences when you do not take this simple task seriously. When oil gets dirty, it could cause corrosion inside your engine. As time goes by, oil breaks down and degrades. The more you use the oil, the more it loses its viscosity, and when this happens, the effect could be worse than having low oil. In addition, when your oil gets dirty, acceleration becomes sluggish, affecting the vehicle’s fuel economy.
The next time you contemplate whether to change your oil, remember that getting a new engine is much more costly than changing the oil as when due.
If you are looking for the best oil-changing services, K&M Tire & Auto is at your service. We also offer a variety of garage services. Our team of professionals are well-equipped to take care of your vehicles.