Oil in cars plays a crucial role in lubricating engine components, reducing fiction, cooling engine parts, and cleaning away contaminants. Over time, oil breaks down and becomes less effective at performing these functions, potentially leading to increased wear and tear on the engine and decreased performance. Taking your car to the auto repair shop for regular oil changes help ensure optimal engine health and longevity.

Haven’t gotten your car’s oil changed in a while? Here are 6 signs that your car needs an oil change:

1. Dashboard Warning Light

When your car’s oil pressure or oil change indicator light comes on, it’s a clear sign to inspect your oil level and consider an oil change. The dashboard warning light typically indicates that the oil needs to be changed due to factors such as low oil pressure or degraded oil quality. Low oil pressure could signify that there is not enough oil circulating to properly lubricate the engine components, potentially leading to increased friction and wear. Degraded oil may no longer effectively perform its lubricating and cleaning functions, risking engine damage or decreased performance. The dashboard warning light alerts drivers to address these issues promptly by getting an oil change to maintain the engine’s health and functionality.

2. Dark, Dirty Oil

Fresh oil is translucent and amber in colour. When you check your oil dipstick and find that the oil is dark and gritty, this is a clear sign that it is time for an oil change. Dark, dirty oil indicates that it has become contaminated with debris, dirt, and engine byproducts over time. As oil circulates through the engine, it picks up these particles and becomes less effective at lubricating and protecting engine components. The dark colouration is often a result of this contamination, as well as the breakdown of additives within the oil. When oil becomes dark and dirty, it loses its ability to properly lubricate the engine, increasing friction and wear on critical components. Therefore, changing the oil when it becomes dark and dirty is essential to maintain engine health and performance.

3. Engine Noise

Engine noise can indicate that the oil needs to be changed because oil plays a crucial role in lubricating engine components to reduce friction and noise. When oil becomes old or contaminated, it loses its ability to lubricate effectively, leading to increased friction between moving parts. This increased friction can result in louder engine noise as components rub against each other without proper lubrication. If you notice unusually loud engine noise, it could be a sign that the oil is no longer providing adequate lubrication, indicating the need for an oil change to maintain engine health and reduce wear on critical components.

4. Decreased Fuel Efficiency

Old oil can cause increased friction within the engine, leading to reduced fuel efficiency. When friction is higher, the engine must work harder to overcome it, resulting in more fuel being consumed to maintain performance. If you notice a sudden drop in your car’s gas mileage, it could be a sign that the engine is experiencing increased friction due to insufficient lubrication from the oil. Changing the oil can help restore proper lubrication and reduce friction, ultimately improving fuel efficiency.

5. Exhaust Smoke

If you notice thick, blue-grey smoke coming from your car’s exhaust, it could indicate that old or degraded oil is leaking into the combustion chamber and is burning along with fuel. When oil is burnt in this manner, it suggests that it is not properly lubricating engine components as it should, indicating the need for an oil change. Additionally, burning oil can also contribute to increased emissions and potential engine damage if left unaddressed. Changing the oil promptly can help maintain engine health and reduce exhaust smoke.

6. Burning Smell

A burning smell can indicate that the oil needs to be changed because old or degraded oil can lead to increased friction and heat buildup within the engine. When oil becomes ineffective at lubricating engine components, it can cause increased friction, leading to excess heat generation. This can result in a burning smell as components heat up and potentially start to degrade. Additionally, if oil is leaking onto hot engine parts, it can also produce a burning odour as it comes into contact with the heat source. If you notice a burning or oil-like odour inside your car, it is essential to have your oil checked. It can be a sign that the oil is no longer providing adequate lubrication or that there is an oil leak.

If you notice any of these signs with your car, consider bringing your car to an auto repair centre for an oil change. A professional can help ensure your engine runs smoothly and your car stays in top condition.