4 Ways To Know It Is Time For A Car Oil Change

An oil change is one of the most essential items on your car maintenance checklist. Fresh oil keeps your car running smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to enjoy the convenience and comfort the vehicle adds to your daily commute. It also prevents problems that may hurt the vehicle's life span and resale value.  

While you should always follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations on oil change intervals, you have many ways of knowing that your ride is due for an oil change.

Here are some telltale signs your car needs new oil.

1. Illuminated Service Light 

If you drive a modern car, you should keep an eye out for the warning lights on the vehicle's dashboard. Most modern cars have dashboard lights that illuminate whenever something's wrong.

The service light, in particular, runs on a clock that tracks the mileage of your vehicle. In other words, your vehicle's computer monitors how many miles you drive and reminds you to service the engine at specific mileage intervals. If you see the service light turn on, this is a sign that it is time to change your oil. 

2. Visibly Dirty Oil

As a car owner, you shouldn't wait until the service light on your dashboard comes on to know that you require an oil change. You should check the oil regularly to determine if it needs to be changed.

Pay close attention to the color of your oil. If it looks dark (almost black in color), this is an indication that it is dirty and ineffective. Dirty oil prevents your engine from running smoothly, increasing the risk of a breakdown and accelerating the wear and tear of moving parts.

3. Too Much Exhaust Smoke 

When your car's engine oil is functioning properly, the vehicle emits only a minimum amount of smoke from the exhaust system. If excessive smoke is coming out of your exhaust, your car may need fresh oil.

4. Declining Fuel Economy

Is your car consuming more fuel than usual? Increased fuel consumption is a subtle sign of an overdue oil change. Old oil puts a strain on your engine, causing it to run harder than usual to deliver the desired vehicle performance. As a result, your vehicle may end up using more gas to cover the same distances.

Keeping up with your car's oil change needs is essential for keeping the vehicle in top running condition and prolonging its life span. Don't hesitate to visit an auto service shop near you if your car is due for an oil change. 

Contact an auto repair shop, such as Hillside Imports, to learn more.