5 Signs You Need An Oil Change
November 3rd, 2015
We’re sure you’ve heard all the reasons why your car needs regular oil changes…it prevents premature wear, it keeps sludgy gunk from building up inside the engine, it helps you get more miles out of the car. But what are the signs you need the oil changed? It’s often not obvious, but there are a few signs…
- Oil level is dropping: especially on older vehicles, it’s not unusual for them to leak or burn a quart of oil between oil changes. If the oil level shown on your engine’s dipstick is starting to drop, that could be a sign that it’s time for new oil. If your vehicle is burning enough oil to show blue smoke from the tailpipe, that’s another story…
- Engine noise: sometimes, you might be able to notice a little bit of valvetrain clatter when the oil is really starting to age. This is a sound that is a little like a sewing machine, usually. If you’re noticing knocking, thumping or growling sounds from under the hood, you’ve let your motor oil go way too long and you are probably courting some real problems. Get it changed!
- You can’t remember the last oil change: okay, you know you ought to be keeping better track of these things, but we’re not going to nag you. You’re supposed to change it at roughly 5,000 mile intervals for conventional oil and 10,000 miles for synthetics. If you really cannot remember, though, chances are that it’s time.
- Oil indicator light comes on: no, not the “low oil” light, which usually means that your oil level or oil pressure have dropped low enough to do some real engine damage. Many newer vehicles feature an oil life monitoring system, which sends a slight electrical current through the motor oil and measures how well it conducts the current. When the conductivity falls below a certain level, a dashboard reminder light will come on.
- Oil looks dirty: this is the sure sign. New motor oil is honey-colored, and it will stay fairly light in color (at least in a well-maintained engine) for a couple of thousand miles. Once that motor oil starts looking brownish-black, like a cup of black coffee, it’s definitely picked up enough contaminants that it’s due for an oil change. With the engine warmed up, rub some oil from the dipstick between thumb and forefinger. Is it gritty? Can you feel tiny particles? Does it smell burned, or sour from the acid byproducts of combustion? Oil change time!
Motor oil’s film of lubrication protects your engine’s internal moving parts protected, reducing friction and helping to dissipate heat. An engine can only run for a minute or two without oil, before moving parts overheat to a point where they “seize” and actually weld to each other. Let your oil go too long, though, and you’re just setting yourself up for trouble. Make regular oil changes a part of your preventive maintenance routine, at Goodyear of Buckhead at 3830 Roswell Road in Atlanta, GA. Schedule an appointment with us, today!
Tags: auto repair, oil changes, vehicle maintenance, preventive maintenance, oil changes Atlanta GA, oil change, motor oil
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