Each year, Americans shell out for around 40 million used cars. That’s to say nothing about the millions of new cars that people drive off the lot every year. Yet, every single one of those vehicles has something in common.
They need an oil change from time to time. In fact, a regular oil change is a basic component of vehicle maintenance. For decades, the accepted auto wisdom held that you change your oil every 3000 miles.
There is much less conventional accepted wisdom about when you should change your oil these days. If you’re not sure if your car needs one, keep reading for five signs it’s time for an oil change.
1. Warning Light
One of the most obvious signs that you need an oil change is when the warning light in your console kicks on. Depending on the exact vehicle you drive, you may see a specific oil indicator light.
These indicator lights can use anything from sensors to monitor oil levels to mileage or even performance. On some cars, oil-related issues may simply trigger the check engine indicator.
If one of these lights kicks on, it’s time for a trip to the mechanic for some vehicle care.
2. Loss of Fuel Economy
As you drive around, the oil in your engine ages in the sense that it gets dirty and grows thicker. That additional thickness or viscosity in the oil can actually reduce your fuel economy. The longer you leave the oil in, the more noticeable the problem will get.
3. Low Oil Level
Unless you like working on your own cars, there is a good chance that you rarely pop the hood. That’s unfortunate because checking your oil once or twice a month is one of the easiest ways to stay ahead of oil problems.
If you notice the oil level is low, you can schedule an oil change with an auto technician.
4. Excessive Exhaust
While a bit of exhaust smoke is normal, particularly as your car gets older, it should clear up fast. If you see a lot of exhaust or very dark exhaust, it’s usually a good sign that you need an old change very soon.
When the oil level in your vehicle gets too low, it puts a lot of strain on the engine. That strain can cause overheating in the vehicle.
Of course, it can also mean a problem with the coolant. Either way, you should get your car into the shop ASAP.
Managing Your Oil Change Needs
In most cases, the signs noted above mean that you probably let getting an oil change wait for too long. If your car starts overheating, spewing excessive exhaust, or a warning light comes on, there is a chance you already have some damage in the engine.
Your best bet for avoiding the problems above is by taking your car in for an oil change based on the manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual.
Express Auto Service offers oil changes in the Fredericksburg, VA area. To schedule an oil change, contact Express Auto Services today.