oil change

9 Signs You Need an Oil Change

Daniel McDonald
Daniel McDonald7 min read
9 Signs You Need an Oil Change

9 Signs You Need an Oil Change

The oil is the soul of the car. You need to take care of the oil if you want your vehicle to be in perfect condition. Regular car service means a stable car with the best performance.

Cars are so important today that we cannot imagine our lives without driving them. This is why cleaning, regular oil change, and services are crucial to running your car's engine smoothly.

This article will focus on the nine signs indicating that your vehicle needs an oil change right now. Read on to get familiar with each sign and once you notice them in your car, hurry up to check the oil.

Signs Your Car Needs A Motor Oil Change

Changing motor oil is easy, although many tend to neglect it unless they buy a new car. This is a quick activity that you can ask technicians at the service center to do efficiently. Vehicles need oil changes to maintain their well-being. This gives longer life to the engine and improves its performance.

It would help if you did not ignore any signs that show your car needs an oil change. Ignoring it will not save you time or money. A standard oil change should be on your to-do list regularly.

1. Mileage

The essential maintenance service in your car is an oil change. Your car has been everywhere, but how do you know when too much is too much? You check the odometer. If you notice that you have traveled too many miles in the last couple of months, you might need to pay a visit to your car's certified technicians.

You could try using high mileage oil if you are on the road. Also, start using high mileage oil if your car is older. However, every 3000 miles, visit experts to check your oil and change it.

2. Dashboard Lights

Some dashboard lights will turn on when your vehicle needs an oil change. The light could be the Maintenance Needed Light or Check Engine. These lights will be on when you need to protect your car's engine by changing the oil.

If unsure what the lights mean, drive to the closest service center and ask for help. Most service centers welcome new customers, will be glad to help you, and expect feedback.

The 'light' sign is the most obvious sign you need to consult a technician and ensure the car gets the support it needs. Use the dipstick to ensure there is not enough oil in your vehicle.

When the 'check engine light illuminates, it is a bad sign. It means your car needs so much lubrication that you probably should not even drive it anymore.

Pay attention to the car's warning lights. They are the most noticeable sign your vehicle's engine is no longer running smoothly.

3. Smell Of Something Burning

You provided a car wash, tire service, and filter changes for your vehicle, and your drive carelessly on the road. Then, suddenly, you smell burnt oil in the cabin of the car. This might be a sign of an oil leak.

The task of the motor oil is to keep the engine cool. If the oil is old and not clean enough, it will not be able to regulate the temperature, and you will smell a burning scent in your cabin. Regular oil changes prevent this.

If you do not contact the service center for the oil leak problem in time, you could expect some costly repairs and huge prices in the future.

4. Dirty Oil Instead Of Clean Conventional Oil

Clean amber-colored oil is a must. Conventional oils are somewhat translucent initially, but with time they become dark due to the residue particles that come from the engine. The dark color turns almost into black.

You can check the color of your oil by checking your oil dipstick. Take out the dipstick and wipe it off. Then return it to the oil tank. You could use a paper towel to wipe the dipstick and see the color. If the color is black or dark brown, your vehicle needs oil changes. Also, if you cannot see the dipstick because of the oil, the car obviously needs an oil change.

You do not need the 'owner's manual' to know that dark brown is a red flag. Check the oil every month without exceptions, and you will save big.

5. Exhaust Smoke Means Car Needs Oil Changes

Did you notice too much exhaust smoke coming through your car's tailpipe? This might tell you to stop the car and meet with a technician. It is expected to see some vapor from the vehicle, but smoke is a bad sign. The increased amount of dark smoke coming through the tailpipe means the car's engine is low on oil.

Although cold environments might force your vehicle to emit more vapor, grayish or bluish smoke from your exhaust might mean an oil leak. Do not wait to check your oil.

The smoke comes out due to the oil leakage since there is not enough oil to cover and lubricate the engine parts.

6. Low Level Of Oil

When checking your oil, you need to check its level, no matter what type of car you own. This should be your monthly habit. Use the dipstick and measure the level of oil. Your car needs an oil change service if the level is too low.

A low level of oil can increase the possibility of a breakdown in your car or some engine damage.

7. Problems With Your Engine Starting

You are late and need to get to work as soon as possible, but your car decides to keep its rights and will not start. Who is to blame?

If you have difficulty starting your car's engine a couple of times in a row, try changing the engine oil together with the filter.

8. Overheating Due To Irregular Oil Changes

Not enough clean motor oil in the vehicle might lead to engine overheating. Also, oil that is not changed for a long time will not do its job and will not save your money. Older oil will not lubricate the parts of the engines. This means engines will more frequently heat up and might eventually overheat.

Try changing the old oil with fresh oil and see if the problem lies there.

9. Noises And Knocking Sounds

Engine parts are protected with motor oil around them. This keeps the vehicle quiet and can protect the metals from brushing against each other. Any motor oil category exists to help the engine run efficiently and perform better.

Experts say that older oil loses these properties and cannot protect the engine parts from brushing each other. Here comes the knocking and grinding sound from the engine.

If the engine noise increases and there are some rumbling and knocking sounds, it is essential to address the issue today and not leave it for tomorrow. To avoid malfunction, fill the oil tank with fresh oil.

Synthetic Oil Versus Conventional Oil

Driving cars is easy. But, offering support for their performance and keeping them intact is a more challenging task. Service centers provide the convenience of various kinds of customer services, such as changing tires, cleaning radiators, changing filters, etc. Regarding oil change, experts offer multiple types, but wait, which one should you choose? Who can set the rules? Open your owner's manual to search for the kind of oil your vehicle requires in your climate.

Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is a lubricant that people make out of artificial chemical compounds. It comes from chemically modified materials (petroleum parts). The base material is the crude oil that is distilled.

Synthetic oil is known to have better performance than regular conventional oil. Most new cars need synthetic oil. Synthetic is a substitute for petroleum oil. The ground oils used to create synthetic crude have higher quality and chemical stability and are harder to break down.

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil, also known as regular or mineral oil, is a type of engine oil made from refined crude oil from the ground. It keeps the engine's maintenance temperature, keeps the engine's parts clean, and prevents corrosion.

Most older cars' engines efficiently run when you fill them with conventional oil, so this type of oil is better for older engines. Markets will not charge you too much; this is a cost-effective oil type.

High-Mileage Engine Oil

Today, high mileage oil is needed in vehicles with specific performance problems due to their high mileage. If you are driving your car for more than 75,000 miles, you need this type of oil for preventative maintenance and to extend the life of the car.

Using high mileage oil on a new vehicle is not recommended. Start using this oil type only when you notice some engine noises or oil leakage.

FAQs Posted For Motor Oil Changes

How Far Can You Really Go Without An Oil Change?

It is important to change the oil between every 5,000 and 7,000 miles if you want your car to keep you on the road. However, if you use synthetic oil, your vehicle can go up to 10,000 miles between two oil changes.

Always contact your car services center and consult them about oil change. Getting feedback from a professional technician is a must. Call today.

How Long Can Conventional Oil Keep Going?

When it comes to conventional oil, you can go around 6,000 miles between oil changes. This means changing the oil every 6 to 12 months.

What Is The Shelf Life Of Motor Oil?

The shelf life of vehicle oil is about five years. Oil goes bad with time, yet the exact expiry date is unknown. Car oil can last only for a couple of years, not forever.

What Will Happen If You Leave Your Car Oil Unchanged For Too Long?

Not changing your car oil can turn into a catastrophe. Your engine you die, and you might need a new car. If the oil becomes sludge, it will no longer remove the heat engine. This will cause an engine shutdown and require a new engine or car.


To sum up, we can say that the life and performance of vehicles depend on the regular oil change. Your car will show signs it needs cleaning and changing the oil, and you must not ignore these signs.

Whether it is a dashboard light, a burning smell, a dark oil color, exhaust smoke, overheating, or some knocking sounds, you need to address the issue as soon as possible to keep your car alive. Ignoring the problem will not save you money. Ignoring it might lead to engine shutdown and great repair costs. Vehicles need care and services, so if you want them to serve you, you must take care of their well-being first.