The Warnings Signs that Your Car Needs an Oil Change

Over time, your vehicle’s parts will begin to wear down. Whether it’s your tires, suspension, or even windshield wiper blades, your vehicle needs proper maintenance to continue performing at the highest level. To keep your engine running efficiently, one of the most important aspects of your routine vehicle maintenance should be regularly replacing your vehicles motor oil.

An oil change is recommended for most vehicles every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or every three months, by referring to your vehicle owner’s manual you can find how often its recommended that you change your vehicle’s motor oil. Unless you grew up working in the automotive industry, there’s a strong chance you don’t know exactly why changing your oil has so much to do with your vehicle’s long-term maintenance.

An oil change replaces old motor oil from your vehicle’s engine with new, fresh oil. A vehicle’s engine is a complicated piece of machinery with many individual moving parts. As these parts move and rub against each other, they can cause a lot of friction, which can cause the engine’s components to wear down over time. Motor oil lubricates the engine and its parts, allowing them to run more efficiently and produce less friction.

Why Do You Need to Replace Your Car’s Oil?

Now you know why your vehicle needs motor oil, but why does it need to be replaced so often? This is because over time the motor oil in your vehicle’s engine begins to break down. This can cause it to be less effective at lubricating the individual parts of the engine, and eventually cause your engine to shut down.

Regularly replacing your vehicle’s motor oil is the best defense against engine breakdowns and any major engine malfunctions. It’s also incredibly important for the long-term maintenance of your vehicle and its engine.

How Can You Tell When Your Car Needs an Oil Change?

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to how often your vehicle may need an oil change. Your style of driving, the type of vehicle you own and driving more miles than usual are all factors that could cause your vehicle to require an oil change at unexpected times. Given all the elements that factor into the breakdown of your vehicle’s motor oil, it’s good to know the warning signs of when your vehicle could use an oil change. Consider the following guidelines:

Miles Driven Since Last Oil Change

The first factor to keep in mind should be the number of miles your vehicle has driven since its last oil change. Many car manufacturers recommend oil changes every 3,000 miles, but depending on the oil used, and the type of vehicle, it can sometimes be closer to 10,000 miles before an oil change is necessary.

The Color of Your Motor Oil

A vehicle should always have clean motor oil. New, clean motor oil should have an almost transparent amber tone to it. If your oil looks significantly darker it means that particles and debris from the engine have become caught in the oil over time. This is a signal that your vehicle needs an oil change.

If you’re still not sure if your motor oil is dark enough to warrant an oil change, Here’s a helpful tip: check your motor oil by removing your vehicle’s dipstick. Wipe the motor oil off and return the dipstick to your tank, then remove it once again. If you can’t see the dipstick through the motor oil, it’s time for an oil change.

Engine Noise or Oil Smell Inside Car

As discussed previously, motor oil provides the lubrication necessary to keep the parts of the engine running smoothly. When the motor oil is no longer doing its job, you may hear parts in your engine begin to knock or rumble. These noises could lead to serious issues for your engine if they are not addressed immediately.

The smell of motor oil inside your vehicle could be a sign that you have an oil leak. It could also be caused by your vehicle’s engine overheating. In either situation, the best course of action is to schedule maintenance immediately.

For more information on all things automotive, contact or visit the knowledgeable professionals at a Sanel NAPA location near you.

About Sanel NAPA

Since 1920, Sanel NAPA has been a leading auto parts, heavy-duty truck parts, and body shop supplies distributor with over 42 store locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. We deliver quality car parts, heavy-duty truck parts, automotive paint and body supplies, and tools and equipment that are durable, dependable, and long-lasting to provide our clientele with the best products and services possible. For more information, call (603) 225-4000 or click to find a store near you.

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