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There are various oil change signs you shouldn’t ignore to maintain your vehicle’s condition. Keeping up with periodic oil changes can prevent accelerated wear and tear. 

In addition to extending the life of your engine, checking and changing your oil can improve your car’s overall performance. 

While it can seem like a quick checkup, getting an oil change can prevent serious problems if ignored. 

Keep reading!

Oil Change Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

dirty engine oil symptoms


1. Dirty Oil

The engine debris surrounding the oil in the filter eventually causes it to discolor and become unclean. 

Even if you can’t predict the exact moment, you may easily check at home. Take the dipstick out of your engine, clean it, and then reinstall it to check the color of your oil. 

If the stick can be seen through the oil after being removed once more, the oil is in good shape. Typically, clean oil should be amber in color.

2. Smell of Burnt Oil 

Your car’s interior cabin may smell like burning oil, indicating an oil issue. It typically denotes an oil leak dripping oil onto hot engine components.

It also suggests that your engine is probably running low on oil, making it overheat. Fix the oil leak immediately and add fresh oil for an extended car lifespan.

3. Car Stalling

If your car stalls while driving, you may have a small or larger problem. A little problem can be if your spark plugs get damaged or the fuel filter gets clogged. A quick tune-up can replace anything like this.

A more significant issue would be a blocked catalytic converter or broken fuel pump that needs replacing.

4. Loud Engine Noises

will my car tell me when i need an oil change


Fresh oil forms a thin screen between them to protect engine components from friction and make the motor quiet while driving. 

So, you should arrange an oil change with your mechanic as soon as you can if you hear any weird noises coming from beneath the hood.

When the automobile moves, the engine parts make a clanking or knocking noise because of the breakdown of lubrication brought on by heat and many other engine conditions.

Moreover, you can hear a ticking sound when your engine is warming up. This occurs because the oil is circulated as soon as your car is started for engine lubrication. 

The oil won’t perform as intended and flow as smoothly through the system if it is old and not smooth but gritty with pollutants. 

Lastly, the valves have to exert even more effort to circulate the oil adequately, which is the cause of the ticking sounds.

5. Low Oil Level 

how to tell if you need an oil change dipstick


You must use the dipstick to check the oil level because you risk harming the engine if it is low. 

After you’ve removed it, clean it off, put it back in, and stay keen on the stick’s oil stains. 

It needs to be between the maximum and minimum lines. Regularly checking your oil level is a great approach to finding leaks. 

When your oil is low, take your car to a reputable mechanic for service. If you don’t, you risk permanently damaging the engine, which would require a more expensive repair than an oil change.

6. Engine Light

Thankfully, most modern cars have plenty of warning indicators to alert us when something isn’t quite right. 

A dashboard engine light or oil change will illuminate when the oil in a vehicle or car needs to be changed.

7. Exhaust Smoke

how to know if car need oil change


Check your oil because there can be an oil leakage in your engine if you discover it emitting more smoke than usual. 

It’s advisable to have everything checked thoroughly by an expert because this smoke may also signify faulty engine components.

8. You Have Oil Leakage

The most evident indication that your car is leaking oil is the presence of recent oil puddles on the ground. 

Yet, excessive exhaust from vehicles is another type of oil leakage. Also, even if your oil doesn’t appear dirty or old, you should have it checked out if your oil levels are lowering between routine changes. 

Changing the oil, using an alternative oil, or replacing broken or damaged seals are frequently simple fixes for oil leaks.

9. Overheating

Your engine won’t perform as well at lubricating its parts if there isn’t enough oil or if it hasn’t been replaced in a while. 

The engine will eventually overheat as a result of this increased heating. Changing and replacing your oil with new oil will frequently solve the issue.

10. Poor Fuel Economy than Normal

Better mileage directly results from the engine operating at peak efficiency thanks to high-quality, contaminant-free engine oil. 

Hence, declining fuel efficiency is one of the clear indicators that you need to change your oil. The sooner you get your oil changed, the better if, after a long trip, you realize that your automobile is suddenly using a lot more fuel than usual.

11. Shifting Hesitation

If your car is automatic, you shouldn’t experience any issues when it changes gears. But, if there’s lag or hesitation when shifting gears, it could show that the gearbox requires fresh filters or oil. 

It could also indicate a more serious issue. Because of this, having your car tuned up will at least identify the issue.

12. Varied Oil Consistency 

Some signs you need to replace your oil are simple to smell or hear, while others take more work to detect. 

Fortunately, you can quickly assess the condition of your oil visually from your driveway.

Wait for your engine to cool before opening the hood to check your oil. To check the color and consistency of the oil on the dipstick, wipe it with a clean towel, re-insert it, and then draw it out.

Final Word

When your car’s oil levels are low, it can cause significant damage to the engine, leading to costly repairs. 

As such, staying alert for oil change signs you shouldn’t ignore is crucial, such as dirty or dark oil, engine noise, and warning lights. 

As the manufacturer recommends, regularly changing your oil can prevent engine damage, improve fuel efficiency, and extend your car’s lifespan.