Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change
Oil changes are like your car’s version of eating vegetables and getting a good night’s sleep. They’re part of a regular routine that keeps your vehicle running well for years to come. Regular oil changes improve your gas mileage and reduce wear on your engine, which increases its lifespan.
How can a driver in the Springfield, Callaway, or Panama City areas know that it’s time for fresh oil? To help you out, VW of Panama City has prepared this list of signs that an oil change could be necessary. Read on to learn whether or not it’s time to schedule maintenance, and contact us with any questions!
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How Oil Helps your Engine Run
Engines can’t run without oil. The slippery substance keeps the small metal components from creating too much heat and friction as they interact with each other. Over time, engine oil additives deteriorate and debris makes its way into your oil tank. Then it’s time to replace the lubrication.
Oil Change Clue #1: Color
Have you seen those sticky, black puddles of oil in old cartoons? That’s old oil. Fresh automotive oil is more of an amber color. Note that some oil retains its amber color for a while, but other brands might darken rapidly.
Check your oil to see its current shade. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to check your oil monthly anyway. Just remember that the engine should be cool before you start touching anything near it.
Oil Change Clue #2: Lights
This is an easy one—if a check oil light appears on your dashboard, it might be time for an oil change! Some cars don’t have a check oil light and will use the check engine light instead.
If your oil level seems fine or the light keeps turning back on soon after an oil change, there might be a more serious issue with the system or with the light itself.
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Oil Change Clue #3: Mileage
Keep an eye on your odometer and give your car an oil change every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. That’s a general range that covers most vehicles—but your car may have more specific needs. Your owner’s manual or your service center can give you recommendations for your particular vehicle.
If your oil levels are puzzlingly low before it’s time for your next oil change, it can indicate that the system requires repairs.
Oil Change Clue #4: Sound
Oil keeps engine components sliding smoothly and quietly. When your engine starts to rumble or grind, it’s a good indicator of insufficient lubrication. An oil change is a simple solution. A ticking sound when you start your car could also suggest oil-related problems.
Oil Change Clue #5: Smoke
If your exhaust pipe is emitting a gray or black cloud when you drive, that’s an important sign that something needs to be addressed under the hood. Very old oil could be the culprit, though you might also be experiencing a leaking tank. It can also mean that your engine needs immediate attention.
“Oil” Set to Drive!
You can feel like an expert now that you’re familiar with the signs your car needs an oil change. If you’re looking for a first-rate oil change near Springfield, Callaway, or Panama City, schedule an appointment with our dealership’s service center. At VW of Panama City, our service center team is ready to assist with any of your automotive maintenance needs.