6 Ways to tell if your car needs an oil change

It’s important to regularly check your oil levels to be able to keep your car running smoothly. Engine oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine in addition to cleaning, cooling and protecting those components preventing your search engine from seizing up. But engine oil needs changing frequently as its lubricating properties don’t last forever. Over time, oil gets cluttered and its chemical makeup changes which makes it far less powerful. Therefore we have compiled six easy ways to see if your car needs an oil change. But firstly, since most of our hints involve checking your dipstick, it is vital that you know…

The best way to check your oil level
To check your oil level, open up the bonnet of the vehicle and find the dipstick (it will be shaped like a ring pull protruding out of the motor ). Pick out the dipstick out all of the way and give it a wipe with a clean cloth so you get a nice clear reading. Reinsert it back in the engine and remove once more for a precise oil level reading. Many dipsticks will be marked in two areas to identify the maximum and minimum oil amounts but check your owner’s manual for additional information. It’s imperative that you don’t let your engine oil level fall below the minimum mark, but just as importantly you ought not overfill the engine to be able to keep optimum performance.

So, how can you know whether you will need an oil change?

Check the shade
When looking at the oil on your dipstick, check the colouring. Fresh oil has a transparent light brown colour but over time this will begin to turn darker and may become black and thick. As soon as your oil loses its transparency and turns black it is a great indication that it is time to change your oil as it might contain particulates that can lead to gunk to form in the motor.

Assess the consistency
You’re going to need to have a little dirty with this one but while assessing the colour you also need to check the consistency of the oil. Take a small bit of oil from the end of the dipstick and rub it between your thumb and forefinger. If the oil is rough or you’ll be able to feel any grittiness that is just another indication that the oil includes contaminants and must be replaced.

You have clocked up a lot of miles since your last oil change
If you use your car regularly for longer journeys and clock up plenty of miles, it may be time to have your oil substituted but you should check your car or truck manual first. Previously, manufacturers recommended changing the oil every 3,000 miles, however with the progress of synthetic engine oils it’s not likely that your car will need an oil change quite this frequently. Every producer is different but you need to follow the information about oil change intervals in your owner’s manual. For instance Toyota advocate changing the oil every 5,000 miles for a Yaris while Ford indicates that an oil change is only required every 10,000 miles on a Ford Fiesta.

Dashboard oil replacement lighting is on
Can’t recall the last time you had your oil changed? Do not worry, many modern cars will keep an eye on this for you and a dash message or light will illuminate when your next oil change is expected. This reminder light will be set in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommended oil change interval for your car or truck and has to be reset after each oil change. This is not to be confused with the oil pressure dash light that could suggest you’re driving with inadequate oil in the engine that may cause permanent engine damage. If you find this light, represented with a leaking oil can, you need to stop the vehicle and turn off the engine asap.

Oil level keeps falling
If you have topped up your motor oil but the amount keeps falling below the minimum index in your dipstick, it might suggest a problem. As engine oil loses its lubricating properties, your motor will use more of it to make sure its moving parts keep running smoothly. An engine that always needs topping up with petroleum suggests that there’s either a flow or the oil is no longer up to the job and a complete oil change is necessary.

Listen out for increased engine noise
You may know better than anybody how your automobile usually sounds so it ought to be easy to hear anything that seems from the ordinary. If you see that your engine is noisier than usual it might mean that your oil needs replacing. As engine oil gets older and loses its lubricating properties the moving components in the engine may start to grind against one another causing significant damage if not addressed. Therefore, it’s suggested that you get your motor checked out and replace the oil if anything seems amiss.

For those who have any doubts at all or think you’re due an oil change, call on Mobile Mechanic Toronto and we’ll check your oil at no cost. If your petroleum needs topping up or shifting, we’ll just use the oil specifically suggested by your vehicle manufacturer.