Signs You Need an Oil Change
Oil changes are integral to the functionality of your vehicle. So, it’s important to be able to spot when your vehicle may need an oil change. In this guide, we at Dallas DCJR will give you a detailed overview of what drivers in Dallas, Garland, and Arlington should keep an eye and ear out for. Read ahead to learn about the common signs you need an oil change, how to check your engine oil, and more!
Common Oil Problem Symptoms
Typically, your engine oil should be changed regularly every six months. However, there are instances when your oil will need to be changed outside of this schedule. Such instances can be detected if you keep an eye out for the following signs that your vehicle needs an oil change:
- Engine and/or Oil Dashboard Warning Lights Are On – If see a warning light shaped like an engine or like an oil can come up on the dashboard, you probably need an oil change.
- Strange Noises Coming from Under the Hood – Engine oil lubricates the engine’s many parts. Without proper lubrication, these parts can cause dangerous friction, resulting in loud knocking or grinding noises.
- Engine Oil Is Discolored and/or Gritty in Texture – Engine oil also keeps the engine clean. When it picks up too much dirt, it can become very dark in color or gritty in texture, which makes it hard for it to do its job.
- Engine Oil Level Is Low – Your engine oil line should always fall between the minimum (“MIN”) and maximum (“MAX”) lines on your oil dipstick. Low levels could indicate a leak in the engine or oil system as well.
- Smell of Burning Oil Coming Inside the Cabin – If engine oil is leaking or the engine itself is overheating, it can be a huge red flag that your vehicle needs at least an oil change.
- Exhaust Smoke Is Dark and Noticeable – Clear vapor typically comes out of your exhaust pipe when your engine is working correctly. If this vapor turns dark, it can be a sign that there’s a problem with your engine oil.
These are the most common signs that you need an oil change. However, it’s not uncommon to see no warning signs at all. Due to this, it’s important to regularly check up on your oil yourself in between your routine maintenance visits every six months.
How to Check Your Engine Oil
Checking your engine oil yourself is a simple task that can be done right in your garage or driveway. First, you need to open and secure the hood of your vehicle as well as have a clean rag handy. Unscrew the engine oil cap and pull out the dipstick.
Use the clean rag to wipe off any oil from the dipstick. Examine the oil on the rag for grittiness or discoloration. Then, stick the dipstick back in and remove once more to see where the oil line ends up. If there’s too much or not enough oil, you’ll need to have your vehicle looked at by a technician.
Need to Get Your Oil Changed?
Drivers in Dallas, Garland, and Arlington who still have questions about oil changes or need to schedule their next oil change should give us a call at Dallas DCJR today!