What are the Warning Signs That You Need an Oil Change?

a technician adding engine oil into the powertrain system

To ensure smooth functionality and proper working condition of your vehicle’s engine, you need to make oil changes a regular part of vehicle maintenance. Engine oil works as a lubricant that adds to the durability and performance of the powertrain and its important components, including the brakes, valves, piston, camshaft and spark plugs. Moreover, the engine has different mechanical parts that continuously moved and rub against each other. This constant rubbing creates heat from friction, which may result in engine overheating and part damage. 

Over time, the engine oil gets dark and dirty, which is not good for the health of your vehicle’s engine, adding to the importance of frequent oil changes. Read below to discover some of the most common oil change warning signs outlined by our expert technicians here at Jack Carter Chevrolet, those who follow the best practices recommended by the OEM to best take care of your car’s engine.

Abnormal Engine Noise

Engine oil helps greatly prevent metal-to-metal brushing and keeps the engine quiet with necessary lubrication. But as soon as the oil stops working in its usual capacity, you may hear rumbling or knocking sounds, signifying the engine components brushing against each other or tearing apart. 

Check Engine Light 

You may get a different oil change light in the latest models of Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles, but if not, the check engine light is enough to send you an alert regarding potential engine issues, including oil changes. You should address the check engine light as soon as possible as the lack of lubrication can wear on your important engine components. 

Distance and Mileage 

If you travel a lot, consider changing or replacing your oil sooner than you usually do. Every vehicle comes with a set distance, and as soon as you hit those miles, you should change the oil, irrespective of the time. You can also consider using a high-mileage oil that keeps up with your engine efficiency. 

Getting Darker and Dirtier 

A new engine oil is slightly translucent and amber in colour. But over time, it gets darker and dirtier and releases a peculiar smell, which makes it evident that you need an oil change. You can remove the dipstick to determine the colour and condition of the engine oil. 

Abnormal Exhaust Smoke

It’s normal to notice vapours emitting from your car’s tailpipe, but the moment you start to witness grey smoke, you need to get your oil changed. Please note that this could also indicate oil leaks. Exhaust smoke is often followed by a burnt oil smell, which suggests that your engine is not working properly and the mechanical components are constantly brushing with one another. 

Browse through our website or book a service appointment with our trained technicians to learn more about the importance of frequent oil changes and routine auto maintenance.