Signs You Need An Oil Change

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to make sure your car’s engine stays in working order is to get an oil change on a regular basis, when needed. Without oil, the engine parts are not able to move freely, the seals can dry up and crack, little bits of dirt and metal can clog the works, and the whole combustion process can grind to a halt. A manufacturer-suggested mileage recommendation for oil changes (typically 4,000-6,000 miles) can be found in your owner’s manual, but there are other ways to make sure your vehicle performs at a premium. At Jim Shorkey, we suggest to write down a schedule and watch for signs that your oil is bad. What “signs” should you look for? We’re glad you asked.

oil change

  • The Oil Looks Black and Sludge-Like

The original color of oil is more of a honey brown than a black, and will quickly darken after a few weeks of use. Once you start to see particles mixed in with that black oil, it’s time for a change. You don’t want to overload the filter to the point that it’s missing contaminants that’ll gunk up in the engine.

  • Your Engine Runs Louder Than Usual

Oil lubricates your engine. Without lubrication, the parts will start to grind against each other, creating more unpleasant noises than you’re used to from under the hood.

  • You Can’t Remember Your Last Oil Change

Aside from making sure the correct oil is at the correct level, the most important thing about oil changes is getting onto a schedule that you’ll stick to. If you can’t even recall the last time your fluids were swapped, then get it changed, write it down, and remain on a healthy schedule.

  • Your Check Engine Light Won’t Go Away

This sounds like a no-brainer, but many drivers ignore lights on their dashboard. And, sometimes, rightfully so—an older car’s check engine light might come on when there’s something up with the engine lubricant, not necessarily the oil. Before you waste time trying to check everything else, make it simple and check the dipstick.

Think you need an oil change? Visit our Service page, or give us a call and talk to a friendly Service Advisor today!


How To Schedule a Service Appointment Online At Jim Shorkey Kia

If you’re like many of our busy service customers, it can be difficult to find time to call into the dealership and schedule a service appointment. So, what can you do? The good news is that we recently added a redesigned and enhanced Service Appointment Scheduler to our Jim Shorkey Kia page—eliminating the need to call into the dealership altogether.

Scheduling an appointment with the new system can be completed in a few quick steps outlined below:

  • Simply go to and click on the Schedule Service Appointment in the middle of the page:

Step 1

  • This will then take you to the page below. Click on the tab across the top that best suits you and follow the prompts to schedule an appointment at the most convenient time and date.

Step 2

Finally, check out Andy White, our Service and Parts Director at Jim Shorkey Kia, as he walks us through the step-by-step process in this short, helpful video:

Who Knew: Waxing your vehicle

Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off. Most people associate this phrase with Daniel, training for the All-Valley Karate Tournament with Mr. Miyagi circa 1984 more than an activity they periodically perform on their vehicle. However, if you want to protect your pricey investment, we suggest you familiarize yourself with this oh-so popular catchphrase.


Failing to occasionally apply wax or another protectant to your vehicle’s exterior finish can lead to the breakdown of the clear coat that protects the paint from oxidation, wear and tear, road grit, and more. The idea of waxing is to provide a “sacrificial layer” to take abuse that might otherwise damage the clear coat. In addition, properly applied wax can cover small scratches or light blemishes, as well as enhance the paint’s natural shine and gloss.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your car clean and to apply wax at least twice a year, possibly even three to four times a year due to Southwestern PA’s exposure to intense sun in the summer and excessive road salt in the winter.

For a professional vehicle waxing, contact one of our friendly service advisers to schedule an appointment. We have ultra-convenient evening and weekend hours that make scheduling around your priorities a breeze. If you have the time and energy to wax your vehicle yourself, then we recommend you first make sure it is freshly washed, rinsed, and allowed to thoroughly dry. Apply a thin layer of wax, buff off the excess, and repeat. It’s important that you do not over-apply because a thin application will actually bond and cure better.

After a few applications, we’re positive your vehicle will be gleaming in the sun—and you may even find yourself entering a karate competition.

Jim Shorkey Cares: A quick service tip

Wintertime can be rough, and venturing outside can be unreasonably painful. Therefore, most people neglect their vehicle until the sun triumphantly breaks through the clouds and flowers harmoniously burst through the soil. As this time of the year draws nearer and nearer, we would like to bring you a quick service tip that will have your vehicle driving like a beacon of spring in no time.

Cabin Air Filters. The cabin air filter helps remove allergens and contaminants, as well as trap pollen, bacteria, dust, and exhaust gases that may find their way into a vehicle’s air conditioning and heating and ventilation systems. The filter also prevents leaves, bugs, and other debris from entering these systems.

A dirty or clogged cabin air filter can cause musty odors in the vehicle and can cause contaminants to become so concentrated in the cabin that passengers actually breathe in more fumes and particles when riding in the car compared to walking down the street. A restricted cabin air filter can also impair airflow in the HVAC system, possibly causing interior heating and cooling problems—important for staying comfortable during the excessively hot summer months. Over time, the heater and air conditioner may also become damaged by corrosion.

It’s generally recommended these filters should be changed every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, or per the owner’s manual. Check out our Kia Service Manager, Andy White, below as he explains the importance of changing cabin air filters and compares a clean air filter with a dirty counterpart.