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.
- 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!