Every car owner will know that their vehicle needs regular maintenance as well as an annual service. The problem is that not everyone has the skills and knowledge necessary to do the task. It may be that you’re concerned about the way your car is currently behaving. Perhaps you have decided it needs an oil change, but are unsure whether the symptoms match the solution. If so, fear not because this article discusses some of the key signs that the oil needs changing in your car.

What Is An Oil Change?

This is a routine car maintenance procedure and you should always go to a qualified technician for help. Always use high-quality oils made specifically for modern engines.

If the situation is ignored, not only will your car malfunction but in the worst-case scenario is could seize up while you are driving.

The Oil Light Is On

The most common reasons for this are that the oil levels need to change or that something is wrong with the oil. If this light pops up when you have had an oil change recently, there could be oil leaking from somewhere, causing low pressure in your system. Losing too much oil will cause overheating as well as loss of power so it’s best to get someone who knows what they are doing to fix it ASAP.

If your engine light is on, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need an oil change. You should investigate the matter further to see what’s set it off and if necessary involve the services of a mechanic. Broomfield, Colorado has many car companies including Audi Flatirons, and this dealer in Broomfield suggests that certified technicians are best placed to perform detailed car inspections. They can either service your car or provide you with an instant cash offer, and help you find a new or used replacement if necessary.

There Are Strange Engine Sounds

Beware if the sound of your engine has changed, or it is running louder than usual. It may be that you hear rattling and knocking sounds coming from the engine (e.g. when you start the car), as well as clanking noises. This might be because of loose metal pieces hitting against each other, which can create more damage if it’s not addressed quickly. 

In time there might be more issues than just damage from low or no oil in the future. You could also end up with things like stuck valves and gaskets. This could also cause the pistons and rings to wear down too quickly because they’re unable to move smoothly against each other without sufficient lubrication. It’s cheaper getting preventive maintenance done now and changing your oil, then paying higher costs for a replacement engine later on.

There’s An Unusual Smell

You may detect an unusual smell, such as gasoline fumes or burning rubber. This could be a sign of overheating, which will lead to other problems if it’s not quickly addressed. You should also be concerned if the dashboard starts to smoke or you can smell burning from inside the vehicle.

Some telltale signs would be if you notice an unusual amount of blue or black smoke coming from your tailpipe, especially when you’re accelerating hard. Alternatively, you may notice an increase in the smoke coming from the tailpipe when you haven’t been driving it for very long.

There Are Visible Leaks

If they’re not related to water, it could be oil and transmission fluid. You may see oil on the ground under your car or black sludge on the underside of your car or on the ground near it. This would mean that there’s too much gunk in your engine and it could be due to not changing your oil often enough.

Also take action if:

  • There are leaks in the oil pan, valve cover or gasket
  • You have noticed water leaking from underneath the car onto the ground 
  • There are small puddles under your vehicle when it rains

General Issues

Other indicators are if your car’s gas mileage is not what it used to be. You may notice that your steering wheel is becoming stiff or difficult to turn or that you have low power or high rpm when the car is idle. Finally, the color of your engine oil may look dark or dirty.

Now that you know the symptoms to look for, let a professional take a look and be sure to book your car in for regular attendance in the future. In turn, your car will continue to be an indispensable tool in your everyday life.