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What Are the Key Signs That You Need An Oil Change?

Brian Bates

Oil changes are simple; when performed at regular intervals, they can improve performance and extend your car's lifespan. While most drivers rely on mileage intervals or warning lights to figure out when to change the oil, it's always best to examine it firsthand. However, your motor oil can be low or deteriorated before the scheduled mileage change comes up. If your engine oil is overdue for service, your engine can struggle to perform and eventually overheat. Below are five indicators to determine whether your vehicle will need an oil change sooner than later. 



Fresh and good oil is an amber color and free of any contaminants. The more you drive, the engine oil will get darker and collect debris. The only way to examine the oil's quality is to pop the hood open and use the dipstick. 



Your motor oil is essential because it lubricates the engine by providing a barrier between its complex parts. If you overlook your oil change, you may start to hear loud engine noises due to the metal engine parts banging against each other. Your engine should not be knocking and rumbling; if you hear these weird sounds, it's time to bring your vehicle into the repair shop.



Typical exhaust smoke is supposed to be a translucent vapor. However, if the smoke smells and looks like actual smoke, then you should be concerned. Dark smoke coming from the exhaust pipe can be an indication that there's an oil leak, meaning you'll need an oil change soon.



If you begin noticing an oil smell in your cabin, that could be another sign of a leak. The moment you smell engine oil inside your cabin, have your oil inspected immediately.   



The oil canister figure will illuminate on your dash when the engine oil is too low or corrupted. You should never anticipate for the oil light to come on before scheduling an oil change. 


The ASE Certified technicians at South Park Tire & Auto have plenty of experience with oil changes on various vehicles. If it's time to have your oil changed, give us a call at (303) 945-3780 or visit our shop in Littleton, CO, today.

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