Vehicle Tips: Keeping track of your oil changes
Keeping track of your oil changes can help prevent engine knocks and keep your vehicle operating optimally for longer. Typically, an oil change is recommended after every 5,000 miles, although more frequent changes are usually needed in extreme operating conditions. Knowing when to change your oil can be tricky, but here are 3 signs that can tell you it’s time.
Black or gritty oil
Regularly popping the hood to check the color of your oil is the simplest way to determine its quality. Fresh oil is usually translucent and light brown, but it tends to get dark and thick as the miles roll by.
This is because the oil absorbs more and more contaminants from your engine over time, and not changing it can eventually damage your filters and gunk up the engine. Once your oil starts to turn black, have a vehicle maintenance service change it immediately.
Noisy and jumpy engine
Old oil is often riddled with worn out metal chippings from your engine that result in a pinging noise under the hood. Contaminants can also cause friction build-ups in your engine that can make your engine jumpy and noisy.
An oil change provides the proper lubrication required to keep your engine running smoothly and quietly while preventing untimely engine damage.
Low oil levels
An engine running on old oil tends to use up more of the lubricant to keep operating smoothly, leading to oil levels dropping faster than normal. If the dipstick shows extremely low oil levels, this should tell you that most of the lubricant has ended up in the filters, and an oil change is imminent.