If you have lost the sticker indicating when you last changed your oil or you have done a lot of traveling since then, you may wonder if the time has come to go ahead and have your oil changed. If so, look for the following signs that your car is in dire need of an oil change.
Color of the Oil Darkens
The first sign that you need an oil change can be found by looking at the color of the oil itself. You can check this by looking at the oil coating the dipstick.
When the oil is new or still in good condition, it will have a light brown color that is almost transparent. You should be able to see the dipstick's markings clearly through the oil.
However, when the oil has gotten old, it will be burned after constant exposure to the intense heat of the engine. It will turn dark brown to black, and you may even smell a burnt odor when you hold the dipstick to your nose.
If the oil's color has darkened then it has not only been burned, it has also become very thick. It will no longer be able to thin out and properly coat the gears inside the engine, making it more likely that your gears will wear down faster and the motor will sustain costly damage.
Oil Level Is Constantly Low
Another indicator that your oil is in desperate need of changing is when you find that you are constantly topping it off with new oil. If the oil level seems like it is always a quart or two low, the older oil has burned up to the point that it no longer has the mass to keep your levels steady.
Even if you keep adding fresh oil, this will not solve the problem. The fresh oil mixes with the old, and the former is contaminated by the burnt-up oil. The fresh oil will break down just as fast as the old, making it necessary to keep adding oil.
Additionally, while adding a quart of oil every day is an option, you should only do this as a temporary measure.Although it does keep up your levels, adding oil does not solve the problem of spreading thick, gunky oil throughout your engine.
If you notice any of the above signs, your car's oil is either in no condition to properly lubricate your car or there isn't enough oil to get the job done. Take your car to an auto shop that provides oil change services as soon as possible. Companies like Furgersons Garage can offer more information.