Empire Mechanics

How to Tell When It’s Time to Change Your Car’s Engine Oil

Changing the oil in your car regularly is an important part of keeping your vehicle in good condition. You need your car’s oil changed as and when due to help your engine run smoothly and efficiently. It is usually recommended to change your car’s engine oil every 4,800 to 16,000 kilometers or every three months to six months, depending on how you want it. 

Notwithstanding, there are many other factors you need to consider when determining the time to change your engine oil. The modern car was fitted with an advanced oil life monitoring system that analyses and determines when a car’s oil needs to be changed. This system helps to bolster the engine delivery. In this blog post, we shall look at how to ascertain when to replace the oil in your car. 

Why Changing Your Engine Oil Is Important

Regularly replacing your engine oil is essential for your car maintenance and to keep it running in a streamlined manner. 

What the engine oil does is that it acts as a lubricant that makes sure all the moving parts of your engine work seamlessly without any form of friction or buildup of heat. As you continuously drive your car, the engine oil is prone to collecting many contaminants, which will definitely affect its ability to lubricate the engine properly. As time goes on, the engine components will undergo wear and tear, which would reduce the performance and ultimately cause potential engine damage.

By changing your engine oil regularly, you remove the accumulated dirt and contaminants, ensuring that the engine continues to do its job well. This will help to minimise friction and heat, allowing your engine to run smoothly. Also, fresh oil contains additives that can enhance engine performance and protect against corrosion.

When you establish this simple maintenance task, it keeps your engine running smoothly and potentially avoids costly repairs later.

When to Change Your Car’s Oil

While there are general guidelines on when to change your oil, there are also specific signs you can look out for that indicate it’s time for an oil change. These signs can vary depending on the type of vehicle you have and your driving habits.

1. Colour and Consistency

One common sign is a change in the colour and consistency of the oil. Fresh oil is typically amber in colour and has a smooth, oily texture. As it ages and becomes contaminated, the colour may darken, and the texture may become thicker or sludgy. If you notice a significant change in the appearance of your oil, it’s a clear indication that it is due for a change.

2. Engine Noise

Another sign to watch for is the presence of engine noise. If you start hearing unusual sounds coming from your engine, it could be a sign that your oil is no longer effectively lubricating the moving parts. The effect of this is that it might lead to increased friction and wear. This can inevitably result in engine damage if it is left unaddressed.

3. Decrease in Acceleration

If you notice a decrease in acceleration or general output, it may be a sign that your oil no longer provides the necessary lubrication your car needs. Similarly, if you experience a decrease in fuel efficiency, it could be due to dirty or old oil that is impeding the engine’s efficiency.

Oil Change Intervals

While the general recommendation is to change the oil every 4,800 to 16,000 kilometers or every three to six months, as stated earlier, some factors can affect this timeframe.

1. Driving Habits

First, consider your driving habits. If you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or engage in heavy towing or hauling, your oil may degrade faster and require more frequent changes.

2. Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can also impact the oil’s effectiveness. Therefore, if you live in an area with extreme weather, either hot or cold, you may need to change your car’s oil more frequently.

3. Oil Type

Another thing to bear in mind is the type of oil you use. Conventional oil typically needs to be changed more often than synthetic oil, which is engineered to last longer. Always follow the recommendations outlined in your owner’s manual, or consult with a trusted mechanic for personalised advice.

Consequences of Not Having Frequent Oil Changes

1. Friction

Over time, the oil in your engine breaks down and becomes contaminated with many things. If this dirty oil is not changed, the engine components will have increased friction and wear, which can result in reduced performance, decreased fuel efficiency, and potential engine damage.

2. Overheating

One of the most significant consequences of not changing your oil is the risk of engine overheating. Without fresh oil to lubricate and cool the engine, the metal components can generate excessive heat and cause internal engine damage. Overheating causes severe damage to an engine and shorter engine life.

3. Reduced Fuel Efficiency

Another consequence of neglecting oil changes is reduced fuel efficiency. Dirty or old oil makes it harder for the engine to work perfectly. These causes decreased fuel economy and will cost you more money at the pump.

4. Risking Its Longevity 

By not prioritising regular oil changes, you’re putting your car’s performance and longevity at risk. The importance of this simple maintenance cannot be overemphasised. You stand to gain many benefits, which include the long-term use of your car without problems.

Conclusion

It is important to pay attention to your car and watch out for the signs. Whenever you pay attention to these signs, you are on top of your game when it comes to caring for your car.

You lessen the risk of engine damage, reduced fuel efficiency, engine wear, and overheating when you pay attention to your oil change. You also stand to reap the gains when your car runs smoothly for years.

Finally, prioritise this simple maintenance task, know when to carry out the next oil change, and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained engine. Remember, a car that’s properly maintained makes life easier! Take your car for that routine maintenance check today!