When Do I Need An Oil Change?

When Do I Need An Oil Change?

Regular oil changes are key to the maintenance of any vehicle, as oil is what helps your engine to reach peak performance and operate properly. Thankfully, oil changes are a simple and quick part of routine maintenance, and relatively affordable considering the cost of not having them performed. Instead of relying on the signs that your oil needs to be changed urgently, you should practice proactive maintenance. When does your car need an oil change?

It Depends on Your Vehicle

When oil was low quality and cars were not as technologically advanced, oil changes needed to occur every 3,000 miles. However, thanks to advances in vehicle technology and in oil blends, most cars do not need oil changes that frequently. Most vehicle manufacturers suggest changes at 7,500 miles or more. Fore, Porsche and Volkswagon recommend changes every 10,000 miles for most vehicles. BMWs can go up to 15,000 miles between synthetic oil changes. You should always start by checking your maintenance schedule or owner’s manual to see what your manufacturer recommends.

However, you should also consider how you drive your automobile. If you operate in severe driving conditions, like towing trailers often, mostly stop-and-go driving, idling in traffic frequently, driving in extreme cold or heat or frequent short-distance driving, you should have your oil changed more often.

Your Car Might Tell You

Some new cars made from companies like GM and Ford have oil-life monitors built-in that will alert you when it is time to swap out your oil based on climate, number of cold starts, vehicle speed and engine temperature. If your service warning light never illuminates, you should still have your oil changed once a year. If you are concerned about running out, you can always practice checking your oil once a month to make sure that you have an adequate level and that your oil looks to be in good condition.

Warning Signs that You Need an Oil Change

While it’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive, sometimes life gets in the way, and you might find yourself in desperate need of an oil change. What are the urgent warning signs that you need an oil change sooner rather than later?

  • Dark and dirty oil is always a warning sign. Clean auto oil should be an amber or copper color. Over time, the oil will darken in color and get dirty as a result of all of the engine particles. When you use the dipstick to check oil levels, don’t forget to wipe off some oil and also note what color it appears to be.
  • Does your engine seem louder than usual? Clean oil that is working properly will lubricate the parts of your engine and stop metal-on-metal contact from making your engine loud. If you are hearing your engine more or your car is very loud to drive, you might simply be due for an oil change.
  • If your oil change light kicks on, it’s an easy way to tell that you are due for one! If your check engine light is illuminated, it could also mean you have an oil issue.
  • While it’s not strange to see translucent vapor coming out from your tailpipe when the weather is chilly, if you see smoke coming out of your tailpipe it is a big warning sign. Smoke is a sign that oil might be leaking inside of your engine due to a problem.

Tommy’s Hi-Tech Auto Repair for Your Oil Changes

Tommy’s Hi-Tech Auto Repair has been keeping drivers in the Denton, Texas area on the road since 1991. When you need great auto care backed up by excellent customer service, you can trust Tommy’s. To schedule an appointment or get in touch, give us a call at 940-239-3880 or email us at service@tommyht.com.

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