How To Know When You Need Your Oil Changed

As experienced car owners know, maintaining a vehicle is an ongoing responsibility. No matter how recently you took your car for its latest service, there's always the chance of something unexpectedly going wrong. So it's imperative to regularly check your car's oil, especially since it affects not only the car's performance but also the life of the battery. Let's discuss how long you can go without an oil change while identifying the warning signs that indicate when an oil change is needed.

How long can you go without an oil change?

Ultimately, the answer relies on several factors. Firstly, this depends on the model and type of the car and its age. Check the user manual to see how often the manufacturer recommends checking the oil levels. Alternatively, go to your service center or dealership and ask an expert. As your car gets older, it's likely to need its oil changed on a more frequent basis. Personal driving style also affects how often you'll have to change your oil. Cars often stuck in stop-and-go traffic jams will require more frequent oil changes than those driven at a steady pace on the highway. Still, even if a vehicle requires less frequent oil changes, there are several reasons to check on the oil routinely.

The risks of not changing your oil

By choosing to prolong oil changes, you are risking unnecessary engine wear. Sludge accumulation and corrosion could also arise from keeping older oil in your car. There are also risks of overheating and oil leaks. So, now that you know the risks, how can you tell if your car needs an emergency oil change?

Signs that you're due for an oil change

The most logical place to start is the engine or oil change light. After all, the car should be able to detect any issues. Still, there's always the off chance that the system won't pick up any problems. To check the oil levels, pop the hood and pull out the dipstick. In addition to the oil level, also inspect the color and texture. Is it dark or gritty? If so, it's probably time for an oil change. Fresh oil is amber and translucent. Another red flag is if you smell oil, gas, or exhaust fumes. And keep an eye on the mileage. Oil should get checked after traveling long distances. Now knowing what to watch out for, it's time to take action.

How to change your oil

If you're a motorhead who really knows what they're doing, then you might consider changing your car's oil on your own. You'll need to lift the car with a jack, high enough to see underneath. Plus, you'll need an oil receptacle, a jug or container, to catch the old oil once you pour it out. Still, changing your own oil can be complicated, so it's recommended to take the vehicle to a trusted service center, where they complete the whole process in as little as a few minutes. By prioritizing regular oil changes, you can save yourself a world of stress.