4 Signs You Need an Oil Change

Oil is essential for your car’s engine, as it lubricates the moving parts and prevents them from overheating. However, oil gets dirty and loses its effectiveness over time, which can affect your car’s performance and even cause damage. That’s why you need to change your oil regularly, according to your car's condition. But how do you know when it’s time for an oil change? The best way is by following the manufacturer's recommendations, but there are exceptions. Here are five signs that indicate you need to change your engine oil.

1. Dark Or Dirty Oil

One of the easiest ways to check the condition of your oil is to look at its color. New oil is usually light amber, while old oil becomes dark brown or black due to the accumulation of dirt and debris from the engine. To inspect your oil, ensure the engine is cold and not working; pull out the dipstick and wipe it on a clean paper towel or rag. If the oil looks dirty, thick, or thin, it’s time for an oil change.

2. Engine Noises

Another sign of old oil is when you hear strange noises coming from your engine bay, such as knocking, ticking, or tapping. These noises can be caused by metal-on-metal contact, as the oil is not lubricating the engine parts properly. This can lead to excessive wear and tear or even engine failure if left untreated for a long time. If you notice any unusual sounds from your engine, don’t ignore them and get an oil change right away at the repair shop near you.

3. Check Engine Light

Your car has a built-in system (mainly made up of sensors) that monitors the condition of various components and systems, including the oil level and pressure. When something goes wrong, it will alert you with a warning light on your dashboard (most commonly the check engine light). One of these lights is the check engine light, which can indicate a variety of problems, including low oil pressure or level. If you see this light come on, don’t panic, but don’t delay either - visit a repair shop so the mechanics can fix everything up.

4. Smoke from the Exhaust

A little vapor from the exhaust is normal (usually, it's white or almost clear), especially in cold weather. However, if you see smoke coming out of your exhaust tip, it could be a sign of a serious problem. Smoke from the exhaust can indicate that your oil is leaking into the cylinders and burning along with the fuel. This can cause damage to your engine and emissions system, as well as pollute the environment drastically.

If you have noticed any of the issues listed above, make sure to visit our shop if you are from Santa Monica, CA, or the surrounding area! Kamphaus Auto Care is here to help out with any car-related issues you might have.

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