Oil Change Signs

When it comes to your automotive maintenance, the oil change is probably the easiest—and most frequent—service item. For this reason, we might sometimes take for granted just how essential it is.

At Nye Volkswagen, we don’t want any of our Rome, Utica, or Manlius customers to destroy their car over something so simple. Follow these five signs that your oil need changing, and your car should run smooth for years to come.

Sign #1: Your Dashboard Lights Won’t Leave You Be

If your dashboard lights seem like a nuisance from time to time, just remember how much of a help they can be, too. Without their periodic reminders, something as simple as an oil change might easily slip your mind.

When either the “Check Engine” light or the oil light—typically in the shape of an oil can—illuminate, it’s time to take a look under the hood.

You can check oil levels yourself at home. Simply remove your engine’s dipstick, wipe it down, and then dip back in and out. If things are looking a little low, it’s time for a change.

Sign #2: The Color Doesn’t Look Right

You might assume oil is dark—closer to a brown or black color—but this is only true if it’s gone bad. Fresh oil is actually amber.

Over time, your oil picks up different particles and contaminants from regular use. Eventually, all that particulate will turn the oil black, and can actually cause the rest of your engine a lot of harm.

Sign #3: What’s That Knocking Sound?

Knocking is never a good sign. While there could be a few different causes, low engine oil is one of the most common.

As your engine’s lubricant, the oil creates a barrier between all those metal bits and baubles. When things run dry, metal-on-metal friction builds, and things start knocking. Be sure to call your mechanic right away.

Sign #4: Black Exhaust

When the weather is cold, it’s only natural that your exhaust might let off a cloud of vapor as you drive. But smoke? That’s a whole other story, and never a good one.

Exhaust smoke will turn black in the same way that engine oil does. It’s a perfect indicator that it’s time for a change.

Sign #5: The Cabin Smells

The smell of oil is unmistakable. It’s heavy. It’s headache-inducing. And if it’s made its way into the cabin of your car, then you’ve probably let that oil go for far too long. At this point, your oil isn’t just low. It may be burning, leaking, or worse.

Your engine is liable to overheat at this point, so it’s best not to drive—unless you’re looking to cause the powertrain irreparable damage. That oil change needs to happen as soon as possible, so better call your mechanic right away!

Oil Change Signs: Don’t Let Bad Engine Oil Wreck Your Vehicle

An oil change is quick and simple. Unless you let it go for too long—then it can lead to some fairly major problems. Still, there’s no reason why Rome, Utica, and Manlius drivers need to let that happen. Contact Nye Volkswagen today to schedule an oil change!