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Posted by Joseph Clement on 29 July, 2017

In order to keep your car running efficiently, it is necessary to frequently check your oil levels. The purpose of engine oil is to grease moving components, additionally, it will preserve, clean and cool these components preventing your engine from seizing up. That said, oil’s ability to lubricate does not last forever, it eventually becomes dirty and less effective. Once this has happened, you will need to give your car an oil change. There are some easy ways to tell when your car needs an oil change, we have listed some of them below:

Oil replacement warning light

An obvious way to tell if your car’s oil needs changing is if the oil replacement warning light on your dashboard turns itself on. Most current cars will have this warning light which automatically illuminates when it’s time for your vehicle to have its oil changed.

Black engine oil

You should regularly check your vehicle’s oil level using a dipstick. To do this, open up the bonnet of your car, pull the dipstick out, clean it with a cloth, reinsert it into the engine and pull it back out again. Your dipstick will be marked with a maximum and minimum level, make sure your oil reading has not dropped below the minimum level or exceeded the maximum level. While performing this check it is worth looking closely at the colouring of the oil that appears on your dipstick. If the oil is very dark, thick or even black, it’s a good indicator that your oil may contain particulates that can cause muck to form in the engine. Ideally, the oil should have a transparent light brown colour so if it’s very dark then it’s probably time to get an oil change.

Gritty oil consistency

While checking your oil level also check the consistency of the oil. Put a drop of oil from your dipstick onto your fingers and rub them together. The oil should have a smooth consistency. If the oil is raw and grainy it is a sign that the oil contains contaminants and should be replaced as soon as possible.

A noisy engine

If you have noticed an increase in the amount of engine noise produced by your vehicle it could be a sign that you need to change your oil. The purpose of engine oil is to lubricate moving parts within the engine. However, when oil becomes old it starts to lose its lubricating properties and as a result engine components can begin to grind against each other. If an issue like this is not addressed quickly it can cause significant damage to the engine. If you think that your engine has become louder then get it checked out by a professional.

It’s been ages since you last changed your oil

In bygone days, most car manufacturers suggested that you change your oil every 3,000 miles. However, with substantial improvements to the way that oil is produced a one size fits all approach to how often you should change your oil no longer applies. Every car is different so to avoid any mistakes or confusion you should refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended oil change intervals. It’s easy to put off changing your oil but in the long run, it will be a lot better for your car and probably your wallet if you change your oil when you’re supposed to.