Indicators Your Vehicle Needs An Oil Change

Every car’s engine oil is like its lifeblood. Oil is required by the engine to lubricate its moving parts and keep them running smoothly. In actuality, oil is necessary for the operation of all engines. It makes no difference if you’re using a lawnmower, generator, or even a motorcycle. If it has an engine, oil must be used to lubricate it.

The components in an engine are always moving and rubbing against one another. Due to the constant friction, heat is produced. These moving elements require oil to flow through them in order for the oil to absorb heat and prevent overheating.

There are so many various warning signs and symptoms that your vehicle may need an oil change, as well as a interim or full service. Don’t worry if you don’t have a reliable mechanic to take your car to, you can look online for car garages by visiting and make an appointment to have your car serviced or repaired there.

When you bring your car in for an oil change, the mechanic will change the oil and oil filter, check for leaks and other obvious problems, and then give you additional advice on what they think needs to be done.

If you check MOT history of your car and see that a previous MOT test failed on the emissions, majority of the time this is due to filthy engine oil and not keeping up to date with the manufactures service schedule.

Indicators that your car needs an oil change are listed below:

Dirty or Dark Oil

If you’ve never seen clean, brand-new engine oil before, it kind of has a beautiful orange colour to it. However, oil changes to a considerably deeper, nearly black colour as it becomes old and dirty due to the accumulation of waste particles in the engine. Establish the practise of routinely checking the state of your oil. Simply take out your oil dipstick to check the colour of the oil. To obtain a more precise result, you can also wipe the dipstick’s tip on a piece of paper. You should change your oil if it is a dark brown or black colour. Search online for garages in and schedule a service appointment for your vehicle.

Tapping or Ticking Sounds

Engine oil eventually becomes stale and worn, which can cause ticking or tapping noises. Because of this, car manufactures advise oil changes every 5,000 miles or so. If your car has old oil, it’s probably getting thicker and dirtier. This will hinder the oil’s ability to adequately lubricate the parts of your engine. Your engine will consequently start to emit a variety of metal-on-metal noises as a result of the improper lubrication. If you neglect the problem, major engine damage may occur; therefore, get an oil change straight away.

Exhaust Smoke

In a certain temperature, you are probably accustomed to witnessing vapour coming from your car’s tailpipe. However, you may have an oil leak if you actually start to notice blue or grey smoke coming from your exhaust. This is accompanied by a burnt oil odour, and the smoke is a result of your engine not having enough oil to lubricate all of its moving components due to the leak.

Therefore, get the oil replenished and the oil leak rectified. You may find out if your vehicle failed the emissions test during a previous MOT test by searching “check my MOT history” online, as was previously mentioned.

Burnt Oil Smell

The interior of your car may begin to smell like burnt oil, which is a sign that there is an issue with the oil. It typically indicates that there is an oil leak, which is why oil is dripping onto hot engine components. Additionally, it suggests that there may be an oil shortage in your engine, which is overheating it. Repair the oil leak immediately, then add new oil.

Car Stalling

If your car stalls while you’re driving, you can be dealing with a minor issue or something more serious. A minor issue would be if your spark plugs were damaged, or your fuel filter was clogged. An easy full car service can replace something like this. Something like a damaged fuel pump or blocked catalytic converter that needs to be replaced would be a bigger issue.

Poor Fuel Economy

You may need to change your oil if you notice that your fuel economy has declined. Engine oil will gradually thicken and resemble sludge if it isn’t replaced as it ages. Thick oil creates greater resistance for your engine’s moving parts, making it work harder and use more fuel. While there are other issues that might affect fuel economy, if your oil is dark and significantly thicker than fresh oil, a simple oil change will help.


Your engine won’t perform as well at lubricating its parts if it doesn’t have enough oil in it or if it hasn’t been changed in a while. In the end, the engine will overheat as a result of this increasing the temperature. The issue is frequently resolved by having your oil changed with new oil.

Warning lights

Newer cars come equipped with computers and sensors that help them spot problems before they get worse. If you observe a dashboard indicator light on, check your owner’s manual to find out what it represents. A low battery, a burned-out brake light, transmission trouble, and other problems will all be indicated by warning lights on your car. Some more modern vehicles even use sensors to check your oil status and send you an alarm when it needs to be changed. In some circumstances, the check engine light will come on, requiring the use of an OBD2 scanner or a mechanic’s help to find the precise issue.

Delayed Gear Change

If your car is automatic, you shouldn’t experience any issues with the way it changes gears. However, if there is lag or reluctance when you change gears, it can indicate that your gearbox needs fresh oil or filters. Of course, it could also indicate a more serious issue. Because of this, having your car diagnosed will at least identify the issue.

Looking out for the these indications will help you maintain your engine and keep it working in optimal condition. If you have more ideas to share, please post in the comment box below.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for explaining how one sign of oil issues is a burnt smell coming from your engine. My husband noticed that his car was producing a burning smell all day yesterday. I’ll make sure he gets it into an auto repair shop this week to change the oil.

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