How to Tell if Your Car Needs Oil Change
It's going to happen—your classic car is going to need some maintenance work.
Her again, explaining how not to kill your vehicle. "I know, I know. You're like, 'I can change my oil! I don't need no stinkin' tips!'—but you might! And if you're a girl, let me tell you: Guys won't help you out of a jam. There needs to be a woman in this kingdom who can figure this stuff out. So, let's get to it. I know this is going to be tough for you women, but you can do this.
The first thing you need, and I'm not just saying this because we're friends, is a checklist. It doesn't have to be fancy—I recommend a Post-It note taped to your dash. This way, every time you pull up next to your mechanic, he won't think you're crazy…or running late on an oil change. It might sound like an odd ingredient for a long-lasting car engine, but trust me, it works.
Checklists can be used in a variety of ways to improve performance. For example, an analysis by the New England Journal of Medicine found that checklists are so effective that doctors using them in intensive care units reduced deaths from preventable errors from 11% to zero.
So let's look at a checklist of warning signs that you should take your car into the garage.
Warning lights appear when you start your engine: If you're driving a car with an automatic transmission, the oil warning light will only come on when your engine is running, and the engine is not warm enough for the oil to flow properly.
The oil warning light will come on if there is a problem with your oil level, an oil leak, low pressure, or the engine is overheating.
If the engine oil is very low, then you can further damage the engine by continuing to drive until all of your oil has leaked out. If you continue driving with this problem, then this may cause serious damage to the engine. This could lead to a larger repair bill or even the need to replace the entire engine.
Super tip; When the car takes in too much NOx during an oil change, the NOx sensors can be damaged or, in some cases, completely removed. To be on the safe side, check out redline nox sensors for sale here.
Your car clunks when you put it in gear: This indicates a problem with the clutch.
If your car clunks or hesitates when you put it in gear, you're probably low on engine oil. It would help if you filled up on oil as soon as possible to avoid long-term damage to your car. You should also check your owner's manual to see what type of oil you should use.
One way to remember when it's time for an oil change is to watch the oil dipstick. Once you've gone over half a tank of gas, you can wipe off the dipstick and put it back in. After you've done this, check the dipstick after every other gas tank and see if the oil level remains above the "Full" line on the dipstick. If it does, you're good to go, but if it dips below the "Full" line, you'll need an oil change.
Random misfires: A lack of compression can prevent your engine from starting and running smoothly.Compression is the measurement of the amount of pressure that is applied to your engine's piston as it closes a cylinder. It helps it to move more powerfully, leading to better acceleration and fuel efficiency. Just like your muscles, your engine needs constant compression for regular function, even if it only needs that force for a short period of time, such as starting or driving up a hill.
One of the factors that affect compression include:
- Oil degradation
Oil is the lubricant used between moving parts so they can spin regularly and smoothly. It protects the pistons from overheating and wear while also helping them slide easily. An oil change is an essential part of car maintenance (and the reason why you should not skip it) because it keeps your engine running smoothly over time. Regular oil changes will also help prevent carbon build-up, which causes your engine to burn oil more quickly.
Excessive smoke or white smoke: This may indicate that there is oil leaking into a cylinder, which is a serious problem that should be fixed immediately.Excessive smoke or white smoke: This may be an indication that there is oil leaking into a cylinder, which is a serious problem that should be fixed immediately. At first look, it may seem that the engine is burning oil. As a result of breakdowns, the cause of excessive smoke can be due to several other problems, including:
- Incorrect ignition timing
- Incorrect spark plug gap
- Blown head gasket
- Worn piston rings
- Blown timing belt
- Oil leaks from the valve cover or timing chain cover
- Abnormally high oil consumption
- Car transmission problems
- A broken belt that moves the alternator
- A broken or improperly grooved pulley
Check your oil level regularly. If you see excess oil in your engine, you should call in a repair service immediately.The much more serious problem is a leak of oil into a cylinder.
Car Oil Smells Burnt
A burning smell or unusual smells. When your engine is hot and running, oil is released from the engine's internal parts into the crankcase, and it is mixed with gas vapor and burned by the engine. If the oil is not changed regularly, it can vaporize in the crankcase and leak back into the motor, and at high speeds or loads, it may escape through the PCV system or crankcase vent into the air intake. This is called a blow-by condition. The oil (which may be contaminated with engine wear debris) burns in the combustion chamber, and you may smell a rich fuel mixture accompanied by a burning oil smell.
Abnormal Noise from the Engine
The surest sign that your engine oil needs to be refreshed is the existence of abnormal noise. There are different and specific noises that can provide you with information about what state your car is in without you even having to get close to it.
Your car's engine is making an abnormal noise – in the case that your car has been making a funny noise for a while and doesn't seem to be getting better, don't wait for it to get worse. You may be able to save yourself some big bills by paying attention to the noise and bringing it in immediately.
One of the most common sounds that are heard from your engine that confirm that you should take some action include:
- Knocking – this kind of noise is a sound that is coming from your engine's cylinders. It comes with a vibrating sensation and can make a thumping sound if your engine's RPM (revolutions per minute) is high.
Your oil decreases in quantity frequently: If your oil level decreases by 1/2 or more every 2,500 miles or less, it is time for an oil change.