The easiest way to know you need an oil change is when the oil change icon pops up on your dashboard. But as residents of Danville, Washingtonville, Elysburg, and Bloomsburg know, getting stranded on the side of the road during the Pennsylvania winter season can be pretty harsh. That’s why you need to be able to recognize the signs of needing an oil change to protect your vehicle this winter season. When it comes to oil changes, there are many telltale signs you should look out for. We go over some of the most common below, but first, let’s take a look at how often you should be getting your oil changed.
How Often Should I Get an Oil Change?
If you own a car, you need to put the effort in to regularly maintain it. After all, your vehicle was an expensive investment – you want to have it around for the long haul. Auto experts agree that you should change your vehicle’s oil every six months or whenever your vehicle has driven another 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Because of technological advances, oil changes could be pushed back to every 5,000 miles for newer vehicles. However, this completely depends on the vehicle.
Signs You May Need an Oil Change Soon
As mentioned above, the easiest way to know you need an oil change is when your oil change light comes on. However, there are some other signs you may not be aware of:
If you’re idling outside your local convenience store or while waiting to pick someone up from work, you should be aware of any unexplainable movement your car experiences – most notably, shaking. Over time, your vehicle’s oil can grow old. When this happens, the oil thickens and essentially turns to sludge, making it impossible to keep the engine working as it should.
Without the oil keeping everything lubricated, the metal parts of the engine start creating friction, which is what causes your vehicle to shake. Even though this friction can happen at any point, it’s most noticeable when your car is idling. Since many Danville, PA residents warm their car up for a bit before driving it during the winter, mornings are the perfect time to check whether or not your car is shaking before you even leave home.
You’re Burning Through Gas
Are you running out of gas a lot faster than you used to? This may be a sign of an impending oil change. Without sufficient oil, your engine has to work harder. This means that it’ll no longer be performing at an optimal level in terms of gas mileage; your vehicle will burn off more gas per mile because the engine is going into overdrive.
Another common sign your car may soon need an oil change is if you notice it’s expelling a lot of exhaust when you drive. Your vehicle’s exhaust system plays an integral role in your vehicle’s overall function. First, it directs harmful fumes away from you and your passengers. It also helps reduce the overall noise your vehicle makes, while also improving how much fuel you use and the performance of your engine.
While excessive exhaust is a normal sign of engine trouble such as a cracked gasket, it could also be a sign that your oil is too old and not working in your engine as it should. If you see or smell excessive exhaust the next time you drive, you need to bring your car in for an inspection right away.
Your Car is Overheating
It can be very scary when your car overheats, especially if it’s the first time you’re experiencing it. Like how your car shakes when the metal parts of the engine rub against one another, this friction can also generate heat. Unfortunately, when this happens and your car’s cooling system can’t combat it due to a lack of coolant, it causes the engine to overheat.
Not only can not having enough oil cause this friction and overheating to occur, but it could also be a symptom of dirty oil. Over time, your car’s oil filter will collect dirt, grease, and other types of grime that can negatively affect how clean your oil is. The longer you go without an oil change, the longer these contaminants sit in your oil and put your car at risk of overheating.
Your Engine is Louder
A loud engine is another common sign of needing an oil change. Like all the other issues listed here, insufficient oil causes the metal parts to grind on one another. If there isn’t enough oil in your engine, you may be able to actually hear this friction when it occurs. Oftentimes, this will come in the form of a knocking sound while you drive.
You may also experience a ticking noise every time you start your engine. The ticking noise is usually the result of oil that doesn’t have the right texture, as well as when the valves try to pass the oil through the engine. This causes your engine to take more time to start up than it normally would.
Bring Your Car into George Automotive Services in Danville, PA
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways you can recognize the signs of needing an oil change. While we understand that life gets busy, not regularly changing your oil every six months can have detrimental effects on your vehicle and ability to get from Point A to Point B.
At George Automotive Services in Danville, Pennsylvania, our trained auto technicians have the tools and experience necessary to perform top-rated oil changes in a variety of vehicles. We know how to work with American, Asian, and European vehicles.
Whether you know you need an oil change or just think you do, don’t wait. Bring it into George Automotive Services today. We’re located at 533 Jacobs Alley Danville, PA 17821.