5 Signs You’re Due for an Oil Change

oil changeRegularly replacing your car engine’s oil is a simple way to ensure that it will run efficiently and be protected against damage. While the importance of a regular oil change seems like common sense, many drivers put it off or forget about it altogether. 


There are a few reasons: a lot of drivers rely exclusively on their mileage to gauge when to change their oil, while others simply don’t know the other warning signs their car is giving them. In this blog post, our team will detail five signs your vehicle can give you to signal that an oil change might be needed. 

Is Your Car Telling You It’s Time for an Oil Change?

If you notice the following signs, the answer might be yes:

Dark and gritty oil

Oil best lubricates your engine when it’s a rich amber color. As your car continues to run with this oil, it will become dark and dingy with particulates picked up from the engine. These particulates transform the oil from a clean feeling lubricant into gritty slime.

You won’t be able to just tell when your engine’s oil has deteriorated to this state, so you’ll need to physically check it yourself. To do this, simply remove your engine’s dipstick, wipe it off, and reinsert it. Afterward, pull it out once again. If the oil looks thick and dark, schedule an oil change immediately. 

Strange engine noises

When your engine is using clean oil, it will be protected by a thin layer of lubricant. This prevents your engine’s parts from making metal-on-metal contact, resulting in a quiet ride. However, as your engine’s oil begins to break down, it won’t lubricate as well as before and your engine will become louder while it operates. 

If your engine suddenly starts making rumbling, knocking, or even roaring sounds, don’t delay in scheduling an oil checkup.

Exhaust smoke 

Some vehicles’ tailpipes will emit a clear vapor while they run, but this is not the same thing as emitting smoke. A car that is producing smoke is one that’s due for an oil change ASAP because this can be indicative of either a critically low level of engine lubrication or even an oil leak.

Exhaust smoke can also be a sign of faulty parts in your vehicle’s engine. If you notice your vehicle is producing smoke, get it looked at by a professional.

Shaking while idling

When you’re parked, your vehicle should be as still as you are. When your car’s engine is running on old or deteriorated oil, it will begin to operate with higher levels of friction. This can produce abnormal levels of vibration or shaking while you drive. If you notice this happening, avoid idling as much as you can and get your car’s oil changed. 

The change oil or check engine light is on

If your change oil light comes on, it means there is too little oil in your engine to operate efficiently. When this happens, don’t panic: Simply check your car’s dipstick and get your oil replaced if its current level is insufficient. 

The check engine light is a different story. If this light comes on, it can be a sign that your car’s engine is at serious risk of damage due to insufficient lubrication. If this happens, make sure to get your car’s oil changed pronto. 

Schedule Service in Monroe, NC

Understanding the signs that you need an oil change can afford you many extra years on your car’s operating life. If your vehicle is giving you any of the above signs, schedule an appointment with our service team at Union County Kia in Monroe, North Carolina.