10 Signs your car needs an oil change

Your car’s oil is essential in regulating its functionality and ensuring smooth running. Thus, frequently checking and changing the oil is necessary to improve the car’s performance and prolong its life. It is because, without oil, it becomes difficult for the vehicle to function correctly. It causes the deterioration of the engine and will show signs of an oil change. You may not realise that you need an oil change for your car, but some apparent signs indicate the need for changing the oil. 

Let’s have a look!

How to know if you need an oil change?

Here are the top 10 signs for an oil change.

Loud engine noise

The primary job of oil is to lubricate the engine of the car. It keeps the engine healthy and performing well. If you have low or lousy engine oil, it is most likely to get thicker, making the lubrication of the engine’s components a lot harder. As a result, the car shows the sign for an oil change by releasing noisy sounds from the engine. Owing to this fact, the manufacturers recommend changing the oil frequently to ensure smooth functioning. 

Dark or dirty oil

Another significant indication that calls for a change of the car oil is when the oil turns darker and dirty. The oil becomes dark and almost black when the oil gets older. On the contrary, clean and new oil is the colour of amber, utterly free of the contaminations of sand and dirt. Apart from the colour of the oil, it also creates an irregularity in the oil’s texture. Hence, make sure you consider this sign for an oil change and regularly check the composition of your car oil to prevent damage to the engine. 

Turned on engine lights

Out of many reasons for changing the car oil, one of the major indicators is when the engine lights get turned on. In some cars, a dedicated light shows the signs for an oil change. Such an oil change light illuminates every time the oil level is low in the car, and you need a refill for the smooth functioning of the vehicle. So, whenever the light turns on, make sure you take it as a sign for the oil change and save your car from the lack of lubrication. 

Exhaust smoke

The engine heavily exhausts the smoke when the oil level is low in the car. It is most likely caused by the oil leakage in the car’s system. Sometimes translucent vapour comes out from the car’s tailpipe in the colder weather. So, to prevent that, you should ensure to get the engine checked before moisture becomes the smoke. Further, the oil should be changed before it causes severe damage to your car. 

Overheated engine

For your car engine to work correctly, the engine pumps the oil for the required lubrication. It will help the car function adequately by reducing friction and damaging the components. Moreover, when the car oil is no longer doing its job properly and leads to the creation of friction, it will raise the heat in the engine. It happens when the car’s components rub against each other and create frictional heat. 

Low oil level

Having the right amount of oil in the car is necessary for its smooth functionality. Thus, you must check the health and depth of the car oil as it saves your engine from deteriorating. So, make sure you keep the oil clean and maintain the oil level as a low oil level is the primary sign of an oil change in the car. 

Oil odour

When the engine oil level is low, you may experience an unpleasant odour of the oil that comes out of the cabin. So, make sure you are attentive to sensing the smell of the engine oil and consider changing the oil. This engine oil smell can be an indicator of burning the car’s insides, leading to severe damage.

Shaking while idle

When your car shakes while standing idly, it is one of the significant signs calling for an oil change. It is because old oil badly contaminated with dirt and dust can become thick and restrict the lubrication of the engine’s parts. It will create friction between the metal components of the car’s system, leading to damage to the vehicle. It is when you should change your engine oil.

Shifting lag

When you take a shift while gearing your car, and it takes a little longer, it simply means that there’s a possibility for a shifting lag. Even if it takes a couple of seconds longer than usual for gearing the shift, you should consider replacing the oil filters and even changing the oil. Hence, you should notice this sign for an oil change and consider appointing professionals. 

Hard to start the engine

If you are constantly observing issues while starting your engine, you should consider getting it checked. When it becomes difficult for the engine to start, there may be a need for an oil change. To avoid the ineffectiveness of the engine, you should also check the battery’s power level and replace it with a new one. 

What happens if you don’t change the oil in your car?

The longer you delay the oil change, the more problems you will have to bear. When the oil is not changed for a long time, it will start to solidify as the oil may become gel-like inside the engine. As a result, it will restrict the car’s functioning as the engine becomes hot and worn out by showing significant signs of an oil change. When the engine is overheated, it will be hard for the car to run efficiently. The heat can also cause the dysfunction of the parts of the vehicle.

How often do you change the engine oil?

Although every car has its own set of recommendations given by its manufacturers to keep it maintained and running in good condition, there’s a general frequency of changing the car oil. It is safe to say that the oil should be changed every 3000 miles. However, the new engines available in modern cars require the oil change at the intervals of 5000 to 7500 miles. While it is the average time you should follow for a successful oil change, some car engines demand synthetic motor oil, and the interval for changing such oil should be around 15000 miles. 


To ensure that you drive a great performing car with a healthy engine and sound car components, you should take your vehicle to a professional car mechanic in Melbourne. So, make sure you keep an eye out for these signs that call for changing the oil and ensure you reach for professional assistance. It will help your car to run faster and better. Along with this, it will also prolong the life of your vehicle. BCS Prestige is the leading car maintenance expert you can trust as we have an extensive team of skilled mechanics and the right set of resources to give you a worthwhile car maintenance experience.

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