Every vehicle, whether it’s a 50cc Aprilia SX50 or a 3900cc 488 GTB, needs a way to get power. Most of the time, an engine drives these vehicles. In simple terms, the engine works because of an explosion inside the engine cylinder. This explosion pushes the piston down, which indirectly turns the wheels.
If you do this a thousand times a minute, you’ll have an engine that works. But all this movement makes the mechanical parts rub against each other. Too much wear and tear and your car is as good as a man without a heart. You need to keep this friction to a minimum, and luckily, there are ways to do that.
No matter what kind of car you own or want to own, all of them need some kind of layer to keep the engine parts from wearing out too quickly from rubbing against each other.
This is what the engine oil you put in the engine is for. But all of that hard work wears down the engine oil over time. It gets dirty with carbon and metal, oxidises (turns acidic), and the package of additives runs out.
Even though you can change your engine oil when you get your car serviced, and sometimes it doesn’t need to be changed for many months, you still need to know when it’s done.
There are a lot of things that can affect how well your engine oil works, and you can’t really put a number on when you’ll need to change it. This includes extreme weather, suddenly driving a lot more than you used to, starting your car after sitting for a long time, and many other things.
But don’t worry, there are signs that will let you know almost right away that your car needs a checkup. In this article by Motoring Junction, we’ll look at those signs. So let’s get started.
Dropping of oil level
If you do a good job of checking your oil level and topping it off on a regular basis, your car will thank you by giving you more time between oil changes. This is also true in reverse. If you don’t keep an eye on your engine’s oil, it’s possible that the oil level will drop quickly.
Usually, this is caused by damage to the oil system, and you may have to pay extra to fix or replace it.
Increase in engine noise
The engine oil lubricates the engine so that all of its parts can work together smoothly. It also helps keep heat away from the engine’s most important parts. If you start to notice that the oil is getting thin, old, or not very smooth, that means it is getting damaged.
If you start to notice that the car is getting noisier every time you take it for a drive, this could be a sign.
If you don’t mind the noise and keep driving your car like you always do, you’ll hear a ticking sound sooner or later. This is just the piston inside the engine moving up and down and hitting the inside wall of the engine.
Since there is no oil left to keep a cushion between the piston and the wall, there is more friction and the parts wear out much more quickly. So it’s best to keep an eye out for signs.
Irregularity in oil texture
Another thing you should know about your engine’s oil is that it will keep getting darker as it’s used or as it goes through the engine.
This is because it is always hot when the engine is running, and also because the engine parts wear down and leave behind residue (yes, it will inevitably happen regardless of the presence of an engine oil the oil merely slows down the process).
So, one sure way to tell if your engine needs new oil is to look at the colour and feel of the oil. If the oil is really dark and thick, you need to change it.
Low oil level
The lights on your dashboard don’t lie. Even though changing your engine oil might seem easy, and in most cases it is, you still need to keep an eye on how much oil is in the reservoir. This will cause the oil pressure to drop. Find out how to find the cause of low oil pressure and fix it.
If you haven’t changed the oil in a long time, the indicator will flash bright red or show up on the low side. You need to fix this right away because letting your engine run without oil for a long time will eventually cause it to seize up or your car to break down. This is especially true when the weather is warm, so you should try not to let it get to that point.
Any sort of turbulence while driving
You can avoid looking at the engine light, run away from checking the texture of the oil, and ignore the sound of the engine, but you can’t avoid how the car feels when you’re driving it on the road. If the engine is overheating, the dashboard will show it and the engine will knock more.
You’ll know something is wrong with your car if it’s uncomfortable to drive, and the engine oil is the first place you should look when trying to figure out what’s wrong.
White Smoke coming out of exhaust
If you change your oil too late or don’t have enough, it will hurt the piston rings first. If a car needs help, it will literally show you smoke.
So, if there are any signs of oil or if white smoke comes out instead of the usual clear gas smoke, you know you’re running low on oil. White smoke is usually a sign that the piston rings on your car are broken and letting oil into the combustion chamber.
If you don’t pay attention to this and keep driving your car, it will soon do more damage to the engine. It’s better to take care of the piston rings and add more engine oil as soon as possible.
If you see more than one of the above warning signs, you should schedule an oil change or general service for your car right away to keep the engine from getting damaged.
It’s a good idea to follow the service schedule in the car’s owner’s manual. But if you don’t drive like most people, it’s better to get your car serviced early. For example, if you mostly drive on mountain roads, you should often drive short distances, drive on a racetrack, and often pull cargo.
When you take your car in for an oil change, you should also talk to the technician about what your car needs so that the next oil change is done on time. Also, it’s a good idea to make sure that the engine oil you use in your car is the right type and grade for it.