Most parts of a car are constantly rubbing against one another. Therefore, if you do not lubricate them regularly, the friction generates heat. If the engine overheats, you will start experiencing unending mechanical issues.
The engine oil lubricates all the mechanical components of the vehicle and keeps it operating smoothly. Unfortunately, identifying low engine oil is not always easy. This article looks at four signs indicating a need for an engine oil change.
Dark and Dirty Oil
Clean and fresh engine oil has a characteristic amber glow. But when the engine oil ages, the residue, dirt, and foreign particles alter the oil to a dark and thick liquid. So if you haven't changed your vehicle's engine oil in a while, it will look almost black.
The only way to determine the color is by putting a dipstick in the reservoir and assessing it. If you want accurate results, dip the stick and wipe it on a paper towel. If the color is dark and ugly, it is time for an engine oil change.
Tapping and Ticking Noises
Like anything else, the engine oil gets old with time. Essentially, you should replace it every five thousand miles to ensure effectiveness. When you allow it to stay beyond this mileage, it gets dirtier and heavier.
Viscous oil cannot lubricate the engine components like the runny and clean oil. As a result, you will begin to hear tapping and ticking sounds due to metal-on-metal friction. Replacing the fluid once you notice these unfamiliar noises will prevent damage to the engine's components.
Burning Oil Smell
Though engine oils produce a smell when the vehicle is running, a burning smell is not a good sign. These odors often signal a leak that causes oil drips onto the hot engine parts. It is advisable to have an auto mechanic check the leak and seal it. They will also replenish the oil reservoir.
Changes in Exhaust Smoke Color
Blue or gray exhaust smoke indicates leaking oil in the engine. Typically, the smoke should be clear when the oil is fresh and clean. It is, therefore, crucial to have the vehicle examined by your mechanic to unearth the underlying problem when the color of the smoke from the exhaust changes.
Replacing your engine oil from time to time is essential in keeping the engine healthy and functional. So, in addition to the above signs, having an oil change schedule is good practice.