Getting oil changes regularly improves fuel efficiency, decreases harmful emissions, and extends the life of your vehicle. Engine oil keeps moving parts lubricated, which prevents metal-to-metal contact and preserves engine quietness.
You’re Smelling Oil
The hundreds of metal parts in your car’s engine need lubrication to reduce friction and prevent overheating. Old oil can cause these components to burn and give off a pungent odor that lets you know it’s time for an oil change near me Hackensack NJ. Failing gaskets and oil seals often cause a burning oil smell. They may also lead to engine overheating because the cooling system isn’t working properly.
An easy way to check for this problem is by watching the dipstick. If the dipstick reads lower regularly, that’s a sign of an oil leak, and it’s time to call a mechanic to fix it before it gets worse. An oil leak can damage the engine and leave you stranded.
You See Exhaust Smoke.
The smoke from your car’s exhaust pipe can provide much information. For instance, wispy white or gray emissions that dissipate shortly after your engine warms up are water vapor from condensation that settles in the tailpipe while your car is parked on a cold day. However, smoke with a blue tinge indicates that your car’s engine is burning oil. Excessive oil consumption can result from worn valve seals, piston rings, or a plugged PCV valve.
In contrast, thick, constant white or gray emissions that don’t dissipate could indicate a blown or leaking head gasket. You will want to fix This much more serious problem immediately to avoid costly engine damage.
Your Oil Level is Low
Engine oil is a key part of the lubrication system that helps keep your car’s parts from touching and burning each other, which creates heat. If your oil level is low, it’s time to get an oil change. It’s normal for your car to burn a small amount of oil between oil changes, but if you find yourself using up more than a quart between oil changes, your engine needs the proper lubrication. Check your dipstick regularly and track when you’ve been in the shop. This way, you won’t be caught off guard when the oil change warning light goes on.
Your Check Engine Light is On
When your check engine light comes on, it’s a sure sign that it’s time for an oil change. It should always be taken seriously whether the light is flashing or solid. Ignoring the light can further damage your car and cause an expensive repair bill. A yellow check engine light doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a major problem on your hands, but it does mean that you should look into getting it fixed soon. A solid red light, however, should prompt you to pull over in a safe place and get the vehicle looked at by a professional as soon as possible. The good news is that most issues that trigger your check engine light can be easily fixed – from simply tightening your gas cap to fixing your oxygen or mass airflow sensor.
Your Fuel Economy Has Declined
Over time, the motor oil in your car breaks down. As it does, it loses its ability to lubricate and cool your engine parts, so they burn through fuel much faster than they should. This robs your car of gas mileage and horsepower.
When you change your oil regularly, you can reduce friction and heat. But the type of oil you use and your driving habits can still impact fuel efficiency.
Rapid acceleration, aggressive driving, air conditioning use, and not using cruise control can decrease fuel efficiency. To get the most out of your fuel, check your owner’s manual for guidance on how often to change your car’s motor oil. A clogged air filter can also cause problems with fuel consumption.