All car owners know that, for proper function, you must keep your vehicle maintained, from the engine to the tires—including changing the motor oil. The frequency of your oil changes depends a lot on the type of vehicle you drive, how often you drive it and what you use it for, but as a general rule of thumb, you should plan on getting the oil and filter changed every 3,000 to 6,000 miles.
However, there are also signs that may indicate that you may need to take your car to an auto mechanic in Madison, TN for an oil change. Let’s take a look at some of the more common signs:
- The oil is dirty: It’s time to get real about the cleanliness of your car’s motor oil—clean oil is a light honey or amber color, while dirty oil is thick and dark. Inspect your oil at home by checking the dipstick at least once a month. Do this by removing the dipstick, wiping it off with a paper towel, re-inserting and removing the stick again, and then observe the fluid. Good, clean oil will allow you see through it, while dirty oil won’t.
- There are unusual and loud noises: All cars—especially older models—will make strange sounds from time to time, which is not concerning when not continuous. But a vehicle that’s making knocking, rumbling or banging sounds or is simply louder than usual may signal a need for an oil change. This could be metal engine parts rubbing together due to a lack of lubrication from clean oil running through the engine’s system.
- Excess visible exhaust smoke: During colder weather, starting up your car is likely to produce a short flow of smoke from the exhaust, which is typical. However, in cold or warm weather, it’s uncommon for smoke to constantly emit and remain visible while running. The problem is possibly coming from a damaged engine part, or more likely, you could have an oil leak on your hands. Contact an auto mechanic in Madison, TN immediately to get the problem fixed.
- There’s a strong oil smell inside your car: You know that burning oil odor you sometimes smell when driving your car after an oil change? Well, that’s just the little bit of dipped oil burning off, oil from the oil change service. If you smell an abundance of burning oil, exhaust or gas inside the cabin of your vehicle, this could be an indication of an overheating vehicle. In other words, big problems may lie ahead.
- You can’t recall your last oil change: The number one reason to create an auto maintenance schedule is so you don’t forget to take your car to the shop for important routine maintenance, such as oil changes. So if you cannot recall the date of your last oil change, have your oil changed soon, and then mark your calendars for three to six months from now.
Clean oil is essential to the proper inner workings and health of your vehicle. If it’s time for an oil change, call the team at Madison Muffler & Auto Repair to schedule your appointment with an expert auto mechanic in Madison, TN today.