7 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

7 Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

It’s no secret that one of the most important maintenance steps you can take to keep your car running smoothly and make sure it lasts a long time is simply getting the oil changed regularly. We know you’ve probably heard the three months or 3,000 miles rule when it comes to getting the oil changed, but it’s not 100 percent accurate. Some cars can go longer between changes (consult with your owner’s manual to see their recommendations), and some older vehicles or ones with high mileage may need more frequent changes. So, how do you know when it’s time to take your car in for an oil change? Our import repair company in Raleigh is sharing the seven signs that should steer you to a trusted service provider. 

Check Your Oil Regularly

We can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly give your vehicle a once-over, and this includes checking your oil. Oil is necessary to keep your engine running smoothly, and if you don’t have enough or if it’s dirty and filled with sediment, the parts aren’t getting lubricated and sooner or later, you’re going to end up with damage. 


Check your oil by removing the dipstick, wiping it on a paper towel and replacing it in the reservoir. Then, remove it again and check it on the dipstick. If it’s a golden-amber color with a somewhat translucent appearance and it’s above the indicator line, you’re probably fine. If it’s below the line or dark brown or black, it’s definitely time to get it changed. 

The Indicator Light Is On

This sounds like a no-brainer, but if your oil change light is on, your car is telling you what you need to know. For cars that don’t have an oil change light, take it in when the check engine light is on.

Drop in Fuel Efficiency

When your oil is old, it gets thick as it picks up particles and grime from the engine. Thick, sludgy oil is harder to get to move through the moving parts of the engine, causing your vehicle to burn more fuel. Getting new, fresh oil in place will glide through the moving components more easily and quickly. 

Ticking and Tapping Sounds 

If you’re hearing ticking or tapping sounds, like the sound of metal tapping against metal, it probably means all the components aren’t getting the lubrication they need to move smoothly. They’ll hit one another and knock against each other, creating a ticking or tapping sound. 

More Exhaust Than Usual

When the weather gets cold, you’ll see some white vapor come out of the back of your car - this is normal and nothing to worry about. On the other hand, blue, gray, or even black smoke is a sign there’s an oil leak. Get the oil changed and see what’s causing the problem immediately as driving without oil will literally ruin your engine. 

You Smell Burnt Oil

Similar to excess exhaust, smelling burnt oil is a sign of an oil leak. The oil drips onto hot internal components and creates a smell that is unquestionable in what it is. Again, take it in immediately to prevent major damage.

The Engine Is Overheating

We’ve mentioned that when there isn’t enough oil or it’s too sludgy to move through the parts, it won’t lubricate. This causes the engine to generate more heat and eventually overheat. Fresh oil (plus having your coolant topped off to be sure) generally takes care of this issue. 

Schedule an Oil Change with Reliable Imports Today

If you need an oil change in Raleigh, schedule a time to bring it in to Reliable Imports. Our experienced mechanics and technicians will quickly replace your oil with the right kind for your vehicle to get the best performance as well as change out your filters and check other fluids. Don’t take your import to someone who treats every car the same - we know imports and how to keep them running at peak performance. Schedule service today at (919) 324-3019 or fill out our form to get started.


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