Checking your car’s oil is a simple task that shouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time. Still, many car owners fail to uphold this routine chore and tend to miss signs that they’re in need of an oil change. 

This can lead to significant engine problems down the road. That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide to point you in the right direction. Read on to learn more about the indicators that your car needs its oil changed.

These 4 Signs Might Mean an Oil Change Is in Your Future

Whether you’re driving on the road or idling in your driveway, make sure you are keeping your eyes and ears open for any of the following signs that your car’s oil needs to be checked.

The engine makes a knocking or ticking sound

The purpose of motor oil is to keep the engine lubricated. That means when the oil levels drop, the engine begins to make a knocking or ticking sound. It may sound benign, but the truth is that these sounds indicate the engine’s components are rubbing and grinding against each other due to the lack of lubrication. 

If this happens long enough, the entire engine can become damaged, which will cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

The car is not accelerating normally

As mentioned above, the engine needs oil for lubrication in order to function properly. Aside from making strange noises, an engine that is low on oil will not perform as well, especially when accelerating. If your car is sluggish when you try to accelerate, you may need to add more oil.

The oil looks dirty and dark

You should inspect your engine oil via the dipstick under the hood at least once a month. While healthy oil looks amber and slightly translucent, old oil will be dark and gritty because it is full of particles and debris from the engine.

The exhaust pipe emits smoke

It’s normal for your car’s exhaust to emit a translucent vapor while running. However, when you notice dark smoke coming from the tailpipe, your oil may be to blame. In addition to this, there may also be a strong burning smell that accompanies the smoke. Either of these indicators often means you need an oil change right away.

Schedule an Oil Change in Raleigh, NC

If you’ve noticed any of the aforementioned signs, it might be time for an oil change. Schedule a service appointment at Fred Anderson Nissan of Raleigh today and have our team of expertly trained technicians take a look under the hood. Make sure to also check our service coupons page to see how we can help you save money.