How to Tell If Your Car Needs an Oil Change

Since you are reading this, and just a few moments ago you typed “how to tell if your car needs an oil change” into your web browser, there is no doubt that you have a car problem. Luckily, you’re in the right place. Today we will be your mechanics, personal assistants, an expert on problems with your vehicle, or call it whatever you want.

The fact is that you aren’t here to read another text that will not help you at all but will make you even more confused. We prefer to keep things simple so today, more precisely right now, we will help you remove all the doubts you have about basic car maintenance, and that is certainly the replacement of engine oil.

Although some may say that it is a procedure that requires expert knowledge, to be a top-level mechanic, etc. oil change is actually a basic thing that every car owner can do on their own. However, we must also think of those who don’t know much about cars or are simply not interested in details. If you are one of them, our advice is to seek the help of a mechanic, for example at

But whether you know how to change the oil yourself, or you prefer mechanics to get their hands dirty for you, today we’re going to talk about the signs that you need to do something about engine oil. DIY or not, you just need to know when it’s time to change the oil.

Below, we will introduce you a couple of signs that are the answer to the question you came to this page with and that is “how to tell if your car needs an oil change”. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started.

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Signs that your car needs an oil change

The car usually sends some signs when it is time for some intervention and going to the mechanic. In the case of oil, several factors affect the appearance of signs, primarily the age of the car, mileage, oil quality, etc. Since oil is crucial for engine lubrication as well as for smooth operation, it is important that you change the oil regularly, and above all to recognize when it is time for service.

“Check Engine” light

We all know about the “check engine” light. If this light is on, there is something wrong with the engine. While there are different things this light can indicate, it can also be an engine oil problem.

If you have an oil change indicator, it is a light that refers to this service. However, if your car is not equipped with this lamp, then a “check engine” light will indicate that it is time for a change.

It is best to go to a car repair shop if you notice a constant light of this indicator. The mechanic will use a diagnostic tool to determine if the signal indicates that it is time to change the oil.

Low oil level

Drivers should regularly check the oil level in the tank! We don’t mean to literally check before each ride, but it’s good to make it a habit. For example, if your car has an extremely low oil level, it can cause big problems and costs.

First of all, a low oil level is an obvious sign that it needs to be replaced. So, a visit to the mechanic is mandatory. However, due to the low level, you may experience permanent engine damage. This is not good at all, but it can serve as an example and a reason for you to check the oil level.

Visible exhaust

Another sign your car sends you regarding oil change is a visible exhaust. If you are driving an older car, this can be a common thing. However, with the vast majority of new vehicles, this is a sign of a serious problem.

First of all, one of the possible problems is old engine oil that must be replaced as soon as possible. Another thing that may cause visible exhaust is cracked gaskets. Again, this problem also has to do with the engine, so the best thing you can do is go to a mechanic.

Higher mileage

Well, higher mileage may not be a sign. Still, it’s worth mentioning, isn’t it? What do we mean by “higher mileage” and how can that indicate it’s time to change the oil? Well, simply, if you have recently traveled a very long way in your car, it is always good to check the condition of the engine oil.

Increased mileage affects the reduction of the period between two oil changes. The best move you can make is to check the oil or consult an experienced mechanic.

Engine noise

Not good when engine noise is heard. This can be an indicator of various problems, including engine oil. As we mentioned earlier, the oil is responsible for lubricating the engine, more precisely its moving components.

Therefore, due to the lack or poor condition of the oil, it is very possible that the engine will cause noise. This happens due to metal-to-metal contact, which is not good at all.

So, the next time you hear the engine make a sound like knocking, please check the oil.

The smell of oil

A clear sign that something is wrong with the oil is the smell of oil inside the car. The most common problem is a leak, but there are other causes for you to smell the lubricant from your engine. In any case, our advice is to schedule an inspection at the car service as soon as possible.

Oil color change

No doubt you know what engine oil looks like when it’s new. It is transparent and you can see the dipstick through it without any problems. In contrast, if dark, oil is obviously ready for replacement.

It is best to check the oil transparency yourself by wiping the dipstick and then returning it to the engine oil tank. When it is time to change the oil, it is dense and opaque. If you see something similar, do not hesitate, change the oil. I


What would be the right message for the end? Well for sure it’s “Change the oil regularly!” Now you know what the signs and indicators for an oil change are, there is no reason not to do it.

If you need additional info about oil change, check out this guide on

Drive safely and take care of your lovely car!