When is it Time for an Oil Change?

5 Things to look For

If you are like most motorists, timing your car’s regular oil changes can get confusing. Conventional advice may give you one recommendation, while your car’s owner’s manual says something else entirely. How can you know for sure when to bring your car in? Here are five signs that it’s time.

1. You Have an Oil Leak

Oil smells inside of your car may mean you have an oil leak. If your tailpipe starts emitting smoke, you have another sign of leakage on your hands. Get your vehicle into the local auto center for immediate inspection.

2. Warning Lights Are Illuminated

If your car’s check engine or oil change lights are on, you need professional help with your vehicle. Both signals are a warning that immediate maintenance is needed to keep your car working properly.

3. Your Car’s Oil is Dirty

Oil that is dark or dirty when inspected with a dipstick needs to be changed. Check your oil once each month to make sure it is still clean, as buildup happens naturally over time.

4. You’ve Traveled Long Distances

If you have used your car a great deal or traveled far distances in the past month, your oil might need to be changed sooner than usual. The general rule of thumb for oil changes is to go in for a change every three months or 3,000 miles, though newer vehicles may make it up to 6,000 miles.

5. There Are Sounds in the Engine

You may hear noises such as knocks or rumbles in your car’s engine if it lacks proper oil lubrication. Schedule your vehicle for an oil change as soon as it gets noisy.

If you are still having trouble figuring out when to change your car’s oil, check the owner’s manual for your specific make and model. It helps to have a trusted auto repair center like Harlan Automotive in Murray, Kentucky, on your side to handle all of your oil change needs. With free loaner cars, shuttle service, and online scheduling, we make it easy to fit this important vehicle maintenance task into your busy lifestyle. Call us today at to learn more!

Written by Harlan Automotive

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