One of your car's most important maintenance tasks is changing the oil. It's also one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to keep your car running smoothly and avoid expensive repairs down the road. If you follow the manufacturer's recommended change interval, it's unlikely that you'll have any problems. We at Finsanto Automotive Repair Shop in San Antonio have been performing oil changes on vehicles since 2008.
However, there are signs it may be time to get an oil change even if you haven't reached that mark yet. Here are five signs that your car needs an oil change:
1. You hear unusual engine sounds
If you hear odd noises coming from under the hood or from inside the vehicle when you turn on the ignition and start driving, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your vehicle's engine and an oil change is needed. These may include rattling or grinding noises that come from the motor or exhaust pipe or popping noises when accelerating or decelerating — all signs that there is something wrong with your car's lubrication system and it needs immediate attention.
2. Excess exhaust
If you notice a steady stream of black exhaust fumes coming out of your tailpipe than usual, this could be a sign that there's too much friction in your engine — which means its parts aren't moving smoothly enough to burn off exhaust gases properly. This is a sure sign that you need an oil change — and soon.
This isn't just inconvenient; it also means that carbon deposits are building up in your engine and restricting airflow through the combustion chambers. That can damage the catalytic converter and exhaust valves in some vehicles.
3. Your fuel economy isn't what it used to be
Your vehicle's fuel economy will decline if its engine doesn't get enough lubrication from the motor oil inside. As engines age and wear down from use, their tolerances for friction increase, and they rely more heavily on motor oil for protection against friction-induced damage such as scoring.
So if your gas mileage has taken a nosedive, an oil change might be just what the doctor ordered. Before you go out and buy a bigger tank of premium unleaded, however, check with an auto mechanic first — they may recommend an additive or filter change instead of a full-blown drain and fill.
4. The oil on your dipstick looks dark and gritty
If you don't check the level of your oil regularly, it's easy to miss this sign of an impending problem. Engine oil helps lubricate moving parts inside your engine, reducing friction and wear on metal surfaces. As the engine runs, it burns off a certain amount of oil and leaves behind sludge made up of dirt, metal filings, and combustion byproducts (such as soot).
This sludge can build up in your engine if you don't keep replacing the old oil with fresh fluid on a regular basis. If there's too much sludge in your engine, it can clog up cooling passages or get into valves or piston rings — leading to serious problems down the road.
If your car overheats when you drive, it could be time for an oil change. The oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine and helps cool it down by carrying away excessive heat. In case of a shortage of oil, it becomes difficult for the engine to run smoothly because of a lack of lubrication.
This may result in overheating. It's important to pay attention to temperature gauges when driving so that any problems can be caught early on and addressed before they become too serious.
Your car's engine is a finely tuned machine, but it can't operate at peak performance without the right oil. Most cars need an oil change every 3,000 miles or so, but the exact time will vary depending on a number of factors. If you're unsure when it's time for an oil change, these are some signs to watch out for.
If you are in the 78250 area, bring your car to Finsanto Automotive Repair Shop today. Schedule an appointment with us online at or give us a call at 210-684-2277. Finsanto Automotive Repair Shop - Quality you Can Trust, at a Fair Price!.