Regularly changing the oil in your car can keep it running smoothly, improve gas mileage, and add years of life to the engine. But how can you tell when to change the oil?

It’s recommended that drivers have their oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, depending on the type of oil used. But there are some other telling signs aside from your odometer that you should have your oil changed.

7 Signs You Need To Have an Oil Change

Dirty Oil

Good, clean oil has an amber color to it. Oil that’s ready for a change tends to be darker after a buildup of dirt and particles from the engine. Remove the dipstick from your engine, wipe off the oil, put it back in and then remove it one more time. If you can’t see the dipstick through the oil, it’s time for a change.

Engine Noise

Fresh oil keeps the moving parts of the engine lubricated and prevents friction. As the oil ages, it loses its ability to lubricate and parts begin to grind against each other. You’ll begin to notice these knocking, rumbling, and rattling noises coming from under your hood.

Exhaust Smoke

A little bit of smoke coming from your tailpipe is normal, particularly in cold weather. But an excess amount of smoke coming from the exhaust can indicate a possible oil leak in your engine. Have the oil level checked as your supply may be leaking its way out.

Oil Smell

Another indication of an oil leak is the smell of oil or exhaust from inside the car. If you smell burning oil while driving, your engine may be leaking oil onto your exhaust unit, and you should have your oil checked right away.

Rough Idle

If you notice your car vibrating or rattling while sitting still at a red light, it may be an indication that your oil has become too dirty to provide the proper lubrication for the pistons and causing the engine to rumble around.

Sluggish Acceleration

You’ve heard the term “well-oiled machine.” When an engine isn’t properly oiled, the result is sluggish acceleration and weak power. If you feel your car doesn’t have quite the same pop that it usually does, you may be due for some fresh oil.

Oil Light or Check Engine Light

If your oil level is getting low, you should see a warning light on the dashboard that looks like an oil lamp telling you it’s time for service. Some cars may even trigger the check engine light.

Schedule an Oil Change Today

If you notice your car experiencing any of these signs, schedule service today to have your oil changed by the professionals at Car City, your preferred car dealership in Calabash, Conway, Lumberton, and Whiteville.