8 Signs Your Car is Overdue for an Oil Change

When your car, truck or SUV is due for an oil change, you should never wait too long. Most modern vehicles will let you know precisely when service is needed. On older vehicles, you may just have to watch the mileage or check the calendar (usually every 3-6 months, depending on how often your vehicle requires service). If you are a Fox Run Auto customer, we'll gladly set you up on a regular maintenance plan with reminders when certain services are due.

Here are some of the signs that will let you know when your vehicle is due for an oil change:

1. Low Oil Level

Almost all vehicles make it very easy to get under the hood and manually check your oil. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean before sticking it back in. On the second check, the first thing you will want to look at is the fluid level. If it is too low, you may be due for an oil change or you just need to top off the fluid. This could also be the sign of an oil leak, though, so look for that, as well.

2. Dark/Dirty Oil

The other thing you will want to look at with your dipstick is the quality of the oil itself. If it is dark, dirty or milky (or has a distinct burnt smell), then that's a pretty clear sign that you are overdue for an oil change.

3. Burning Oil Smell

If you are driving and can physically smell burning oil, then that's usually a good indicator that it's time for an oil change. 

4. Weak Fuel Economy

An engine that is not getting enough clean oil won't perform as well. You may notice a drop in fuel efficiency, though again this can be a sign of other fuel system, engine or exhaust system problems.

5. Stalling Engine

If your vehicle is stalling or it feels like the engine is seizing up from time to time (especially in cold weather), you could be dealing with low engine oil, bad oil or an oil leak. With any recurring engine problems, you will want to get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. In many cases, just an oil change will be needed.

6. Overheating Engine

This could be a cooling system problem or the engine not getting enough clean oil to operate efficiently. Whenever your engine overheats, it is a cause for concern. Get it inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

7. Service Warning Lights

The most obvious sign that you need an oil change is when the service light comes on. Newer cars will literally tell you when maintenance is due. Other warning lights may indicate low oil pressure and overheating, or simply the "check engine" light will illuminate.

8. Dark Exhaust Smoke

This might be an exhaust leak or catalytic converter problem, or it could be low/weak engine oil causing issues within the engine itself. 

These are just some of the common signs that your vehicle could be overdue for an oil change. If you are in the Northern Delaware area, you can count on Fox Run Auto for all of your automotive care needs. Whether you need a basic oil change or there may be something more significant wrong with your car, we're here to get to the bottom of the issue and recommend the necessary repair or maintenance services.

Call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your service appointment online.


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