Oil Change: 10 Signs Your Vehicle Needs One ASAP

Oil Change: 10 Signs Your Vehicle Needs One ASAP

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that you have to change the oil and filter in your car regularly. If that does come as a surprise to you, it’s probably time for an oil change! Fact: oil and filter changes are beyond important; they are key to making sure your engine runs smoothly and efficiently. Over time, oil breaks down, and without these routine oil and filter replacements, your engine's oil won't do its job properly, leaving you with an unreliable, problematic, and potentially dangerous vehicle.

At Christian Brothers Automotive, we recommend regular oil changes to all our customers – but how can you tell when it’s time for a change? Whether you’ve been super busy, your reminder sticker has fallen off, or it has just been a while, our expert vehicle doctors are here with 10 symptoms that tell you it's time for an oil change.

Symptoms that an Oil Change is Needed

Because oil and filter service is so important, it's necessary to be aware of potential symptoms that reveal your vehicle needs an oil change. Here are those 10 symptoms:

  1. The Oil Change Light/Service Light Has Come On – Most modern cars have a system to monitor oil life and alert you that it's time for an oil change. No need for a sticker or guesswork! The most common dashboard symbol for this is a wrench, but every car is different.

  2. It's Been a While – Sometimes, due to life, your oil change might slip your mind. If it's been more than 6,000 miles since you last changed your oil, it’s time for service, especially if you’re using conventional oil.

  3. Smoke from Exhaust – If black or blue smoke is coming out of your exhaust pipe, that often indicates an issue with the engine or could be a sign that it’s time to change the oil.

  4. The Engine is Louder than Usual – Motor oil lubricates your engine and reduces friction, so that all the parts work together smoothly. When the oil becomes thin, old, or poorly textured, you'll notice a louder engine, knocks, rumbles, and new noises.

  5. Oil Looks Dirty – Healthy engine oil should look golden or amber in color on the dipstick. If your oil looks very dark or has a gritty texture, it could be time to replace the oil and filter.

  6. Oil Smells Burnt – This is another sign that your oil is not doing its job properly and needs replacing. A burnt smell often indicates that the engine is running hotter than usual, which can cause problems.

  7. More Mileage – If you've recently been driving more than usual, it might be time for an oil change. More usage leads to faster oil degradation, and proactively replacing your oil will help keep your engine running smoothly.

  8. Check Engine Light Has Come On – While an illuminated check engine light on your dash can mean a variety of issues, one common cause is a problem with the oil or oil filter. When you notice this, it's best to bring your car in for service.

  9. Vibrations – When the oil becomes too thick, it won't lubricate the engine as it should. As a result, vibrations can be felt while driving or idling. Any change in driving quality should be taken seriously and addressed by an automotive tech as soon as possible!

  10. Poor Fuel Economy – If you've noticed a decrease in your gas mileage, it could be due to the oil being too thick or old. This causes your engine to work harder and use more fuel.

Remember, these are general signs. Always refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommendation on oil change intervals to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

How Do I Change My Oil & Filter?

You have a couple of options when it comes to changing your car’s oil. These include:

  • DIY Oil Changes – For experienced DIY-ers, changing your oil is a great way to save some money. However, it's important to ensure you have all the right supplies, including the correct oil and filter for your engine.

  • Local Auto Shop Appointment – If you don't feel comfortable performing an oil change on your own or don't have the time or tools, you can always take your car to a local auto shop and have a professional perform the oil change.

While the DIY route is popular among many, if you're looking for a full-service experience with no mess and no stress, Christian Brothers Automotive can provide the professional and reliable oil change services you need.

Get Your Oil & Filter Service with Christian Brothers Automotive

Getting a local oil and filter change can be daunting, especially when you're not very happy to be spending your Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening in an auto repair shop! That's why Christian Brothers Automotive is here to help.

Our expert and professional technicians go beyond basic oil and filter services, performing a full vehicle checkup we call our Courtesy Inspection that includes checking all your car's fluids, tires, brakes, lights, and more during every visit. We’ll even offer maintenance recommendations to keep your car running as long as possible. We're ready to become your go-to auto maintenance shop!

Don't stress if your vehicle needs an oil change – find your local Christian Brothers Automotive location and experience our Nice Difference for yourself! You can schedule your next appointment in person, over the phone, or by using our online appointment setting feature.

Read Our Reviews
  • "Excellent Service"

    "Thank you for your excellent service in taking care of my Chevy pickup - I appreciate hearing the Christian radio station while I wait."

    Larry Chase

  • "I Would Not Hesitate to Recommend"

    "Christian Brothers was amazing! It is usually an unpleasant experience taking your car in for repairs - if you don't know the trustworthiness of the shop, the mechanics, what they quote, if you really ..."


  • "Great place!!"

    "In 2015 my friend needed a wheel bearing on her Highlander. According to that shop she would need the other side replaced soon. That year her husband died, so the repair was never done. Now in 2017 ..."