If you have a newer model car, the signs your car needs an oil change may be obvious — the car will usually tell you that it’s due for service. On older model cars, however, or during times that you’re putting a lot of miles on your car, it’s best to trust your senses. As we’ve detailed below, how your car feels, smells, and sounds as well as how the oil looks can give you indications that it’s time for an oil change.

How to Tell You Need an Oil Change

The Car Feels Different

Oil is supposed to lubricate all the moving parts of your engine — pistons, rings, bearings, and so on. When the oil is old and degraded, there’s more friction between these parts, which can cause a shaking sensation while idle. Additionally, your car may feel like it is losing power or doesn’t accelerate as quickly.

You Hear Odd Noises

A ticking or knocking noise, especially when you start your car, is another sign that it needs an oil change. As mentioned above, degraded oil doesn’t lubricate metal parts as well. Whenever your car starts making strange noises, you have good reason to take it in for service.

A knocking noise can be a sign of worse problems like major engine damage. Running your car on bad oil for an extended time can lead to engine damage, so as soon as you hear car noises that don’t sound normal, take it in. Bring it to our dealership for Kia service in Raleigh, NC, and tell us what you’ve heard. We’ll change the oil and make sure your car doesn’t have a bigger issue.

What’s That Smell?

Oil smell or exhaust smoke can also be signs that your oil change is overdue. Like strange noises, smoke and smells can also indicate bigger problems such as an oil leak or overheating. Both overheating and oil leaks can lead to severe engine damage or even start a fire, so please get your car checked immediately.

You See Dark, Thick Oil

If you’re used to checking your oil yourself, you’ll be accustomed to seeing a thin, golden liquid on the dipstick. Dark, thick oil is dirty and needs to be changed.

If you’re not in the habit of checking your oil, today is a great day to start. Pull the dipstick and clean it with a cloth or paper towel and re-insert it. When you remove it again, check the oil level, the color, and the thickness of the oil. You may need to add oil or get the oil changed based on what you see.

Your oil pressure gauge is also a visual indicator that you need an oil change or have car problems.

Bring Your Car to Fred Anderson Kia of Raleigh

Ideally, you’ll get into the habit of getting your car’s oil changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. We offer Kia service coupons to save you money on visits to our service center in Raleigh. Trust your senses and call Fred Anderson Kia if you have any concerns.