Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

motor oil being poured into a car engine

Is your vehicle feeling sluggish? Does your engine sound noisy? Is your oil pressure low and or your oil light on? Chances are, you need an oil change but even if you’re not experiencing some of the more obvious symptoms of dirty oil, your car could still be in need.

Here are the top signs your car needs an oil change:

The car makes a ticking noise when started

As your engine operates, it continuously pumps oil throughout the crankcase and cylinder heads and, after a while, that once golden fresh oil becomes dirty and contaminated from heat and wear and tear. Dirty oil tends to be sludgier and thus more difficult to move. This means there’s a good chance you may experience some valve train noise in the form of ticking at start up. This is because the dirty oil takes longer to circulate through the engine to lubricate the moving valve train.

The car idle is rough

Another side effect of dirty oil can be a rough idle that feels like the engine is shaking the vehicle more than normal. The reason for this is there’s an increase in friction between the pistons, rings, and bearings.

The car has sluggish acceleration

A well-lubricated engine is a smooth operator, so when the oil inside becomes old and dirty, it can’t lubricate the moving parts as well and as a result, it will not be able to perform as smoothly as normal. This means acceleration can be sluggish and the engine will feel down on power.

The car engine makes a knocking noise

If an engine’s knocking, it may be a result of bad oil, which if ignored for too long, can result in worn out rod bearings. A knocking noise will sound like a rock tumbler in the deep depths of the engine and it will typically shake the vehicle at idle, and get louder as engine speeds increase.

What to do when the oil service light comes on

If your oil light comes on, you won’t want to ignore this as it typically means your oil pressure has dropped far too low for the engine to operate safely. Here’s how to react when your oil light is on, but the first move is to plan for an immediate oil change.

If you'd like a mechanic to change your car oil for you, find a technician in your area and have them come to you to keep your engine lubricated and happy.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Alarm for oil change keeps going off - 2009 Dodge Sprinter 3500

Hold the trip reset for ten seconds to clear it. This should clear it. Otherwise, try holding the trip reset and turn on the key and hold it until the oil indicator goes out. If the problem is not going...

Q: Check Engine Light on after changing oil - 2012 Kia Rio5

If starting it today was the first time after changing your oil, the oil filter and oil galleries were empty for a few seconds. If this is the case, the Check Engine Light is reflecting the lack of oil pressure...

Q: Why my car sticks in gear

Hey there. This maybe related to many different transmission components such as a speed sensors, the transmission control solenoid or the module itself. The transmission control solenoid controls the flow of transmission fluid inside the transmission. Every time a...