Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I've been checking my oil and it's still at fulll and the oil is still light brown. What are some key indicators that I need it changed?

asked by on

I've been checking my oil and it's still at full and the oil is still light brown. What are some key indicators that I need it changed?

Hello. Most of the indicators that the oil needs to be changed are not visible to the naked eye. Simply getting oil hot while driving down the highway will darken it. The road grit and engine wear "debris" is often measured in microns (1 millionth of a meter), microscope territory. The simplest guide for oil and filter changes is 3-5,000 miles for highway use. Much more often for off-road or extreme duty situations (heavily loaded trucks, racing applications, stop-and-go driving only). Oils also accumulate acids over repeated cold-hot-cold-hot cycles, which attack metal surfaces including bearing, cylinder walls, etc. Follow your manufacturers guidance for oil/filter service.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • I've been checking my oil and it's still at fulll and the oil is still light brown. What are some key indicators that I need it changed?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: how often should you change oil in "06" Volvo S60?

Hello, thank you for writing in. Turbocharged versions of your vehicle want an oil change every 3,000 miles due to increased engine use. A non-turbocharged version of your vehicle wants an oil change every 5,000 miles. The driving habits of...

Q: Motor is making a clanking noise

This could be a variety of things. I would recommend changing the oil again, but pay special attention to see if you find any type of metal shavings or debris in the oil. Try dumping it through a mesh screen...

Q: engine oil leaks possible causes

Hello. Engine oil leaks can come from many places. A few common sources of oil leaks are the valve cover gasket, on the top of the engine, the oil pan, at the very bottom of the engine, or from the...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.