Whether you are driving off of the lot in a new vehicle or have been riding around in the same one for decades, keeping up with vehicle maintenance is an easy way to keep it on the road. While oil changes aren’t exactly the most costly item on your car’s maintenance list, they are one of the most important. So how do you know when you need an oil change?

Common Signs You’re Due for an Oil Change

Check Your Mileage

Generally speaking, the more miles you’ve driven since your last oil change, the more likely you are to need another one. Many mechanics will tell you that older vehicles tend to need oil changes every 3,000 miles or around 3 months, but with today’s newer vehicles (and the advent of synthetic motor oil), many vehicles can go over 10,000 miles in between oil changes.

It is important, however, to check with your vehicle’s manual above all else. Making judgements based on previous vehicle ownership or advice can lead to costly repairs or wasting money if your new car, truck, or SUV’s engine is built differently.

Take a Look at the Oil Level

An important part of vehicle maintenance is monitoring components, and engine oil is no different. Oil helps keep dirt and contaminants from creating sludge in your engine, so if your oil level is low, your car may be suffering.

Using a dipstick to check the oil level is a simple step towards prolonging the life of your engine. If you notice that the oil level is low or the oil looks milky, bring your vehicle in for maintenance right away.

Listen for Noises

If your engine is making a ticking sound, there’s a possibility that a low oil level is the culprit. A low oil level can cause the components of the valve train to become dry from lack of lubrication, creating a ticking sound.

Overheating Engine

Another sign you need an oil change is that your engine is overheating. Because oil is used to keep your engine’s components lubricated, low oil can create temperature issues due to friction. As the engine parts move, heat is generated, and if your oil isn’t performing as it should, this can cause your engine to overheat. Because cars with more miles on them tend to burn oil faster, it’s important for older vehicles to be checked regularly.

Get Engine Oil Service Done Today

Whether you have an older vehicle that is ticking or overheating or a newer vehicle that you want to keep running in tip-top shape, Fred Anderson Toyota service in Charleston, SC, is here to help. Make an appointment today or check out our Toyota service coupons to find ways to save on service.