Does Your Car Need An Oil Change? A Guide For Beginners

Posted on: 14 May 2021


Owning your first car is not an easy experience, and there are many jobs you need to learn on the fly. From keeping up to date with your logbook servicing to making sure all of your insurance and finances are paid off, there always seems to be something to do. One of these jobs that you must absolutely not forget to do is following your oil change schedule. Many new car owners mistakenly assume that once their car is filled with oil, it will last the lifetime of the car and they never have to look at it again. This is certainly not the case, but luckily, there are many ways to determine if you need to swap your oil out.

New Car-Specific Advice

If you are driving a new car, then you most likely got the advice of when to get an oil change in your owner's manual, or the person who sold it to you likely told you about it. This is usually measured in miles driven, rather than time between intervals, so make sure you keep a note of the miles on the odometer when you first got it. Newer cars can last 5,000 miles before they need an oil change, and after that, it becomes even less frequent (but still as important). Older cars need more regular oil changes because they use less refined oil.

Signs Your Oil Is Nearing The End Of Its Usefulness

If you are driving an old car or weren't told when you should replace your oil, then first, you should look up your car's specific advice online. But there are still some signs that you can look out for that let you know the oil is running out of usefulness. If your car's engine seems to be running much louder than it usually was and you notice more smoke from your exhaust pipes, then this means the engine is not as well lubricated as it should be. Loud rattles while driving and any sort of engine warning light are all common indicators of oil needing to be replaced.

What Happens If You Don't Replace Engine Oil?

In the event that you go long enough between oil changes then you risk permanently damaging the engine of your car. The oil itself either turns to a thick concentrate or will mostly disappear, and then the engine will be totally unlubricated and get extremely hot. This heat, combined with nothing to soothe it, will lead to it breaking down in what can be a very violent event. That is why oil changes are so necessary and why it is important to keep them in your calendar or in a notepad in your car.