Is My Vehicle Due for an Oil Change?

Many drivers solely rely on mileage as a gauge to help them see when their oil needs to be replaced. However, many other factors come into play that may cause you to get your oil changed sooner than you are expecting. The quality of the oil, the age of the vehicle, and how it is driven are some of the factors that can lead to the depletion of your vehicle’s oil. The purpose of maintaining your oil’s health is to optimize your vehicle’s performance by keeping the engine clean and healthy.

Routine maintenance is important for preserving the efficiency of your vehicle. Changing the oil in your vehicle is usually a quick and inexpensive procedure. Having the right level and quality of oil will prevent excessive wear and tear on your engine, ultimately resulting in fewer repairs down the road. At the best automotive repair shop in Chantilly, VA, our technicians have gained recognition in providing premier auto maintenance services. We strive to satisfy you with our services by treating you as part of our family, and not to mention, we will never overcharge or misquote your services. If you have ever asked yourself, “how do I know if I have an oil leak” and aren’t sure how to tell, we have provided a few of the potential signs below:

1. Oil Warning Light

Aside from the oil change “due” sticker in the corner of your windshield, an obvious indication of the need for an oil change is when the oil or “maintenance due” light turns on in your vehicle’s dashboard. An oil light might also be telling you that your oil is simply low and in need of a top off. However, this can also be a warning that you have an oil leak. If this light comes on but you are not due for an oil change, immediately check under your vehicle for a leak. If you see an oily puddle, contact Casey’s immediately.

2. Murky Oil

When you first get an oil change, the oil is amber in color and slightly translucent. As engine oil gets darker, it can indicate high heat, contaminants, or the presence of additives that cause the oil to darken during normal use. However, the color of the oil doesn’t always indicate a change is needed. The best way to determine what color your oil should be is to observe how your oil changes color over time. This will not be obvious when it begins to happen, so you should check your engine oil at least once a month. To do this, locate your dipstick under the hood and remove the dipstick, wipe it off then return it into the oil tank. Take it out a second time, if you cannot see the metal of the dipstick through the oil, it is time for an oil change.

3. Oily Smell

If you notice any smells coming from your vehicle that are out of the ordinary, it can be a sign that there is an issue. When you are able to smell oil coming from your vehicle, it can signify the levels are too low and therefore burning through the engine. It can also be telling you that your vehicle has a leak. Either of which would mean it is time to schedule a vehicle maintenance appointment immediately.

4. Smoking Exhaust

There is no need to worry if there is a translucent vapor coming from your vehicle’s tailpipe. However, if the vapor changes to smoke, it means your vehicle may have faulty engine parts or an oil leak. When this occurs, you will want to schedule an engine check-up.

5. Overgrown Mileage

Every vehicle is different, but most should have their oil changed every 3,000 miles or three months. However, newer vehicles usually require a change of oil every 6,000 miles or six months. Additionally, you can check your owner’s handbook for specific guidelines on how many miles you can drive before needing an oil change.

Reliable Automotive Maintenance in Chantilly, VA

It is important to have routine oil checkups to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible. At Casey’s Automotive, our goal is to educate and inform. Every Casey’s customer receives a free 42-point courtesy inspection complete with a digital report including photos and descriptions of any issues that we might see. The 42-point courtesy check helps both us and the customer gain better insight on important areas of your vehicle that may need attention. At Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, VA, we provide our clients with the best service and automotive parts possible, so that your drive is smooth, comfortable, and safe throughout the year. Contact us today at (703) 802-6300 to keep your vehicle running smoothly with our expert routine auto maintenance services.

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