It’s no secret that one of the easiest ways to extend the life of your car is to change the oil on a regular basis. But how often should you change your oil? And what signs should you pay attention to if your car is in need of an oil change? 

Common advice is that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles. However, most reputable mechanics agree that 3,000 isn’t a magic number at all. The safest measure is to follow the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. If you’re not sure where to find this information, this guide from CalRecycle provides make- and model-specific recommendations to help you schedule regular maintenance for your car — including how often to schedule oil changes. 

Even so, there are several signs that your engine is not running at optimal performance because it is in desperate need of an oil change. 

3 Signs You Need to Change Your Oil

Unusual Sounds 

Oil acts as a lubricant to prevent metal-to-metal contact from damaging your engine. When the right amount of clean oil is available, the engine runs smoothly and quietly. If the oil becomes dirty or the levels become too low, a grinding or knocking sound will occur which means your engine is experiencing irreparable damage due to the lack of a protective layer of oil.

Oil is Dark in Color

Clean oil is clear and amber-colored when first poured into the engine. Over time, dirt, grime, and other debri begin to darken and cloud the oil. This dirt and grime can affect the performance of your engine over time. A simple dipstick test once a month will help you monitor how clean your oil is and when it’s time to be replaced. 

The Check Engine Light or Check Oil Light is On

While this might seem like an obvious sign, it is very easy to ignore these lights in rush-hour traffic or on your commute to work. If the oil levels have depleted to the point that these indicators are lit, the engine is in danger of seizing up completely. Always stop as soon as you see these lights and check the oil levels before continuing on your way. 

Schedule an Oil Change in Delray Beach, FL

If you’re experiencing any of these signs or think it’s time for a regular oil change, schedule an appointment at Schumacher Subaru of Delray. We can help you create a regular maintenance schedule to keep your Subaru running at peak performance as long as possible. Contact our service department today to schedule your next oil change.