It’s crucial to regularly check your oil levels to ensure your car is running smoothly and safely. Engine oil works by lubricating the moving parts of your engine as well as cleaning, cooling and protecting these parts. Engine oil needs changing regularly as its lubrication properties eventually begin to fade, becoming dirty and less effective. Luckily, there are many things to look out for when it comes to changing your oil. 

Colour of the oil

When checking oil on your dipstick, check the colouring to see if it needs changing. Fresh oil has a transparent light brown colour which over time will begin to darken and thicken. Once this occurs, it’s a good sign that it’s time to change it.

Consistency 

By taking a little bit of oil off of the end of the dipstick and rubbing it between your thumb and finger, you’ll be able to tell if the oil is coarse or not. If you come across any grittiness, the oil could contain contaminants and should be replaced.

Increase in mileage 

If you’re a frequent commuter and clock up a lot of miles, you might need an oil change sooner than you think. Every manufacturer is different so the best way to go about this is to follow the advice regarding oil change intervals in your manual. 

Oil replacement light

With the advances in technology, most modern cars do a pretty good job of letting you know when something is wrong or needs a replacement. Many cars come with an oil replacement light which shows on the dashboard. This light will be set in relation to your manufacturer’s recommended oil change and must be reset afterwards. 

Engine noise

If you notice that your engine is noisier than usual, it might be a sign that your oil needs replacing. As engine oil gets older and loses its lubricating properties, the parts in the engine can begin to grind against one another. 

How to check your oil level

To check the oil level, open up the bonnet of the car and locate the dipstick which will be shaped like a ring pull. After taking the dipstick out, give it a wipe with a clean cloth so that you can see the substance clearly. Reinsert it back into the engine and remove once more to get an accurate oil level reading.