Many new model vehicles now come with an oil life monitor in the vehicle’s information display. However the oil life monitor is not always correct; they use algorithms to estimate when an oil change is due. Most of the time, these formulas are based solely on mileage, and don’t take into account oil level or condition, so they can be very misleading. Many older model vehicles don’t even come equipped with oil life monitors, so how are you supposed to accurately know when your vehicle requires an oil change?
The best way to identify if your vehicle requires an oil change is simply by checking it. Pop the hood, pull out the dipstick and take a look for yourself. If the oil is anything but a honey or amber colour, or the level is below the full mark on the dipstick, you’re due for an oil change. It is also critical to keep track of the mileage since your last oil change service – it is recommended to change regular oil every 5000 kms, and synthetic oil should be changed at 8000 kms. Most shops will place a sticker on the inside of the windshield to advise you when the next oil change is due. The cost of an oil change is small compared to the cost to repair damage caused by contaminated oil and/or a plugged oil filter.
If you have waited so long for an oil change that a warning light has come on in your dashboard, then you need to have an oil change done immediately. The check engine light, the oil pressure light, and the oil level warning light are all indicators that your vehicle may need an oil change. If you notice any of these warning lights appearing on your dashboard bring your vehicle to us as soon as possible.
Another way to identify that your vehicle may require an oil change is if you are hearing strange engine noises. Ticking or knocking noises from your vehicle’s engine may indicate a low oil level or the wrong oil viscosity. If your vehicle has gotten to the point where it is making unusual noises then extensive damage may be happening. If you have noticed irregular noises coming from your engine bring it to our Calgary auto repair shop immediately.