Engine oil is the very lifeblood of your vehicle. Without it, the engine has no lubricant, the moving parts all start to grind together and you end up with a friction-ridden overheating pile of scrap metal under the bonnet.

Equally, an engine that has used and expired oil is equally as ineffective. The question, however, is how do you know when your current engine oil is done and it’s time to replace it? 

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Below you’ll find some critical signs that it’s time for an oil change.

1. Excessive Engine Noise

If you’ve noticed that your engine is getting louder, then the reason for that is likely to do with the engine losing lubrication. This loss of lubrication is a direct result of the oil losing consistency as it picks up a growing amount of grit, dirt, and other debris and contaminants. It makes the oil thicker and less fluid, and therefore not mobile enough to get where it needs to be in the engine.

2. Low or Falling Oil Levels

When you check the oil dipstick, where are the oil levels showing? The best policy is to always keep oil levels at whatever your manufacturer recommends. Those recommendations are not arbitrary.

An alternative scenario is that your oil levels are going down more quickly than usual. If you’ve topped up your engine oil not long ago, for instance, but then discover that levels have dropped over a few days, then you might have a more serious problem like oil leaks.

Look for signs of oil pooling under your car or in the engine bay. It should give you some indication as to where the leak is located. Have the car seen by a professional mechanic as soon as you can.