Oil Change Emergencies: Top Situations to Avoid

auto mechanic checking oil

How long has it been since your last oil change? Drivers in Vancouver, WA, often find it surprisingly hard to answer this simple question, but oil changes should always be a high priority. After all, this service can give your vehicle enhanced engine lubrication, improved heat management, and better fuel efficiency.

Along with these benefits, regular oil change service is the best way to prevent oil change emergencies. If you don’t create and follow an oil change schedule, your engine could suffer from unnecessary wear and tear or even seize up entirely. Keep reading for advice on extending your motor oil’s life span — and knowing when your oil is in trouble.

How To Protect Your Oil

As you might expect, the best way to deal with oil change emergencies is to take steps to prevent them. While motor oil will eventually get dirty and lose its protective properties, you can still take a few steps to extend your oil’s life span. To get the most out of your oil, you should:

Check Your Oil Regularly

Do you drive a relatively new vehicle? If so, you might not need to worry about manual oil checks — newer cars often come with oil monitoring systems. Otherwise, use the dipstick under your vehicle’s hood to check your oil level frequently.

Be Aware of Severe Driving Habits

Driving extended distances at relatively low speeds, taking short trips, and using dirt roads are all considered severe driving habits. If left unchecked, these habits can have a negative effect on your motor oil. Avoid them if you can, and get oil changes more often than usual if you can’t.

Account for Local Conditions

Extreme heat and cold can do a number on your motor oil, and Vancouver experiences both warm summers and cold winters. While some oil types can handle these temperatures better than others, you should consider conditions like these while creating your oil change schedule.

Know What Oil Type You Need

Finding the right type of engine oil for your vehicle can also help you prevent oil change emergencies. Conventional oil is popular and highly affordable but doesn’t have a long life span or offer the best performance. On the other hand, full synthetic oil can withstand high and low temperatures while providing best-in-class engine protection (at a slightly higher cost).

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What Are the Warning Signs of Oil Trouble?

Even if you follow all the advice listed above, something could go wrong with your vehicle’s oil through no fault of your own. If you notice any of these oil change warning signs, there’s a strong chance you’re already dealing with an oil change emergency:

A Low Oil Level

Your car constantly uses motor oil, so it’s surprisingly easy to run low on this vital fluid without realizing it. To ensure this will not be the case with your vehicle, be sure to check your oil levels as often as your owner’s manual and mechanic recommend.

Dirty Motor Oil

When inspecting your motor oil, you should look at more than just your oil level. Oil that contains debris can’t function as effectively as clean oil, so the presence of contaminants indicates that you need new oil. Even if you have enough oil, dirty oil or oil that doesn’t have the right consistency should be replaced right away.

Smoke From Your Exhaust

If you can see exhaust pipe smoke, your motor oil might need attention — especially if you see gray or blue smoke, which often points to low motor oil levels. If you notice smoke, visit a local auto shop for an oil change or help dealing with whatever else could be causing this problem.

Unexpected Sounds

Have you heard a knocking sound while driving? Fortunately, an oil change might be enough to resolve the situation. Sounds like these are often the result of old motor oil. Meanwhile, dirty motor oil can have trouble flowing through your vehicle’s engine properly, which might result in a ticking noise.

An Active Check Engine Light

Quite a few issues can cause your dashboard warning lights to activate, and low oil levels are among them. Still, you’ll have a tough time knowing why your check engine light is on without specialized diagnostic equipment. The team at Gaynor’s Automotive can help by performing a quick diagnostic check and, if needed, giving your vehicle an oil change!

Get the Oil Change Vancouver Residents Trust

If you have reason to believe you’re dealing with an oil change emergency, it’s all too easy to panic. But knowing where to go for oil change service in Vancouver can help in these situations.

Whether you’re overdue for an oil change or have spotted oil-related warning signs earlier than expected, Gaynor’s Automotive is here for you. We offer Vancouver’s best full-service oil changes, and our services are always handled by ASE-certified mechanics. Even so, you won’t have to pay an exorbitant price for our work — along with our low rates, we help people save with our oil change coupons. Schedule your oil change online right away!

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