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Scheduled oil maintenance is essential to ensure your car runs great for years to come. An oil, lube and filter change is at the top of any good techs must-do list.
A lot of outside factors can affect the frequency rate in which your vehicle will require an oil change. For example, if you are often in stop-and-go traffic, city driving or go on frequent short trips, you should likely change your oil more often.
Many vehicles have maintenance lights or reminders that will indicate when the time is near for oil maintenance. If you see this light on your car’s dashboard, take it to a service location as soon as you are able for regular service and maintenance to prolong the life of your vehicle.
Always adhere to the manufacturers recommendation for oil changes based on time and/or mileage. If you are near or beyond these time and/or mileage specification change your oil as soon as possible. Make sure you only use the type and viscosity oil recommended by the manufacturer for both the oil and the filter. Many filters in today’s vehicle have a check valve incorporated in the filter to assure pressure and lubrication at startup and using the incorrect filter could cause engine noise at startup and even engine valve train damage if you let it go too long.
If you use your vehicle to tow, in dusty areas, extreme climates either hot or cold, climbing mountainous terrain or frequent stop and go driving may demand to change your oil sooner than prescribed by the normal driving schedule. These oil changes can be as frequent as 3000 miles or even between extreme conditions you have put your vehicle under.
If your oil has become low or looks really dark and thick, chances are you missed the regular oil change time or mileage and you better get it done soon. If the oil is really low, that is an indication of a leak or mechanical issue that needs to be rectified before serious damage occurs. Changing the oil will not fix the mechanical issue but it could buy some time until you can get it repaired.
This light generally indicates a serious problem, often that you are extremely low on oil or have a mechanical issue where there is a loss of oil pressure. Check for oil leaks and repair them, change the oil and see if the light goes out. If not, your car will need additional service or repairs.
Chances are the knocking sound indicates a serious issue, but if it is only a tinny clicking noise, an oil change might help loosen up lifters and other drive train parts to quiet it down. Using the wrong oil filter for your engine can also cause this clacking noise, but only during initial startup, so use the OEM recommended filters or equivalent on your vehicle’s engine.