9 Signs Your Truck Needs an Oil Change

9 Signs Your Truck Needs an Oil Change

9 Signs Your Truck Needs an Oil Change

The oil in your truck is essential to its operation, as it lubricates the engine’s moving components and keeps them operating in a smooth manner. In fact, this does not just apply to trucks. Whether you’re operating a car, plane, or even a lawnmower, your engine has to be lubricated with oil. 

Engines are full of parts that are constantly moving and rubbing together, creating heat as a result of the friction. Oil is needed to flow through these parts, absorb heat, and prevent overheating. While new, clean oil does its job properly, old oil does not and needs to be replaced. Thankfully, it is easy to spot when the oil in your truck needs to be replaced. Here are 9 signs you need an oil change for your truck.  

#1 Dirty or Dark Oil 

Check the condition of your oil regularly

While a clean and new oil motor is a bright amber colour, old and dirty oil due to the build-up of residue in the engine is a dark and blackish colour. Make it a habit to check your oil’s condition regularly. You can do so by removing your oil dipstick to see the colour on it or wiping the edge of the dipstick on a paper towel so you can get the most accurate result. You’ll need to change the oil if it’s black or dark brown. 

#2 Tapping or Ticking Noises 

Since engine oil becomes worn and old after some time, car manufacturers recommend changing your oil approximately every 5,000 miles. If your vehicle contains old oil, it’s presumably getting thicker and dirtier. This will make it more difficult for the oil to lubricate the components of your engine effectively, causing your engine to make a variety of metal-on-metal noises. To avoid significant damage, you should get an oil change as soon as possible. 

#3 Burnt Oil Smell 

If the inner cabin of your truck begins to smell like burnt oil, this could be a sign of an oil leak that may be causing the oil to drop on hot parts of the engine. Moreover, it may mean that your engine is low on oil and is overheating. You should fix the oil leak as soon as possible and put fresh oil into your truck. 

#4 Exhaust Smoke 

Check your trucks exhaust smoke 1

While those of you living in cold environments may be attuned to seeing vapour emitted from the tailpipe of your vehicle, you may have an oil leak if you begin to see blue or gray smoke emitting from your exhaust. This is due to a lack of oil in your engine and will typically be accompanied by the smell of burning oil. 

#5 Poor Fuel Economy 

If your gas mileage is not what it was before, you may need an oil change. As an engine’s oil ages, it thickens gradually, eventually turning into a sludge-like substance if you fail to change it. Since thick oil offers more resistance to the engine’s moving parts, it has to use more fuel and work harder. 

#6 Overheating 

If your engine doesn’t have enough oil or the oil hasn’t been changed in a while, it won’t be as effective when lubricating the engine’s components. As a result, the engine will keep heating up, eventually overheating. Thus, switch out your oil for fresh oil.

#7 Warning Lights 

Some modern vehicles will keep track of your oil condition through sensors or set intervals and indicate when you need to change it. The check engine light will illuminate some instances, suggesting that you need to use an OBD2 scanner to check for a specific issue or call a mechanic to scan it.

#8 Engine Noise and Knocking 

Oil gives a layer of protection between the engine’s parts, keeping the engine from making noise and preventing metal-to-metal brushing. If your oil isn’t working correctly, the engine’s noise will increase. In some cases, you might even hear rumbling or knocking sounds that signify the engine is tearing itself apart little by little because it is not lubricated enough. 

#9Excessive Mileage

If you’ve driven many miles over the past month, consider changing your oil earlier than your usual schedule. While each truck is unique, most should have the oil changed every 10,000 to 25,000 miles. 

Check Oil Change Light or Engine 

The most obvious sign that your truck needs an oil change will come from the vehicle itself. Your vehicle’s oil change light will illuminate if the system does not have enough oil. You should check the dipstick to see what the problem is. In a worse scenario, your check engine light will light up, signalling that the engine is at risk of being damaged. This could be due to not enough lubrication or problem parts.

The Importance of Changing Your Oil 

Oil that is in good condition improves your truck’s performance and extends the longevity of its engine. However, a lot of people wait to replace it until they see a visible issue. This is because many drivers rely merely on mileage to indicate when they need to replace their oil. However, there are many other important factors to consider as well, including how old the truck is, how the truck is driven, and the quality of the oil. Clean, fresh oil will help your vehicle perform at its optimal level by keeping the engine healthy and clean, as well as lubricating parts. However, the fluid will begin to break down over time and have a hard time performing its necessary tasks. Once this starts, your truck will most likely begin to exhibit one or more of the warning signs mentioned above.

Are you looking for a heavy truck oil change near you? Turbo Express offers full-service truck repair in Detroit. Contact us at 289-981-7002 or [email protected], or visit our office at 3995 Country Road 42, Unit 1, Windsor, ON N98 6J3 if you’re interested in our services. 

Turbo Express

Samuel Kurda

Samuel Kunda is the showrunner of Turbo Express, a company that provides full-service diesel truck repair for truckers, logistic companies, and personal drivers in Ontario and the US. With over 30 years of experience in the business, Sam is an expert in all things truck-related and has a solid track record of providing repair services for various clients. He is also passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on his company's blog to help people with their truck and diesel problems.

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September 2023