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
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
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.
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.
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.