An oil change is one of the easiest and affordable ways to improve your vehicle, and yet so many Americans forget about it until it’s absolutely necessary. The oil in your vehicle offers lubrication between mechanical components which could otherwise cause friction and grind together. From pistons to engine cylinders it keeps everything running smoothly.
Motor oil also acts as a cleaner and protectant, ridding the engine of sludge and protecting from oxidation and acid damage. It acts not only as a lubricant, but a seal, keeping pistons protected and cooling the engine.
The Society of Automotive Engineers grades motor oil on viscosity. Different grades of viscosity perform differently. Most vehicles use a multi-grade oil, such as 5W-20 or 5w-30. These are lighter fluids which work well no matter the temperature. It means that you get economical mileage no matter the season or setting. Sometimes, a mechanic will suggest a different type of oil based on your individual needs. For example, if you drive a high-range luxury vehicle, are off-roading, or have other special circumstances which set your car apart.
Low oil is critical to the lifespan of your vehicle. It means not enough lubrication or protection for moving parts, which in turn causes breakage and wear. At AA Auto Kirkland, our team of certified mechanics are experienced and knowledgeable about all things oil. From which oil your vehicle needs to the best time of year to change it.
Your oil levels should be checked every time you fill your gas tank and replaced twice a year or after every 3-thousand miles. However, oil issues can arise even between these standard checks and replacements. Some of the signs which indicate your vehicle needing an early oil change include:
Stinky Oil Smell: Oil has a rather obvious aroma, and if you can smell it in the cabin of your vehicle – something’s wrong. Unless you’ve just changed the oil and the smell is residual, it could be cause for concern and a reason to book an appointment with your automotive garage. A strong oil smell could mean a leak, or that your oil has become too low and sludgy.
Dark Oil: When you check your oil, you’ll wipe the dip stick and see what comes off. Clean, functional oil is amber in color and smooth in consistency. Overtime, oil becomes dark as dirt accumulates, it may also feel grimy or gritty. If your oil is dark and dirty looking, it’s time for a change. Remember – that dirty oil is what’s being distributed throughout your vehicle. Oil which is too full of debris hinders rather than helps.
Knocking Noises: Motor oil is a lubricant, so when levels are low, mechanical components begin to grind together. Vehicles which don’t have enough oil may emit knocking noises and clunking as everything inside tries to function normally. Oil not only helps things run smoothly but masks the noises that the internal mechanics cause – when oil is low there’s nothing to hide these sounds.
Check Engine Light: Those pesky dash lights are lit again, but what do they mean? If your check engine light is on, it could mean that it’s time for an engine change. The good news is your mechanic will know what to do as soon as they see and hear your vehicle. At AA Auto Kirkland, our ears and noses are trained to detect any abnormalities with your vehicle. Leave it to us to find the problem and fix it!
If you notice any of the above issues, be sure to visit a mechanic as soon as possible. The longer a vehicle goes without proper oil, the more damage is done to its internal mechanics.
AA Auto Kirkland has been in the service of helping the Kirkland community for more than 3-decades. Our multi-generational team is a proud member of this neighborhood and we take helping others very seriously. When you choose AA Auto Kirkland, you choose a small business and a supporter of the local economy.
We see automotive repair as more than just dollar signs and numbers on a computer screen. We see it as friends, family, and neighbors who need help. We understand how important it is to get around in Kirkland. From driving the kids to extra-curricular activities, to getting to important doctor appointments and driving to work.
Our team is always happy to lend a hand and help you get your vehicle back in tip top shape. Call us today to learn more about oil changes and other automotive services.