7 Signs Your Engine Needs an Oil Change or Maintenance

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  • Post last modified:August 31, 2021

Keeping your engine well lubricated with the right oil helps it maintain optimal performance. The oil reduces wear and tear resulting from friction between moving parts, regulating your engine’s temperature.

Ideally, you should change your engine oil after every 3000 miles traveled or every 3 months- especially with old engines and lubricants.

However, recent developments in engines and oil production have further extended this lifespan. Oils can now remain in engines for up to 6 months (or even more) without needing replacement.

As a car owner, it’s normal to forget to change your car’s engine oil at the right time since it occurs once every few months.

And when you forget to do so, your vehicle reminds you by showing some signs.

If you note these signs and respond to them on time, your vehicle engine will maintain its normal state and continue working fine.

Otherwise, it may begin to develop more serious complications that can eventually lead to engine damage.

If you’re a car owner in the UAE and you’re wondering what the possible warning signs your car can show when it needs an oil change or maintenance are, here are 7 of them.

7 Signs Your Engine Needs an Oil Change or Maintenance

1. The oil change light

If you own a modern automobile, chances are it comes with an oil change light, otherwise called the maintenance light.

Like many other modern indicators, this light is designed to help car owners better manage their automobiles.

The light appears on your dashboard to warn you of low oil levels or that you need to change your engine oil.

In newer automobiles, there are separate indicators for oil low oil levels and oil change.

As soon as your car notifies you of a problem with the engine oil, you should pay attention to it. If the light is orange, it simply means that your car needs an oil change.

On the other hand, if it’s a red light, your engine is probably in danger due to insufficient oil. Continuous usage of the car without topping up its oil can cause serious engine damages.

2. Your mileage or oil change sticker

What if your vehicle doesn’t have the oil change light? Don’t fret! Another simple sign that can remind you of your oil maintenance is the mileage sticker from your previous service.

Oftentimes, during an oil change, K&N Spare auto parts UAE places mileage stickers on the windshield of vehicles- particularly on the driver’s side- to remind them about the next oil change date.

The sticker typically contains basic information like the date of your oil change, the type of oil used (or oil grade), and your mileage.

When in doubt about the due date for your oil change, simply check your mileage sticker for confirmation.

3. Dark/Dirty oil

Sometimes you may need to change your oil quicker than your sticker indicates. This can be due to aging, increased mileage, or driving under more extreme climate conditions.

When this happens, your engine oil becomes dark earlier than expected. Or, you may notice dirt and impurities in the form of tiny particles of grime.

These impurities make your oil gritty and unhealthy for your engine. From time to time, when you check your oil level, make sure to check its texture too.

If you notice any irregularities, lumps, or darkness, it’s time to change your oil.

4. Excess vehicle exhaust

Perhaps you’re driving around the streets of UAE, and you notice that your vehicle is excessively producing exhaust, you should check your oil level.

Although other complications can cause excess vehicle exhaust( such as cracked gaskets), insufficient or unhealthy oil is often the most common cause.

Check your oil quality and replace the current oil with another if the oil seems to be the challenge.

5. Engine noise

Because metal-to-metal brushing has higher friction and produces more noise, lubricants are applied to reduce their effect.

The oil ensures smoother movements between metal surfaces and minimizes the noise produced. When your engine begins to make certain noises, it’s probably due to insufficient oil.

This noise can come in unpleasant knocking or rumbling sounds that indicate that urgent action needs to be taken.

If you force the engine to work without performing any oil maintenance, your engine will tear itself apart bit by bit until it breaks down.

If you lubricate it, the noise will slowly disappear, and you will enjoy its quiet operation once again.

6. Smoky exhaust

Usually, vehicle exhausts are almost invisible and slightly smelly.

During cold weather, you may notice some translucent vapor coming out of your vehicle’s tailpipe along with the exhaust; this is due to the atmospheric temperature.

Nonetheless, if your exhaust becomes smoky or you notice that it has a bluish color, it’s most likely an indication that something is wrong.

Check your engine oil level and quality if you have a highly smoky exhaust, and check for oil leakage if you have a bluish exhaust.

Blue smokes often arise when oil seeps into the engine and gets burned together with the fuel. You may need the service of mechanics in UAE for better results in this case.

7. Smelly oil

When you begin to perceive the smell of oil inside your vehicle, it indicates that there’s oil leakage.

Your oil is probably falling on a hot surface, causing it to burn away and produce that odor.

There are several areas through which oil can leak from your automobile. These include:

  • Oil plug
  • Oil filter
  • Valve cover gasket
  • Oil sending unit
  • Oil pan gasket
  • Head gasket
  • Front/rear main seals

Thoroughly scrutinize these areas for potential oil leakage to ensure that your engine maintains good performance.

More preferably, take your automobile to the mechanic for repairs and professional check.

Excessive leakage can result in engine damage and possibly start a fire if the oil gets overheated and ignites.


If you note any of these signs in your vehicle and respond to them on time, you will enjoy a longer-lasting car engine.

Like humans, your vehicle engine needs to be properly cared for to keep it performing optimally at all times.

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