Mar 2, 2024

Recognising the Signs Your Car Needs an Oil Change

Regular oil changes are the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine, ensuring it runs smoothly, efficiently, and without premature wear. However, recognising when it’s time for an oil change can sometimes be overlooked amidst busy schedules. Priority Automotive, your trusted mechanic in Campsie, outlines the critical signs indicating your car is due for an oil change, ensuring you keep your vehicle in top condition.

1. Dark and Dirty Oil

Clean oil is typically amber in colour and somewhat transparent. Over time, it gets contaminated with particles from the engine, turning it dark and gritty. Checking your oil regularly using the dipstick can reveal its condition. If the oil appears dark and dirty instead of its original honey-like colour, it’s time for a change.

2. Engine Noise and Knocking

Oil provides a protective layer between engine parts, preventing metal-to-metal contact and reducing noise. When your oil is old or low, you might notice increased engine noise or even a knocking sound. This is a clear sign your engine is not adequately lubricated and needs fresh oil immediately.

3. Oil Change or Check Engine Light

Modern vehicles are equipped with sensors that trigger an oil change or check engine lights on the dashboard when it’s time for an oil change. If either of these lights illuminates, schedule an appointment with Priority Automotive to address the issue promptly.

4. Exhaust Smoke

While some vapour from the exhaust is normal, especially in cold weather, smoke is a cause for concern. It can indicate an oil leak or that the oil is too old to function correctly. If you notice smoke coming from your exhaust, it’s wise to have your car inspected.

5. Oil Smell Inside the Car

Smelling oil inside the car is a red flag. It could indicate a leak or that the engine is overheating due to insufficient lubrication. Both scenarios can lead to significant engine damage if not addressed quickly.

6. Exceeding Mileage or Time Since Last Change

Finally, even if you don’t experience the above signs, exceeding the recommended mileage or time interval since your last oil change is enough reason to schedule one. Consult your car’s manual or ask the experts at Priority Automotive for the recommended schedule for your specific vehicle model.


Recognising the signs that your car needs an oil change is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity. Priority Automotive in Campsie is committed to providing top-notch oil change services, along with comprehensive care for all your automotive needs. By staying vigilant and responding to these signs promptly, you can ensure your vehicle remains reliable, efficient, and ready for the road ahead.