How Transmission Replacements Impact Used Car Prices and Owner Maintenance
Neglecting regular oil changes can cause your vehicle’s engine to wear prematurely at best and, at worst, lead to significant engine damage. Ignoring even one oil change can affect your vehicle’s overall performance, as the oil’s lubricating properties degrade over time due to carbon, dust, and debris buildup. If you are unsure when to get your oil changed, contact Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo with your vehicle’s year, make, and model, and we can look it up for you.
1. Dirty Oil
You should be in the habit of checking the oil at least once per month, as this tells you if you are losing oil, whether through an oil leak or because your vehicle is burning oil. If the oil gets too low, it causes irreversible damage to the engine. Clean oil is translucent and light tan or brown in color. Once the oil gets dirty, it turns darker. The darker it is, the dirtier it is. If you pull the dipstick out and see dark brown or black oil, it’s well past time for an oil change.
2. Warning Lights and Gauges
Your vehicle has warning lights to warn you if the oil pressure is low. However, by the time the oil pressure warning light comes on, it’s too late. The oil pressure is so low that it’s damaging the engine. Many vehicles also have gauges – you can check the oil pressure without having to wait for a light. If the oil pressure is low, you may need an oil change, or you may have another issue. Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo can determine what is causing the low oil pressure.
3. Low Oil Level
If the oil level is low, you will need more than an oil change, though an oil change is part of what you’ll get. Your technician at Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo WI will have to determine why your vehicle is losing oil – it may be burning oil or have an oil leak. However, if you wait too long between oil changes, the oil level could drop.
4. Decreased Fuel Efficiency
If it seems as though your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is declining, you may need an oil change. Since old, dirty oil loses its lubricating properties, the engine has to work harder – and working harder uses more fuel. You may recover the original fuel efficiency with an oil change as long as nothing else is wrong.
5. Loud Engine Noise or Tapping
Now, you’ve really done it if you hear a loud engine noise and are not in the habit of keeping up with preventative maintenance, especially oil changes. If the oil is old and dirty, or the oil level is too low, the engine doesn’t get enough lubrication. It runs hotter, and there isn’t enough lubrication in the tight tolerances between piston rings and cylinder walls, bearings and cams, and bearings and cranks.
Tapping is the first clue that something is wrong – this is usually the valves in the head tapping because the engine doesn’t have enough oil pressure to get enough engine oil into the heads. If you hear loud knocking, that is generally something in the “bottom end,” the bottom half of the engine. Usually, it’s rod bearings or main bearings – those that ride in the piston rods and on the crankshaft.
Contact Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo, WI
No appointment? No problem! We welcome walk-ins at our express lube locations and our main spot at 1436 Neva Rd, Antigo, WI 54409. Keep your engine humming smoothly with regular oil changes at Little Wolf Automotive!