Oil and other engine lubricants are the lifeblood of your vehicle. They are essential to its proper functioning and critical to its efficient operation. However, you may be experiencing issues with your oil and lubricants and not even realize it. Here are several warning signs to keep an eye out for that indicate your fluids may need attention.
Oil warning light
The oil warning light may seem like a no brainer, but it is very important to listen to what your car is telling you. The majority of vehicles today are equipped with an oil warning light or some type of oil change indicator. The light may illuminate for a number of reasons, including low oil level, a bad oil pump, or defective oil pressure. Either way, if your oil light turns on, bring your car into HEART Certified Auto Care so our mechanics can take a look at it.
Thick globs on the dipstick
New engine oil should be golden brown and turn black as it runs through your engine and absorbs combustion byproducts and contaminants. However, if you check your oil and find thick globs or clumps on the dipstick, your engine may be developing sludge. This thick, jellylike substance can build up in your engine, block lubrication channels, and lead to serious, expensive problems.
Keep an eye out for fluids leaking out from your engine onto the street or driveway. None of the fluids in your vehicle should ever be leaking, and if they are, that means there is an issue. Additionally, if you notice your oil level falling quickly, your oil system likely has a problem. Topping off your oil occasionally can help extend the period of time between changes, but you should not have to do this constantly or consistently.
Metal flakes in oil
Tiny, nearly microscopic metal flakes are a normal occurrence in engine oil. But if you can rub the oil between your finger and thumb (wear latex gloves) and feel and easily see the metal flakes, something is severely wrong inside the engine, and you should have it checked out right away.
When oil and water mix together, it creates a milky appearance. There are two reasons why this could happen: a cracked engine block or a blown head gasket. Either way, it’s not good news. If you check your oil and see a creamy colored substance, bring your vehicle into one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three Chicago area locations fast.
Oil is crucial to your vehicle’s health and operation. If you notice any of these warning signs, then bring your vehicle into HEART Evanston, HEART Wilmette, or HEART Northbrook to have our certified mechanics see what the problem is.