Ever thought about what keeps your car running smoothly? It's not just the fuel, but also the oil and, more importantly, the oil filter. Just like we need clean air to breathe, your car needs clean oil to function properly. Let's look at how you can tell when your oil filter needs a change.
The Role of Oil Filtering in Your Car
Your car's engine is a complex machine, and to keep it running, it needs oil. This oil needs to be clean to protect and lubricate the engine's parts. That's where the oil filter comes in - it keeps the oil free from dirt and debris. Over time, though, this filter can get clogged and needs to be changed.
5 Signs Your Oil Filter Needs Changing
Engine Performance Issues
A clogged oil filter can significantly affect your engine's performance. If you notice your car isn't accelerating as quickly as it used to or it feels less powerful overall, it's a strong indication that the oil filter is not doing its job properly. Clean oil is essential for optimal engine performance, and a blocked filter can prevent oil from flowing freely. As a result, this leads to reduced engine efficiency and a plethora of other problems.
Excessive Exhaust Smoke
Normally, a little vapor from your car's exhaust is no cause for alarm, but if you start seeing an unusual amount of smoke, or if the smoke has a darker, more pronounced color, it could be a symptom of a dirty oil filter. When the filter is clogged, it can cause the oil to become dirty and thick, leading to incomplete combustion and resulting in darker exhaust fumes.
Engine Oil Leaks
One of the less obvious signs of a problem with your oil filter is oil leaking from the engine. A severely clogged filter can cause an increase in oil pressure, which in turn might lead to leaks in various places in the engine. Also, keep an eye out for filter leaks. With time, the rubber seal on the filter starts to disintegrate and soften, leading to leaks.
Low Oil Pressure
Cars often have an oil pressure warning light on the dashboard or other similar ones. If this light illuminates, it's a sign that the oil is not circulating through the engine. Low oil pressure can lead to substantial engine damage if not addressed quickly.
Unusual Engine Sounds
If your engine starts to make ticking, knocking, or rumbling sounds, it's time to check the oil filter. These sounds can occur when the oil is not lubricating the engine parts adequately due to a blockage in the filter. Proper lubrication is vital for a smooth-running engine, and these noises clearly indicate something is amiss.
The Risks of DIY Oil Filter Changes
Changing your oil filter might seem like a good DIY project, but it can be tricky. You need the right tools and knowledge to do it properly. Plus, getting rid of old oil and filters in an environmentally friendly way is essential. Repair shops have car lifts and special oil filter wrenches, making the process much easier, and most importantly, efficient. As a bonus, a professional mechanic can spot other issues while changing the filter, and it's usually not too expensive.
For expert oil filter changes, vehicle maintenance, and repairs, don't hesitate to contact us at Auto Fitness! The team at our shop is here to give your car the care it deserves.