Motor oil is critical to maintaining a healthy engine. By coating your engine's moving parts, oil prevents the main components from wearing down or overheating.

Take it from our service team at Richmond Ford West: Don't wait until your annual car inspection rolls around to get your oil changed.

Regular oil changes keep your engine running properly, and several drivers throughout Short Pump, Ashland, and Glen Allen have asked us when is the best time to get their oil changed.

Most auto makers recommend changing a vehicle's oil every three to six months, depending on its make, model, and year. Your owner's manual should include a factory-recommended schedule for oil changes. However, there are other clear-cut signs your car might demonstrate when it's time to change your oil.

Here are five signs a vehicle needs an oil change that Glen Allen drivers should be aware of:

1. Oil level is dropping. Every car engine comes with markers denoting where the oil level should be. Many drivers notice an acrid, burning smell or knocking noise coming from the engine when the oil level fall below the minimum line. If left untreated, this could lead to serious mechanical problems and expensive, time-consuming repairs.

2. Your check engine light is on. Every car is equipped with a set of dashboard lights that alerts you when its inner machinery is malfunctioning. The check engine symbol is one of them, and a low oil level could be the reason it comes on. However, other issues could be at play if your check engine light appears. To ensure that your vehicle receives the care it needs, schedule an appointment with a mechanic you trust.

3. Your engine bangs. Engines bang, grind, knock, and ping from increased friction when the motor oil level is low. This could be a symptom of an engine overheating as well. If your engine is noisy, pull over to a safe spot and call a mechanic. Your engine may need more than an oil change to be safe to operate. Call roadside assistance for help.

4. Motor oil is dark in color. Fresh, clean motor oil is clear or amber in color. As it circulates through your engine, it turns into a black, corrosive sludge from the dirt, metal shavings, and rust that it picks up. This residue can clog your engine and oil filter if you go too long between oil changes. If you check your motor oil and notice that it's dark in color, schedule an oil change.

5. Your cabin smells like motor oil. Motor oil smells like gasoline. If you notice this odor while driving, it could be a sign of an oil leak. Only a certified mechanic can determine the exact reason your car smells like oil, so make a service appointment as soon as you can.

Get an Oil Change at Richmond Ford West

There are several benefits to getting your oil changed, including improved fuel efficiency. It can also extend the life of your vehicle.

Don't ignore these signs that your car needs an oil change. Doing so could lead to serious mechanical problems and repairs, but the certified automotive technicians at Richmond Ford West can change your oil and keep your vehicle running properly for as long as possible.

If you live near Ashland, Glen Allen, or Short Pump and need an oil change, schedule an appointment at Richmond Ford West.


Richmond Ford West

10751 West Broad Street
Directions Glen Allen, VA 23060

  • Sales: (804) 474-0571
  • Service: (804) 474-0573
  • Parts: 804-273-1581


  • Monday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Tuesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Thursday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 7:30AM - 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed

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