Posted under Car Engine

So, what does motor oil do exactly? The purpose of oil is to lubricate the moving parts within the engine, preventing them from creating friction and causing excessive wear – which can help  improve your car’s performance and extend your engine’s lifespan. Yet, some drivers delay or outright skip an oil change. To help avoid engine damage, which can be costly, below are a few signs that may indicate it is time for an oil change.

4 signs your car needs an oil change

Signs May You Need an Oil Change

To keep your engine performing at its very best, you must schedule regular oil changes. So how do you know when you need an oil change? Paying attention to these indicators is a good place to start:


1. Check Your Manufacturer’s Recommended Oil Change Intervals

Change your oil every 3,000 miles, right? Not so fast! Yes, all internal combustion engine vehicles require regular oil changes, but the frequency varies among vehicle manufacturers. That’s why you should always refer to your owner’s manual, where your manufacturer outlines motor oil change intervals based on mileage, driving conditions, and time.

2. Oil Life Indicator

Technology is great, isn’t it? Most modern vehicles provide an oil life indicator/message you can access on your dashboard. This indicator/message lets you know when your car needs an oil change based on mileage and numerous other factors affecting the oil quality. It’ll typically show a percentage ranging from 0% to 100%, and may include an audible chime when it gets close to zero (usually between 15% and 40%). Just a reminder that on older vehicles, you’ll need to calculate the time and or mileage for your next oil change.

3. Low Oil Level

Checking your oil level is a key part of vehicle maintenance. Don’t worry, it’s easy! First, locate the dipstick under the hood of your car. Typically, the dipstick will have a color-coded handle with an oil can symbol. You can always refer to your owner’s manual for its location. The dipstick will often have two indicator marks representing “low/add” and “full/max.” The oil level should be between these two marks. If your oil level is low, you should top off your oil level until the level is at the full/max mark. To be safe, have your car inspected to see if there are any oil leaks or other defects that could be contributing to the low oil condition.

A Jiffy Lube tech changing a vehicle's oil

4. Knocking Sound from the Engine

Hearing strange noises coming from the engine? It might be time for an oil change. As mentioned before, oil helps lubricate the engine’s moving parts. When your car runs low on oil or the oil reaches its lifespan, it has little lubricating properties remaining. So, the movement of the pistons, crankshaft, and other moving parts will become louder, producing a knocking noise that’ll certainly perk up your ears.

Visit Your Local Jiffy Lube for Regular Oil Changes and Maintenance

Skipping an oil change is no bueno, so make sure to routinely change your motor oil to help maintain your vehicle’s performance and longevity. If you notice any these signs, you can bring your vehicle to any of more than 2,000 Jiffy Lube locations. We offer the Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change. This is a comprehensive preventive maintenance service to check, change, inspect, and fill essential systems and components of your car.


Jiffy Lube follows Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations to help you get the highest performance from your vehicle. And, no appointment is necessary.


Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube service center or visit for specific services offered.