Signs that Your Honda Needs an Oil Change


One of the most important, and yet most overlooked, aspects of your car is the oil. As the lubricant for the engine, oil acts as the lifeblood of your Honda, preventing your engine from overheating by reducing friction. However, as integral as it is to proper engine function, drivers routinely wait too long to get their oil changed. When too much time lapses between these integral oil changes, disaster results. If you're a bit forgetful at remembering that oil change, here are a few surefire signs that you need one immediately.

Loud, Rumbling, Grinding, and Clanging Noises

One of the telltale signs that your Honda needs an oil change is a loud engine. This is often misinterpreted or ignored, as engines tend to make some noise when you're driving. However, make sure to listen to hear if it's louder than usual. The reason that this points to the need for an oil change is that oil lubricates the pistons, cylinders, and other components of the engine. If all the oil dries out or gets dirty, it can't do its job properly, resulting in added friction and more noise.

Oil Leaks

If you find a pool or even droplets of oil underneath your vehicle after you move your Honda, it's sometimes the result of a faulty seal or gasket. However, it's also a lesser known sign that you need an oil change. To tell whether it's a leak or time for new oil, simply look at the color. If it's black and thick, it's time to take your Honda into the shop for an oil change. However, if it's brown or golden in color, it's indicative of bigger problems with your engine. Either way, a licensed mechanic needs to inspect your vehicle.


Oil Pressure Light

Contrary to popular belief, the scariest dashboard light on your Honda isn't the check engine light, it's the oil pressure light. This light, shaped like a small oil can, comes on only when the engine is so low on oil that it can't properly circulate. When it can't reach all portions of the engine, it doesn't lubricate properly, and eventually, this will destroy the engine.

So, first things first. If you see that light come on or flicker, pull over immediately. Failure to do so may result in burning up the engine. From there, you can check the oil dipstick under the hood to see if you have oil. If the level is sufficient, the problem has to do with the oil pump or other component. However, if the oil is low, it's a sign that you have a leak or are in dire need of an oil change.

Oil Smells In the Car

Not only do sights and sounds help you pinpoint the need for an oil change, but smells do as well. Sometimes, the oil odor inside your Honda is almost overwhelming if you need an oil change. When you don't have enough oil in your system, friction builds, and eventually, there's nothing left to keep the metal parts of your Honda from rubbing vigorously together. As a result, the old or remaining oil starts to burn into the exhaust area, causing a foul smell that's unmistakable.

Ignoring the Mileage Requirements

In the past, oil companies were masterminds at convincing the public that anything less than an oil change every 3,000 miles was going to ruin your engine. However, time, technology, and many owner's manuals now show that this number is far below the average oil change mileage requirement. In fact, most Hondas go anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 miles without an oil change, with some even topping out at the 15,000-mile mark. Because of this, you don't always need to follow the exact mileage written by the mechanic. Instead, consult the owner's manual or take your vehicle to a Honda-certified mechanic that will easily know just how far your Honda can go without an oil change. The bottom line here is simple: don't forget to do it altogether, or you might not have a functional car for long.

As a rule of thumb, it's best to have a general idea of when you need an oil change, and doing it by mileage is certainly the easiest method, and for the absent-minded, perhaps the only method. If you think you have a handle on a firm maintenance schedule, then just remain vigilant when it comes to your Honda, listen to it, and know everything about it. By getting to know your car a bit better each day, you'll hopefully never have to worry about the catastrophes that result from a lack of oil changes.