You probably know that motor oil is formulated to lubricate the metal parts of your Toyota’s engine and prevent premature wear. Oil also breaks down over time and through regular driving. So how do you know when it needs to be changed?
Keep reading to find out.
How Do I Know I Need an Oil Change?
Your manual says so
In each owner’s manual, you’ll find information regarding the best intervals for performing regular maintenance, such as an oil change. Toyota cars also come with a service light that will illuminate when the vehicle has reached a certain amount of miles since its last reset. When the light turns on, it’s best to get the vehicle in for an oil change soon.
It’s been a while
If you’re driving a car that doesn’t have a service light, think about the last time you had an oil change. Depending on the manufacturer and product, you could drive anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000 miles before needing to swap out the oil. If your odometer has logged a lot of miles since your last oil change, it’s probably time to get it taken care of.
The proof is in the oil
It’s good practice to check your oil at least once a month. That way you can make sure the oil is wearing properly and that you don’t have a leak.
To check your oil, place your vehicle on a level surface when the engine is cool. Then, open the hood and locate the dipstick. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it off completely, and return it into its original place. Pull it out again, and examine the end.
New motor oil is fairly transparent and used oil can be dark brown or black. If the oil is dark in color, it’s time to get it changed. You can also check the consistency by rubbing a bit of it between your fingers. If the oil feels coarse or gritty, there could be contaminants in it that may cause engine damage down the road.