22 July 2020 · Motoring Tips & Advice

How To Know When Your Car Needs Oil | Phil Gilbert Toyota

One of the most basic maintenance checks for your Toyota is that of the engine oil. A regular change schedule is relatively straightforward, and necessary to keep your car running smoothly and prevent any inconvenient breakdowns. As your vehicle ages, you may need to change its oil more regularly, so keep an eye on what’s going on under the hood.

There are some tell-tale signs to look out for, which could signify it’s time to change your car’s engine oil. Understand the symptoms and act quickly to safeguard against damage.

Your “check engine” light is on

The “check engine” light is your vehicle’s primary way of letting you know there’s something wrong. While this illumination could lead to a number of mechanical issues, check your oil as a first port-of-call whenever you see a persistent light. Just be sure you don’t rely on this light to flash before giving your car any much-needed maintenance or Toyota service.

The oil on the dipstick looks dirty or low

Get into the habit of checking your oil regularly, using the dipstick. Just give it a wipe and replace the dipstick so you can ensure the levels are where they should be. Keep an eye out for the condition of the oil, too; it should be a kind of honey colour. If it looks dirty, you’re due a change.

You can smell oil

If there’s a noticeable smell of oil coming from your car, this could indicate a leak. When oil drips out onto hot components in the vehicle, it produces this smell. The best thing to do is turn off your car and call a professional.

There are knocking noises coming from the engine

Your Toyota’s engine needs oil to stay lubricated, maintain the right temperature, and ensure there’s enough distance between separate parts. A knocking sound (or otherwise strange noise) coming from the engine could mean some damage has already been done. At best, a simple oil change will solve the problem. However, some more complex repairs may be needed, so seek advice immediately.

Excess exhaust is visible

In general, modern cars don’t release visible exhaust gases from their tailpipes. If yours does, your Toyota is calling out for attention. Excess exhaust could be a sign that the oil in your engine is too old to function properly, but it could also point to more serious issues.

Your engine makes a ticking sound when starting up

Any unusual noise is a potential cause for concern, but keep a listen out in particular for a ticking sound when you start your vehicle. This usually happens when the oil isn’t the right texture, and your car has to work harder while the engine warms up. 

Visit your local Toyota dealership

Whether you want to service your Toyota or browse our new cars for sale in Sydney and maybe treat yourself to an upgrade, visit Phil Gilbert Toyota and our team would be happy to help. We have centres based in Lidcombe and Croydon, so contact your closest centre today.