Overdue Oil Change Symptoms: 10 Signs You Should Know

Overdue Oil Change

The most common form of car maintenance is an oil change. Without regular changes to the oil, your car performance will drop and can damage your engine permanently. It’s ideal to follow your manufacturers and maintain your car intervals.

Knowing the common signs of oil can be helpful if you aren’t sure about the car maintenance schedule. Everyone can observe the signals if they understand what to search for.

So, do you know the overdue oil changes symptoms so that you can avoid any worse thing before it occurs? You can see many signs that indicate you need to change the oil in your vehicle. In addition, you should immediately change your automobile oil if you see only one symptom.

10 Overdue Oil Change Symptoms

You need to maintain your machine regularly to keep your engine working properly. On the other hand, if you ignore your engine oil change, you may need expensive engine repair.

1. Unusual Loud Noise: 

Practically, this is the first sign that says your automobile requires an oil change. Mainly, friction would extend if your engine oil goes down between the moving parts.

And you may notice a thunderous noise during acceleration. Nevertheless, your engine oil may not have gone down, but you can see this sign. It occurs because your engine presents oil unable to lubricate the parts of your machine.

Dirty engine oil symptoms

2. Dark or Dirty Oil

After checking your manual, you only can notice these symptoms. Additionally, if you check your engine oil frequently and one day you see that the oil is dirty, that means you need to change this oil.

Basically, your automobile needs fresh, clean oil to clean sludge and deposits in the engine. The dirty oil cannot clean your machine; instead, it adds more dirt and is unsuitable for your engine.

Sludge and buildups can cause overheating inside the engine and destroy the performance of your automobile.

3. Burnt Smell

The other common symptom is when you perceive a burnt oil smell in your automobile’s internal part. Actually, it’s not an ordinary sign to perceive odors. Even so, you will only perceive it while dropping your engine oil on your engine’s hot parts.

overdue oil change symptoms

The oil will burn off because of oil drops on hot engine equipment. And that’s why you get the bad smell. Literally, it’s not good to count as an overdue oil change symptom. However, old oil can overheat, which can be the reason for fatal engine destruction.

4. Poor Fuel Economy

Several things can cause lousy fuel economy – dirty or bad oil is one of them. In particular, if you don’t use recommended engine oil, you can notice a significant drop in fuel economy. Similarly, when your engine oil is too old, this oil tries to utilize extra power to function as fuel.

5. Overheating

Eventually, overheating is another critical problem you must avoid because it can destroy your engine. Overheating occurs if friction enhances between the engine’s moving parts.

Additionally, it’s crucial to notice that overheating can thin out the thinner oils at high temperatures. For instance, you can thin out 5w20 oil if temperatures exceed  20°C in particular cities.

6. Dark Exhaust Fumes

Under typical situations, from the engine, the gaseous air released through the pipe won’t be dark. Likewise, if dirty steam comes from your vehicle exhaust, it’s a sign.

That means this oil is terrible, and you should immediately change this oil. Notwithstanding oil leaks, dark exhaust makes fumes. So, you need to check these leaks frequently.

7. Hard Starting

When you feel your car starting is hard, it causes oil. Oil works as the” blood” of any engine. Therefore, when a machine needs oil, it shows many unusual signs and oil change symptoms. Again, many reasons can make it hard to start.

Unfortunately, if you can see your car starting still hard, check the injectors after changing your oil. Also, you need to check the carburetors and other tiny machinery that create the fuel systems.

8. Warning Lights

The sensors and computes of cars make it easier to discover a problem early before it gets worse. In particular, if you feel an illuminating light on your dashboard, you can use the owner’s manual to know what it means.

Warning lights warn you about problems like low battery, transmission malfunction, and more. Some modern cars can track your oil condition and will tell you when you need to change it.

9. Shifting Hesitation

Ordinarily, if you drive an automatic automobile, you don’t face any problems during shifting gears. But if you feel hesitant when shifting the gears, you require new transmission oil or filters.

Of course, it means that your car won’t start with a bad oil filter your vehicle won’t start. That is why; if you take your car for a tune-up, you can at least know the problem.

10. Car Stalling

Above all, during your driving, if your vehicle starts to stall, you could face a minor or more extensive problem. A small problem you will face if you face a clogged fuel filter.

With a regular tune-up, you can replace this small problem. On the contrary, you need to fix the more significant problem immediately.

how often to change oil?

Generally speaking, if you are talking about oil change intervals, there is no one-size-fits-all. Accordingly, you can change your engine oil every 3,000 miles as recommended.

Usually, the recommended period for an oil change is between 5k and 8k miles. You need to change oil intervals of 15,000 or 16,500 miles, and that’s recommended for a fully synthetic motor oil running engine.

Full synthetic motor oil is more robust than synthetic and conventional motor oils. Subsequently, if you want to know, it’s essential to specify how frequently you need to change your engine oil.

Read Also: When Should I Oil Change Before Or After Storage?

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q. What happens if you are overdue for an oil change?

If you take so much time to change the oil, your fresh oil will turn into dirty sludge. Meanwhile, when it occurs, your engines have to work harder to fight sludge. On the whole, it loses lubrication and reduces heat absorption. This means your vehicle will be susceptible to big problems.

Q. Does needing an oil change affect acceleration?

A well-lubricated engine is a soft operator; if the inside oil becomes dirty, it can’t lubricate the moving parts. As a result, this oil cannot perform as softly as normal. In a word, acceleration will be sluggish and lower the engine power.

Q. How long can a car go with an overdue oil change?

Vehicles can usually go 5,000 to 7,000 miles before requiring an oil change. Moreover, for cars that need synthetic oil, you can drive 10,000 or 15,000 miles between engine oil changes. For the actual information about the oil change interval please check your car manufacturer’s manual.

Check: How long you can go without an oil change after it’s due

Q. Why do you need an oil change?

Changing your oil means lubricating your car correctly to perform well. Because of changing your oil, you can reduce the heat generated by the engine. Frequently, oil change removes debris and dirt that causes your engine to run slower. So the benefits of oil change are huge.

Q. What Happens if I wait after overdue oil change symptoms:

Hope now all you understand, over time engine oil loses its properties of lubrication such as viscosity, heat absorption capacity, etc. So if you wait too long after getting overdue oil change symptoms it can lead to engine heating, bad sound, high fuel consumption even engine failure.

Final Word

Finally, it cannot say the benefits and importance of following oil change intervals. Consequently, frequent oil changes can’t only keep your engine running smoothly, but they also can make your car less noisy to drive.

To conclude, we want to say that knowing overdue oil change symptoms is very important. Ergo, because of knowing it, you can avoid many types of problems in your engine.

Furthermore, you must change the oil filter at intervals – probably after two oil changes. And the following oil change would adjust a new oil filter. In short, it ensures the engine gets fresh oil for superior performance.

Now Check: How Long Does Oil Last In a Car Not Driven?


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.


Overdue Oil Change Symptoms: 10 Signs You Should Know .