How to Tell if Your Car Needs an Oil Filter Pronto

Oil filters are important for car owners, which is the reason people need to stay on top of them. Each filter is meant to filter out abrasive contaminants in your oil that could severely damage your engine. For that, and many other reasons, you should learn when your car needs a new oil filter.

The Light

Most modern cars come with indicator lights that tell you what is wrong with the vehicle at any given moment. One indicator light you probably have in your vehicle is the check engine light. This doesn’t always link to a filter change, but it might so have it checked out.


The oil in your vehicle is there to lubricate all moving parts and prevent metal-to-metal brushing. Your filter may not be working well if you hear loud noises within your engine. You do not want to hear rumbling because this could mean your engine is breaking apart.

Dirty Oil

Another sign your filter needs to be changed is if your oil looks dirty. Clean oil usually has an amber color and can seem a little translucent under the right lighting conditions. Any time the oil looks dark or seems to be filled with foreign particles, this means you may need to change the filter, so be sure to keep checking your dipstick every so often.

It’s Time

Most of the time, oil filters need to be replaced every time you change the oil. This means you should have yours replaced every 3,000 miles, but this is only if you have an older vehicle because newer vehicles can last up to 10,000 miles. Of course, you can check you owner’s manual to make sure you are changing as recommended.

Black Smoke

Sometimes, the filter is simply clogged. When the filter is clogged, it may cause an excessive amount of black smoke to come out of your exhaust system. This pollution can harm the environment, yourself, or others. Be sure to have the filter changed immediately by a professional.

Oil Smell

Of course, a clogged filter is also going to cause oil to spill in places it does not belong, and this may lead to a smell. The oil smell could get pretty strong, so make sure you keep your sense of smell sharp, just in case something like this happens to you.

Hopefully, this information helps you change the filter when you need to and before you damage your vehicle by overlooking the importance of the filter.

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