What is an inspection for black and gritty engine oil?

If you notice that your engine oil has turned black and taken on a gritty texture, schedule an oil change and inspection as soon as possible. Avoid driving long distances before the oil is changed.
Motor oil at its cleanest has a clear, amber appearance with a consistency similar to honey. As you drive, the oil cycles through the engine to clean and lubricate the cylinders.
Over time, the oil gets dirty. If the dirty oil is left in the engine for a prolonged period of time, it begins to build up into a black, gritty sludge. Black, gritty oil is very bad for the engine system.

How to get an inspection for black, gritty engine oil

Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop, or have someone with experience working on cars to change the oil. Since oil changes are so routine, a lot of mechanically inclined people are able to change the engine oil right in a driveway or home garage—often at a cheaper price.
The technician who changes your oil will also check the oil filter. An oil filter is responsible for filtering out contaminants and particles within the oil after it has cycled through the engine. When the filter gets too dirty, it cannot do its job effectively.
Oil filters are meant to be changed regularly. If your filter is overdue for a replacement, your mechanic will swap it out for a fresh one along with the oil change.

Do I need an inspection for black and gritty engine oil?

Absolutely. You’re overdue for an oil change if your engine oil is black and gritty. If that thick sludge is not replaced with clean oil, it can quickly cause serious engine damage.
Engine oil must follow a consistent change schedule. Generally, oil changes are needed for every 3,000 miles you drive. If your car takes synthetic oil, you can schedule your oil changes for every 7,500 - 10,000 miles.

How important is an inspection for black and gritty engine oil?

Failure to change your oil can result in your engine overheating, blowing a gasket, or seizing. The heat may also cause parts of your engine to warp. Getting regular oil changes is one of the most important things you can do to prolong the life of your vehicle.

Tips for maintaining engine oil

It’s possible to prevent getting black and gritty engine oil by maintaining your oil through regular changes. Be sure to include your engine’s oil in your routine maintenance schedule, and keep in mind the following tips:
  • Know what kind of engine oil your car takes
    . Different sized engines and vehicle types take different kinds of oil. Many newer cars take synthetic oil—which is more expensive but needs to be changed less frequently.
  • Don’t wait too long to change your oil
    . Life gets busy, and sometimes the state of your engine oil reflects that. Plan ahead for service by putting it in your calendar or setting a reminder on your phone.
If you forgot to make an appointment and are overdue for an oil change, don’t stress! Many shops do not require an appointment for this service. Plus, several of the bigger-name auto repair shops (like Mobil Lube Express and Valvoline) will change your oil while you sit in your car.

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