How do you tell if your engine oil has gone bad?

I am trying to check my engine oil to see if it needs a change. However, I don’t really know how to tell if it’s time by looking. How do you tell if your engine oil has gone bad?

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Answer provided by
Nick Kunze
Answered on Apr 15, 2022
Oil changes are one of the most regular maintenance tasks for any car owner! It’s time for an oil change if your engine oil is too low or has become dark and sludgy.
Engine oil helps keep your engine lubricated, which allows it to run smoothly without damaging any components. A car without enough (or fresh) engine oil can overheat or become damaged.
Engine oil becomes dirtier from use, which impacts its usefulness over time. Oil that has become excessively dark, dirty, and sludgy requires a change!
Some other indicators include:
  • Your dashboard oil change light turns on
  • Excessive exhaust smoke
  • An oil smell while the engine is on
  • You’ve reached the recommended number of miles between oil changes
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