You know that oil is important for your car and that you need to get it changed regularly, but just how bad is it to drive around with a low oil level? The truth is that sufficient, clean oil is vital to your car’s engine.

Without enough oil, your auto’s engine would seize up and stop functioning. Motor oil is responsible for making your car run as smoothly as possible. Often referred to as the “lifeblood” of your engine, motor oil performs the following critical functions for your car.

  • Lubricates moving engine parts. This reduces the chance of friction, which can damage your engine.
  • Maintains engine power.
  • Prevents and removes harmful deposits in your engine. This results in better engine performance and fuel efficiency.
  • Cools those engine parts not cooled by radiator coolant.
  • Provides protection from corrosion.

How Often Should You Have Your Car’s Oil Changed?

The friction and heat created by driving your car degrades the oil over time. For that reason, it’s important to have the engine oil and filter changed on a regular basis.

How often you have your oil changed will vary, depending on how much you drive and the recommendations of your vehicle manufacturer. Generally, it’s recommended that you have your car’s oil changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Signs of Auto Oil Problems

Before your car’s oil engine light comes on, you may see telltale signs of oil problems. Keep an eye out for oil on the ground where you’ve parked. If you see a greasy puddle of brown liquid, that means you have an oil leak.

Other warning signs are knocking or rapping noises coming from your engine when you drive. That could indicate that the engine isn’t getting enough oil.

To protect your car’s engine and for your safety, it’s important to avoid driving with a low oil level. Doing so compromises your car in many ways. To preserve your car and keep it running at its best, change your oil yourself, or have the car professionally serviced