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4 Signs that It’s Time for an Oil Change Santa Cruz CA

Auto mechanic performing an oil change service on a lifted vehicle

4 Signs that It’s Time for an Oil Change Santa Cruz CA

Because relying on mileage alone for an oil change is not enough.

Having an oil change in Santa Cruz, CA, is a quick procedure when handled by expert mechanics. You have to do this regularly since a lubricated engine is essential for the well-being of your vehicle.

Otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk of expensive, unplanned repairs. Many drivers think that their automotive oil is still alright and, to their surprise, their cars give up on them in the middle of California traffic. Watch out for signs and performance hiccups on your vehicle to avoid starring in the same horror story.

Oil Change Santa Cruz CA – Why is it often neglected by drivers?

Most car owners just rely on mileage to determine whether it’s time to replace their oil. Most mechanics will tell you to follow a regular schedule like every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three months, whichever comes first. We at Water Star Motors in Santa Cruz agree, but we also believe that the schedule may vary depending on the age of your car, oil quality, and your usual driving conditions.

Observing the Signs – Oil Change Santa Cruz CA

Besides mileage, there are other indicators that you urgently need an oil change in Santa Cruz, CA. Some are subtle that you need to proactively and regularly check for them:

1. Oil Change or Check Engine Light

This is the most obvious sign that you should check the dipstick right away. The oil change indicator will illuminate when there’s insufficient oil in the system. The check engine indicator will light up in worse cases, indicating that your engine can be at risk due to lack of lubrication or damaged components. 

2. Knocking Noises from the Engine

Automotive engines are designed so that components can glide efficiently against each other without hammering and abrasion. If you hear clunking noises from under the hood, it probably means you have faulty bearings, or there’s not enough oil for lubrication.


Loud clunking noises indicate that the lubricant is failing and engine parts are grinding violently against each other. You should visit a repair shop in Santa Cruz, CA, soon for an oil change. If you delay the maintenance service further, the whole engine may end up seizing.

3. Dirty Oil

Clean engine oil is quite translucent and amber in color. The oil will become darker over time due to engine dirt and residue, and it will gradually lose its lubricating capability. The change will not be noticeable right away, so you need to check the tank at least once a month. If you can no longer see the dipstick through the oil, it’s time for an oil change with an automotive shop in Santa Cruz.

4. Smoke from the Exhaust or the Smell of Oil in the Car

Your vehicle’s tailpipe regularly releases a translucent vapor, but you should contact a mechanic if smoke starts coming out. Blue smoke, in particular, means that engine oil is leaking and it’s getting burned.

Similarly, reach out to a repair shop in Santa Cruz ASAP if you started smelling oil inside the car. This indicates an oil leak, and inhaling the vapor can be bad for your health.

We’re Here to Help – Oil Change Santa Cruz CA

At Water Star Motors in Santa Cruz, we have expert mechanics who can handle your oil change and other repair or maintenance services. Our technicians have several years of training, and they are certified by the Institute of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) so rest assured that your auto is in good hands.


You can schedule an appointment online or call us at (831) 457-0996. You can also visit our automotive shop at 318 River St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.



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