5 Signs Your Toyota Needs an Oil Change

5 Signs Your Toyota Needs an Oil Change

Engines need oil to function efficiently, and no matter what car you drive, it will require an oil change every couple of months. But how do you know it’s time to change your Toyota’s oil? Well, the experts at Al Hendrickson Toyota have cracked the code with these five signs your Toyota needs an oil change.

How To Check Your Toyota’s Engine Oil?

If you haven’t checked your Toyota’s engine oil, it is a good idea to do it now. The best thing you can do for your car is to check its engine oil regularly. This task is pretty straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Follow these steps to check your Toyota’s engine oil properly. 

  1. Check Your OilPop off the hood and look for the oil compartment located to the left of the engine. The oil compartment would have a yellow lid. 
  2. Pull out the lid with the dipstick. 
  3. Oil residue on the dipstick should reach the top two lines. You must top the container if the oil is far under these lines. 
  4. Grab a light-coloured rag and wipe the oil residue to check if the oil is dirty. Engine oil is caramel in color. If the dipstick has red oil residue, the engine oil doesn’t need to be changed. 

If the color is darker than red, your Toyota’s engine oil will need to be changed soon. On the other hand, if the oil is darker than light brown, you must change it immediately. 

So, now that you know how to check your Toyota’s engine oil, here’s a list of five other signs that your Toyota needs an oil change.

5 Signs Your Toyota Needs An Oil Change 

Over time, engine oil gets dirty, thickens, and darkens. This dirty oil can cause severe damage to your precious Toyota engine. As engine oil becomes old, you will notice apparent signs indicating that you need to take a look under the hood. Here is a list of 5 signs your Toyota needs an oil change. 

1. Your Engine Is Making A Ticking Or Knocking Noise

If your Toyota’s engine oil has thickened and reduced over time, it fails to lubricate the engine properly. Improper lubrication causes the engine’s parts to clank against one other, producing a loud knocking noise, especially as you start the engine. This is your Toyota engine telling you that it needs an oil change. 

Warning Light2. The Check Engine Light Is On 

Your Toyota is programmed to tell you when it senses something is wrong. A small light in the shape of an engine is located on your dashboard. It will have the word “check” under it. This is the Check Engine light. 

If this light is illuminated, your Toyota’s engine is malfunctioning, and you need to check it immediately. Most of the time, however, the engine just needs an oil change. So, as soon as you notice the check engine light come on, look under the hood. 

3. Black Or Dirty Exhaust Smoke 

Black or dirty exhaust smoke from the tailpipe is a  telltale sign that your engine oil is either drying up, a leak has occurred, the engine oil is dirty or there’s spillage. Dirty exhaust smoke means your engine is acting up because it is not getting enough lubrication. 

As soon as you notice black or dirty exhaust smoke, check your Toyota’s engine oil. 

4. Your Engine Is Stalling 

We all know that engine oil lubricates the engine and helps it work efficiently. As the oil dries up or gets dirtier, it means that metal has been rubbing against metal. This will cause your Toyota’s engine to stall. If you notice frequent stalling, this solidifies that your Toyota needs an oil change. 

5. The Oil Cap To The Oil Compartment Is Missing

If you look under the hood and find that the yellow cap to the oil compartment has gone missing, it indicates that debris has entered the oil compartment and contaminated the engine oil. Dirty engine oil damages the engine. It is best to change the engine oil and immediately find a replacement soon. 

Why You Should Not Skip an Oil Change 

Why You Should Not Skip an Oil Change If you notice all of these signs and the engine in your Toyota’s oil compartment has also darkened, you should get it changed immediately. 

Engine oil is vital for the engine’s lubrication and prevents the engine’s parts from rubbing against one another and causing premature wear. 

Skipping an oil change will damage your Toyota engine and cut its life short. In addition, your car’s engine will be at serious risk of breaking down in the middle of the road. 

First, it’s best to check the engine oil regularly to avoid running into engine problems later on. Secondly, you must top up your Toyota’s engine oil immediately after noticing these signs. 

How To Top Up Your Toyota’s Oil By Yourself?

Topping up your Toyota’s engine oil is relatively easy and takes only  a few minutes. After you’ve noticed that your Toyota needs oil, turn your car off and wait for the engine to cool down. 

This will ensure that no engine oil splashes onto you. Next, take out the dipstick, and gauge how much oil it might need.

After that, tilt the dipstick and slowly pour oil over the dipstick and into the compartment. This will ensure minimum spillage. Only fill in till the oil residue touches the top two lines on the dipstick.


Our list of signs that your Toyota needs an oil change will help you properly maintain your Toyota’s engine. If your vehicle starts to show all of these signs, it means damage has already been done. So, it is best to make it a habit to check your Toyota’s engine oil every month. 

At Al Hendrickson Toyota, we deal in oil changes and all other services related to your Toyota. If your car needs maintenance services, feel free to drop by at 5201 W Sample Road, Coconut Creek, FL, or call (954) 957-2533 to schedule services. We’re the experts who know what’s best for your Toyota and will gladly assist you! 

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