How to Check Your Vehicle’s Oil

Regularly maintained oil changes are essential to the health of your vehicle’s engine.

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This is especially important when your vehicle starts racking up the miles, causing your engine to burn off small amounts of oil every drive. Old models also tend to burn off more oil than newer ones. If you’re unsure just how quickly your vehicle is depleting oil, you can check your oil every week for at least a month. This can give you a good baseline as to how often you should check your oil for the next block of time. Now it’s time to get started with just how you can check your oil:

Preparation. Before you start, make sure your vehicle is parked and your vehicle’s hood is propped open. You can likely find your hood release under your instrumental panel on the left side of the driver’s side. Many cars will have a safety catch at the front of the hood that needs to be released to lift the hood. Consult your owner’s manual if any of these steps are confusing.

Locate. The dipstick is typically easy to spot with its (usually) bright yellow or orange coloring. There is also an oil can icon that sits on top of the dipstick.

Pull. Remove the dipstick fully from the tube it typically sits in, with a rag or paper towel in hand. The end of the dipstick will usually have two lines, sometimes with words like “add” and “safe” for further denotion. The upper line means that the crankcase (or the oil tank) is full and the lower line indicates that the oil level is one quart low.

Note. Insert the now clean dipstick back into the tube, pushing it all the way down. After withdrawing, note where the oil falls relative to the two lines. If in between the two lines or at the top one, then you’re golden. However, if the oil mark falls below the lower line, you will need to add a quart of oil. 

Add. When you add oil, give it a few moments to go down into the crankcase reservoir. Then repeat the check steps again to note where the oil falls on the stick. If in between the two lines, you’re good to get on the road again.

Need any assistance with checking or changing your vehicle’s oil, just let us know. We’d be happy to assist however we can!

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