When it comes to taking care of your car, checking the engine oil is one of the most important things you can do. It may seem like a daunting task if you’ve never checked it before, but with a few simple steps, you can easily learn how to check your oil and make sure your car is running smoothly.
In this blog post, we’ll walk through each step carefully so that even first-time mechanics can understand the process and give their vehicle the proper care that it needs!
Importance of checking engine oil for car maintenance
Checking your engine oil is an important part of car maintenance. It helps to ensure that the engine runs smoothly and efficiently and prevents long-term damage from occurring due to insufficient lubrication and wear on engine components.
When checking your engine oil, it should be done when the vehicle is cold (not running). This will allow you to get a more accurate reading of the amount of oil in the engine.
Tools and Materials Required
In order to check your engine oil, you will require the following tools and materials:
– Rag or towel
– Oil dipstick
– Engine oil of the correct viscosity for your vehicle (check your owner’s manual)
How to check your oil step-by-step
1. Park your car on level ground and turn off the engine.
Parking your car on level ground and turning off the engine is key to accurately checking the oil in your car. Make sure you wait for 15 minutes if it has just been driven so that the temperature can cool down and the oil settle back into its reservoir.
However, some modern manufacturers have made their dipsticks to read correctly at any temperature (check your owner’s manual to confirm if that applies to your vehicle).
2. Locate the dipstick in your engine compartment and pull it out.
If you’re not sure where to find the oil dipstick under your car hood, don’t worry. It is usually easy to locate but there is no universal standard for it. Look for a handle in orange or red – though it can be black and other colors too.
There might even be a small oil can symbol at one end of the dipstick (though unfortunately this isn’t always the case). Check your owner’s manual if you’re finding it difficult to locate the dipstick.
3. Clean the Dipstick
Once you’ve located the dipstick, it’s time to pull it out and wipe off the surface of the oil using a rag or towel. This will help you get a more accurate reading when you reinsert it.
Make sure that all dirt, dust, and other debris have been wiped away so that your reading is as precise as possible.
4. Reinsert The Dipstick
Reinsert the dipstick into your engine, making sure that it is pushed in all the way and has sealed properly. Once you’ve done this, pull it back out and check the level of oil indicated on the dipstick.
5. Take Your Reading
Taking your reading is the fifth step and arguably the most important. All you need to do is insert your dipstick, wait a few seconds, and check if the oil is within the healthy range as indicated by the markings on either side. If it’s too high or low then you’ll need to take an action accordingly.
Besides checking its level though, you should also take note of its physical characteristics. Clean oil should be a translucent amber while dirty oil may tend to be black or gritty and viscous. If it’s dark black then an oil change may be required urgently.
6. Follow up if necessary
If the oil is low, then you’ll need to top it up. Use a funnel to fill the engine with clean engine oil of the same viscosity as indicated in your owner’s manual.
Alternatively, you could take it to a mechanic or auto shop and let them do it for you if that’s more convenient.
Alternative method (no dipstick)
If you are driving a newer model automobile, it may not have the traditional dipstick to monitor your oil level. Instead, an electric sensor inside the engine is typically in charge of doing this job, one that will stay hidden within a variety of submenus!
To ensure you know where to find it quickly and easily when needed, don’t forget to refer back to your car manual or operating system guide.
How to Add Oil To Car Step-by-step
1. Lift the hood and use a flashlight to search for the oil filler cap.
Once you have located the oil filler cap, check if it’s loose enough to remove by hand or if you need an appropriate tool such as a wrench or pliers.
2. Unscrew The Oil Filler Cap And Add Oil
Unscrew the oil filler cap and then insert a funnel into the opening. This will help you pour in new engine oil without spilling any over your engine components or on the ground.
3. Fill To Appropriate Level
Slowly fill up your engine with clean motor oil of the same viscosity specified in your car manual until it reaches its designated level as indicated
FAQs about How to check your oil
What is the ideal engine temperature for an oil check?
The ideal engine temperature for an oil check is between 180-210 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that the oil has circulated and the dipstick can accurately gauge the level of oil in your engine.
How often should I check my oil?
Bradscartunes advises that you inspect your engine oil on a regular basis – every two weeks or after travelling 1,000 miles. Additionally, be sure to perform an inspection before embarking on any long journeys.
What happens if I don’t check my oil?
If you don’t check your oil regularly, it can lead to serious damage to your engine or even complete system failure. It’s important to stay vigilant and make sure that the levels of oil in your car are always within the safe range.
Why is it important to park on level ground when checking oil?
Uneven surfaces can cause some of the oil to seep under the measuring line on your dipstick, resulting in an inaccurate reading. Level terrain guarantees a reliable indication of what’s going on beneath your hood!
Why is it necessary to clean the dipstick before taking the reading?
Dirt and grime can accumulate on the dipstick, leading to an inaccurate reading. To ensure an accurate reading, it’s important to wipe off the dipstick with a clean cloth before inserting it into your engine and checking t he level of oil indicated on the dipstick.
How do I determine the correct type of oil to add to my engine?
Refer to your owner’s manual or consult with a professional.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in answering the question: “How to check your oil?”
Checking your car’s oil level is a crucial part of regular maintenance. It’s easy to do, and it only takes a few minutes. By checking your oil regularly, you can extend the life of your engine and avoid costly repairs down the road.
So be sure to check your oil often, and if you’re not sure how, consult your owner’s manual or ask a trusted mechanic.
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.