How to Check Your Oil
Learn How to Check Oil Level
Checking your oil regularly is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a vehicle, especially if it is older or has high mileage. It’s also one of the easiest tasks to learn as the owner of a vehicle. Here are the basic steps to check your oil and what you’re looking for.
Steps to Check the Oil
Park your vehicle on level ground and turn the engine off. A cold check is best, which means the engine has been sitting for a couple of hours and not running. The oil has had time to return to its normal level.
Lift the hood on the vehicle, which is usually a lever by the driver’s side. This allows the hood to lift up enough that you can move the safety catch under the front edge. Prop the hood up and look for the dipstick. This will be a handle that usually is marked either yellow or orange and it may have an oil can on it.
Remove the dipstick from the tube and use a paper towel to wipe off the end. Place the stick back into the tube until it is fully inserted and remove it again. At the end of the stick, you’ll see two lines that indicate the maximum and minimum amount of oil that is acceptable. The stick may say MAX and MIN or Full and Add. You may also see a crosshatch design, which indicates the area between the two extremes.
If the stick shows oil between the two lines, your vehicle has the right amount of oil. If it hits the add mark or below, the engine needs more oil. Add a quart of oil and wait until it has time to drain down the tube into the crankcase. Check the oil level again to see if it is now between the marks. As long as it is somewhere between the two marks, the engine has enough oil to work correctly.
How Often to Check Your Oil
You should check the oil once a month, more often on older vehicles or those that are using oil. When you look at the oil, notice if it appears thick or dirty. If this is the case, it’s time for an oil change. If the oil has a milky appearance, it indicates that the coolant may be leaking into the engine, which could mean a new engine or at least an engine repair.
The oil is your engine’s lifeblood; take the time to check the level and condition on a regular basis to ensure the engine is in optimal condition. Monitoring the oil level can prevent further problems with the engine and extend the life of the vehicle. Make sure it’s part of your regular maintenance for optimal vehicle care.
If you need an oil change or notice problems with your engine, schedule an appointment for service with Premier Chevrolet of Buena Park. Let us help you keep your vehicle running efficiently and for longer with fewer repairs.