How to Check Car Oil

Adding oil to engine

Making sure your vehicle always has the right amount of oil is one of the best ways to protect the engine’s moving parts. Whether you’re running daily errands around your neighborhood or road-tripping with your family, you want to make sure your car’s engine is in good shape. Learning how to check car oil is a solid first step toward keeping your car running smoothly. Below, you can learn more about how to check oil levels in your car, as well as the importance of doing so. 

How to Check the Oil Level in Your Car: Step-by-Step 

Many new vehicles come equipped with electronic oil monitors and don’t have traditional oil dipsticks. When in doubt, check your owner’s manual to see whether your car uses an electronic oil monitor or a dipstick. If you’re checking your car’s oil manually, you’ll want to follow these easy steps: 

  • First, park your vehicle on a level surface. Make sure the engine is cold and completely turned off. 
  • Pop the hood and locate the dipstick. (Use your owner’s manual if you’re unable to locate it.)
  • Remove the dipstick from the engine and wipe the dipstick with a clean rag or paper towel. 
  • Re-insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube. Then, pull it out once more and check both sides to see where the fluid level rests.

All oil dipsticks have markings to indicate the proper oil level. Top up as necessary to keep the oil streak between the two marks on the dipstick or within the cross-hatched area. Make sure you purchase the correct oil grade per what’s listed in your owners manual. Remove the oil filler cap and add a little bit of oil at a time. Re-check the oil level to make sure the oil level is at the proper level. 

Why is Checking the Oil Level Important? 

Oil service is often put on the backburner, but it’s essential to the health of your car’s engine and overall performance. Typically, oil changes are suggested about twice a year, although that can vary based on the model and how it’s driven. In any case, it’s a good idea to check your car’s oil level at least one a month. This is a good way to ensure there are no leaks and your car is prepared for the travels ahead. 

If you notice anything out of order, such as rapidly depleting oil levels or steam coming from under the hood, schedule a service visit at one of our service centers. Don’t wait to schedule service in this case — your car could overheat, causing engine damage that’ll be expensive to repair. 

Get More Car Care Tips! 

If your car is due for oil service, or you’re experiencing an issue, take your vehicle to one of our six locations for the expert service you and your car deserve. If you have any questions about our service menu, contact us online today! Be sure to check out our service and parts tips and tricks like what’s the difference between premium and regular gas, contact us today.

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