Your car's engine is a symphony of moving parts, and at the heart of this mechanical orchestra lies the lifeblood – engine oil. Knowing how to check this vital fluid is a skill every car owner should possess, much like a detective inspecting clues at a crime scene. It's not just about pulling out the dipstick; it's about understanding what it actually means.
Preparation is Key
Before you start, ensure your car is on level ground, the engine is cool (ideally, wait a few minutes after turning it off), and you have a clean cloth or paper towel handy. It's best to check your oil when your car hasn't been driven for a while.
Locate the Dipstick
Pop open the hood of your car and look for the dipstick. It usually has a brightly colored handle, often yellow or orange, making it easy to spot.
Remove and Wipe
Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean with your cloth or paper towel, and then reinsert it all the way. Make sure it's fully seated to get an accurate reading.
Withdraw and Observe
This is where your detective skills come into play. Pull the dipstick out once more and examine the oil level and its condition. You're looking for two key things:
- Oil Level: There are usually two marks on the dipstick - a low mark and a high mark. The oil level should fall between these two marks. If it's below the low mark, you need to add oil.
- Oil Condition: Check the color and consistency of the oil. Fresh, healthy oil should have a clear, amber color. If it looks dark and dirty, it's time for an oil change. Also, rub a bit of the oil between your fingers. If it feels gritty, it's a sign of engine wear.
Add Oil if Needed
If your oil level is below the low mark, it's time to add oil. Refer to your car's manual for the recommended oil type and viscosity. Pour the oil slowly to avoid overfilling.
Recheck and You Are Done!
After adding oil, wait a few minutes for it to settle, then recheck the oil level to ensure it's within the recommended range.
Are you having issues with checking? If you are, we are not here to blame but to help! If you want to make sure that your fluids are good to go, visit us at Mancinelli's Auto Repair Center, and we will take care of it!