One of the easiest do-it-yourself car maintenance tasks is checking your oil. Surprisingly, many drivers don’t know how to check their oil and simply rely on the 3 month/3,000 mile change schedule myth. Most modern cars can go much longer between oil changes, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be checking your oil regularly.
Your engine oil lubricates your car’s engine, allowing it to run with less friction and a lower temperature. If your oil level drops, you could end up with serious engine problems, so it’s important that you know how to check your oil in between your scheduled oil changes. Just follow these easy steps and you’ll be an oil-checking pro in no time!
|Make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface. Put your car in park, and give the engine about 10 minutes to allow the oil to drain down into the oil pan. Locate your dipstick and pull it out (if you don’t know where it is, check your owner’s manual).|
|Use a cloth or paper towel to wipe the oil off of the dipstick. Carefully insert it back into the engine. Pull the dipstick out again and check your oil level.|
|There are 2 marks on your dipstick – one for low, and one for full. The oil level should fall somewhere between the two marks.|
|It’s important to examine the condition of your oil. If it’s black and grimy, then it’s time to change your oil. If your oil appears to be brown, yet still transparent, then your quality is still OK. If you notice a color similar to coffee with milk in it, then your coolant is mixing with your oil, which is a sign of an internal engine problem. You should get your car checked out immediately.|
|If your level is low, just top off your oil with the recommended oil type. Check your owner’s manual or the oil cap on your engine.|
|Pour a small amount into the engine, wait a minute for the oil to drain down, and then check your oil level again. If it’s still low, add a little bit more. Don’t over-fill your oil.|
Remember – your engine’s oil lubricating system is a closed system, so if you’re consistently low, you probably have a leak. If that’s the case, give us a call and bring your car in to Lone Star Cars – we’ll check it out and fix any problem you might have. If you have any questions about checking your oil or car maintenance in general, please call us at 972-612-2323.