Cars are now made to be able to go a lot longer in between oil changes. Where it used to be we needed our oil changed every 3,000 miles or so, now are designed to go as long as 5,000-7,000 miles. This makes it even more important for you to take over some oil maintenance yourself. To start with your oil maintenance, you will need to know how to check your oil. Follow these steps below for a step-by-step process, and avoid getting stuck on the side of the road, or even worse, purchasing a new engine.
To start, make sure that your engine is still somewhat warm when going to check your oil, as oil expands in the heat, and you don’t want an inaccurate reading. Then follow the following steps:
1. Park on a level surface-make sure that your car isn’t on a hill or a gravel road.
2. Turn off your engine. It is recommended to wait around 10 minutes after you do so as to allow the oil to drain back down into the crankcase.
3. Pop your hood.
4. Locate your oil dipstick. You will typically find this near the spark-plugs – it will appear as a large loop sticking out of the engine. Although, some newer models the shape will be that of a T as opposed to a loop.
5. Pull the dipstick out of the engine.
6. Use a paper towel or a clean rag to wipe the oil off the dipstick.
7. Place the dipstick back into the engine making sure you push it all the way back in.
8. Pull the dipstick back out and hold it horizontally.
9. Look at the pointed end of the dipstick. If the oil is below the line marked, “full”, you will know that you need to add more oil.
10. Add any oil that you need to add. Unscrew the oil and use a funnel to do this. Pour the oil slowly as it is much easier to add more than it is to remove oil that isn’t needed.
11. After adding any oil, check your oil levels with the dipstick again.
12. Put the oil cap back on securely and replace the dipstick.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to check your oil at any time you wish. This will help the overall maintenance of your vehicle, which will make your car last longer.