How to Check the Engine Oil Level in Your Car
Checking your engine oil regularly is good practice for any car owner and/or driver. It is also fairly easy to do and requires little to no mechanical knowledge to check. However, if you are feeling a touch intimidated by the whole process you can always have a professional check it for you. I would suggest though, that you get into the habit of checking the engine oil.
Why is Checking Your Engine Oil Important?
Engine or motor oil is what brings life to your car’s engine. The oil lubricates the internal moving mechanical parts. This ensures that all the parts are working properly and suffer wear and tear less. Increasing the lifespan and usability. The engine oil also works to limit overheating of the engine and prevent dirt build up that then keeps the engine clean. A healthy and mechanically sound vehicle will provide years of service.
Checking the Engine Oil
This is not difficult to do in the least, as we mentioned. You will be able to do this at home without any serious mechanical knowledge. Here are a few simple steps on how to check the engine oil level in your car:
- Step 1 – check your owners manual. Some newer cars have electronic monitors to check the engine oil level. If your vehicle has this then you will just need to follow the steps in the manual. You won’t have to get to the engine at all.
- Step2 – if your car requires a manual inspection you should begin by making sure that your car is on level ground and out of the sun for your sake. Most vehicles will need the engine to be cold to check though some manufacturers do require the engine to be warmed. Again, please check the owners manual for this information. If it does need to be warmed, make sure you take caution not to burn yourself.
- Step 3 – Ensure that the engine is off and open the hood of your car. All modern vehicles have somewhere that a rod can be pinned in to hold up the hood if it is not electronically done. Locate the rod either underneath the hood or around the engine bay frame. Now you can go ahead and locate the dipstick. This is quite easy to recognize with a small looped handle.
- Step 4 – pull the dipstick out and then wipe off any oil on the dipstick. Then put the dipstick back in and pull it out to see where exactly the oil level is sitting on the dipstick.
- Step 5 – all dipsticks have a way of showing the level of the oil. Some use two pinholes, or the letters L and H (low and high), perhaps the words MIN and MAX, or even an area of cross hatching. Ensure that the oil line is between the two marks or within the crosshatched area. If it is below then it is time to top up the engine oil.
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