Check Your Car’s Engine Oil: 7 Easy Steps

Check Your Car’s Engine Oil: 7 Easy Steps

Engine Oil, Motor Oil, Oil Fill Cap, Dipstick, Oil LevelRegularly checking your car’s engine oil is a simple yet important maintenance task that every car owner should know how to do. Engine or motor oil lubricates the engine’s internal components and ensures smooth operation. This blog provides an easy, step-by-step guide on how to check your car’s motor oil. We’ll cover locating the engine oil fill cap & dipstick, checking the oil level, and choosing the right motor oil for your vehicle type. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Vehicle to Check Engine Oil

Before checking the engine oil, park your car on a level surface. This allows more accurate measurements and prevents oil pooling in one area of the oil pan. Turn off the engine for several minutes so the oil can settle.

Step 2: Locate the Engine Oil Dipstick

Open the car’s hood and locate the engine oil dipstick. The dipstick handle may be brightly colored and labeled “OIL,” “ENGINE OIL,” or has a picture of an oil can. You can locate it near the front or side of the engine. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact location.

Step 3: Remove and Clean the Dipstick

Carefully pull the dipstick from its tube and wipe off all oil residue using a clean rag or paper towel. Cleaning the dipstick ensures you get an accurate reading of the oil level. Reinsert the dipstick fully back into its tube to get an accurate oil level reading.

Step 4: Check the Oil Level & Inspect Oil Color

Remove the dipstick again and observe the oil residue on the stick’s bottom end. There are usually two markings – one for the minimum level and another for the maximum level. The motor oil should ideally be between these two marks. You must add fresh oil if the oil level is below the minimum mark. 

While checking the oil level, take a moment to inspect the oil color and consistency. Healthy engine oil should be a clear, amber color. It may be time for an oil change if it appears dark, gritty, or milky. If you are unsure, please consult a qualified mechanic.

Step 5: Locate The Oil Fill Cap

The oil fill cap may be near the dipstick and usually marked with “Oil Fill” or with the grade of motor oil your vehicle uses. Before adding fresh engine oil to your car, verify the manufacturer’s recommended oil. Your owner’s manual contains this information.

Step 6: Add Oil (if necessary)

Remove the cap, clean it and the reservoir opening with a paper towel, and insert a clean funnel. Always use a funnel when adding engine oil to avoid spills on the engine block. Slowly pour the oil and periodically recheck the oil level using the dipstick until it passes the minimum mark.

Step 7: Recap and Clean Up

After confirming adequate oil levels, securely reinsert the dipstick into its tube and tightly close the oil fill cap. Clean up any oil spills and drips to maintain a clean engine bay. Finally, close the hood of your car and dispose of soiled rags and oil containers responsibly.

Recommended Frequency for Checking Oil

Driving conditions, the vehicle’s age, and oil type can influence the frequency of oil checks. Long-distance commuters should check their motor oil monthly. Motorists who rarely use their cars or only drive short distances can check their oil levels once every few months. Refer to your car’s owner manual for specific recommendations from the manufacturer.

Recommended Frequency for Changing Oil

Auto manufacturer’s suggestions vary on the recommended frequency for oil changes. Heavy-duty work vehicles often require more frequent oil changes than light-duty sedans. The make and model of the vehicle can also impact oil change intervals. Generally, cars that use conventional oil should have it changed every 3,500 to 5,000 miles. Vehicles that use synthetic oil should have it changed every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. Your needs may fall outside these generalized mile markers, so consult a qualified auto technician for more details.

Schedule Engine Oil Change Service

Regularly inspecting your motor oil level is one of the easiest methods to help protect the dependability of your engine. When your vehicle is ready for an oil change, or you need assistance finding an oil leak, bring it to All A’s Automotive. All A’s provides quality oil change service and routine maintenance quickly and professionally. 

Call us at (989)631-4672 or visit our website to schedule your next oil change service today.

Posted in: Engine Oil

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