How to Check Your Car’s Oil Level

Proper car maintenance is a key component for keeping your car in a good condition and increasing its lifespan. This involves regular cleaning as well as routine checkups that are usually left to professionals. But even though the major regular services are carried out by mechanics, some monthly check-ups should be done by you.

One such task is the engine oil level check, which should be carried out on a monthly basis to keep your engine running smoothly. As some of you might be frightened by the idea of raising your car’s hood, we prepared a list of tips that will guide you through this simple process.

  1. Park your car on a relatively flat ground. Your vehicle shouldn’t be located on a slope otherwise you won’t get accurate readings. Also, before you start the process, make sure the engine is cold so you won’t get burned.
  2. Open your car’s hood. This can be done by pushing or pulling the release latch, depending on the model of your car. In case you don’t find the latch, consult your owner’s manual. To open and support your hood, you will probably need to use the prop rod. However, some car models don’t require it and the hood will stay open by itself.
  3. Locate and remove the dipstick. In most cars, it is easy to spot, since it is has a brightly colored handle. Pull it out and wipe the oil from its end with a paper towel. Dip a clean dipstick back into the pipe, pushing it down until it gets into place.
  4. Check the level of oil. Remove the dipstick and examine the readings. There should be two marks on it that indicate the minimum and the maximum oil level. Your level of oil should be somewhere in between. It is also advisable to check oil’s color, which indicates its age and quality. After the oil check is done, wipe off the dipstick and replace it once again.

How to Add Oil?

Adding oil can sometimes be mistaken for the oil change, which is a more complicated process and is usually done by a mechanic. Adding oil is simple and the following guidelines will give you the idea of how to do it yourself:

  1. Locate the oil filter cap on your engine, which should be marked by the word OIL or the symbol of the oil can.
  2. Remove the cap and start adding oil in small doses, using a funnel that will help you avoid unnecessary spills. It is recommended to start with a quart of oil that is equal to the space between the marks on the dipstick.
  3. Check the oil again. If it is still below the recommended level, add the second quart. This process should be repeated until the marks on the dipstick show the recommended level of oil.

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