Our series on simple car maintenance begins with a look at the basic oil check. This is an easy-to-do maintenance task you can perform in less than 15 minutes.
Clean oil is essential to keeping your engine running smoothly. An oil check will tell you if your car has enough oil, and if the oil is still clean and effective.
Your oil’s job is to reduce friction in your car’s engine and to keep it running properly. It is recommended that you check your car’s oil once a month to be sure you have the right amount and that it is not too dirty to do its job.
Follow these simple oil check steps:
- Park your car on a level area and wait for the engine to cool
- Open the hood and locate the dipstick, usually located next to the engine
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean, dust-free rag
- Insert the clean dipstick back into the pipe
- Remove the dipstick a second time and examine the oil on it
- If the oil does not reach the second or “full” indication line, you need to add oil
- Check the oil’s condition – if it is dirty, you need an oil change
- Once your check is finished, return the dipstick to its storage spot in the pipe
When you need to add oil, make sure it is a good quality oil that is right for your car. Your auto pro can help you find the best oil selection for your engine. Remember that oil checks do not replace the need for regular oil changes. See your owner’s manual to find out your vehicle recommendations.