DIY Engine Oil Check

Taking your car to get your oil checked is a routine you should get used to. You are probably familiar with what to do when you want your oil checked. You take your car at a local mechanic or at the dealership where you purchased your car and in a jiffy, they will let you know your oil level. This has probably left you thinking, “Can I do it myself?”. Here is a DIY guide to checking your engine’s oil.

Step 1: Warm Engine 

Turn on your car to warm up your engine, not too hot or you can hurt. Once your car is turned off, open your car’s hood and find the oil dipstick (you can pull this from the engine).

Step 2: Using Dipstick To Check Oil

Once you pull dipstick from the engine, wipe off the oil from it. Once you have a clean dipstick, insert it back into the tube it came from and push it all the way in.

Step 3: Reading Your Dipstick

Pull out the dipstick and observe both sides of the dipstick to check where the oil has stopped. There are various indications that can help you determine your oil level. You can either have to pinholes, two markings reading “L” (Low) and “H”(High), two marking reading “Min” and “Max”, or crosshatching.

Step 4: Inspect Oil Color

Typically, the oil in your engine should be brown or black, or in between the two. If you pull out the dipstick and the oil seems light and milky, more than likely the coolant has leaked into the engine. This can be fixed at an auto service shop where they can drain the oil properly.

Step 5: Figuring Out The Oil You Need

If your oil is low, refer to your owner’s manual to inform yourself on which grade of oil you should be using. Your designated oil should look something like “OW-20” or “5W-30”. You can visit your local auto part store or any store that sells engine oil. If you want to buy a bundle, buy them in quarts for that is usually almost the amount you need every time you refill your engine oil.

Step 6: Pouring In The Oil

On top of the engine, you should be able to see your oil filler cap. Remove the cap and take a quart bottle of oil that you have purchased. With a funnel in hand, pour in your oil from your quart bottle a little at a time. Avoid overpouring, for this is not good for your engine. once you have added half a quart, let the oil settle and check the oil level with your dipstick (pr3eferably wiped off beforehand). Keep pouring small amounts at a time until your engine is full. Half a quart should do, but if you are still low or have just reached the minimum fill level, go ahead and use the rest of the quart. When you are filled, put the oil filler cap back on and make sure it is closed correctly.

Needing a Second Quart?

If your engine happened to be on empty in the beginning of the oil fill process and the first quart wasn’t enough, go ahead and add the second quart. Be sure to add a little as you go, stopping in between to check levels.

Checking your oil at home seems pretty easy right? Remeber, changing and checking your oil are two different worlds. If you do not know how to change and drain your engine’s oil, take it to an auto service shop.


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Fall Car Care Month

It’s Fall Car Care Month! As winter approaches, it’s critical to make sure your car is in a condition where your car won’t break down, especially if you break down in a bad winter snow storm. Below is a checklist for your car to ensure your car is ready for winter. Visit your dealership or local auto mechanic.

Check Hoses and Belts Look for any cracks, any fraying or signs of wear and tear.

Replace Battery If Needed Be sure there is a clean connection and no corrosion.

Check Exhaust System Be on the lookout for any unusual noises, leaks, broken or damaged supports or hangers.

Check Steering and Suspension Steering and suspension systems should be checked annually. Make sure to check shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts.

Check Tires As some may know, the winter months and cold weather and mess with your tires. Be sure to check all the pressure in your tires and check your tread. Also, look for any bulges or bald spots. If there are any uneven balances in wear, it would help to have a wheel alignment.

Check HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning)

Check All Fluids Brake fluid, wiper fluid, power steering, antifreeze/coolant, engine oil.

Interior and Exterior Lighting Check to make sure interior lighting and lighting displays on the dashboard is working properly. Also check exterior lighting to ensure headlights, taillights, turn signals, and reverse lights are working.


If your current vehicle is not suitable for winter driving or you are just not happy with your car try out another one with Headquartered in Cincinnati Ohio, is an online marketplace that allows drivers to list their current lease. For more information on finding the best car lease deals or to learn how you can have a successful car lease trade, visit or contact them at 866-SWAPNOW


Summer Road Trip Car Care Tips

Summer is here and what better way to celebrate than taking a road trip with friends and family! Pack your bags and drive to your perfect getaway, but first, have you considered if your car can handle the trip? Many vacationers who use their car for road trips fail to prepare their car for the drive. Here are some hot tips to keep in mind for your summer ride!


Summer brings in the heat that we can’t seem to bare, neither can your car. The combination of hot temperatures and your coolant levels can cause a disaster. Especially if you are driving in the middle of nowhere. Low coolant levels increase the risk of your engine overheating and your A/C working double-time.

Check your coolant level yourself or at an auto shop and top it off if it is too low. If you are completely empty, make sure you don’t have any leaks.

If you are on the road, check your temperature gauge from time to time, check for any warning lights, and most noticeable, steam coming from the hood of your car. If any of these things happen, safely pull over and turn off your engine. Give your engine 30 minutes to cool down before opening your hood. Add coolant if needed. If you are all out of coolant, better call a tow truck.

Also, be sure to get a proper oil change before your trip!


During the hot summer months, tires are more prone to blowouts. You should make sure to check your tires at a gas station or an auto shop. Under-inflated tires, lack of air pressure, puts your tires’ components under greater strain, putting you at a higher risk of a blowout. Over-inflated tires could put you at risk of hydroplaning if you get stuck in rain during your trip.

Be sure to check the tread on all your tires. A simple hack to this is taking one penny. Make sure Lincoln’s heads-side is facing you and his head is downward. Place him into your tire groove, if you can see the top of his head, it is likely you need new tires.

If you are planning a big summer trip in advance, be sure to have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles

Interior and Exterior

The blazing sun without a doubt is getting you to put on some long sleeves during the ride and sunglasses. But what about your car? Too much UV rays can damage your dashboard, interior, and exterior paint. Before taking your car on a trip, wash and wax your car with a UV protecting polish to reduce sun damage and paint fading.

If your road trip requires numerous stops, try to park in a shaded area to protect your interior and exterior. It is suggested to also have a windshield cover to protect your interior and keep the car cool.

Steering wheel too hot to touch? Next time, turn your wheel 180 degrees before getting out so when you come back in, rotate your wheel back and you will have the hot spots at the bottom now!

With these summer tips, you should be able to enjoy your summer road trip with no worries. Do you find yourself needing that summer road trip car for your family? is the largest online lease transfer marketplace. The online marketplace has vehicles and customers in every state in the continental United States and Canada. For more information on finding the best car lease deals or to learn how you can have a successful car lease trade, visit or contact them at 866-SWAPNOW.

Totaled Your Leased Car?

So you are driving your leased car and a thought crosses your mind. “What happens if I total my leased car in an accident?” As you know, when you first signed your lease agreement, there were all sorts of coverages that you and the leasing agent went over. However, whether you have a leased car or thinking of having a leased car, here are a few things to know when it comes to a possible future accident in your leased car.

What Is Considered A Totaled Leased Car?

When you total a leased car, it is referred to as a “total loss”. That is when the damages done to the car require repair that costs more than 70% of the car’s value.

Notify the company that leased the car and explain that the car has been totaled, and ask what the current payout is for the car. You should be able to determine this information from your leasing contract as well, but you will want to confirm the exact number with the lien holder.

GAP Insurance

Gap insurance or Guaranteed Auto Protection insurance is an optional insurance plan for some companies that can be added to your comprehension and collision insurance, but it is better to have it just in case.  Without GAP, you become responsible for the difference in what the insurance pays and the terms of your lease and if the amount the car is worth is less than the amount the lien holder requires, you are required to pay the difference to the lien holder.

If the total loss was caused by an accident, fire, hurricane, theft, tornado or vandalism, and you have comprehension and collision insurance, you are covered by your insurance company.

If you need help finding the right car and the right insurance for it, help us help us help you! For more information on finding the best car lease deals or to learn how you can have a successful car lease trade, visit or contact them at 866-SWAPNOW.

4 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore In Your Car

We have all been there. You look at your dashboard right past the openings of your wheel and you see a symbol light up. Some of us might shrug them off until their next vehicle check-up and some of us might have no idea what the symbols mean at all. Here are the 4 most common warning symbols that can pop up and what they mean.

Tire Pressure Light

This symbol resembles a tire with an exclamation point in the middle. When this light comes on, it usually means one tire or multiple tires are low on air. This can easily be fixed by inserting air into your tires at a gas station or taking it to the nearest car service, they can check the pressure in the tires and add air, sometimes for free! Don’t avoid this symbol too long if it pops up, you can easily be flattening your tires the more you drive.

Oil Light

The symbol if there is something going on with the oil in your car is pretty simple, it looks like an oil canister with a drip of oil coming out of its spout. When this light comes on, your oil level or pressure could be low. If you are due for an oil change, go ahead and make an appointment with your nearest car service shop. If you ignore this symbol, your engine can possible stop while you are driving.

Battery Light

This symbol is also a self-explanatory one. It looks like a battery pack with a plus symbol on one side and a minus symbol on the other. Many things can cause this to occur. Your battery could not be charging at a volt range it should be charging at, the battery cable terminal is corroded, or you have damaged battery plates. Regardless of which it is, make sure to get it check out immediately. Your car may run fine while this symbol is on, but one the car is shut off, it might not be able to start.

Brake Light

This symbol can be tricky to some scars come with multiple symbols for a dilemma dealing with your brakes. If it is a circle with parentheses around it, no matter what’s inside the circle, it is most likely dealing with your brakes. When this light comes on you can either be low on fluid, there is a problem with your brake hydraulic system, or the parking brake is on. If the parking brake isn’t on, take your car to a car service to have it checked out immediately.

If you’re looking to do away with your old car because of constant car warnings, Swapalease can help! We are the largest online lease transfer marketplace and have vehicles and customers in every state in the continental United States and Canada. For more information on finding the best car lease deals or to learn how you can have a successful car lease trade, visit or contact us at 866-SWAPNOW.

Going Online to Find Your Car Owner’s Manual

car owner's manualYour car owner’s manual can contain a wealth of useful information. Sure, it may not have much of a plot, but it will include instructions on how to get the most out of all your car’s features, list the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules and help you avoid missteps that could accidentally void your car’s warranty. Continue reading