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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