How To Check The Oil On Your Car

Two driver's ed students are watching their driving instructor show them how to check the oil on a car.

Taking care of your car is like taking care of yourself. Just like you need to check your own health from time to time, it’s important to regularly check the oil in your car. Checking the oil level and quality is a simple task that can prevent major engine damage and save you money in the long run.

To begin, make sure your car is parked on a level surface and has been turned off for at least ten minutes. Locate the dipstick, which is usually located near the front of the engine. It typically has a brightly colored handle for easy identification. Gently pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel.

Next, carefully reinsert the dipstick all the way back into its tube. Push it all the way down until it sits securely in place. Now, slowly pull the dipstick back out and observe the markings on it. There should be two lines indicating the minimum and maximum oil levels. Ideally, the oil level should be between these two lines. If it’s below the minimum line, it means your car is low on oil and you need to add some. On the other hand, if it’s above the maximum line, it means there may be an overfill situation and some excess oil needs to be drained.

Rub a small amount of oil between your fingers and observe its color and consistency. Fresh oil should have a clear golden hue and a smooth texture. If the oil appears dark and dirty or feels gritty between your fingers, it’s time for an oil change. Regularly changing the oil ensures optimal engine performance and longevity.

Remember, just as you rely on regular health check-ups to catch any potential issues early on, checking the oil in your car is an essential part of proper vehicle maintenance. By following these simple steps, you can keep your engine running smoothly and avoid costly repairs down the road. Your car will thank you for it!