How to Check Your Oil

It's important that you check your oil at least once a month. Not replacing your oil can result in your engine failing, which to replace, could cost upward of $2,000. The following is list of steps you can refer to:

  1. To properly maintain your vehicle, you should check your vehicle's oil once a month or every 3,000 miles. To do this, wait until your engine has cooled off.
  2. Once your engine has cooled off, pop the hood of your car. Your car most likely has a dipstick that measures your oil level. The dipstick is going to be a bright-colored (yellow, orange or red) plastic ring. If you have trouble finding the dipstick, please consult your car's owner's manual.
  3. Once you have located the dipstick, you can then pull the dipstick out and see what your oil level is. Note: before you pull the dipstick out, you may or may not have to twist it 45 degrees.
  4. Farthest from the bright-colored ring is the bottom of the stick, which should have a sword-shaped tip. Close to that end is the word, 'ADD,' which means you need to add more oil. Approximately three-quarters of an inch above of the word 'ADD' will be the word 'FULL.'
  5. To determine whether or not your car needs oil, you will need to wipe the dipstick clean and put it back into the engine oil tank. Pull the dipstick back out, and note the oil marks on it. If the mark is near the 'ADD' line, then you need to add oil. If the mark is closer to the 'FULL' line, then you do not need to add oil.
  6. If you need to add oil, do so and check the dipstick to determine when you've dispensed enough oil.

Note: If you have a car that is more than 5 years old, you should check its oil level once a week. Also, if you travel a long distance in a car that is 5 years old or older, you should check your oil level at least every 150 miles. Be sure to wait at least 20 minutes for your engine to cool down before checking.