DIY Oil Check: How to Check Your Vehicle’s Oil Level?

It is recommended that you check car oil at least once a month, using a dipstick to ensure the quantity is sufficient and it is free from contamination.  Oil reduces the friction in your engine and keeps it running smoothly. If it is dirty or smells of gasoline, you need to get it changed immediately.

Follow this 3 step process to learn how to check your vehicle’s oil level:

The Three Step Process to check your Vehicle’s Oil Level

1. Don’t forget to start the engine

Keep the engine running for at least 15 minutes as it helps to get precise readings when it comes to oil levels.

2. Open the hood and locate the Dipstick

If you have a front-wheel drive, your car’s dipstick should be located near the front of the engine.

The dipstick is etched with markings (could be notched, dimpled, or scribed) at the bottom that indicates the minimum level of oil in the engine, along with the maximum capacity.

3. Pull out the dipstick and re-insert

Pull the dipstick out of the pipe and use a cloth rag to wipe it.

Dip inside and take a look at the level of oil on it. Is the oil at the maximum mark? If yes, then everything is perfectly fine! But what if it isn’t? You have to add some oil and re-check the levels by repeating the same procedure.

Don’t add oil into the tiny tube that the dipstick sits in!

Look for the “Oil Cap” on top of the engine. Remove that cap and add oil as needed.

How to check Bad Oil?

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With time, oil begins to turn black – it happens slightly faster with an engine powered by diesel. That is why you should check the viscosity of the oil as well – it gives you a clearer insight about the condition of the oil. Check by rubbing against your thumb and index finger; if you see a dirty smudge, change the oil immediately.

Is there any Oil leakage?

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If you feel that you are losing oil at a rapid rate or too frequently, there is a possibility of leakage. Parts like hoses and pipes undergo considerable wear over time, so they might have to be replaced. You should also take a look at the sump plug at the bottom and the crush washer. Check to see if all pipes are properly connected so there are no leaks.

Don’t forget to check your vehicle’s oil level– it takes only a few minutes to figure out what is wrong (if anything) with the oil! However, it is advisable to change the oil every 6 months, because even if your car is unused, the oil breaks down over time and does a poor job of lubricating the engine.  Regularly checking oil levels keeps maintenance costs at a minimum, so you don’t have to shell out exorbitant amounts for repairs later on.


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