In order for your engine to run smoothly, the motor oil needs to be clean and at a proper level. Whether you’re a brand-new driver or you’ve been on the road for years, checking your oil is an important part of proper vehicle maintenance. You’re already used to knowing how much gasoline you have in your car thanks to your gas gauge. But what about your oil? Don’t rely on the oil light alone to know that your levels are low.
Checking Your Oil
Before you attempt to check your oil, read your car’s owner’s manual. The manual should tell you more about the type of motor oil you should be using and should indicate where the dipstick is located. Pop open your hood and find the dipstick, then gently pull it out of the cylinder. Use a clean, lint-free rag to wipe any excess oil off of the dipstick. Once it’s clean, you need to reinsert the dipstick and then remove it yet again. This final step should show you the correct and current level of motor oil in your engine.
On the dipstick, there should be markings that say “add” and “full.” Your oil should be somewhere in between this range. If it’s time to add oil, you should do so, but only one quart at a time so you don’t overfill it. Re-check the dipstick after every quart to make sure the level is good. If your dipstick indicates that the oil is full, you may have an issue that should be addressed by an experienced mechanic. But the level isn’t the only important thing you need to be aware of. Look closely at the color of your motor oil, too.
When you’re looking at the health of your oil, the color should be a nice clear amber color. Black, thick, or gunky oil means that it’s dirty and you’re in need of an oil and filter change. Dark-colored oil may be an indication that your engine is running too hot, too. Older cars should have the oil checked more frequently just to make sure that everything is burning cleanly. With a few regular oil checks, you can be sure that your vehicle is running smoothly and safely. When in doubt, bring it to us and we’re happy to do a full inspection and give your car an oil and filter change for great results.
For all your automotive service and repair needs, come see us at Fast Lane Automotive in Orlando, Florida or give us a call at 321-236-9336 to schedule an appointment today!