How to check your oil
oil dipstick is clearly marked with a bright yellow handle.
oil level is clearly visible as a light brown fluid on
the end of the dipstick.
Keeping track of the oil level in your vehicle is one of the most
basic general maintenance checks you can do. But it's a pretty
important one. Low - and also overly high - levels of oil can
lead to disastrous internal damage of the engine. Making sure
the oil level falls between the manufacturers recommended high
and low levels - and keeping track of how dirty it is - is a simple
way of keeping an eye on the engine's internal health. Monitoring
the oil level of a vehicle gets more important the older the vehicle
is as these often need more regular oil changes and top ups.
- While checking the oil level, also take time to
look at the quality and cleanliness of the oil. If
it looks black or very dark brown then it's time for
an oil and filter change. Blackened oil has much less
lubricating efficiency than clean oil, if it gets
too bad it can lead to overheating and premature engine
wear. If it's honey colored or light brown then the
oil is fresh and new.
To check your vehicles oil level follow these simple steps:
1) Park the car on level ground. If it's parked on a hill
or at an angle then the reading on the dipstick won't be accurate,
it would be like trying to guess the level of water in a jug when
you're holding it at an angle! Also don't measure the oil level
right after driving the car. It's best to check it at least 5
minutes after the engine is turned off.
2) Open the hood and locate the dipstick. It's usually
brightly colored, often red or yellow. Carefully pull out the
dipstick and wipe it down with a clean cloth or paper towel.
3) Reinsert the dipstick to its maximum depth and then
remove it again. This time carefully look at where the oil level
comes up to on the dipstick and make sure it falls between the
upper and lower marks on the dipstick. The lower mark denotes
the manufacturer's minimum recommended oil level, and the upper
mark shows where the maximum recommended oil level is.
4) If the oil level was between the two marks then you've
got nothing to worry about - at least not with the oil level.
If it's lower than the recommended level then its time to check
for oil leaks and buy some oil. If it's high then someone's overfilled
the oil and you will need to drain some out - otherwise the additional
pressure of the excess oil can cause gaskets
and seals to fail.
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