Owning a car is a very good investment, but the responsibility of taking care of one is a bit time-consuming for some. For most Americans, if you want some maintenance done to your car, you bring it to a car repair center or service center. What most Americans don’t know, however, is that you can avoid expensive car repairs by checking up on your car yourself.
Oil is the most important fluid inside your car engine, and oil is responsible for lubricating all the gears in your engine. If your engine runs out of oil, your engine will break down, causing you to have expensive repairs, which none of us want considering the economy we have to date.
How do you check your car oil?
First, remember that the best time to check your car oil is during the morning when your car has rested, and the oil has cooled down to avoid a false reading.
Make sure that your car is parked on a level surface and turn the hand brake on, then turn the hood release lever located under the dashboard to open the hood of your car. Lift the hood and place the support stand for the hood so it won’t fall on you.
Locate the dipstick, which is usually found in the middle of the engine. The dipstick’s handle is often times bright in color. When you’ve located the dipstick, pull the dipstick all the way out and wipe it with a paper towel or rag. After cleaning the dipstick, replace it and make sure that it goes all the way down and rests for a second, then pull it back up to check the amount of oil.
Your dipstick will indicate the amount of oil you have in your engine. At the very end of your dipstick is the indicator.
Color of Oil
Your dipstick will also show you the color of oil that you have. The color of your oil is also a good indicator that it’s time to have your oil changed. Clean engine oil is oftentimes golden in color and clear, while the dirty engine oil is black or brown and thick. Dirty engine oils can still run your car just fine, but the quality of the oil is not the same as new engine oil.
When the dipstick indicates that your oil is below the full mark, it is time to pour some oil into your engine. Try to look under the engine for some oil drops because you don’t usually lose oil not unless there’s a leak in your engine. But if your dipstick indicates full and the color of your oil is still clear, leave it alone. There’s no need to worry.
Checking your car oil will take at least five minutes of your time, but compared to bringing it to service centers where they will do the same thing, it’s hardly any time at all. Check your oil at least once or twice a week to avoid expensive repairs on your engine.