How Do I Check to See if My Car’s Oil Needs to Be Changed?

January 1, 2019 7:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Motor oil can be considered your vehicle’s lifeblood. It’s highly important for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your vehicle, and therefore should be checked on a regular basis to make sure it’s in good condition and that you have enough of it in your engine. You must keep the oil in good supply, as it lubricates all of the moving parts of the engine, preventing them from wearing down too quickly. It also works to keep the engine clean even after miles and miles of operation.

So how do you check to see if your car’s oil needs to be changed? It’s really quite simple, and there are several ways of doing it.

Checking your oil in between oil changes in Port Charlotte, FL

Any time you do anything under the hood of your vehicle, you should always check your owner’s manual just to make sure you’re completely sure about what it is you need to do and where the specific part of the vehicle you’re looking for is.

Some newer vehicles have automatic oil monitors, which do not require you to use dipsticks for manual inspection. These monitors typically show up somewhere in the vehicle’s dashboard display. You can go to your electronic settings and find a category that’s usually called “maintenance,” where you can find your vehicle’s oil life. So long as you reset this tracker after every time you get an oil change, you should be able to keep accurate track of the life of your oil. It will also alert you when it’s time for you to get an oil change.

If you do not have this function, though, you’ll need to perform manual checks. Start by parking the car on level ground, and making sure the engine is cold before you proceed so you don’t accidentally burn yourself. While the engine is off, open up the hood and find the dipstick, pulling it out of the engine and wiping off any oil that’s built up on its end. Insert the dipstick back into the tube and push it back down.

You can then pull the dipstick back out again to get an accurate reading of where the oil is on each end. Every dipstick will have either a couple pinholes, the letters L and H (for “low” and “high”), the words “min” and “max” or some crosshatching. If the oil falls below the minimum marks, you’ll need to add oil to the vehicle.

You should also check the color of the oil. Healthy oil is brown or black—oil that has a milky sort of appearance could have coolant leaking into it, and if there are any particles inside of the oil, there’s a chance there is some internal damage to the engine, which means you’ll need to have it checked out by a mechanic.

If the oil looks healthy and is at a good level, then you can close the vehicle back up and keep driving. Otherwise, you can proceed with your oil change.

For more information about oil changes in Port Charlotte, FL, contact Ice Cold Auto Repair today.

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