Checking your engine oil between oil changes is an important part of vehicle maintenance. Oil is like the blood of your car, it ensures that everything in your engine is well lubricated, allowing your engine to last as long as possible. You want to check your oil to make sure that it is still protecting your engine, to the best of its ability.
Oil can tell you a lot about your engine. If you check it regularly and it constantly shows up low, you may have a leak that needs be addressed. Your oil texture and coloring can also give you hints about how well your engine is performing. Milky looking oil can tell you that your engine has water in the oil, very thick almost gooey oil will tell you that it needs to be changed, and oil with small metal flakes tells you the engine has mechanical components that are becoming worn out.
Every internal combustion engine uses oil. This means your cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers and even the generators in your RV have oil in them that needs to be maintained. (Keep an eye out for more articles later on how to check your motorcycles, UTVs and ATVs - it is similar but a little different.)
This process is consistent regardless of your vehicle’s dipstick location. Let’s check some oil:
- Make sure your car is parked on a relatively flat surface.
- Check the oil level either while cold before turning on the engine, or 5 to 10 minutes after shutting down so that all of the oil is in the oil pan in order to get an accurate measurement.
- With the engine off, pop the hood and locate the engine oil dipstick.
- In most vehicles, it is a yellow looped or T-handle that says Engine Oil on it.
- Gently pull straight up on the dipstick to remove it from the tube.
- Take a rag and wipe off the oil on the end of the dipstick.
- Look at the end of the dipstick to notice the Full and Add lines.
- Reinsert the dipstick.
- Remove it once again.
- Reading your dipstick:
- If there is oil covering the dipstick to the Full marking, your engine is full of oil and you don’t need to add any.
- If the dipstick is below the Add marking, you will need to add engine oil to your vehicle.
- The two actions of reading your dipstick:
- If your oil level is still within the full marking, reinsert the dipstick, close your hood, and hit the road!
- If it is below the full marking we will have a How to Add Oil to your Vehicle next week!
John Ellis founded the Continuous Oil Refining Company in 1866 while studying the medicinal value of crude oil. Dr. Ellis soon learned that crude oil had no healing powers, but he did observe its lubricating abilities. He went on to abandon his medical practice and discover a combination of oil, animal, and vegetable fats that worked effectively at high temperatures as an engine lubricant. Dr. Ellis’s new oil helped prevent corroded cylinders, leaky seals, and gummed up valves in steam engines. More Info
Checking your oil is a simple and easy process! Head out to your driveway and take five minutes to test out your newly learned skill. Knowing your engine has what it needs to run properly will make you more confident before you hit the road for your next trip!
Ladies Offroad Network has a relationship with Pennzoil. Did you know that it is the factory oil that gets put into your Jeep?
Author: Ladies Offroad Network Team
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