Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s powertrain. Not enough oil or dirty sludge could do some serious damage to your engine, and result in an expensive repair bill. That’s why one of the most important regular bits of maintenance you can do is to check your oil to make sure it’s still clean and plentiful.
Fortunately, checking your oil is also one of the simplest things you can do with your vehicle! We here at Go Auto Don Mills Chrysler have put together a quick guide to help walk you through the process in four easy steps.
Step 1: Get Your Vehicle Ready
It may sound a bit weird to say, but you should actually prep your vehicle to check the oil. First off, you want the vehicle on a level surface to ensure the most accurate reading. Second, you want the engine warmed up to normal operating temperature. Especially in the winter, you won’t get an accurate reading if the oil is freezing cold. Run the vehicle until the temperature needle is hovering around the middle of the gauge, then turn it off and let it sit for around 10 minutes so the oil can settle.
Step 2: Find Your Dipstick
Now that the vehicle is ready for checking, pop open your hood, and locate the oil dipstick. In most vehicles, the dipstick has a bright yellow handle, and may even be marked with an oil symbol or the word “OIL.” If you can’t quite seem to find it, just check your owner’s manual. It should indicate where the dipstick is located.
Step 3: Check The Oil
Pull out the dipstick, and give it a quick wipe. Regular engine use will have left oil and residue on it, and to get a proper reading, it needs to be clean. Once you’ve wiped it, stick it back into the engine, then pull it out a second time. Now you’ll be able to get an accurate look at the oil level and quality.
Step 4: What To Watch For
There should be two markers on the dipstick, usually a pair of lines or holes. The oil should only rise to a point between these two indicators. If it’s too low, you should get it topped-off ASAP to avoid any engine issues. Another thing to watch for is the colour of the oil. Clean oil is golden in colour; if it’s dark or muddy, the oil is in need of a change.
Many modern vehicles have a system which can keep track of your estimated oil life, and give you an alert when it’s time to replace your oil. Even so, there’s no real substitute for checking once in a while yourself, just to be sure.
If you find yourself in need of a top-off for your engine oil, or it’s looking like it may be time to change it, be sure to book a service appointment with us here at Go Auto Don Mills Chrysler! Our friendly service staff is more than happy to take care of that, or any other issues you may have with your vehicle.