Checking Your Oil: A Beginner’s Guide

Checking the oil in a vehicle is a basic skill that every driver needs to learn. If you’re reading this and you already know how to check your oil, now’s the perfect time to teach someone in your house who may not know – and that includes your kids!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rags or paper towels.
  • Your car owner’s manual, which is probably in your glove compartment. Don’t feel bad if you need the owner’s manual to find out where to open the hood!
  • A positive attitude. (You really can do this!)

Check the Oil. Even if you can’t change the oil yourself, you can check the oil level in your vehicle. Some vehicles make it easy, and have electronic oil monitors. If your vehicle does not, you’ll start by turning off the engine, and opening the hood.

Look in the owner’s manual to find where oil ‘dipstick’ is. Pull it out of the tube. When you find it, you’ll see that it’s long and thin and will be coated with oil. Wipe the oil off. Put the dipstick back into the tube, then pull it out again. This time, notice where the oil is coating the stick. Dipsticks will have two marking to indicate high and low. It could be the letters H and L, “MIN” or “MAX”, or simply two small holes. The oil level needs to ‘end’ between these two markings.

If your oil is low, give us a call and we’ll help you find the right kind of oil to add, and give you further guidance. Replace the dipstick in the engine, and make sure it’s tight. Wash your hands, and then give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve just taken the first step toward do it yourself car maintenance.

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