Apr 2017
Six steps to check your cars engine oil

The #1 car maintenance item on your vehicle is changing the engine oil. Checking your automobles engine oil is painless. This blog explains what oil does for your engine, how to check the level, how to read the oil dipstick, and how to know if your engine oil is good or bad.

Why check your cars engine oil

Oil is the lubrication lifeblood of the engine in your car or truck.

Without oil, your engine would over heat and seize very quickly, causing severe damage.

Damaging the engine can be costly.


Oil lubricates your automobiles engine and combats against the two biggest attackers of any engine: heat and friction.

Friction and heat produce wear. Wear will eventually kill your engine. If you do not check your oil often you might be low on fluid or in need of a fluid change.


Six steps to check your cars engine oil

To check the oil level you need to read the vehicles engine oil dipstick.

Dipstick: a graduated rod for measuring the depth of a liquid, especially oil in a vehicle's engine.


Prerequisites to check car/truck oil:

A. Vehicle is on level ground.

You do this so that you get a correct reading on the dipstick. If the car is on a hill for example, the dipstick could read incorrectly.

B. Engine is OFF.

**Do not check engine oil when car is running** Also be sure the engine has not been running for a few minutes. You wait a few minutes to check the oil to make sure any oil near the top of the motor can run down to the bottom.


STEP 1. Locate engine oil dipstick

Open the engine hood and locate the engine oil dipstick.

Usually what you see in the engine bay would be the handle-end of the dipstick, which looks like a yellow plastic ring which reads “engine oil”

**Don’t confuse the engine dipstick with the transmission dipstick.**

STEP 2. Pull out the dipstick and wipe the end clean with a rag.


STEP 3. Reinsert dipstick into the engine until it fully seats


STEP 4. Pull out the dipstick again  


STEP 5. Now read the end of the dipstick and get a correct oil level reading.

Once you know the level you can add oil if needed or leave it if within specification.

STEP 6. Reinstall dipstick.


Close the hood, you're done.




Every dipstick has some way of indicating the proper oil level, whether it be pinholes,


the letters L and F (Low and Full),


the words MIN and MAX,


or simply an area of crosshatching.


If oil is below minimum mark, you need to add oil.


If oil is within marks your engine level is good.



How to know if your engine oil is good or bad

It is also important to inspect the engine oil condition. The color and consistency of the oil is indicative of its age.
Oil will slowly change in color from a golden to brown, and finally to black as particulates from the engine and the internal combustion process get into the oil.
Engine oil that is in good condition will look fairly clear like golden honey. Dark brown to black oil indicates the engine oil and oil filter need to be replaced.


How often should I check my automobile engine oil?

You should check your car’s engine oil at least once a month. Maybe more often if your vehicle is known to leak or consume oil.



Checking your cars oil level is easy. Not checking your cars oil level can cost big money if the motor is damaged.

The engine dipstick is used to check the oil on most cars. Some newer cars do not have dipsticks, the computer monitors the level.

One of the most important and cost effective steps you can take to prolong the life of your vehicle is to change your engine oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or as often as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.


Looking for a cheap quality oil change near Rancho Cordova? Stop by A Autocare for our website discount on engine oil & filter replacement.