« Back to Automotive News

How to Check Your Car’s Oil

As a smart driver in the Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, or Trevose areas, you know that oil is the lifeblood under your hood. It assists in keeping your engine running smoothly and with frequent oil changes, it helps your vehicle last for years to come. However, checking your oil often plays into this, as well.

At Faulkner Auto Group, we want your vehicle to last you a long time. This is why we’ve created this guide on how to check your car’s oil, so you can ensure that your oil is always clean and filled. But before we get into the steps how to do so, let’s discuss why it’s important and how often to do it.

The Importance of Checking Your Car’s Oil

Oil works hard in keeping your engine lubricated and cooled, allowing you to hit the streets carefree. However, over time this substance can diminish or become contaminated, making it work less effectively. And without enough clean oil under your hood, your car can suffer some serious damage down the line.

That’s why it’s smart to check your oil once a month. This will help you to know if you need to add more oil under the hood or if it’s time for a complete change. Now, let’s dive into how to check the oil in your vehicle.

Checking Engine Oil in Five Easy Steps

1. Turn Off Your Engine – To ensure that you and your vehicle are safe during this process, you want to make sure your engine is fully cooled off before diving under the hood. This usually takes about 10 minutes after turning off the engine.

2. Locate Your Oil Dipstick – Because every car is different, your dipstick could be in a number of places. It will typically be either in the front near the engine or in the back.

3. Pull Out the Dipstick – After you remove the dipstick from the reservoir, wipe it clean with a lint-free rag, then reinsert it into its home. This makes sure you’ll receive an accurate reading.

4. Remove the Dipstick a Second Time – This is when you’re going to take note of the oil that is at the end of the stick. First, look at the color. Fresh oil is amber, so if it’s dark in color, it’s time for an oil change. Next, inspect the level. If it reaches the “full” line, you’re good to go. However, if it says you need to “add” oil, do so as soon as possible.

Finally, feel the consistency and give it a whiff. If it seems sludgy or contains any particles, schedule an oil change! Also, if it smells of gas, it’s also time to replace it with a fresh batch.

5. Put the Dipstick Back into the Pipe – There you have it! You have just checked your oil.

Receive Professional Oil Changes in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, & Trevose

If you need further assistance assessing your oil or you have found it’s time for an oil change, contact Faulkner Auto Group. Our team of professionals can handle this for you, allowing your vehicle to run smoothly well into the future.