How to Check Engine Oil: What Car Owners Should Know

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One of the simplest yet often overlooked aspects of car maintenance is knowing how to check engine oil. Some drivers aren’t aware that the oil needs to be checked, while others simply don’t know where to start. However, this helps keep your car running smoothly and prevents engine damage and costly repairs. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an auto expert to do an oil check. Learn the simple steps to getting the job done and why it’s vital to the longevity and performance of your ride.

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Why Is it Important to Check Your Engine Oil?

Engine oil is the secret sauce that keeps everything in your engine moving smoothly. Without a timely check, you could be inviting a host of engine problems, such as: - Wear and Tear: If you put off an oil check for too long, the oil will deteriorate or deplete, causing more friction between the engine parts. This extra friction speeds up wear and tear and shortens your engine's life. - Overheating: Oil helps keep your engine from getting too hot. But if you're low on oil or past its prime, the engine can overheat and damage its internal components. - Sludge Buildup: If you let your oil get old, it loses viscosity and turns into sludge. Sludge can block the pathways in your engine, causing it to run less efficiently. - Decreased Efficiency: When the engine's moving parts aren't well-oiled, they have to work harder. This means you'll notice your car’s acceleration is more sluggish, and you'll need to fill up your gas tank more often. - Engine Failure: In the worst-case scenario, if you keep running your engine without enough clean oil, it could break down. Engine failures are not only inconvenient but can also be very expensive.

Do You Check Engine Oil Hot or Cold?

If you’re wondering whether to check the oil with the car on or off, it is best to turn the engine off. If the vehicle is warm, give it a few minutes to cool down. Ensuring the engine is off and settled provides the most accurate measurement. Remember, checking your engine oil is crucial for proper vehicle maintenance.

How to Check Your Engine Oil: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly involves routine maintenance, and knowing how to check engine oil is a skill every car owner should know. Here's how to do it in seven easy steps: - Step 1: For an accurate oil level reading, park your car in a flat area. - Step 2: If your engine has been running for a while, wait at least 10 minutes for it to cool. You want the oil to settle for a good read. - Step 3: Find the hood release in your car, pop it, and lift the hood open. - Step 4: Look for the dipstick under the hood; it should have a bright yellow or orange handle. Your car owner’s manual can also tell you where to find it. - Step 5: Pull out the dipstick and wipe it down with a rag or paper towel. - Step 6: Put the dipstick back in and then pull it out again and check how the oil lines up with the markers. - Step 7: Inspect the oil. If it has a light brown or amber color, it’s good. But if it's dark or grimy, it’s time for an oil change.

Get Your Oils and Fluids Checked at Take 5

If you’re still unsure how to check your engine oil, swing by Take 5 and let us handle it for you. Our seasoned technicians specialize in ensuring your car's engine oil is on point. We’ll check the oil, and if necessary, we’ll change it too. Why guess when you can be certain? Find a Take 5 location near you, and schedule the service you need today. Check out our coupons to save a little extra money, too.

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