Checking the oil in your car is one of the necessary skills that every car owner needs. It’s a quick and easy task that can potentially save thousands of dollars and add a lot of life to your car’s engine. All you’ll need to properly check your car’s oil is a rag or paper towel (or even your shirt if you’re that kind of person).
The first thing you’ll want to do is to allow your car to cool down for a while. This will ensure that the oil has time to settle and that you won’t get a false reading. Next, locate the dipstick for the oil. In some cars this is a lot harder than it sounds and you’ll need to look at your owner’s manual for some help. For all cars it will be located right near the engine block since the oil feeds through the engine itself. Once you’ve located the dipstick check to see if the bottom has any clamps that need to be unlocked first. Most dipsticks don’t have them, but it’s important to know if they do.
Unlock the clamps if necessary and pull the dipstick out. Wipe all of the oil off of the dipstick and replace it, making sure it goes down as far as it possibly can. Allow it to sit in the oil pan for a few seconds before pulling the dipstick back out. When looking at the dipstick check to see where the oil ends. On all dipstick there should be a portion that is crosshatched, lines that are labeled “min” and “max” (or “add” and “full”), or two small dimples. As long as your oil falls within the hatching, between the dimples, or between the min/max range you have enough oil. If it looks to be getting low (or is low) replace some of the oil with the manufacturer recommended oil.
Another aspect of the oil that you’ll want to look at is the color. This will be one of the most important things when determining whether or not to get an oil change, as opposed to simply adding oil. If the color of the oil is golden and clear then your oil is just fine and ready to go. On the other hand, if the oil on your dipstick is black and thick then it’s imperative that you go to Golden Triangle Auto Care to get an oil change as soon as possible.
Some of you might be asking why you can’t simply add the good oil to the bad oil. Surely that will help lengthen the life of your oil, right? Absolutely not. Adding good oil to bad oil is just like dumping a half-gallon of good milk into a half gallon of rotten milk and expecting it to go on your cereal. It’s best to simply make your way on over to Golden Triangle Auto Care’s for a full-service oil change. We’re located on 11th and Speer, just southeast of the Denver Art Museum.