How to Check Your Oil in 4 Steps

Driving a car when there is old oil or not enough oil in your engine can be devastating for the life of your engine. Motor oil lubricates many of the moving parts in your engine, so when you have low or old oil in your car, it will increase friction. This will cause your engine to overheat, damaging your engine, and could also potentially make the motor seize up, ruining your engine and costing you a lot of money in the process.

It’s for these reasons that it’s important to make sure your engine has proper oil levels, especially if you drive an older vehicle. Here we have outlined 4 steps for checking your motor oil and what to keep in mind during the process.

1. Park Your Car on a Flat, Even Surface

If you are on an uneven surface, you probably won’t get an accurate reading when checking your oil. You also want to make sure that your engine is cold or that your car has been turned off for about 10 minutes to prevent inaccurate measurements.

2. Pop the Hood of Your Car

This part is fairly self-explanatory. You can’t get to the engine without the hood open.

3. Remove the Oil Dipstick and Wipe Clean

The handle on the oil dipstick will often be brightly colored and labeled “Engine Oil.” Pull it out and wipe off the oil that is on the dipstick. It’s likely the oil has traveled higher on the dipstick than the actual level is, so this will allow you to get an accurate read.

4. Reinsert the Dipstick and Remove it Again

This is where you will get your measurement. When you pull the dipstick back out, read the level. There will be a couple tick marks on the dipstick indicating “Full” oil and “Low” oil. Refer to your owner’s manual if you are unsure if the level is adequate. If the oil is low, top it off with the oil your owner’s manual or a trusted technician recommends.

You also want to be sure to check the color of the oil during this step. Generally you are looking for a clear golden color. If it’s very dark or black, you are overdue for an oil change. If there are any other colors present, you will definitely want to have a mechanic take a look at your engine because there could possibly be a leak from other engine fluids.

Tony’s Express Wash & Lube is the best place in the Fort Worth area to get your car lubed and washed. With locations in both Watauga and Haltom City, we are convenient to the entire area. We also offer a free car wash with every oil change!