Checking Your Oil

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 28, 2010)

Checking your oil is probably one of the quickest and most basic maintenance tasks that any car owner can do. This five minute task is easy and the only time that it ever takes longer than that is when you actually have to add oil to your engine.

Materials:

  • Automotive Engine Oil
  • Old cloths
  • Funnel
  • Adjustable wrench

If you check your engine's oil shortly after turning it off, the temperature can be extremely hot and you might burn yourself if you are not careful.

Steps:

  1. Locate. Pop the hood so that you can access the engine. The oil dipstick is typically located near the sparkplugs of your engine. It is usually around a foot in length so when you pull it out, be sure that you are careful not to flick any oil onto your clothes or skin. The engine and the oil are going to be at the least warm, so be careful.
  2. Check. Remove the dipstick, and wipe it off with a cloth. Reinsert the dipstick into its holder, pushing it in all the way. Remove the dipstick again and take a look at it. You should be able to see a marking on it that says "hot." This is the max amount of oil you should have in your vehicle when it is running. If you cannot see it, then chances are you have too much oil in your car. While it won't necessarily cause any major damage to your engine to overfill, you are more likely to have oil leaks. If you see both a hot and a cold marking, then you need to add oil.
  3. Fill. Locate and remove the oil cap (should be roughly three inches in diameter and at the top of the vehicle's engine). Using your funnel, pour as much oil into the engine as necessary to raise the level.
  4. Check. Don't be afraid to check the level a few times as you are adding more oil. Doing this helps to ensure that you have reached the proper amount of oil as specified by the manufacturer. Repeat steps 1—4 as needed.
  5. Clean. Clean off the funnel with a cloth along with any spills. Properly dispose of any empty oil bottles, and cloths.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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