How to Check My Oil

When is it time for engine oil?

The oil in your vehicles engine is like the blood in your body - vitally important to keeping your vehicle running down the road smoothly. The oil is specifically formulated to minimize wear, helps keep the engine cool, and cleans and lubricates the internal components of your motor. Checking your oil is easy and should be regularly performed maintenance.

Step 1 – The Right Conditions to Check Your Oil

Start with the car on level ground so that you can make sure you get an accurate reading. You will want a cool or warm engine depending on your manufacturer’s recommendations, so if your vehicle is fully warmed up, park it and let it stand until it has cooled down. Check your owner's manual for your OEM recommendation.

Step 2 – Accurately Checking Your Engine Oil

Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the "dipstick". Usually the end of the stick will be topped with a brightly colored pull handle. Remove the dipstick fully, and wipe all oil off of it. Then re-insert the dipstick fully into the engine, and remove it again.

Step 3 – Check Oil

Visually inspect the level on the dipstick. Your dipstick will either have two holes, two notches, or an engraved mesh area. If the oil level is between the two points, your oil level is sufficient. If it is above the higher mark, you have too much oil in your vehicle and will need to remove some. If the reading is below the lower marking, you are low on oil and will need to add more.

Remember that you before you change your cars oil, you should check your owner's manual or local dealer on the proper grade of oil to put into your engine. Over filling your engine with oil can cause harm to other components on your vehicle such as the catalytic converters, so it’s important you add oil slowly and do not overfill your engine.

If you have questions or feel uncomfortable checking, removing, or adding oil yourself, please give Safford of Warrenton’s service department a call at (866) 258-8769 or schedule your oil service online at our service center in Warrenton, Virginia! Our quick and efficient technicians will have you in and out in no time.