How to Check Car Oil

Mechanic checking car oil level

Without properly maintained oil, short-term and long-term engine problems are inevitable. Keep your vehicle on Mesa roads as long as possible by checking your oil often and changing it if necessary. Thanks to our experts at Cactus Jack's Auto, we’ve put together a simple guide below covering how to check car oil yourself.

When and Why Should You Check Your Car’s Oil Level?

First, let’s learn why your car’s oil is so important to its performance on any Surprise street. Your car’s oil keeps your engine block lubricated, which prevents unnecessary wear and heat under the hood, which could end up costing you big time. Keep your vehicle at its best with more car maintenance tips from our team.

Oil often gets overlooked as an essential part of driving; admittedly, it can be a little messy, and no one loves hanging out under the hood on a scorching day or during a deep freeze. However, learning the basics can ensure your car has everything it needs to work and play as hard as you do. Generally, oil checks should be performed once a month, and an oil change is recommended twice every year, depending on your driving conditions and habits.

How to Check Oil Level in Car: Four Easy Steps

Depending on your vehicle, it may have an electronic monitor for your motor oil, so this guide won’t apply. You should consult your owner’s manual if this is the case. If you are checking your oil manually, however, all you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Park your vehicle on level ground and make sure the engine is off and cold.
  2. Open the vehicle’s hood and find the dipstick. Your owner’s manual should have diagrams to tell you where to find this if you are uncertain.
  3. Pull the dipstick out of the engine and wipe any oil from the end of it. Look at the dipstick and locate the ideal oil level as indicated.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube, then pull it out and look at both sides to see where the level is.

The oil may make the indicated dipstick difficult to read, but if you look closely, the proper levels should be clear for any make and model.The top of your oil streak looks good between two marks or within a cross-hatched area. If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to add more oil. It may also be possible that your oil is overfull, which can also cause serious problems. If this is the case, you or a professional will have to drain the excess oil.

Consult your owner’s manual for the proper oil. Some vehicles have this marked on your oil filler cap, which you’ll need to remove to fill your oil to the proper level. Add a little oil at a time until you’ve reached the right amount, according your dipstick.

Stay Updated with Cactus Jack's Auto

With a properly maintained vehicle, there’s no limit to where you can go. Here at Cactus Jack's Auto, just outside of Glendale, we want to make sure you know the best options wherever you go. Take a look at our inventory of incredible and affordable pre-owned vehicles, and stop by for a test drive with your favorites today. Then consider our Phoenix guide as you plan your next weekend with your new ride!

Cactus Jack's Auto 33.5101018, -112.1115231.