How to Check Car Oil

changing car oil


Motor oil is essential in keeping your vehicle running smoothly on Arlington roads. That is why it is important to always have the right amount of oil in your vehicle. Knowing how to check car oil is an easy way to ensure that your vehicle never runs low on oil during your daily drives in Washington DC. Alexandria Volkswagen explains how to perform this maintenance task below.

Learn How to Check the Oil Level in a Car

If you drive a newer vehicle, your car, truck, or SUV may be equipped with an electronic oil monitor in place of a traditional dipstick. If this is not the case, you will have to check the oil manually. Here is how to do so:

  1. Make sure that the engine is turned off and cold and that the vehicle is parked on level ground.
  2. Open the hood of the car to locate the dipstick.
  3. Pull the dipstick out of the engine and wipe any oil from the end of it.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube. Take the dipstick out again and inspect both sides to see where the oil level falls.

If the oil level falls below the proper level indicated by markings on the dipstick, you will need to add more oil. Consult your owner’s manual to see what type of oil your vehicle requires. Once you have what your car needs, remove the oil filler cap and slowly add oil a little at a time until properly filled.

Why Check Your Car’s Oil Level?

Although motor oil is often overlooked, it is actually a key component of your vehicle. An oil change should be performed at least twice a year to ensure that the motor oil can perform its purpose effectively. Depending on your driving habits, you may need to perform an oil change more often. It is a good idea to check your oil level on a monthly basis to catch any oil leaks before they become a serious problem.

What Oil Level is Dangerous?

So, what oil level is dangerous to your vehicle? While automakers and owner’s manuals typically say it is ok to wait to fill the oil until after it falls below the “add oil” mark, it may not be best to do so. If this is the case, your vehicle could be running with a quarter of the oil it needs. It is best not to wait until your vehicle needs a quart of oil or more. When your vehicle does not have enough oil, there is less oil available to cool down your vehicle and prevent overheating as well as less oil to remove dangerous contaminants. Running your vehicle with too little oil can also cause the oil you do have to degrade faster.

Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Road at Alexandria Volkswagen

When your vehicle is in need of routine maintenance, you can trust the experts at Alexandria Volkswagen. Our team knows the Volkswagen brand inside and out, so you can feel confident that your vehicle is in excellent hands. Contact us today for more information, or set up an appointment online.

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