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How to Check Car Oil: At-Home Service Tips

Whether you’re commuting to work in Gastonia or running errands in Concord, your vehicle is only as reliable as the maintenance you put into it. Maintaining the proper amount of clean motor oil is essential to protecting the engine’s internal components, so you’ll want to be sure to check the oil regularly. Unsure of how to check car oil at home? As always, Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet is here to provide service tips to help! Check out our guide down below to get started.

How to Check the Oil Level in a Car: 4 Simple Steps

Some modern vehicles utilize an electronic oil life monitor rather than the standard oil dipstick. If you’re unsure which system your vehicle uses, check your owner’s manual as a starting point. If there’s an oil dipstick that needs to be checked manually, here’s how to check the car oil:

  1. Park on level ground and turn the engine fully off. Wait for the engine to cool down completely.
  2. Pop the hood and locate the oil dipstick.
  3. Remove the dipstick from its holder. Using an old rag, wipe the oil off the dipstick.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick in its holder, then pull it out once more. This time, inspect both sides of the dipstick to determine the oil level.

The oil dipstick will either have a crosshatched area or two small marks to indicate the oil level. The top of the oil streak should hit between the two marks or within the crosshatched area. If it’s lower, you’ll need to top-off by adding a little more oil at a time. Check your owner’s manual to ensure you have the proper grade of oil. Remove the oil filler cap, then use a funnel to gradually add more oil. As you add oil, check the level on the dipstick so you don’t overfill the reservoir.

How Often Should I Check the Oil Level?

You now know how to check the oil level in your car in your Rock Hill, SC garage, but how often should you be doing so? While oil changes are only required about twice per year, you should check the oil level at least once per month. Generally, the oil level shouldn’t change drastically on a month-to-month basis. If it does, checking it will alert you to a possible oil leak or other issues that, if left unchecked, can lead to costly problems in the future. Of course, if the hood of your car is hot or steaming in addition to the oil level being low, you should schedule a service appointment as soon as possible.

Get Expert Auto Maintenance at Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet

For one-on-one assistance learning how to check car oil, contact our service department to speak with an expert technician. We’ll walk you through the steps that are giving you trouble, or you can simply bring your car to us in Charlotte for quick service at an affordable price!

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