How to Check Car Oil

Checking oil level on dipstick

Oil protects your engine by lubricating its various components, decreasing friction and heat, and preventing contaminants from getting into the system. Regular oil changes are an integral part of any good auto care routine, but before you change your oil, you should know how to check its levels. In this tutorial, the Susanville Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM service team teaches you how to check car oil so you can keep your vehicle in peak condition on the streets of Janesville, Chester, and beyond!



How to Check the Oil Level in Your Car: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you own a newer car, truck, or SUV, it may have an electronic oil monitor that automatically alerts you when oil levels are low. If you’re unsure whether your vehicle has an electronic oil monitor, consult your owner’s manual.

For all other vehicles, here’s how to check car oil manually:

  1. Park on a flat, even surface, turn the engine off, and allow it to cool completely. Checking oil with a cool engine allows time for all the oil to settle into the oil pan, giving you a more accurate reading, and it minimizes the risk of burns, too.
  2. Open the hood and locate the dipstick.
  3. Pull the dipstick out of its holder and wipe all oil from the tip using a clean rag or paper towel.
  4. Put the dipstick all the way back into the holder, then pull it out again. Check both sides to get a reading of your current oil level. With most dipsticks, if the top of the oil sample is between two markings or inside a cross-hatched area, your oil level is sufficient. If it’s below either of these spots, schedule an oil change.

Benefits of Checking Your Oil

In general, oil should be checked at least once a month and changed twice a year. Maintaining this schedule ensures that your engine continues running optimally on all your Standish drives and that no oil leaks are present. Staying on top of regular oil changes also helps your engine run more efficiently, which can result in better gas mileage, fewer refueling stops, and financial savings.

How to Reset Your Oil Change Light

If your oil change light has prompted you to check your oil, you can reset it yourself. After the oil has been checked and changed, do the following:

  • Leaving the engine running, turn off all other vehicle systems.
  • Locate the reset button on the dash, usually situated close to the fuel gauge and speedometer.
  • Depress the reset button until the oil change light starts flashing.
  • Shut your vehicle off and wait a few seconds. Then, turn the engine back on, and the oil change light should be off. If you run into any issues, feel free to contact our service department.

Schedule Your Next Oil Change at Susanville Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM

Now that you know how to check car oil, you can keep up to date on oil changes and extend the life, drivability, and efficiency of your vehicle. Susanville Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM is here to take care of oil changes and any other maintenance or repair needs that might arise. Schedule your next appointment online, and don’t forget to browse our service specials to save on your visit.


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