How to Check Oil in a Car

Auto Mechanic Checking Oil

You know you should be checking the oil in your car, but no one has ever shown you how. How do you read the dipstick? Do you check the oil hot or cold? If you don’t know how to check oil in a car, don’t worry. Our service department wants to help you keep your car running in top shape on the Texarkana roads, which is why we’ve put together the helpful guide below.

How to Check Oil in a Car in 6 Steps

Checking your car’s oil is easy, and lots of Ruston drivers have learned how to do it. Of course, if you need any help at all, feel free to schedule a service appointment with us. Here’s how to check the oil level in a car:

How to Check Oil in a Car

  1. Make sure the car is off and the engine has had enough time to cool down.
  2. Open the hood, and locate the dipstick.
  3. Pull out the dipstick, and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
  4. Stick the dipstick back in all the way.
  5. Pull out the dipstick again, and examine the tip.
  6. The oil should reach from the end of the tip of the dipstick to the top of the crosshatched area. If the oil does not reach the crosshatched area, add a quart of oil.

Do You Check Oil Hot or Cold?

Is it safe to check the oil when your engine is hot? Do you check oil hot or cold? You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most manufacturers used to recommend allowing the engine to cool down before checking. This is because oil expands when it is hot and needs time to settle into the oil pan. But, many newer dipsticks have been calibrated to accurately read oil level even when the oil is hot. 

In addition, even when it is recommended that the oil be checked when the engine has cooled, some manufacturers recommend warming the engine up first and then letting it cool.

Let Landers Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM of Bossier City Help

Our knowledgeable service staff would be happy to help you with any of your service needs, including oil changes, and if you found this guide to be helpful, check out our posts on how often you should change your oil and how long an oil change should take. Remember, we’re just a short trip away from Monroe, so drop by or give us a call!

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