Typically, because your vehicle is such a complicated piece of machinery, it’s best to leave repairs and maintenance to the certified service technicians at Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park. It’s not worth it to cause damage to your vehicle because you tried to fix it yourself. There are several pieces of regular car maintenance, however, that you should be able to perform on your own as they are not too hard to accomplish. One such thing is checking your oil. This is a very basic task, so you can rest assured that you won’t mess something up in your vehicle when checking the oil. Just maybe don’t go trying to change your oil on your own.
First, check the owner’s manual and follow the automaker’s recommendations. Some newer cars have electronic oil monitors and don’t have traditional dipsticks for manual inspection, so it’s important to be aware of that. None of our instructions would make any sense to you.
When checking your oil park your car on level ground and make sure that the engine is cold, so you don’t burn yourself on a hot engine. (With some cars, the automaker recommends that the oil be checked after the engine has been warmed up.) With the engine off, open the car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe any oil off from its end. Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in.
Take the dipstick out again, this time checking both sides of the dipstick to see where the oil is on the end. Every dipstick has some way of indicating the proper oil level, whether it be two pinholes, the letters L and H (low and high), the words MIN and MAX, or 2 simple lines indented or marked on the stick, you’ll know where it’s supposed to be. If the top of the oil “streak” is between the two marks or within the crosshatched area, the level is fine.
But if the oil is below the minimum mark, you need to add oil. In addition to checking the oil level, check the oil’s color. It should appear brown or black. But if it has a light, milky appearance, this could mean coolant is leaking into the engine. Look closely for any metal particles as this could mean there is internal engine damage. If you see either of these conditions, get the car to Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park for further diagnosis. If you suspect a coolant leak, have the car towed.
If everything’s okay, wipe off the dipstick again and insert it back into its tube, making sure it’s fully seated. Close the hood and you’re done. Once you’ve checked your oil, if you notice that you need more oil, or even an oil change, stop by Zappone Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Clifton Park and we’ll have you back on the road in no time!