, CA
Premier Nissan of Fremont

How to Check Your Oil

Your car’s engine oil is important to its function. Maintaining accurate levels is critical to proper function and long life. Checking your car’s oil regularly should be part of a routine.

Oil lubricates the moving parts of your engine. It ensures that the parts run smoothly by reducing friction, which can lead to replacing worn parts if not properly maintained. The oil also keeps your engine clean by reducing dirt buildup. By reducing friction which can allow your engine to run hotter, it helps regulate engine temperature.

Checking your oil is quick and easy, and it is recommended that you check oil often. All you need is a rag or paper towel and your car’s owner manual if you have questions. First, check the manual and see what the manufacturer’s recommendation is for checking oil and how frequently. Some more recent designs have oil monitors and do not have a dipstick to check oil levels, but if yours does be sure that you are on a hard level surface when checking.

Steps to Check the Oil

Make sure your engine is off, raise your hood, and locate the dipstick. Remove the dipstick and wipe off excess oil. Then reinsert the dipstick, pushing it into its tube. Now pull it back out and look at both sides of the dipstick. Examine the end of the dipstick. The four most common indicators of oil levels are a crosshatched area, two pinholes, the words min, and max, or the letters L for low and H for high.

If the top of the oil streak on the dipstick is between the marks or in the crosshatched area your oil level is fine, but if the level is below the marks you will need to add oil. To do this, remove the oil cap and slowly add oil a little at a time.

Use the oil type that the manual recommends. It will say 10w30 or another combination of numbers. Add the oil about half a quart at a time so you do not overfill as this is bad for the engine too. Wait a few minutes after adding oil and recheck the level. You will want the oil level to be at the high end of the indicator marks on the dipstick, so you do not add too much. Once it falls within recommended levels you are done. Close the cap, tighten and close the hood.

When you check your oil, be sure you look at the color of the oil. It should be brown or black and be free of particles. If it looks milky it could mean coolant is leaking into the oil, or if it shows dirt or particles, it could be time for an oil change.

Call Premier Nissan and set up an appointment for an oil change and auto maintenance. It is recommended to change your engine oil every 3,000 - 5,000 miles to keep it in peak operating order. Check your owner’s manual to get specific recommendations for oil changes per manufacturer recommendations. A lot is riding on your vehicle, so be sure you are taking care of it. Give us a call at Premier Nissan to get your car in top running condition today!