The Proper Way to Check Your Oil at Home | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

The Proper Way to Check Your Oil at Home

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We know that it’s sometimes hard to bring your car in for an oil check, so we’re here to teach you how you can safely check your motor oil at home when you’re in a pinch. Checking your oil levels regularly is an important part of being a driver. If you’ve never checked your oil at home before, this is where to begin. 

The Importance of Motor Oil? 

Motor oil is responsible for performing three important functions so your car runs optimally. The motor oil: 

  1. Lubricates the internal-combustion engine, which generates a lot of friction.
  2. Cools down an internal combustion engine, which creates a lot of heat.
  3. Cleans engine parts, which can get dirty. 

These are three critical functions for the function of your vehicle, so it’s important to make sure that your oil stays in top condition. From how often you need to change it to the hundreds of brands out there, learning about motor oil can be daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve never tried to change your own oil at home, read on. 

How to Check Your Motor Oil

Maintaining your motor oil on a regular basis is an important task that keeps your engine running well and keeps your car on the road. Checking the oil level in your car is easy, and it’s recommended that you do it fairly often. All you need to do this is a rag or paper towel, and your car’s manual to refer to if you have instructions. To check your oil, follow these tips:

  • Make sure your car is parked on level ground and that the engine is cold, so you don’t burn yourself on a hot engine part. With the engine off, open your car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out of the engine and wipe any oil off from the end. Then, insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way in. Pull it back out and look at both sides of the dipstick to see where the oil is on the end. Your dipstick will have indication lines to show you proper oil level. If your oil is below the minimum mark, it’s time to fill it back up. 

How to Change Your Oil at Home 

The first place to begin is to refer to your owner’s manual to see what grade of oil is recommended for the make and model of your car. Then, you can purchase this type of oil by the quart at an auto-parts store. 

To add the oil to your car, remove the oil filler cap, which is typically found on top of the engine. Be careful to only add a small amount of oil at a time so you don’t overfill your engine. To avoid spills, use a funnel. Once you pour, wait a moment before checking the dipstick again. If the level is still low, add more oil. If your engine is not leaking or burning oil, you typically don’t need to add more than a quart. 

Oil Changes at Scott’s Auto

If you find changing your oil to still be intimidating, Scott’s Auto is here to help. We know that oil changes are just another chore to add to already-busy schedules, so we strive to make it as quick and easy as possible. With four convenient Colorado locations in Fort Collins, Loveland, Grand Junction, and Montrose, we’re here to help. For more information on our locations and to schedule an appointment, click here! 


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