How to check your oil - step by step

Do you know how many people tell me they’ve never even opened the hood on their vehicles……..  This really isn’t a difficult process :)

If you are going to check your oil, which I highly recommend here are the steps.  First the vehicle needs to be shut off and sitting for at least 10 minutes and it should be parked on a level surface for obvious reasons.

Next you have to find the hood release.  It most vehicles it is located to the left of the steering wheel down by the foot well and you pull it until you hear a pop or click.  This means the hood has been released.

Go to the front of the vehicle and this is where it can get tricky because there all kinds of different release mechanisms depending on the vehicle you drive.  You might need to try and peak in there or use a flash light to find it.  Mostly I see people doing it blindly feeling away.  Either way, once you find the release open the hood and if it doesn’t have  a shock to hold it up look for a hood prop which will either be on the ledge in front of the engine or attached to the hood itself and look for a hole that says “prop”.

Now you have to find the dipstick!  I asked this once at a car care clinic and a lady said she had left him at home  All kidding aside though, the dip stick will either be yellow, orange or black and it could be have a t-handle or be circular.  It may also have an oil symbol on it or say engine oil.

You will need a rag and you pull the dipstick out and wipe it off.  Re-insert the dipstick and pull it out.  Once you pull it out keep it level so that you get an accurate reading.  Remember what you are looking for to see where it comes on the dipstick and the colour.  If it doesn’t reach the “max” line or the “top dot” you should be adding oil.  Remember oil is the life blood of your engine and it needs taking care of.




I heard of a person who kept asking his buddy what the 710 meant that was under his hood.  His friend who works in the automotive industry had no clue what the guy was talking about so asked him to show what he meant under the hood.  And the friend pointed to the dipstick where it said OIL but it was turned upside down and it said 710 :)


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