Adding oil and determining the grade?

So where do you add the oil?  Is it through the dipstick hole?  In 99% of cases I would say “no” unless you drive a certain year of Cavalier.  In that case where you check and add the oil are one in the same.

When you are looking for the place to add the oil there will usually be a cap on top of the engine with an oil symbol.  Once you find the cap, I always say “righty tighty, lefty loosey”.  Just take the cap off and add oil, but how much do you add?  If the dipstick is down one dot, that usually means 1 litre but if you aren’t sure add just a bit of oil, wait a few minutes and check the dipstick to see where it came up to.  Over-filling can be just as harmful to your engine as not having enough oil it.  When it is overfull the engine has to work harder and this causes wear and tear within the engine. If you overfill it you should take it into your repair facility and have some drained out.

To determine what grade of oil your engine takes you can usually find the information in a couple of places.  In a lot of vehicles the grade is written right on the oil cap and if all else fails it will be listed in the specifications section of your owners manual.  Always put what grade of oil your engine requires as this is what the engineers have determined is the best for your engine and emissions.  What do the numbers mean?  5 W 20……… When you see two numbers it means it is a multi weight oil.  The lower number means how fluid it is a cold temperatures and the second number is how it flows at high temperatures. W means it is good for winter.



I often get asked about winter oil and summer oil.  Although this did exist once upon a time it doesn’t exist anymore unless you are driving a very old vehicle.  This is where your relationship with your technician is very important.  They can help you decide which would be the best oil for your engine.

I was at a gas station and this guy who was driving an Audi A4 was looking to buy a litre of oil to add to the engine. I saw him holding up a bottle of 15W40 which I know if for diesel engines. So I went up and asked him if he needed help figuring out what grade of oil he needed for his car and he looked at me like I had two heads. So I decided to leave him to his own devices.





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