Yellow dipstick in a car engine

How to Check the Oil Level in Your Car

What to Do to Check the Level and Color of Oil in a Vehicle

If you drive a vehicle, you’re probably often told to keep an eye on your oil. Now, what does this mean? Basically, you should pay attention to the oil level as well as the color. Now, if you haven’t checked your oil before, you likely won’t know where to look. Here, learn how to check the oil level in your car at Broadway Credit.

Steps to Check Oil in a Car

Ready to see how your vehicle is doing in regard to its oil? Below are the steps to check oil in a car.

  1. Park your vehicle on a level surface and wait for the engine to cool.
  2. Once cooled, pop the hood and locate the dipstick. The dipstick handle will likely be bright yellow or orange in color.
  3. Pull out the dipstick and wipe the end with a paper towel to clean it.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick fully. Pull it out once more and note the oil level. Your oil should never be above the highest dot or below the lowest dot.
  5. Note the color of the oil. Fresh oil is amber in color. The more debris that the oil collects, the darker it will get.
  6. Wipe the dipstick again and reinsert it. Close the hood when you are done.
Person checking their oil level

It’s a good idea to check your oil frequently. This way, you will be able to see if your oil levels are quickly dropping due to a leak or if your oil is too dirty to function properly. This should be done even if your vehicle is not yet due for an oil change, especially if you suspect a leak.

[ READ MORE: Why is My Car Leaking Oil? ]

Wondering how often you should get your oil changed? While the general rule for conventional oil is every three months or 3,000 miles, your vehicle could likely go a bit longer if it is a newer model. For synthetic, you can expect to get an oil change every six months or 5,000-7,500 miles. If you’re unsure if your car needs an oil change, speak with your local mechanic or consult your owner’s manual.

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