Engine oil in a vehicle functions to lubricate the piston ring around the cylinder and all internal components of an engine. It reduces friction between the piston and cylinder walls when engine is operational thus preventing engine seizure. The secret in prolonging your engine life is never to skim on quality engine oil. Always ensure there is sufficient clean oil in your engine by constantly checking the level on the dip stick. After a few regular checks, you definitely can estimate the top up frequency of your ride.
Make it a habit to check the oil when refilling at petrol pumps or before long road trips. This is to avoid breakdowns during the trip. It would definitely cost a bomb if your engine blows up due to overheating.
Ensure that your car reaches its optimum operating temperature by turning on the engine and letting it idle for 15 min and then letting it cool for a good few minutes. This will give most precise reading. Wear Leather gloves when putting your hands near other engine component as it might scald you.
Locate the dip stick. The dip stick handle is always in bright color and labeled OIL making it easy to locate. Pull the stick all the way out and then proceed to clean the oil using a rag or newspaper until all traces of oil is removed. When totally cleaned, place the dip stick back to its original position then pull it all the way out again. Now, look at the end of the dip stick. You will notice two markings there namely MIN and MAX. Your oil level should be between these two markings. If it is below the MIN mark, it means your engine is going dry. You must top up immediately. If it is above the MAX mark, drain excess oil by removing the oil sump nut. Excess oil causes stress on internal engine components.
To top up oil, remove the engine oil cap located on your valve cover. Place a funnel and fill the oil through the funnel. Repeat the engine oil check procedure until the level is between the MAX and MIN mark. Once satisfied, remove the funnel and screw the engine cap on and start your engine to allow oil circulation to all internal engine components.
This simple DIY on how to check your car’s oil level saves you on expensive engine overhaul and repairs.