One of the things that you need to take care of regularly with a vehicle is oil changes. Oil changes are a routine part of owning a non-electric vehicle. When it comes to getting the fluids changed, there are a few things you should know.
When to Change Your Oil
You had to check your owner's manual to know how often you needed to change your oil back in the day. Although that is still true, most newer vehicles have also put other systems into place that let you know when you need to change your vehicle's oil. Newer vehicles will issue a service reminder alert, which is typically based on how many miles you drive and how you handle your car, that will let you know that you should get it changed.
Most oil change places will also provide you with a sticker that lets you know at about what mileage, based on your vehicle and the type of oil you use, you should swing back through and get your vehicle serviced again.
There are multiple methods of figuring out when you need to change your oil, all of which are reliable methods to depend upon.
Check Your Own Oil
Although you can rely on sensors and recommendations when it's time to change your oil, it is also essential to know how to check it manually. Manually checking will allow you to spot if you have a leak, and it will allow you to see the color and condition of the oil, which will tell you how the engine is doing.
You will need to open the car's hood when the engine is off and locate the dipstick. Once you find the dipstick, grab a paper towel or cloth you don't mind getting dirty. You will need to pull the dipstick out and wipe away all the liquid clinging to the stick. This will allow you to get a more accurate reading. Then, put it back into the tube, pushing it all the way down. Pull it back out and look at where the oil level is on the dipstick.
Most dipsticks have two pinholes with the letters L and H, for Low and High. You want the oil to be between the two marks. If it is below the L, you need to change or top off your oil.
When you are finished, be sure to put the dipstick back into the tube completely and close the hood.
When you check the oil, pay attention to how it looks and smells. If it looks milky, you could have an engine coolant leak. If you see it has metal parts in it, that could mean that your engine is damaged somewhere inside.
It is essential to understand when you should get your vehicle's oil changed. Find a method you like in order to track oil changes and stick to it. You should also know how to check your own oil so you can ensure that you have enough quality oil in your vehicle at all times. It is a good idea to check your oil levels once a month. Keep these tips in mind when looking for an oil change service near you.