What You Need to Know About Your Engine Oil
Do you remember driving your first car home from college or your first job to visit your family, beaming and proud of yourself for finally making it as an adult? You may have even had the type of parents who would give your car the full service; oil, coolant, and brake fluid checked, vacuumed seats and washed windows. But soon, the day came when this was solely your responsibility. While checking the oil seems like an obvious adult skill, have you ever felt confused as to how to do it properly? What mark should it be up to? Why do people use paper towels when they do this? Should it be between the marks, or above? What color should the oil be? Why do I need to care?
At Christian Brothers Round Rock, we want you to feel confident in how to care for your car on a daily basis. We want to ensure you’re educated and equipped for proper car maintenance so that you can enjoy a full and long vehicle life free of unnecessary stress. Let’s talk about the role of motor oil, why it’s vital to keep an eye on it between services and how you can do this yourself.
The Role of Oil
The engine in your vehicle is complex with many parts that need lubrication to achieve their purpose of moving you from point A to point B reliably. Oil plays a starring role as it acts as a lubricant for your engine ensuring these parts do not get too hot from constant friction and begin to wear down. Likewise, when clean, your oil acts as a filter removing grime and keeping the engine clean and healthy. This means it absorbs the grime rather than the engine, which is why it needs to be regularly changed and maintained.
Importance of Maintaining Oil Levels and Purity
If you allow your oil to remain in your engine too long, it will begin to deteriorate, which will cause your engine severe damage. This damage occurs because it is left to do its job without its lifeblood, causing parts of the engine to rub together and combust, or causing the oil to turn to dirty sludge which will corrode your engine. This can leave you with major mechanical and financial issues that are avoidable if you stick to regularly checking and maintaining your oil level and purity.
How to Check Your Oil
The first thing to consider when checking your oil is how long it’s been between changes. Your car should have an internal monitor that will alert you when this needs to happen. If you have an older vehicle, keeping tabs on your maintenance history will work as well.
To check your oil, turn your vehicle off and open and secure the hood. You will notice a handle close by the engine with an oil symbol on top. It’s always a good idea to consult your vehicle handbook as what your oil gauge looks like will vary according to the make and model of your vehicle.
Once you’ve located the gauge, remove it slowly and steadily. With a paper towel or tissue, wipe along the entire rod to clean it off, then reinsert it and remove carefully for a correct reading. Typically, your oil level will be indicated between the two notches as sufficient and above or below if you have too much or too little oil.
If you’re at all unsure, come see one of our ASE-certified mechanics for a courtesy inspection as this could be a game changer for both you and your car. We’d love to help you understand these processes better and work together towards the longevity and health of your vehicle.
“I had such quick and friendly service when I dropped here on a whim for an inspection and an oil change. I was in and out in an hour without an appointment. I will be returning! Thanks again!” - Natalie
At Christian Brothers Automotive, we want to make car knowledge and care accessible to you so you can feel confident in the choices you’re making for your vehicle. You can swing by our shop Monday-Friday or simply click the button below to schedule an appointment time that’s most convenient for you. We look forward to seeing you!