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Oil Change

How to Check Your Oil

Oil is one of the most important components of your vehicle’s engine. It lubricates the moving parts to ensure proper operation. It also helps cool your engine because the lubrication reduces friction to your motor’s moving parts. Oil also helps keep your engine clean by reducing the buildup of dirt and other materials.

It is important to check your oil to ensure that it is still at proper levels and in proper condition. Some experts recommend that you check your oil every other fuel refill. Some newer vehicles monitor the oil levels electronically while others require a manual check.

Oil must be maintained within parameters to keep your vehicle running like the well-oiled machine it should be. Your vehicle’s oil level must meet proper manufacturer guidelines for peak performance. Specific information about your vehicle and its maintenance will be found in the manual. You want to be sure that your oil level is within manufacturer recommendations and that you are changing your oil regularly. Most manufacturers recommend changing your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This information is also found in your manual.

Steps to Check the Oil

Checking your oil is a quick and easy procedure to ensure that your vehicle’s engine is operating efficiently and at top performance to extend the life of your engine, its moving parts, and your car in general. To check your oil, you will need your owner’s manual and a rag or paper towel. Be sure your vehicle is on hard level ground and turn off your engine. Now you will need to pop the hood and find where the oil dipstick is. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with your paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick into its tube and make sure it is fully seated on top of the tube. Next, remove it and look at the end of the dipstick, and check the color of the oil first. It should be brown or black and free of debris or particles. If the oil appears milky, it could mean that something is leaking into your oil reservoir or oil line.

To check the oil level, the oil streak should fall between the level marks. Typical level markings can be an L for Low or an H for High, the letters MIN for minimum, or MAX for maximum. It can also be two pinholes or an area of crosshatching. The oil level should be within these markings. If it is below them then you need to add oil. Check your manual to see what kind of oil the manufacturers recommend. It will say something like 10W30. When you get your oil, you will want to slowly add about half a quart at a time, wait a few minutes, and check the levels again to ensure that you do not overfill the oil as that can damage your engine. Once your oil is full, replace the cap and tighten it. Close your hood and you’re done.

If you discover you need an oil change, give us a call at Premier Nissan of San Jose to set up an appointment for our full-service oil change. You depend on your vehicle, so be sure that it is operating at peak performance. Call and set up your appointment today!