Everything you need
to know about oil
MOST DRIVERS KNOW that motors need oil, but for many the understanding
stops there. Here are some things you should know for a better appreciation.
How to check your oil
Checking your oil level is a fairly simple procedure. Experts generally
agree that it’s best to drive the car first before checking it. So take a little spin,
then find a cool, shady spot to pop the hood.
Let the car sit for at least five minutes before checking, to give the oil
time to settle into the sump, or reservoir, at the bottom of the engine.
With the hood open and securely propped, locate the dipstick. Its
location varies, but you can find it by looking for a brightly colored
handle—yellow, red or some other noticeable color.
Remove it and wipe it with a clean rag or towel. Reinsert
it into the hole, then slowly remove it again. Check the level.
The oil mark should fall between the two hash marks on
the dipstick. If it’s below the lower level, you need to add
oil. Before you do so, though, wipe the dipstick again and
check it a second time.
Still low? Add a quart and recheck it. (It’s best to add the
oil, then start the engine to circulate it, then let it sit for
another five minutes before rechecking.) If it’s still below
the lower hash mark, you may need to add another quart,
but be careful not to overfill it, as this can lead to other problems.
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KNOWING YOUR ENGINE
1. Antifreeze reservoir
2. Belts and hoses
3. Transmission fluid dipstick
4. Oil dipstick
5. Air filter
6. Power steering fluid
7. Windshield wiper reservoir
8. Engine oil cap
9. Distributor cap