Monthly oil checks are an important part of your vehicle’s maintenance that will keep your engine running right and help you avoid costly engine problems down the road. Fortunately, oil checks are simple to do and don’t require a lot of time. Let’s first look at the essential role oil plays and then review the easy steps involved in performing an oil check.

Your vehicle depends on oil to maintain a smooth running engine. Engine components are subjected to an extreme amount of friction. The oil is necessary for the prevention of engine part wear that can result from the friction. Over time high operating temperatures cause a thermal breakdown to occur within the oil, making it less effective as a lubricant. Similarly, acid neutralizing additives in oil also degrade and the oil becomes laden with dust, water, and combustion residues, causing engine corrosion.

Periodic oil checks are needed to confirm that your engine has the amount of oil it needs and that the oil is good condition so it can do its job effectively. Simple monthly oil checks will keep your engine running safely and help you avoid costly engine problems down the road.

Checking your oil is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Park your vehicle on a level spot and that the engine is cool
  2. Open the hood and locate the dipstick – usually located next to the engine
  3. Take out the dipstick and wipe it with a clean, dust-free cloth
  4. Reinsert the clean dipstick
  5. Remove it and look closely at the oil on it
  6. If the oil does not reach the second or “full” indication line, you need to add oil
  7. Check the oil’s condition – if it is dirty, you need an oil change
  8. When you are done, put the dipstick back in place

When you need to add oil, be sure it is good quality oil that is formulated for use in your car. Your local Raben Tire auto service professional will be glad to help you find the best oil for your engine.

In addition to regular oil checks, it is essential to the health of your engine that you keep up with the recommended schedule for oil changes as detailed in your owner’s manual.