Aug 14, 2008
How to check your oil
Checking your oil is fairly simple procedure. Expert generally agree that it's best to drive a car first before checking it.
To take a little spin to find a cool, shady spot to pop the hood.
Let the car sit at least five minutes before checking, to give the oil time to settle into pump or survivor , at the bottom of the engine.
With the hood open and securely propped, locate the dipstick. It's 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 has marks on the dipstick. If its 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, then let it sit for another five minutes before rechecking. If it still below the lower hash mark, you need to add another quart, but be careful not to overfill it, as this can lead to other problem.
How often should oil be changed?
If you change your oil and filter every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three months whichever comes first, check it's level regularly, chances are you'll never experience an oil related problem. For drivers using synthetic oil, intervals as long as 5,000 miles or six months between changes are considered acceptable.
Some service centers will tell you that extreme driving conditions such as stop and go traffic or extremely cold weather, require more frequent changes.
The truth is that every three months or 3,000 miles is pretty extreme. If you aren't driving in stop and go traffic, through minus 20 degree blizzards or up mountain passes with a 5,000 pound trailer, you could probably go longer between changes, and there's certainly almost no condition that would warrant even more frequent changes.
What about synthetic oil?
Synthetic motor oil is manufactured so chemicals that can lead to oil oxidation and sludge buildup, which maybe represent in conventional oil, are not present. They will not break down at high temperatures, unlike petroleum based oils, and are not so affected by cold weather, which thickens regular oil and can add more wear and tear to an engine at start-up.
Synthetic oil cost three to four times as much as conventional oil and is most recommended for vehicles driven extreme conditions and some high-performance vehicles.
Posted by Jane at Thursday, August 14, 2008 |