Checking Oil

How to Check Car Oil

It may only take a few minutes to check oil levels in your new or pre-owned Honda vehicle, but doing so regularly is definitely worth your time. Motor oil is responsible for keeping engine parts well-lubricated — preventing a buildup of friction that could result in overheating. If oil levels are down or the oil is dirty, the heat from friction can damage parts in your car’s engine. You can avoid many engine issues by simply checking your car’s oil on a regular basis. Even better, you don’t need to know anything about auto maintenance! The Honda North put together the following step-by-step guide for how to check car oil at home.

Learn How to Check Car Oil

Even if you’re inexperienced with auto repair, you can easily learn how to check oil level in a car. It’s really as simple as popping open the hood, finding the oil reservoir, and checking the oil level! Follow the steps below, or refer to your owner’s manual for how to check car oil in your specific Honda model:

  1. Make sure your car is parked on level ground, and turn off the engine.
  2. Wait about 30 minutes until the engine has cooled down.
  3. Pop the hood and locate the oil reservoir. In most vehicles, it’s located near the front of the engine. You should see a pull tab on the reservoir tank.
  4. Pull the tab to access the oil dipstick, a long thin metal rod that’s attached to the tab.
  5. Pull out the dipstick all the way out of the reservoir.
  6. Wipe off the oil with a clean rag.
  7. Re-insert the clean dipstick into the reservoir, taking care to push the tab all the way in.
  8. Draw the dipstick steadily all the way out again.
  9. Carefully inspect the oil mark on either side of the dipstick.
  10. Your Honda vehicle’s dipstick is marked so that you know whether your oil levels are adequate. You’ll either see a half-inch cross-hatched area or two marks about a half-inch apart.
  11. The oil level should be in the cross-hatched area or between the two marks.
  12. If the oil is low, remove the oil tank cap and gradually add new oil, rechecking with the dipstick after each addition.

Why Check Your Car’s Oil Level?

Checking your car’s oil is the single best thing you can do at home to keep tabs on your car’s overall condition. Oil can provide you with valuable information about when your car is in need of more significant repairs or routine maintenance. For example, low oil levels can alert you to problems like worn-out oil seals, an oil reservoir leak, or degraded engine gaskets. A leaky engine gasket can cause problems ranging from coolant loss to engine block damage.

Inspecting Your Car Oil Level

If engine oil appears contaminated with particles or appears very dark compared to fresh oil, your Honda is due for an oil change. Dirty oil can’t function properly as a lubricant, and can even clog your engine with something we call “engine sludge” — a sludgy mix of dirt, soot, water vapor, oxidized motor oil, and leaking coolant.

Rely on Honda North for Essential Honda Auto Services

Now that you know how to check the oil level in a car, give it a try at home in Lawrence, and while you are at it, check your antifreeze as well. If you’re still unsure how to check oil levels in a car, don’t hesitate to contact us for more DIY car-care tips. From tire rotation to changing spark plugs and checking brake fluid, we have Lynn and Burlington-area drivers covered. Our expert technicians at our service center are also happy to help you out over the phone. When your Honda Accord is due for routine maintenance, we can help you stay on top of the crucial services that keep your car running smoothly. See how long it takes to get your next oil change at our dealership so you can get back on the road in no time.

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