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Oil Change

How to Check Your Oil

One of the easiest tasks is checking the oil in your vehicle, but this is truly one of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your vehicle. Think of oil as the lifeblood of your engine. Oil helps keep your motor’s temperature regulated by reducing the friction that occurs when moving parts move. It lubricates the moving parts to slow down wear and tear. It also reduces heat by eliminating friction.

Checking your oil levels is a simple and easy task. Make sure your car is on hard even ground and the engine is off. To check the oil, you will need a paper towel or a rag and your vehicle's owner’s manual. The manual will tell you about the recommended specifications for checking your oil, changing your oil, and what type of oil is recommended.

Steps to Check the Oil

Open the hood of your vehicle and locate the dipstick to check your oil, which is often labeled by words or an image. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with your towel or rag. Reinsert the dipstick fully, making sure it is seated on top of its tube. Then remove the dipstick and examine the end. You will see some form of indication of proper oil levels. It may be a crosshatched area, it could have an L for Low and an H for High, the letters MIN for minimum and MAX for maximum, or it could just have two pinholes. Your oil streak on the dipstick should fall between those two marks to be within recommended parameters.

If the oil is below the lowest mark, you need to add oil. Check your manual to ensure that you have the correct type of oil. It will say 5w30, 10w30, or something along those lines. Once you have the correct oil, add about half a quart at a time and wait a few minutes, then check the level again to ensure you are not adding too much. Overfilling your oil level can be harmful to your engine, which is why you should add a small amount at a time and check the proper levels after you add the oil.

When you check your oil look at the color. It should be brown or black. If the color appears milky your coolant could be leaking into the oil, so you will want to have it checked by a service technician at Premier Nissan of Fremont. If the oil shows particles, you probably need an oil change. Your oil should be free of solid materials or debris.

Check your vehicle’s manual to see how often your oil should be changed. Typically, manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or about every 3-4 months. If it is time to change your oil, give us a call at Premier Nissan of Fremont to set up an appointment for your oil change. Call today to keep your vehicle running at peak performance levels!

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