Oil—One of Your Engine’s Essential Fluids
In an increasing number of new vehicles on the market, the oil level is indicated directly on the dashboard. But that doesn’t mean you should stop using the trusted method of looking under the hood to check your oil and top it up when necessary.
You’re likely to find all the information you need to check your oil in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. Please refer to it as needed.
Checking your oil in three simple steps
1. First, let the engine cool down to avoid burns. While the engine cools, the oil will also have time to drip down in the oil pan. This will give you a more accurate reading of how much oil is in the engine.
2. Find the oil dipstick, pull it out, and wipe it clean on a rag. Next, insert the dipstick back into the oil tank and pull it out again. Note the level reading: it should be just below the “max” line.
3. Take a moment to look at the state of the oil. If it’s clean and clear, you’re good to go! If it looks black or dirty, it’s probably due for a change.
Choosing the type of engine oil
There are all kinds of oils for all kinds of engines on the market. It’s important to choose the right oil for your vehicle and driving style. Note that each manufacturer recommends a particular type of oil. This information can be found in the owner’s manual.
Conventional oil: This kind of engine oil is not new on the market, and while it’s definitely cheaper and effective, it doesn’t last as long as synthetic oil. But if you’re on a budget and an average driver, this lubricant will do the trick.
Synthetic oil: Despite being more expensive, this oil has countless advantages. It works well in most weather and lasts longer than conventional oil (between 15,000 and 20,000 km).
Every engine oil has a code that corresponds to its viscosity. Take the code 5W-30, for example: 5W (W for Winter) indicates the substance’s viscosity at colder temperatures. The smaller the number, the more easily the oil will flow when the temperature drops below zero. The second number, 30, is the viscosity rating at higher temperatures.
Keep in mind that your vehicle’s engine will stay in good condition and last longer if it’s well lubricated. Don’t neglect the oil and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to how often your oil should be changed.