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2 Important Things To Know About Your Car's Oil

If you have a gas-powered vehicle, then your vehicle's engine requires oil to operate correctly. Engine oil needs to be changed regularly. Junk and debris get in the oil over time, and its viscosity varies as well, causing the oil not to be as effective as it once was, resulting in the need for an oil change. 

 When to Get the Oil Changed 

Getting your oil changed depends on what type of vehicle you drive and what kind of oil you use. Most oil change places will place a sticker inside your windshield with the mileage or date when you should get your oil changed next. You should always use whatever point comes up first. 

For example, if you get your oil changed in January, and you are told to come back in July or at 190,000 miles, and you hit 190,000 miles in April, don't wait until July to come back in. Go in when you hit 190,000 miles.  

Or if you get your oil changed in January, and you are told to come back in July or at 190,000 miles, and July rolls around, and you are only at 188,000 miles, you should come in and get your oil changed. Oil is good for a certain number of miles or amount of time. 

Many modern vehicles also have internal sensors that will generate an alert on your driver dashboard, letting you know when your vehicle needs an oil needs to be changed. These sensors account for the number of miles you have driven and your driving style to determine when you should change your oil.  

Know How to Check Your Vehicle's Oil 

If you own a vehicle, you should know how to check the oil on your own. Often, your vehicle needs to be topped off in-between oil changes; you will only know this if you pop open the hood and check your oil every month.  

Many cars have dipsticks. With a dipstick, when the engine is off, open the hood of your vehicle. Grab a cloth, and then pull out the engine oil dipstick. Wipe it off, so it is clean. Then, push the dipstick all the way down, and pull it back out. This time, look carefully at the markings on the dipstick and look at the oil quality. 

Most dipsticks either are marked with the letters L and H to indicate a low or high level of oil, or they are marked with MIN and MAX to indicate that the engine has either the minimum or maximum amount of oil in it.  

The oil mark on the dipstick should be somewhere between those two markings. If the oil is below the minimum marking, you will want to add a little oil to top it off between oil changes.  

Also, pay attention to what the oil looks like. If it looks milky, you could have a coolant leak. If it has particles in it, your vehicle could have internal engine damage.  

It is important to check your vehicle's oil levels regularly, as having enough quality oil is essential to the health of your engine. 

It is essential to get your oil changed when recommended by your vehicle's manual or a mechanic. It is essential to check your levels in between oil changes and top up your oil if it gets a little low. If the oil condition is milky or has flakes in it, you are going to want to get your vehicle to your mechanic for a more detailed inspection.  

Contact a local auto shop for more information about oil changes.