How to Check Car Oil

oil pouring out bottle

One of the vehicle maintenance tips Chardon and Middlefield drivers should always remember is how to check oil levels in cars. Understanding the kind of oil your Kia uses and the condition it needs to be in will help you better understand how to assess your vehicle and keep it running in its best condition. Learn more about the Kia oil levels, colors, and consistencies, and discover what they can mean for your vehicle with Preston Kia.

How to Check Oil Levels in Cars

Drivers who own newer models can refer to their owner’s manual and see if the vehicle has electronic oil monitors and indicators to display oil change levels, while many older models will still use dipsticks. Traditional dipsticks are a quick and effective way to assess your oil, and it can be done at home with these simple steps:

  • Make sure the vehicle is parked on level ground and that the engine is turned off and cold.
  • Open the vehicle’s hood and find the dipstick.
  • Pull the dipstick out of the engine and wipe any oil from the end of it.
  • Re-insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube, then pull it out and look at both sides to see where the level is.
  • Check to see if the indicator is between two marks or within a cross-hatched area. This indicates that the level is good. It not, though, then you’ll need to add more oil.
  • Buy the grade of oil that’s recommended in the owner’s manual, remove the oil cap, and then add a little bit of oil at a time until the dipstick indicates you’ve reached the proper level.

wiping oil dip stick on paper towel

Oil Colors and Consistency

In addition to the dipstick, drivers can also know if their vehicle’s oil needs changing by checking the color of their oil. If they are driving with a conventional engine, then the oil will display a red-amber color and that will continue to get dark with use indicating it needs to be changed. You may also be using synthetic oil blends, which will appear darker and thicker before you ever drive with it, so just be cautious of the color and your use of the vehicle. Your oil can also appear in a lighter color and have a frothy or milky consistency, which could mean that coolant seeped through due to a larger problem with your cooling system.

Get Your Next Oil Change at Preston Kia

Now that you know how to check your vehicle’s oil, you’ll know when it’s right to bring it into the Preston Kia service department. Along with quality Kia service, take advantage of our Kia service coupons to save on the maintenance you need most. You can even learn more about at-home vehicle maintenance with features on how to change a car tire, how to clean leather seats, how long brake pads last, and how to make your tires last longer. Contact us today to schedule your appointment near Mentor and Painesville!


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