Engine oil lubricates your engine and reduces friction to keep temperatures low. If your oil is low, dirty, or has been in your engine too long, it can lose its effectiveness. If you drive with very low oil levels, it could also result in potentially costly engine problems.
Fortunately, checking your engine oil is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If your engine looks excessively dirty, is milky in colour, or is low on the dipstick, then it’s likely time to have it changed.
How to Check Your Engine Oil Level
- Warm up your engine.
- Find a level parking spot. Turn off the engine, set the parking brake, and wait for a couple of minutes for the oil to drain into the drain pan.
- Open the hood and find the dipstick. If you have trouble, located in your owner’s manual should be an engine diagram for you to refer to. The dipstick handle will likely be bright orange or yellow, and labelled “engine oil.”
- Using a clean rag, wipe off the entire dipstick and fully re-insert it as far as possible.
- Remove it and check the oil level. The level should be somewhere between the “low” and “full” marks on the dipstick.
Check the Oil Condition
When you’re checking the oil level, you should also check the condition of your oil. If the oil is extremely dark then it may be time for it to be changed. If the oil appears milky or looks like coffee, then engine oil may have mixed with the oil, signalling an internal leak that will need attention. In either case, you should book a service appointment for your vehicle at Mississauga Kia and get your oil changed right away.
If your oil looks clean, or only slightly brown, then you can top it up with the correct viscosity if required. However, make sure when you top it up that you are using the recommended type of oil for your vehicle; you can find this in your owner’s manual or by asking one of our Kia technicians.
How to Top up the Engine Oil
Add a small amount of oil into the oil filler neck. Wait for a minute to let the oil flow into the oil pan. Check the oil level again with the dipstick. If it is still low, add some more but don’t overfill it. Remember to re-insert the dipstick and close the oil filler cap when you are finished.
Book an oil change at Mississauga Kia if you have any doubts as to whether your vehicle is fit to drive on the road. You can also contact our service department directly.