How to Know if Your Car Needs Oil

If you own a car, you know how important it is to keep it well-maintained. One of the most critical aspects of car maintenance is ensuring that your car has enough oil. Without oil, your car’s engine could suffer from severe damage, leading to costly repairs. In this article, we’ll discuss how to know if your car needs oil and the steps you can take to keep your car running smoothly.

Oil plays a crucial role in your car’s engine. It helps lubricate the engine’s moving parts, reducing friction and preventing them from wearing down. Additionally, oil helps regulate the engine’s temperature, preventing it from overheating. Over time, oil breaks down and becomes less effective, meaning that it needs to be changed regularly.

In this article, we’ll cover the signs that your car needs oil, how to check your oil level, how often to check and change your oil, the different types of oil for your car, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to keep your car running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

Let’s dive in!

Checking Your Car’s Oil Level

Ignoring the low oil level warning light can result in costly repairs and engine failure.
Ignoring the low oil level warning light can result in costly repairs and engine failure.

Checking your car’s oil level is a straightforward process that you can do at home in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

Preparing the Car for an Oil Check

Before you start checking the oil level, make sure the engine has cooled down for at least 10 minutes. This will help ensure that the oil has settled in the oil pan and will give you an accurate reading. Park your car on level ground, and turn off the engine.

Locating the Dipstick

Open the hood of your car and find the dipstick. It is usually located near the front of the engine and has a brightly colored handle to make it easy to find. If you’re not sure where the dipstick is located, check your car’s owner’s manual.

Reading the Dipstick

Once you’ve located the dipstick, pull it out and wipe it clean with a rag. Then, reinsert the dipstick all the way back into the tube and pull it out again. Look at the end of the dipstick to see where the oil level falls. If the oil level is between the two markers, your oil level is good. If it’s below the bottom marker, you need to add oil.

Adding Oil

If your oil level is low, you’ll need to add more oil. Make sure you use the oil type recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Using the wrong type of oil can damage your engine. Open the oil filler cap, and pour in a small amount of oil at a time, checking the dipstick regularly to make sure you don’t overfill the engine.

Checking your car’s oil level regularly and topping it up as needed is an essential part of car maintenance. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your car’s engine is well-lubricated and running smoothly.

How Often to Check and Change Your Car Oil

Regularly checking and changing your car’s oil is essential for keeping your engine running smoothly. But how often should you do it? Here are some factors to consider when determining how often to check and change your car’s oil.

Manufacturer’s Recommendations

The first place to look for guidance on how often to change your oil is your car’s owner’s manual. The manufacturer of your car will provide specific recommendations on how often to change your oil based on your car’s make, model, and year. Typically, this will be based on mileage and time intervals, such as every 5,000 miles or every six months.

Factors That Affect Oil Lifespan

While the manufacturer’s recommendations are a good starting point, it’s essential to remember that there are many factors that can affect how long your oil lasts. For example, if you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or in extreme temperatures, your oil may break down faster and need to be changed more frequently. Additionally, if you frequently drive on dirt roads or in dusty conditions, your oil may become contaminated more quickly.

Signs That It’s Time for an Oil Change

Even if you’re following the manufacturer’s recommendations and taking into account the factors that can affect oil lifespan, it’s still crucial to keep an eye out for signs that your oil needs to be changed. Some common signs include:

  • Your oil is dirty or gritty
  • Your engine is making strange noises
  • You notice a burning smell coming from your engine
  • Your oil level is low
  • Your check engine light comes on

By paying attention to these signs and following the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can ensure that your car’s engine stays healthy and running smoothly.

Types of Oil for Your Car

When it comes to choosing the right oil for your car, there are a few different options to consider. Each type of oil has its own unique properties and benefits, so it’s important to understand the differences between them.

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is the most common type of oil used in cars. It’s made from crude oil and contains a blend of additives to help it perform well in a wide range of temperatures. Conventional oil is an affordable option and is suitable for most cars that don’t require synthetic or high mileage oil.

Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is a man-made oil that’s engineered to perform better than conventional oil. It’s made from a blend of chemicals and provides better performance in extreme temperatures. Synthetic oil is also more resistant to breakdown and lasts longer than conventional oil. It’s a good choice for high-performance cars and those that require it due to their manufacturer’s recommendations.

High Mileage Oil

High mileage oil is designed for cars with over 75,000 miles on the odometer. It contains special additives that help reduce oil consumption and prevent leaks in older engines. High mileage oil also helps reduce engine wear, extending the lifespan of the engine. If your car has high mileage, using high mileage oil can help keep it running smoothly.

Choosing the Right Oil for Your Car

Choosing the right oil for your car can be overwhelming, but it’s important to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations. Your owner’s manual will specify the type of oil you should use in your car. If you’re unsure or have questions, consult with a trusted mechanic or automotive professional. Remember, using the right oil can help keep your car running smoothly and prevent costly repairs down the road.


In conclusion, it’s essential to keep your car’s oil level in check to avoid serious engine damage. By paying attention to the signs that your car needs oil, checking your oil level regularly, and changing your oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can ensure that your car runs smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

Remember, if you see the low oil level warning light or notice any of the signs mentioned in this article, it’s time to add oil to your car. Checking your oil level regularly is also crucial, as it allows you to catch any potential problems early on.

At Auto Oil And Fluid, we’re committed to providing you with useful tips and tricks to help you maintain your car and keep it running smoothly. By following the advice in this article, you can ensure that your car stays in excellent condition for years to come.

Thank you for reading, and happy driving!

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