How to Check Oil Levels in a Car

mechanic checks oil level on dipstick

Motor oil is considered the lifeblood of your vehicle, just as blood keeps you going and is vital for keeping your vehicle healthy and running smoothly. Maintaining routine oil checks also means that your engine’s internal moving parts can remain running at peak performance while you’re cruising through the streets of Lakeville. Read more about how to check your car oil with Burnsville Toyota and our service team.



Learn How to Check the Oil Level in Your Car in 4 Steps

Newer model vehicles have an electronic oil monitor system that doesn’t use traditional dipsticks, so before you begin checking your oil you should check your owner’s manual so that you can follow your automaker’s recommendations. If you want to know how to manually check your car oil, then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the vehicle is parked on level ground and that the engine is turned off and cold.
  2. Open the vehicle’s hood and find the dipstick.
  3. Pull the dipstick out of the engine and wipe any oil from the end of it.
  4. 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.

Dipsticks always have on them an indicator of proper oil levels, and if the top of your oil streak is between the two marks, or it’s within the cross-hatched area, then your oil levels are good. If not, then you’ll need to add more oil. Make sure you buy the grade of oil recommended in your owner’s manual. Remove the oil filler cap, then add oil a little at a time until the dipstick indicates you’ve reached the proper levels.


Why Should You Check Your Oil Level?

Although oil is often overlooked, it’s vital that you have the right oil level in your car to improve its performance. Generally, oil changes are commended at least twice a year, depending on the model and how it’s driven. Knowing how to check your car’s oil level is important to maintain a healthy and well-performing vehicle while you’re driving through Apple Valley. You should perform an oil check at least once a month, to make sure you aren’t leaking oil. If your car’s hood is hot to the touch, or steam is billowing out from under the hood, then you will want to schedule service as this could be a sign of an oil leak and your engine is overheating.


Resetting the Change Oil Light

There is a specific process for resetting the oil change light in every model, but for the most part, all of them have the same process more or less. However, you’ll only want to reset the oil change light if you’ve actually changed your oil. Missing an oil change can cause damage to your engine in the long run.  How to Reset Oil Change Light: Step-by-Step:

  • Turn all systems of your car off, but leave the engine running.
  • Find the “reset” button or stick on the dashboard (typically found near the speedometer and fuel gauge).
  • Hold the button down until the oil change light begins to flash (signs of resetting may differ per vehicle).
  • Turn the ignition off, wait a few seconds, then turn your car back on.

At this point, your change oil light or notification should be turned off, and you’ll be able to drive through Savage without worry. Now you know how to check car oil, and turn off the change oil light.

oil change or service light illuminated on car dashboard


Burnsville Toyota is Ready to Help You Keep Your Vehicle in Pristine Condition

Now you know how to check your car oil, you’ve set out on your first steps toward keeping your vehicle in excellent condition with routine maintenance. Check our selection of service tips for more ways to help you maintain your used Highlander, or if you’d prefer, you can let the experts at our service center help you by contacting us online.


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