How to Check Car Oil

Checking oil level on dipstick

Depending on the age of your gasoline-powered vehicle and whether you use conventional or synthetic oil, you’ll need an oil change every 3,000 to 10,000 miles. We highly recommend checking the oil level in your car in between oil changes at least once a month. Checking oil should be part of your new or used vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule for Palm Beach Gardens driving.

Discover how to check the oil level in a car with our handy, step-by-step guide from the service team at Al Packer Ford West Palm Beach. You’ll check your car’s oil like a pro when you’re done!


Learn How to Check the Oil Level in Your Car

Many modern vehicles, like new Fords made after 2016 with intelligent oil life monitoring (IOLM), utilize high-tech electronic oil monitors. These systems may not have traditional dipsticks like you’ll find on older vehicles. Begin with a look at your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations when checking the oil. If you have an older vehicle, you might need to check the oil manually once a month.

Find out how to check the oil level in your car by following these easy steps:

  1. Park the vehicle on level ground.
  2. Turn off the engine.
  3. Make sure the engine is cold. Perhaps do this first thing in the morning.
  4. Open the vehicle’s hood.
  5. Find the dipstick, which is usually yellow or perhaps orange or red. Your owner’s manual will tell you the exact location.
  6. Pull the dipstick out of the engine.
  7. Wipe any oil from the end of the dipstick.
  8. Re-insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube.
  9. Pull the dipstick out.
  10. Look at both sides of the dipstick.
  11. See where the oil level is.

Dipsticks use markings on the thin metal rod to indicate the current oil level. If the top of your oil streak is between two marks or within a cross-hatched area, the oil level is good. If it isn’t, you’ll need to add more oil. If the oil is dark, it’s time for an oil change at our service center!

Adding oil yourself is very easy.

  1. Purchase the grade of oil recommended in the owner’s manual
  2. Remove the oil filler cap.
  3. Add oil a little at a time.
  4. Look at the dipstick until it indicates you’ve reached the proper level after each addition.
  5. Try not to overfill your engine with too much oil.

How to Check a Car’s Oil: Why Do This?

We recommend an oil change twice a year for a new Ford vehicle or about every 7,500 miles with full synthetic oil. Your vehicle might overheat on Lake Worth roads if it doesn’t have enough oil. Bring your vehicle in for service if you notice that your vehicle consistently doesn’t have enough oil.

How to Reset the Oil Change Light

If you love DIY oil changes, reset the oil change light on your vehicle after performing this service. Please only do this after you’ve actually changed your oil. If you accidentally miss an oil change, it can damage your car in the long run and cause permanent engine damage because the oil change interval is off.

How to Reset the Oil Change Light Step-by-Step:

  1. Turn all systems of your car off.
  2. Leave the engine running.
  3. Find the “reset” button or stick on the dashboard (typically found near the speedometer and fuel gauge).
  4. Hold the button down until the oil change light begins to flash (signs of resetting may differ per vehicle).
  5. Turn the ignition off.
  6. Wait a few seconds.
  7. Turn your car back on.

Your oil light should reset by now. If you have any questions regarding how to reset your oil change light, please reach out to us. Our service technicians can also teach you how to check your car’s oil when you come to see us for your next regular maintenance.

Get Your Oil Changed in West Palm Beach

Have more questions or need the hours of our quick lane service? Contact us or call 561-220-8666. Our dealership near Delray can help you and your vehicle with regular oil changes!


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1530 North Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL, 33409
Al Packer Ford West Palm Beach 26.699735, -080.111105.