Checking the oil level in your car is something that is so quick and easy to do and can save your car a lot of misery (and you a lot of $$) when done on a regular basis.

Although experts recommend checking your oil 10 min after you've shut off the engine, I only ever think to do it when I'm driving. Which means if I tried to stick to the 10 minute rule, I would never check my oil!!

That's why I recommend doing it at a gas station after a fill up. Just make it the last thing you do (fill up first!), so the oil has some time to drip down off the crankshaft (the reason for the above mentioned 10 min wait), allowing for the truest level reading possible. A 3-5 minute wait and doing it is sure better than not doing it at all!

Try and check your oil twice a month.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Pop Your Hood

The first thing you need to do is open your hood. In most cars there are three steps involved in doing this:

1. Pull the hood release latch on the drivers side of the car interior. It is usually down under the far left side of the dash board, half way towards the floor. If you are having trouble locating yours, see your vehicle's manual.

2. Move to the front of the car and find the latch that is just under the front of the hood. It can be hard to feel it's location at first, but it will be either a latch that you push up or sideways. Again, refer to your manual if your fingers can't find it.

3. Once you've found the latch and have lifted the hood, hold it up with one arm and locate the hood prop rod with the other. This can be found either parallel to the front of the hood or to one side. Unclip the rod, lift it up and insert the top end into the corresponding holes on the underside of the hood. (like pictured)

Who is so dumb they would need this
<p>If there's bubbles in your oil it really isn't too big of a problem. Usually it happens when the oil is overfilled and aerates, causing the bubbles. All you need to do is drain some of your oil so your car isn't over filled. </p>
<p><em>&quot;The level shouldn't ever be above the 'max' dot as it could cause problems for the engine.&quot;</em></p><p>If it's above the level, then it's just overfilled. No need to panic Paige. The oil resevoir can handle a little extra. If you're still worried, drain a little. Not a big deal. </p><p>Bubbles or foam means there's coolant leaking into the motor, contaminating the oil. = You're screwed (sorry for the crudety). If you sugar the cylinders, you're looking at big bucks or a new block.</p><p>Good instrutable otherwise. </p>
<p>Well i would like you to mention at this point that some cars have 4 <br>markings 2 (low &amp; high ) for when engine is cold &amp; 2 for when <br>engine is hot :)</p>

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Bio: Made in Canada, I have a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. I've done work for Martha Stewart Living ... More »
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