Benefits Of Changing Your Oil

Learn To Recognize When Your Car Needs An Oil Change


Ty McCurdy

Dipstick to measure car oil level.

Ty McCurdy, Writer

Changing your own oil can be very beneficial, it allows you to learn how to work with your vehicle while saving money. The different tasks and tools needed to do this simple maintenance could really be done by anyone with a few sockets and a wrench.

Oil lubricates your engine and should be changed approximately every 15,000 miles or less. This needs to be changed because over time the cycle of oil and heat mixed with the metal causes the oil to go bad. If not, charred metal shavings may populate and can damage the motor internally or the oil will run dry. If the oil dries it creates friction in the motor causing it to seize leading to internal damage. Likewise, the oil filter can become crowded with debris if not changed. The debris will cycle through the motor and could potentially cause damage to the vehicle or engine failure. 

As a part of car maintenance, one skill to acquire is learning to change the oil in your car. Not only can this save you money at the car dealer, it can also prevent your car from experiencing any damages caused by unfiltered oil. One tool that is used to determine whether or not you have enough oil is known as the dipstick. When measuring, it is important to understand that too much or too little oil in your car can be detrimental.

The dipstick can be found towards the left of your cars engine, the top will be cylindrical in shape and typically yellow in color. Before proceeding, make sure to have a rag or paper towel to wipe the oil in the initial step.

Ty McCurdy
Dipstick handle for oil measurement.

After you have located the dipstick, pull it out and immediately wipe the oil from the stick, this will ensure that you have a clear reading. Place the dipstick back into its container and pull it out once more, at this point you should either notice two dots or a single line on the end of the dipstick indicating where the oil level should be. Your oil level should be as close to the top indicator (circle or line) as possible, but it should not pass the indicator. At this point you can wipe off the oil once more, and place the dipstick back into its container. If your oil is lower than the indicator, you are in need of an oil change. 

Keep in mind small shops tend to rip off people do not know much about cars, if you do it yourself, you know the only thing your vehicle needs would be an oil change. However, it is important to remember that vehicles require maintenance regardless, over time brakes wear down, fluids need to be filled or changed, tires wear out or need to be aligned. There are many responsibilities that come along with a vehicle and you can choose to learn how to do them or spend your money at a shop.