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Located in our hearts are chambers, valves and a whole lot of other stuff I know nothing about, but located in the heart of our cars which is the engine are valves, cylinders, rings and a dipstick (I chose to ignore the newer rebels that are extinguishing this very important tool).

A Dipstick is that thing we pull out of our engines to check the oil levels. This archaic equipment can save us a s***load of problems such as Engine Knock, Increased operating temperature, wear etc.

The reading from the dipstick tells us the oil level and for most cars, the color of the engine oil indicates if the oil needs changing. Do not be discouraged if you just got a car and you don’t know what a dipstick looks like. In most cars, the dipstick  looks like this 

 

 

Procedure for Oil check

First, make sure the car is parked on level ground and, with most cars, the engine is cold, so you get the true oil level because liquids expand when hot and we wouldn’t want you to get hurt. With some cars, the automaker recommends that the oil be checked after the engine has been warmed up (very rare) with the engine off, open the car’s hood and find the dipstick. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe any oil off from its end. Then insert the dipstick back into its tube and push it all the way back in.

Pull it back out, and this time look at both sides of the dipstick to see where the oil is, on the end. Every dipstick has some way of indicating the proper oil level. Whether it be two pinholes, the letters L and H (low and high), the words MIN and MAX, or simply an area of cross-hatching (In Naija you go just rugged am). If the top of the oil “stain” is between the two marks or within the crosshatched area, the level is fine.

But if the oil is below the minimum mark, you need to add oil as described here

Also, check the oil’s color. If it’s brown that’s fine. If its black and viscous chances are it needs to be changed. Also, if it has a light, milky appearance, this could mean coolant is leaking into the engine. Look closely for any metal particles, too, as this could mean there is internal engine damage. Supposing you see either of these conditions, get the car to a mechanic for further diagnosis. Also, if you suspect a coolant leak, have the car towed.

Provided everything’s okay, wipe off the dipstick again and insert it back into its tube, making sure it’s fully seated. Close the hood and you’re done.

Vroooom!!