Any tips on how to check my oil level? The dip stick is always wet and I can't tell
what the level is. I've tried to check it first thing in the morning when the
engine is cold, but it's still unreadable. Any ideas?
The procedure is the same for nearly all cars: The car should be parked on a level surface,
with the engine turned off. If the car has been running, let it rest for a few minutes or more
before taking a reading.
Remove the dip stick from the
tube, and dry it off with a cloth or paper towel; then put it back in completely. Remove it
again and check to see the highest point on the dipstick that is wet with oil. If the oil is
at the correct level, the stick will be wet somewhere between the two twists (or indentations)
near the bottom of the stick. If it is below the lowest twist, you should add some oil.
If it indicates above the upper twist, you have too much oil in the crankcase.
To add oil, remove the big cap that says "OIL" that is near the dipstick, and pour in about a quart
(or liter) of the same oil that you have been using. Repeat the procedure of
drying the dipstick, reinserting it in the tube, and removing it again. Check the
stick again to observe the point where the stick is wet. In most cases, one quart
will be enough. If not, add more oil (about a 1/2 quart at a time), and recheck the
level on the dipstick until the oil level appears between the two twists. Make sure to
replace the cap after enough oil has been added! If the oil level is too high,
you should siphon out a 1/2 qt at a time, until you get a correct reading on the dipstick.
...or if you don't have a siphon, any full-service gas station will be happy to do it for you.
Do not discard any oil that you remove - save it and bring it to your local station where they will
dispose of it legally. It is illegal to flush or discard oil improperly -
know your local laws!
Check to make sure the dipstick tube is not clogged-- Do an oil change,
and take a reading on the dipstick after the oil has been drained. If the stick is dry, then the
engine oil had been overfilled. If the stick is still wet, then there is a problem with
the tube for your dipstick being clogged.
--- Ken Middaugh