What To Do When Your Oil Light Comes On
One moment your driving down the road minding your own business and the next moment, the oil light comes on. You start to panic! You pull over and try to calm your breathing and stop your hands from shaking. Just breathe…
Then it occurs to you! Look in the Owner’s Manual for information on the oil light. Reaching into the glove box or console, you find the manual and pull the book out. Find the Index in and there and then look up engine lights, oil or something to that effect.
Once you find the information after searching through the other areas, you discover that it may be as simple as being low on oil. You breathe a sigh of relief! You open the manual again to find out how to check the oil on your vehicle. It says that you need to find the oil dipstick and use a clean rag, cloth or something to wipe it off and check it. Engine must be off!
You find a clean paper towel in the car, you open the hood, find the dipstick, pull it out and wipe it off. Then you place the dipstick back in the hole slowly and then slowly removing it, you read the stick… you don’t see any oil on it. You get nerved up again!
Deciding on going to the parts store to get some oil is a good thing. You want to make sure you get the oil into the engine as soon as possible especially in the warmer weather as it helps to keep the engine running cooler and keep the engine clean (which is why we need to get an oil change to get rid of the dirty oil.)
At the parts store, you look up in the manual what type of oil you need. You bring the book into the store with you. Asking one of the employees to help you find the right one, you buy two quarts of oil (if there isn’t any oil on the dipstick, you’re usually two quarts low).
You buy the oil and also an oil funnel to add the oil, so it doesn’t get all over the engine. (Most stores do not carry paper funnels anymore.) Employee offers to help you add the oil and you agree. So you go out to the car, open the hood, they open the oil cap, put the funnel in and slowly add the oil.
You thank the employee, wipe off the oil funnel, wrap it in the bag it came in, put it in the trunk. Then check the oil cap to make sure it’s on, and the dipstick again to make sure it’s full. (if you’re not sure, one of the folks at the store will help you if you ask nicely).
If the dipstick is still low when you check it again, go into the store, buy another quart and add it in. Give it a few minutes to reach the oil pan and then check it again. Once it’s full, you can put the oil cap on, make sure the dipstick is in the hole, and close the hood.
The oil is now full. You get into your car and start it up. No more oil light on the dash. You were able to find out what the problem was and do this all by yourself. Feels good doesn’t it?
You should always check the oil once a week (while the car is cold) before starting it up along with other fluids. The only other two you check while the engine is hot and running is the power steering fluid and the transmission fluid.
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