I like cars! I know it may seem like a contradiction that we started a Charity that scraps cars for a cause… but the truth is if there’s a way to economically sustain the life of your car, I’d be happy to see it live longer. So today I want to help you save your car.
One of the reasons we have scraped a number of vehicles is due to a simple yet often overlooked routine checkup called “Checking The Engine Oil”. Now I know there are all sorts of competence levels in the area of vehicle mechanics and some may find this over simple and others might be overwhelmed but the truth is it’s an easy practice that anyone can do. It could save you thousands of dollars!
Before we begin let me briefly explain why the oil is so important. Your vehicles engine operates not too different from the internals of a human body. Think about it, your body needs a number of fluids to sustain life, Blood is a primary part of the system. Well an engine has oil, although this is where they differ, in an engine this is the lubricant that keeps the moving parts from building too much heat (From friction).
Here’s the main dramatic point I want you to take away… If you lose too much of the blood in your body you die… Well, if you lose too much oil in your engine, the same thing happens… it dies.
So here we go with three simple steps to saving your car.
Do a little research, find the owners manual or look up the vehicles year make and model online. Besides reading a few forum entries and maybe learning what some of the chronic issue might be for your vehicle, you need to find out what type of oil is recommended for you engine.
(As well, many vehicle manufacturers have listed the oil type on the oil filler cap on top of the engine.)
Oil is rated in a range of numbers/letters and they look like this
SAE10W40, SAE15W40 etc … It’s a good idea to have a spare liter in the trunk.
Park the vehicle on a flat surface, put it in park and apply the parking brake, shut the engine off. Open the hood… now remember the hood release is always near the drivers seat inside the vehicle and when you pull the lever you should hear it pop under the hood as the primary latch releases. The second thing you’ll need to do is locate the secondary safety latch which is physically under the front of the hood or somewhere near the grill. Look this up in the owners manual if need be. Use the hood prop arm to keep the hood open.
Have a rag or paper towel handy for this next step. Locate the Engine Oil dip stick. Often it has a yellow handle and will usually be labeled, lift it all the way out and use that rag to wipe it off nice and clean. Put it back in all the way and take it out again. Simply look at where the oil line is on the dip stick, there will be marks to indicate if it’s low or normal. If low, add oil in the oil filler cap (Which should also be labeled Engine Oil) Add half a liter and recheck to see where you are at.
Don’t forget to replace the filler cap and dip stick when you are done, close the hood and drive away a happy car!
I have seen a number of people who don’t clean the dip stick off when they remove it and assume whatever they see on the indicator the first time is the oil line… too often this is a fatal mistake… The sludge they see on the dip stick is actually just that “SLUDGE” inner engine residue that has accumulated there because the engine is so low on oil that it doesn’t even register on the indicator marks. They close the hood and drive away… a few miles later strange sounds begin to emerge from the front of the car and sooner than later it dies, never to run properly again.
So, PLEASE, check your engine oil regularly… don’t force yourself prematurely to having to donate your car… but when that time comes think of us as an option.