Checking your own oil is one of the simplest tasks you can do on your own. To check your oil, make sure your car has been turned off for at least 10 minutes. Then, open the hood and find the oil dipstick. Remove it and wipe it clean with a rag. Insert it back into the oil pipe and pull it back out. Look at the film on the end of the dipstick to check the level, color, and condition of your oil.
How long should your oil last?
The answer to this really depends on the type of car you drive and how you drive it. For example, if you drive a 2015 Toyota Corolla and most of your mileage is on the highway, then Toyota recommends changing your oil every 10,000 miles or 12 months. However, if you frequently drive on dirty or dusty roads, use a car-top carrier, and/or drive through lots of stop-and-go traffic at low speeds, this recommendation drops to every 5,000 miles or 6 months.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil
While you might think engine oil is a simple liquid, there is a lot more to it than you would think. For starters, there are two main types: synthetic and conventional. Both types come from oil found in the ground, but synthetic is highly processed and engineered specifically to provide the highest level of lubrication for a car’s engine. It also helps keep an engine cleaner and usually lasts longer than conventional oil.
Conventional oil is a good choice for many vehicles and includes additives to improve its heat tolerance, viscosity, and breakdown resistance.
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