How-To: Summer Oil Change and Coolant Check

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Don’t sweat the car stuff!

…Even a beginner can tackle easy auto checks before the summer heat takes it’s toll on your vehicle. Doing these checks only requires three simple steps.

Things you’ll need: a rag and your car (duh.)

  1. Locate the dipstick in your vehicle and pull it out. Make sure you hold it horizontally so the oil does not drip off.  

  2. Wipe off the oil with a rag and look for two symbols, or holes at the end of the stick. (It may seem silly, but this is the way to make sure the reading is accurate.) Now put the dipstick back into the original tube you found it in.

  3. Pull out the dipstick again, and remember to hold it horizontally, and then look toward the bottom of the stick for the two marks.

    1. If the oil line is at or near the top mark, your oil is fine and you do not need a change.

    2. If the oil line is near or below the bottom mark, then you need to go into the shop and get an oil change soon!

Most shops can do an oil change for $20 to $40, depending on the car. Cars that use synthetic oil can be more expensive for a basic oil change.

To check your coolant you will need to buy coolant specific PH level test strips. The brands may differ, so follow the instructions that come with the strips. One BIG thing to remember when testing coolant is to make sure you have not driven the car before you assess it. Coolant expands when exposed to heat, and can cause a misread when you examine the PH levels.

Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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