Monthly Archives: February 2020

PLEASE. your engine oil dipstick is not obsolete…(well with a few exceptions.)

“I have a check engine light on and my car is jerking when I try to accelerate.”

“Have you checked your dipstick to be sure your car is not running out of oil?”

“Oh, I had it changed just two months ago.”

Here at Don’s Automotive we certainly do not advocate ignoring this periodic maintenance item. .  However, far more critical than changing oil is making sure that the oil level is within safe limits.  If you own a Tesla there is no conventional engine and no engine oil level dipstick.  If you own certain luxury European vehicles oil level is monitored electronically.  Most everything else has a dipstick.   Engines develop oil leaks that can be small or large.  Engine burn some amount of oil with no external drips.  It is entirely possible and not that abnormal for an engine to need oil level topped off when only halfway or less to the time for an oil change.  Engines are destroyed if driven a mile or two with zero oil pressure due to lack of oil.  Modern engines have variable valve timing systems to optimize power and fuel efficiency.  The hydraulic engine controls for this system receive computer commands to operate valves and servos that are dependent on engine oil pressure. Hence as oil level drops and oil pressure drops out a check engine light and poor running is often the first sign of low oil.  Please do not wait that long.  Every year we inform more than one client that their engine suffered major damage from lack of oil and given the cost of engine replacement the car should go to a salvage yard.   Don’t let this be you!  Thanks from Don!