The engine oil dipstick is NOT obsolete!

Please! Every year Don’s Automotive sends a few cars off to the salvage yard that could have been saved by pulling a quart of oil out of the trunk. These days, you ask somebody when they last checked their oil and most people will tell you when they last changed it — probably way more often than serves a purpose. See above. Even if never a drop of oil leaks to the ground, some oil is burnt and goes out the tailpipe, rendered invisible if the catalytic converter can keep up with its task of afterburning. Oil should be checked on a brand new car, but put 100,000 miles on the engine and it becomes that much more critical. If there was no such thing as routine oil consumption the dipstick could be eliminated and a service technician would simply consult a sticker or manual for a refill specification when performing an oil change.

How often should engine oil be checked? Brand new car, maybe every 2000 miles. High mileage or any suspicion of a leak, maybe every other tank of fuel. Please remember, a glowing red “oil” light means “rapid engine destruction in progress.” Tires and radiator also, please.

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