Purchasing a used vehicle can be a daunting task. There are a few things that you can check yourself to ensure that you are getting a good vehicle and good quality. One of the most important things you need to check when buying a used vehicle is the engine crank case oil. In this post we will cover how to check them and what to look for.
The very first thing we like to check when looking over a used car is the engine oil. One of my favorite things to do is go ahead and sit inside the car and look for an last change oil sticker from a reputable oil change company. Look at the date and the mileage that it was changed and also look at the mileage that the odometer is currently reading. Make sure that it is not past due on either the mileage and the date. Also check to make sure that the oil that is listed on the sticker matches the same weight of oil that is recommended by the manufacturer. Most times it is easy to determine what is the correct weight of oil by just looking under the hood. Most manufacturers list it there on the crank case oil fill cap or they have a sticker some where under the hood that gives the information.
Also you need to ask the owner if they are using synthetic oil or conventional. The reason is that once a vehicle has had synthetic oil used in the crank case is that you are suppose to continue using synthetic to avoid lubrication problems. Some newer vehicles now come with synthetic oil in the crank case from the factory, and there will be a sticker under the hood or on the core support telling you that the vehicle can only have synthetic oil used in it. One thing to remember about synthetics is that it will cost you significantly more when having the oil change. An oil change with regular oil will cost $20 to $25, while an oil change with synthetics will cost $50 to $80 depending on how much oil the crank case holds.
Next, you want to go ahead and open the hood. Locate the engine crank case dip stick. Usually these dip sticks have a yellow handle or knob. Have a rag with you. Go ahead and pull the dip stick and wipe it off. Then reinstall the dip stick and pull it out again and check to see that the oil is in the recommended range. The dipsticks have some sort of markings on them indicating the safe operating range of crank case oil. Put some of the oil on your fingers, or if the rag you have is white, go ahead a take a good look at it. What color is it? On an engine that has 150 thousand miles or less, it should have at least somewhat of a golden appearance to it. If it is a little dirty it is okay, especially if it is close to time to change the oil again.
Next, smell the oil ( I know that sounds funny, but trust me). It should not have a burnt smell to it. It should not have a gas smell to it either. If it smells like raw gas, then there is a problem with the fuel system and it could be dumping raw fuel into the crankcase. Most times though this would set off a check engine light.
Checking the engine oil is one of many things that must be checked in order to assure that you are buying a vehicle of good quality. To learn more about things to check and the best ways to check them, visit our website @ KNWAutobody.com