1. Turn off your engine 2.Set your emergency brake. 3. lift your hood, if in doubt how to, it is listed at the top of this auto page. 4. Do not check the motor oil when the engine is running! 5. Locate the dip stick. If you don't have a owner’s manual handy, look on both sides of the engine. You will notice a protruding stick raising up with a finger pull or a "T" shape at the top. It will usually state "Oil", but not always. If your car has a automatic transmission, there will be another protruding stick, this one is for checking your Automatic Transmission. If in doubt which one is which, look at the appropriate "dip stick" and it will say whether it is for checking your Oil or Automatic (ATF) transmission fluid. Do not confuse the two!. They are totally different. The Oil in your engine is light amber brown in color; the automatic transmission fluid is Red in color. Both containers are clearly identified as to which one is motor Oil or Automatic Transmission fluid, so look carefully. A mistake could be very costly! Upon removing the dip stick for which everyone you are checking, wipe the dip stick with a rag or paper towel and put back into the tube, and then pull out again, you want a clean reading. If, upon examining the oil dip stick, it reads "Low" or "add Oil", you will notice on top or on one of the sides of the engine valve covers a round 2 1/2" threaded knob, this is the oil filler hole, you will unscrew it counter-clock wise, there you will carefully pour in your needed oil. Do not overfill and avoid spilling it by using a funnel (many oil containers now come with a funnel top), if it gets on the exhaust pipe, it will smoke and smell for a while. Put in 1/4 of the quart and then re-check the level on the dip stick. The typical engine requires 4 to 5 quarts of motor Oil, when empty. When it comes to adding Automatic Transmission fluid, you will check the level on the dip stick, only this time for the Automatic Transmission. You will observe, that when looking at the dipstick, it will say to check the transmission when the engine is running and to have the car in "park", It also makes a difference if the engine is warm or cold, as this will make a difference. The Automatic Transmission fluid is almost always poured directly into the tube that houses the automatic transmission dip stick. It is a little more difficult to pour the ATF in the tube. When in doubt, check your owner’s manual. The next time you have your vehicle service, ask the technician to show you the procedure on checking both.
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