DIY: How to check your Engine Oil Level

Did you know that most car experts reckon you should check your engine oil at least once a month?

To ensure that your engine remains well lubricated it is very important to check and top up your engine oil regularly. If the engine oil level drops too much there is a real danger of engine components not getting an adequate supply of engine oil, which can lead to catastrophic engine damage. Furthermore, refreshing the engine oil regularly can help limit wear and tear on the engine, and reduce the chance of expensive repairs in future.

Most vehicles will display a warning light to indicate that you need an oil change but it’s recommended that you check the engine oil level regularly using the dipstick method – and it’s so simple and quick to do!

How to check your engine oil level in 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Prepare to check

checking oil level

Be sure your vehicle is parked on level ground with the engine off, the transmission in Park (or the manual transmission in a lower gear) and the hand brake on. Ensure that the engine is cool and it has been off for at least 10 minutes before you check the oil. Things might get messy so have a rag or paper towel handy.

Lift the hood. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult your owner’s manual.

Step 2: Locate the dipstick

checking oil level in car

The dipstick is a long rod that goes deep into the engine to check the oil level and usually has a brightly coloured handle or is marked with an oil can symbol.

Step 3: Pull out the dipstick and check

checking oil level

Pull the dipstick fully out of the tube that it’s stored in and use a rag or paper towel and wipe any oil off of the end of the dipstick.

You should notice two marks on the dipstick itself, identifying the minimum and maximum oil levels.

Step 4: Pull out the dipstick and check

checking oil level

After it’s clean, push the dipstick all the way back into the tube. Let it sit and then remove it again.

If the level is halfway between the minimum and maximum levels on the dipstick you don’t need to add any oil. If it’s below halfway, you may want to add some oil. If it’s below the minimum mark, you need to add oil.

Once done, put back the dipstick and clear up any oil spills before closing the bonnet.

If you need an oil top-up and are not sure about how to do this yourself – we’re here to help. You can book an interim service where a vetted mechanic will carry out a 25-point service on your vehicle including new engine oil and filter as well as topping up your screenwash, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid & battery fluid.

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