How to check your oil

Checking your car’s oil levels is one of the most important duties of car ownership. Thankfully however, it is also one of the easiest. Ensure you stay on top of your engine oil and you’ll be likely to head off costly engine issues before they arrive.

 

  1. Ensure your car is parked on an even surface. Pop the hood, prop it up, and allow about a minute for the oil to settle.
  2. Locate the dipstick (found near the engine block, recognizable due to its looped end). Remove said dipstick, and thoroughly wipe the end clean with a cloth or paper towel.
  3. Replace the dipstick for several seconds, then remove again. You’ll see two markings at the bottom of the dipstick that represent the maximum and the minimum oil levels. If your oil mark falls between these two marks, things are all A-OK under the hood.
  4. However, if the oil mark is below the minimum level (or getting close to the minimum level), you need to top up your oil tank. Remove the oil filter cap and carefully pour in the appropriate amount of oil. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to check the new level.
  5. Replace the dipstick and the oil filter cap, and lower your hood. Make a mental note to check your oil again soon, as the last thing you want is your car to be running on a measly oil supply.
  6. Note: if no oil whatsoever appears when you check your dipstick for the first time, it may be necessary to change your oil completely. Check when your last oil change occurred, and consult your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change intervals. If you’re within this period, simply top up with oil. If outside however, speak to your mechanic about an oil change. Best stay on top of your oil levels to avoid these unwanted costs…