How to Check Car’s Engine Oil: Step-by-Step Process

Oil is used as a lubricant because it can reduce friction between different parts of the engine

Modern cars typically have an oil replacement interval of over 10,000 kilometres. But, due to the longer duration of an engine, it can use more oil, especially in older vehicles. Low engine oil levels can also lead to various issues.

If your vehicle’s oil level is low, it can lead to various issues, such as a complete breakdown. Fortunately, low engine oil can be avoided by regularly checking its level.

Why is engine oil important

Oil is used as a lubricant because it can reduce friction between different parts of the engine. It also helps prevent corrosion and prolong the life of the vehicle’s mechanical components. Having a well-kept engine can boost the vehicle’s fuel economy and reduce pollution.

Let your engine cool down

Never check the oil level if the engine is running hot. Instead, let it cool down for around ten minutes to allow the oil from the various parts of the engine to settle in the pan. Doing so will help reduce the temperature of the oil. However, make sure to check the owner’s manual for any recommendations on how to check the oil level of your vehicle.

Park the car on a levelled ground

Make sure that the vehicle is parked on level ground. An uneven ramp can result in an incorrect oil level.

Take out the yellow dipstick from the engine compartment

After opening the bonnet, look for the yellow dipstick cap, which is usually located in the engine compartment’s centre. To remove the cap, pull it out and wipe it with a clean cloth. Make sure that the cloth doesn’t have dirt or moisture on it, as these can harm the internals of the engine.

Put it back and take it out again to notice the oil mark

After wiping the cloth, insert the dipstick back into the engine compartment. Wait for a second then pull it out. Make sure to look for the oil mark, which should be between the maximum and minimum readings. The dipstick typically has either a minimum or maximum reading.

When the oil level is low and there’s a need to top it up, use the same grade as recommended. Doing so should avoid damaging the engine components.

Top up the engine oil and repeat the process

The easiest way to top up the oil is through the oil filler cap, which can be found near the dipstick. While doing so, be careful not to spill the oil over other parts of the car. Since the oil’s high viscosity can take time to settle, make sure to give a gap of about a second before you start to check the oil again.

Regularly checking the oil level can help keep your vehicle running smoothly. Doing so will only take a couple of minutes, and it can protect you from costly repairs.

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