How To Check Your Oil Levels

Oil is essential in your vehicle for lubricating moving engine parts. It’s a good idea to check it every other month. Here’s a tutorial on how to check your oil.

check oil in engine

For now, here is a quick, simple guide on how to check your oil level.

If your vehicle has an oil percentage calculator, the vehicle will tell you when it needs an oil change. If not, follow these steps below. Your vehicle should be cold, however, some manufacturers recommend a warm engine so check your manufacturer guidelines too. Make sure the vehicle is parked on flat ground.

  1. Locate the engine oil dipstick (usually yellow-colored)
How To Check Your Oil

2. Pull the dipstick out

3. Use a rag (not your sweater because it probably won’t come out) to wipe the end of the stick.

check oil by wiping dip stick

4. Place the dipstick back in.

5. Pull the dipstick out again, and now you will have your reading.

6. Look to see two marks on the stick, your reading should be between those two marks.

7. If your level is near the end of the stick below the first mark, this means it is LOW!

Check your oil - dipstick readings

If the engine oil levels are low, top up your oil or take your vehicle into your preferred automotive service shop.

How to top up your oil if it’s low

First, find your owners’ manual and purchase the correct oil for your vehicle and the temperatures of your climate. If you do not have your owners manual handy, a quick search online should bring one up.

Here is an example of an owner’s manual page that tells you what type of oil and how much total oil the vehicle takes.

owners manual oil levels

For example, the 3.6L engine in this vehicle takes a total of 6 quarts of oil. Bearing that in mind whilst looking at the levels on your dipstick you should be able to tell how much you need.

Locate the engine oil cap in the engine bay. Unscrew the cap and insert a funnel if you have one. It’s much less messy using a funnel. If you do not have a funnel, try to avoid spilling oil.

Check your oil - engine oil cap

Add a little oil at a time and re-check the dipstick each time you add a little oil. Do NOT overfill (beyond the full line on the dipstick) with oil, this could potentially cause problems.

Bear in mind, that there may also be some oil in and around the engine that won’t show on the dipstick.

Watch the video below on how to check your oil.

You may also like: How To Top Up Windshield Washer Fluid.