How to check your car's engine oil levels

On this page

Check your car oil! Do you remember how?

When you were learning to pass your test, you probably learnt how to check a car’s oil levels.

However, there’s a reasonably high chance that you’ve forgotten! Don’t worry; even experienced motorists can use a reminder of how to maintain their car.

Checking your oil is a super-easy way to make sure your car is functioning correctly, and you can do it at home.

Here’s a quick run-through on why you should check your oil, and how to do it!

Why should I check the engine’s oil?

You must check the engine oil at least once a month to confirm the oil level is sufficient and isn’t contaminated.

Oil is critical to a car engine. Without good engine oil, the engine parts can’t lubricate, and it will corrode.

Video on how to top up the engine oil level

How do I check my oil levels?

  1. Ensure your vehicle’s parked on level ground and your engine is cool.
  2. Open your bonnet and locate the dipstick. If you’re unsure where this is, check your user manual. Your car may not have a dipstick – some modern vehicles are fitted with electronic oil monitors.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe clean with a cloth and replace back in the holder.
  4. Then remove it again this time looking for the high and low levels marks on the dipstick.
  5. If you need to add oil, simply find the screw-off cap on top of the engine and unscrew that cap.
  6. Add oil as needed using a filter, so you don’t make a mess! Top the oil up a little at a time checking the dipstick level as you go.
  7. Overfilling with oil can cause as much damage as having too little.