How to check engine oil level and condition. Nothing is more important to the life of your car engine than the oil. It provides lubrication and filtration of your vehicle’s engine and its other moving parts.
Why your car needs engine oil
Oil is critical to the working of the engine. Always make sure you check the engine oil level between services. Use a good engine oil of the correct specification to help the car engine be efficient and extend its life.
The oil will lubricate and protect the engine against corrosion, and clean deposits and contaminants (by-products of combustion).
It’s imperative you have the correct engine oil for your cars specification. If you are in any doubt, you must seek advice from an expert.
Engine Oil Checks – watch this DVSA video
How to check your car’s oil level and condition
Check the engine oil at least once a month to confirm the oil level is sufficient and isn’t contaminated. (Some European cars don’t have an oil dipstick, in which case you may need to look at the car manual to see how to check the engine oil.)
Oil turns black pretty quickly, but that doesn’t affect the quality. Rub a little oil between your thumb and index finger. If it leaves a dirty oil, the oil probably needs to be changed.
- Pull out the dipstick and wipe it off with a clean lint-free rag. The engine should be cold before you start.
- Insert the dipstick back in. If the dipstick gets stuck on the way in, turn it around. The pipe it fits into is curved, and the dipstick bends naturally in the direction of the curve.
- Pull the dipstick out again and look at the film of oil on the end of the dipstick. Note how high the oil film reaches on the dipstick and the condition of the oil. Add or change the oil as needed. If you need to add oil, find the screw-off cap on top of the largest part of the engine. Unscrew that cap and add oil as needed.
- Put the dipstick back into the pipe. You’re done!