How to Check Your Car’s Engine Oil

Your car can stay in good condition and operate efficiently with a quick DIY task. Consider the engine’s motor oil as its lifeblood. To keep your engine in good working order and get the most miles out of it, check it frequently. The oil lubricates the moving components inside the engine to prevent premature wear.

How to Check Your Car’s Engine Oil

Minimizing dirt buildup also keeps the motor clean and prevents overheating. We advise you to check the oil level at each subsequent gas fill-up because it is a quick task. You only need a cloth or paper towel, plus the owner’s manual of your car if you have any questions.

Well, in this article, we’ll walk you through how to check your car’s engine oil. Even so, the answers to the following question will be discussed:

  • How often should you check your car’s engine oil?
  • Can you check your car’s engine oil when the engine is hot?
  • How do you know what type of oil your car needs?
  • How to check your car’s engine oil?

Ok, let’s get down to it!


How often should you check your car’s engine oil?

From the perspective of maintenance, engine oil is a vital element to pay attention to. Therefore, you should check the engine oil in your car at least once a month and ideally more frequently. You must ascertain as soon as possible whether your engine is consuming oil or losing it due to a slow leak in order to evaluate the problem and take appropriate action.

Checking the oil level in your automobile just takes a few minutes, but for the dipstick to produce a reliable reading, the engine must be off for at least five minutes so that the oil that was being circulated around the engine has time to return to the oil pan underneath the engine. Also, make sure your car is level and that you only check the oil level on the dipstick after wiping it out with a rag and dipping it into the oil pan a second time.

The air pressure in your tires and the levels of other fluids can also be checked as part of a regular oil checkup. The dipstick’s oil level should be your main focus rather than the oil’s appearance. Oil-burning engines may have worn piston rings, worn valves, or other elements that require replacement.

You might have an oil leak even if you haven’t seen any oil pools under your car. In either scenario, a low oil level may ultimately indicate that there isn’t enough to lubricate all necessary engine components, resulting in increased wear and tear. A lack of oil can cause an engine to run hotter because the oil that circulates around the engine helps cool its moving parts.

Can you check your car’s engine oil when the engine is hot?

Checking the engine oil while the engine is hot is generally not advised. It is best to check the engine oil when it is cool or after the engine has been off for a while. This makes it possible for the oil to return to the oil pan and gives a more precise reading of the oil level.

As the oil and other engine components can reach high temperatures that could result in burns or other injuries, checking the engine oil when it’s hot can be risky. Furthermore, hot oil has a tendency to expand, which can result in an inaccurate estimate of the oil level.

How do you know what type of oil your car needs?

To determine the type of oil your car needs, you can follow these steps:

  • Consult Your Car’s Owner’s Manual.
  • Check the Oil Cap or Dipstick.
  • Contact the Manufacturer or Dealership.

Consult Your Car’s Owner’s Manual

The most accurate and reliable source of information regarding the type of oil your car requires is the owner’s manual provided by the manufacturer. It typically includes detailed specifications, including the recommended oil viscosity, such as 5W-30 or 10W-40, and the API (American Petroleum Institute) service rating, such as API SN.

Check the Oil Cap or Dipstick

In some cases, the recommended oil type and viscosity may be indicated on the oil cap or dipstick. Look for any labels or markings that provide this information.

Contact the Manufacturer or Dealership

If you’re unable to find the information in the owner’s manual or on the vehicle, you can reach out to the manufacturer’s customer service or contact a local dealership for assistance. They should be able to provide you with the specific oil requirements for your car.

It’s important to note that different vehicles may have different oil requirements, so it’s crucial to use the oil recommended by the manufacturer to ensure optimal performance and protection for your engine.

How to check your car’s engine oil?

How to Check Your Car’s Engine Oil

Here’s how to check your car’s engine oil:

  • Get Ready to Check.
  • Find the Dipstick.
  • Take out the dipstick.
  • Observe The Oil Level.
  • Wait and double-check.

Get Ready to Check

Make sure your car is level with the ground, the engine is off, the transmission is in Park (or a lower gear if it’s a manual transmission), and the parking brake is engaged. Raise the hood. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions if you’re unsure how to proceed. Most cars have a hood release lever under the left instrument panel. Additionally, before you can raise the hood, you must unlock a safety catch under the front edge of the hood.

Find the Dipstick

Most vehicles have a little colored handle with an oil-can sign on it; this makes it simple to identify the dipstick. Typically, this handle is yellow or orange.

Take out the dipstick

Completely remove the dipstick from the tube that it is contained in. It’s similar to taking a sword out of its sheath. Prepare a rag or paper towel and wipe any oil from the dipstick’s tip. The lower of the two lines at the dipstick’s tip shows that there is one quart less oil than normal. The top line indicates that the crankcase, or car’s oil tank, is full. Additionally, some dipsticks bear markings like “full” and “add.”

Observe The Oil Level

Push the dipstick all the way down into the tube while carefully inserting it. When you take it out again, pay close attention to the tip; oil should be there. Your car has enough oil if the oil level is between the two lines. It’s time to add a quart if it’s at or below the low mark.

Wait and double-check

After adding a quart of oil, wait a few minutes for it to drain into the crankcase before checking the level again to make sure it is at least halfway between the high and low levels. Your engine may function safely with a lower oil level and yet have adequate lubrication.


In conclusion, understanding how to check your car’s engine oil is a crucial skill for maintaining your vehicle and guaranteeing optimum engine operation. This manual offers detailed instructions and helpful advice for carrying out this crucial task. Maintaining the longevity of your car and preventing engine damage can be achieved by routinely checking the level and quality of your engine oil. Car owners can ensure their engine has the proper level of oil by according to the suggested procedures described in the book, supporting effective and problem-free running.

Related Article


How do you know if your engine oil is low?

To know if your engine oil is low, you can check the oil dipstick. The dipstick has markings that indicate the minimum and maximum levels of oil. If the oil level is below the minimum mark, then it is low.

Do you check engine oil when the engine is hot or cold?

It is recommended to check engine oil when the engine is cold, as the oil settles down in the oil pan when the engine is not running. Checking the oil level when the engine is hot may result in an inaccurate reading.

Read more: How to Reset Check Engine Light

How often should you put oil in your car?

The frequency of adding oil to your car depends on various factors such as the age of the car, driving conditions, and oil type. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations mentioned in the car owner’s manual.

Does low engine oil affect fuel consumption?

Yes, low engine oil can affect fuel consumption as it causes the engine to work harder, leading to increased fuel consumption.

Read more: How To Reduce Black Smoke In Diesel Engines

What problems can low oil cause?

Low oil can cause various problems such as engine overheating, increased engine wear and tear, and even engine failure.

How long can a car run without oil?

A car cannot run without oil for more than a few minutes. It is crucial to maintain adequate oil levels in your car to avoid severe damage to the engine.

Read more: Lists of Best Engine Antifreeze and Coolant Fluids

How can I check my oil level at home?

To check your oil level at home, park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine. Wait for a few minutes for the oil to settle down in the oil pan. Then, pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it, and pull it out again. The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum markings on the dipstick.

How much oil should you put in a car?

The amount of oil required for a car depends on various factors such as engine size and type. It is best to refer to the car owner’s manual or consult a mechanic to determine the correct amount of oil required for your car.

Read more: Lists of Best High Mileage Motor Oil for Engines

Well, that is all for this article, in which we looked at how to check your car’s engine oil. Even so, the answers to the following question were discussed:

  • How often should you check your car’s engine oil?
  • Can you check your car’s engine oil when the engine is hot?
  • How do you know what type of oil your car needs?
  • How to check your car’s engine oil?

We hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you in the next one!