How To Check Your Car’s Oil Level


How To Check Oil Level On Cars With Dipstick

  1. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether the engine should be warm or cold when you check your oil. The answer is simple: Check your oil level after you’ve warmed up the engine. Just take a short ride (at least 6 miles).
  2. Park your vehicle on a flat surface.
  3. Turn off the engine.
  4. Wait a few minutes to let the oil settle into the oil pan.
  5. Find the dipstick (in engine compartment; often next to filler neck). Pull the dipstick out and use a paper towel to clean it.
  6. Insert the dipstick back into the measuring hole, all the way to the stop! Pull the dipstick carefully out again.
  7. Check the amount of oil. You will find two markings (minimum –maximum) on the end of the dipstick. The oil should be between those two markings. If so, put the dipstick back in and plan your next trip!

How to check a car's oil level

Check the oil level:
Below min / above max: bad.
Near max: Perfect!

How To Check Oil Level On Vehicles with On-Board Computer System

  1. Warm up the engine (drive at least 6 miles).
  2. Park your vehicle on a flat surface.
  3. Turn off the engine.
  4. Wait a few minutes to let the oil settle into the oil pan.
  5. Check the oil level using the on-board computer (see operator’s manual).
  6. Is everything all right? Then you’re ready to drive on!

If required, add oil according to the instructions of your on-board computer system.

What To Do When Your Car Is Low On Oil?

If the line of oil is lower than the minimum mark, you should carefully add oil until the maximum mark. Make sure that you use the right engine oil! As a rough estimate: if the line of oil is close to the minimum marking, you have to add around one liter of oil to top up to maximum. Add the oil carefully and slowly, preferably in small amounts (e.g. 0.1 liters a time). Wait around two minutes and check the oil level again. By doing so, you will prevent overfilling, which can be harmful to your engine.

IMPORTANT: After topping up with engine oil, check that the oil filler cap is screwed on tightly.  Otherwise, all your efforts to add oil might be worth nothing.

If your car permanently needs large amounts of oil, it is important to check all possible causes for this high oil consumption.

Too Much Oil In Car

If there are oily parts above the maximum marking on your dipstick, don’t panic! Wait a few minutes and check again.

Your oil level is still higher than it should be? Consult a car repair shop. This extends to problems due to overfilling with motor oil. If you have too much oil in your oil tank, the oil can get all frothy and the lubricating performance decreases. The oil could furthermore enter the engine air intake, causing damage there.

Check the oil level in your car regularly. Too little as well as too much engine oil can be harmful to your engine. Modern motor oils might be more efficient than oils in the olden days, but even the best oil is worth nothing if you do not check whether you have enough of it in your oil tank. Ideally, check your oil level after refueling- doesn’t matter whether you tank up with gasoline or diesel. In any case, check your oil level before long trips, especially when you travel abroad.

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Artikel bookmarken. Stefan Heindl

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