Rita from Anglia School of Motoring shows you how to check your car oil. This is an essential task and should be done at least once a week. Without proper levels of oil, your engine is put under unwanted stress and can become severely damaged. Driving even for one minute without oil will seriously damage the engine.
Park the car on a level surface
To get the most accurate reading your car should be cold or at least it’s been standing for a while, so the oil has had time to settle.
Ensure you have the correct type of motor oil
Your car manual will tell what type of oil you require. Most cars use either 50/30 or 10/30.
Open car bonnet
Pull the bonnet catch which you can find by the driver’s side in the car, open the bonnet up, and make sure it is secure.
Find the dipstick which usually a bright coloured stick and it’s located in the centre of the engine. Pull the dipstick out, wipe it with a paper towel, and note the minimum and the maximum markers.
Measure motor oil
Put the dipstick back in again, and then pull it back out to find out how much oil is actually in the car. As you can see it is below the required amount and it does need a top up, so we are going to do that now.
Add motor oil
Now that we have established that the engine is low on oil because it is below the maximum marker, we will top it up. We do that by unscrewing the cap, which is marked with the words ‘engine oil’ and we shall use a funnel to top up because we don’t want to spill the oil all over the engine.
When you have got the funnel in place, we will start topping it up with oil. We can see that this oil is 10/40. Earlier on, we said that most cars use 50/30 or 10/30, it’s really important that you check your car manual to find out what type of oil your car requires.
We going to add a little bit at a time because we don’t want to overfill it. It’s important that you don’t have too much oil as well as not enough.
We’re going to add just a little bit at a time and let it settle. Check the dipstick now to see if it has reached the maximum level, if not, we can add a bit more. Repeat the process of preparing the dipstick and measuring until your oil level has reached the maximum marker.
In this instance, I needed about a cupful of oil in my engine, but you might need to do this several times and keep checking it until you reach the maximum marker. Do remember though that if your oil is too dark then it’s time for an oil change.
Look after your car and it will look after you.