How to check your car’s engine oil
Mar 30, 2023

Checking your car's engine oil is an essential part of regular car maintenance. The oil in your engine lubricates and protects its moving parts, ensuring that your car runs smoothly and efficiently. Regular oil checks can help you ensure your oil levels are correct and will help keep your engine running smoothly. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of how to check your car's engine oil.

Step 1: Park your car on a level surface

Before you start, park your car on a level surface and make sure the engine has been turned off for at least 10 minutes. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, it will give the oil time to settle in the oil pan, which will give you a more accurate reading. Secondly, it will ensure the engine has cooled before you possibly burn yourself while performing the oil check.

Step 2: Locate the dipstick

The dipstick is usually located near the front of the engine and is connected to the oil tank. It usually has a brightly coloured handle. Refer to your car's owner's manual if you're having trouble finding it.


Step 3: Remove the dipstick

Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean. This will remove any oil that may have splashed onto the dipstick or any debris that may have collected on it.

Step 4: Reinsert the dipstick

Reinsert the dipstick all the way back into the tube, making sure it's fully seated.

Step 5: Remove the dipstick again and check the oil level

Pull the dipstick out again and then take a look at the oil level. The dipstick will have two marks on it, indicating the minimum and maximum oil levels. The oil level should be between these two marks. If it's below the minimum mark, you'll need to add more oil.

oil dipstick level

Step 6: Check the oil's colour and consistency

Finally, check the colour and consistency of the oil on the dipstick. If the oil is dark and dirty, it may be time for an oil change, although this isn't always the case. For example, an older car may have fresh oil but due to debris from the engine the oil may appear dark and dirty. If unsure, we recommend speaking to a professional.

Take a look at this helpful guide to what colour the oil should be:

Save money on oil changes and services

To save money on booking an oil change or other car services we have the "My Garage" feature on the Rooster Car Insurance app where you can book car services from thousands of independent or franchised garages and save up to 40%. The app is free to use and can be downloaded from the App Store or Play Store.

To see an oil check being performed, take a look at our video showing how to check your car's engine oil here.

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