How To Check Your Oil In 10 Easy Steps


Checking your vehicle’s engine oil is a quick and simple maintenance project that almost any driver can do themselves. Even if you don’t feel up to the task of changing your own engine oil, chances are that you will be able to check it yourself. Most models should have an oil change about every three months or three thousand miles. In between your regularly scheduled oil changes, you can check your engine oil levels to ensure that it has not become too low or dirty.

Follow these simple steps to check your vehicle’s engine oil.

Follow These Steps to Check Your Oil

  1. 1

    Locate a rag or a scrap of old fabric to use when checking your oil. An old t-shirt usually works great.

  2. 2

    Check out your owner’s manual. If you are extremely unfamiliar with what is under the hood of your vehicle, you will find a detailed description of where your dip stick is located in your owner’s manual.

  3. 3

    It is best to check your oil while it is warm. A great time to check you oil is after a quick trip to a local market or around your neighborhood.

  4. 4

    Make sure that you turn your vehicle off before you begin the process of check its oil.

  5. 5

    Pop the hood. Pull the handle located on the inside of your vehicle, usually on the side of the driver side door, and the press the lever located underneath the center of the hood. Make sure that the hood of your car is securely propped.

    There’s no point in feeling embarrassed if you do not know how to open your hood. Check this short video for a clue:

  6. 6

    Locate the dip stick. On most models, the dip stick is located on the left side of the engine. The dip stick usually has a yellow or orange circular handle that is clearly visible. When you pull this handle, a long piece of metal will slide out of the engine.

    dip stick
    The cap of the dip stick will usually be yellow

  7. 7

    Once you locate and remove the dip stick, clean it with your rag and slide it back in. Make sure that the dip stick is inserted all the way back in.

  8. 8

    Next, remove the dip stick once more. Look at the end of the dip stick. Some models will have a line marked “full” while others will have a textured area that represents the capacity of the oil pan. The oil will appear amber in color. It should be fairly easy to discern the oil level by looking at the dip stick.

    gritty oil
    The low level of oil, as in the picture, will lead to serious engine damage

  9. 9

    If the dip stick indicates that the oil level is normal, re-insert it.

  10. q

    If the dip stick indicates that the oil level is low, touch the end of the dip stick with two fingers and feel of the texture of the oil. If the oil is clean, you can add new oil using a funnel. If the oil is gritty, it is necessary to have your oil changed as soon as possible.

    gritty oil
    The oil in the picture looks black and gritty, it’s about the time to change it

Checking you vehicle’s oil level is a simple task that takes only a few minutes to perform. Knowing how to check your oil will enable you to ensure that your engine is being properly lubricated.

1- things you should do before your driving knowledge exam

FREE e-Book: 10 Things You Should Do Before Your Driving Knowledge Exam

Many people get to the DMV overconfident and underprepared because they fail to do some of the simple things that would allow them to pass easily. What follows are the 10 steps that every aspiring driver should take to prepare for his or her official knowledge exam.

80% of people found this article helpful.
Click a star to add your vote
6 votes - average 4 out of 5
80% of people told us that this article helped them.

Up next

This Is What You Do about Engine Sludge - Complete Guide to Saving Your Car

Engine sludge can be a very serious problem. Drivers whose cars develop engine sludge will often spend hundreds of dollars on costly repairs. Before you learn how to remove engine sludge, you need to know exactly what it is. Engine sludge develops on and around your vehicle’s motor when oil begins to break down and collects on the engine. When engine sludge is present, oil is not able to properly lubricate the moving parts of your vehicle’s motor. ...

This Is How You Change Your Car Oil at Home in 4 Expert Steps

While many drivers use oil changing services to have the oil replaced in their car, simple maintenance jobs like changing your vehicle’s oil are relatively easy if you know how to do them. With knowledge of the process and a trip to your local auto supply store to purchase the supplies, you can quickly and easily change the oil in your vehicle. Before you change the oil in your vehicle for the first time, make sure that you refer to your owner’s ...

DIY Car Maintenance 101: How You Add Anti-Freeze in 11 Clear Steps

Whether you experience frigid, icy winters or live in a more temperate area of the country, antifreeze is an essential fluid for your vehicle. Most modern motors use water to keep the engine from overheating. While plain water works in a pinch, a mixture of water and engine coolant, or anti-freeze, is much safer for your car. Like replacing windshield wiper fluid, adding engine oil, and inflating your tires, adding anti-freeze is a simple maintena ...