How to Check Your Car’s Engine Oil with 5 Easy Steps

While some cars consume virtually any engine oil, others require regular oil refills. This is why it is important to regularly check the oil level between oil changes, because operating a vehicle with low oil levels can be harmful to the engine and can significantly reduce the oil and engine life.

Some modern cars have an electronic oil sensor that warns when your engine oil is reaching a safe minimum. But whether your car has a sensor or not, it's still a good idea to check your engine oil level manually on a regular basis, especially when you're planning a long trip. In short, both the sensor and the indicator light may not work without you even knowing it.

To avoid risks and severe damage, you should regularly prepare enough oil for your car to operate. Is checking your car engine oil difficult? The following article will give you the fundamental steps to do it.

Materials Needed

To check the engine oil level, you need to prepare the materials:

  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Disposable gloves (if needed)
  • The car is parked on a flat road

Checking Your Car Engine Oil with 05 Easy Steps

If the battery is like the heart of a car, the oil is the blood vessel to operate the car engine. Experts recommend that motorists check the car's oil weekly or at least once a month to keep up with new oil.

If you are familiar with this, you can approximate when the oil will run out, the best time to check oil and not have to take care of it as often. Follow the steps below, and you will see how easy it is!

Step 1: Ready before Checking

First, you have to park the car on level ground and turn off the engine. Adjust some parts, such as turning on the parking brake and putting the manual transmission in low gear. After waiting a while for the engine to cool down, gently lift the hood of the vehicle.

how to check engine oil

In addition, the manufacturer's manual also has step-by-step instructions if you are confused as to how. Under the dashboard on the left, there is usually a lever for you to open the roof. You can check this location to see if your car is available. Note that when you open the hood, the safety latch on the hood must be removed first.

Step 2: Locate the engine oil dipstick

You can find the location of the dipstick easily. Its handle has an eye-catching color (usually orange or yellow), so you can easily see it. Above it has an oil can icon to distinguish it.

how to check engine oil

In case the exact location of the dipstick still cannot be found, refer to the supplied instruction manual.

Step 3: Take out The Oil Dipstick

At this point, you see the dipstick inserted into a tube. Pulling it out is like you are drawing a sharp sword, then you will see that the end of the dipstick is covered with a layer of oil. Do not read the parameters at this time because the results will not be accurate. Take the tissue you prepared earlier to wipe off all the oil on the dipstick.

how to check engine oil

Any dipstick has two lines indicating the oil level at its tip. When the oil level hits the bottom line, it means it is less than one liter. Conversely, the line at the top shows the oil tank of the car is full-filled. In addition, these two lines can be replaced with the word "add" or "full."

Step 4: Observe The Oil Level

how to check engine oil

To check what level the oil is in, slowly slide the dipstick down the tube until it reaches the bottom. Pull it out and see if oil sticks to the tip of the dipstick. Your car is having a balanced oil level if it hits the level between two lines. If it is lower, then you need to add more oil.

Step 5: Check again

The newly added oil will take a few minutes to run down the entire crankcase. You wait a bit and then do step 4 to see where the oil level is. When it is between the low and high lines, it is at a perfect level. Many people mistakenly believe that oil at the highest level is good, but that is not the case.

Signs that You Need to Check Your Car Engine Oil

The life of the engine will be longer when you check the oil regularly. Components in the engine require lubrication during movement to prevent friction and wear. Checking your car engine oil is not a difficult job. If you see some of the signs below, it is time to look at your oil level right away:

  • Oil pressure warning light: Through the warning light, the car will notify you that the amount of oil is about to run out.
  • Cars make a lot of loud noises
  • Performance degradation
  • The engine is hot and overloaded

Besides, when you see any other abnormal signs, you should also look at the car's oil level.

Some Things You Need to Know When Checking Your Car Engine Oil

1. Time to Change The Oil

Changing your car engine oil is one of the most straightforward and most economical methods to prolong the life of your car. You can do this every 5000 miles or as recommended by the manufacturer.

While checking the oil can be a bit complicated at first, you'll find it practical and easy once you get used to it. It helps you monitor the condition of your engine oil and know when to replace it with a new one. In addition, you can take advantage of the oil level to see when you fill up gas each month.

In case you forget, make a note of it and clip it on the windshield so you can keep track of when your following oil change is. It is essential for older cars. The car's engine will wear out as it travels 100,000 miles and becomes old.

Each time you drive, the engine burns the oil much faster, so the oil is drained quickly. In addition, too high speed also causes the car to burn oil excessively. If you experience these two conditions, be sure to check your car's oil regularly.

2. Check Engine Oil Condition

Besides the time to change the oil, do not ignore the condition of the engine oil. The state of the oil is expressed in terms of its consistency and color. Oil is usually yellow, but it will gradually turn brown as the engine runs.

how to check engine oil

When you see the oil is black, it is time to change the oil. This oil contains too much dust from the engine. If the engine oil is honey-yellow, you can drive with confidence. You need to keep in mind to see if the oil is contaminated with metal particles. This situation occurs when the engine has a problem.

how to check engine oil

Long-term engine operation will accumulate dirt and carbon deposits. You can use a flashlight and shine on the engine oil to get a better look.

The black residue is easily seen. It shows that car owners rarely change engine oil. Do not neglect to change the oil in your car.


As mentioned above, oil plays a significant role for the car to operate efficiently. Without oil's lubrication, the car engine will boil and ignite after just a few seconds of starting. Oil helps lubricate the engine and resists high heat and strong friction. Therefore, the new engine can be started quickly.

Checking Your Car Engine Oil is an essential maintenance step for any car. Hopefully, this article helped you understand more about the steps to check engine oil so you can take care of your car correctly.

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