Amit Saraswat
Nov 23, 2021
3 min read
Tips & Advice

How to Check Engine Oil Level – Learn to Top-up Correctly

How to Check Engine Oil Level

Engine oil works as a lubricant for the running parts of an engine. The engine oil is to the engine with blood is to the human body, it’s a necessity for proper functioning. Your car’s engine will run overheat and may also damage the crucial internals in the absence of the correct level of engine oil. Keeping a check on the engine oil level is an important practice to keep your car healthy. While it sounds complicated, it’s an easy job and doesn’t require any tools. Here is how to check engine oil level and top-up correctly.

How to Check Engine Oil Level

To check your car’s engine oil, you need to take out the owner’s manual and search for instructions. It’s because of the disparity of this simple process, some modern cars don’t even come with dipsticks whereas some cars are recommended to have the engine hot and running while checking the oil level. It depends on what brand are you using and what instructions are mentioned in the owner's manual.

However, most cars that we use on a daily basis have a very simple and quick way to check the engine oil level. But to begin with, there are a few things you should keep in check. Firstly, don’t check the oil level while the engine is running. Let the engine cool down for a few minutes before popping out the dipstick. In addition to that, always park your car on a flat surface. Any inclined parking space may result in an incorrect level of engine oil. The dipstick in the engine bay is mostly marked in bright yellow and it resides around the engine itself.

Also read - Difference Between Petrol Engine and Diesel Engine

Now coming to the process, you have to take out the dipstick by moving it anti-clockwise. After taking the dipstick out, you need to clean the oil that is on the ends of the dipstick and insert it back in. While inserting, make sure it’s made its way to the end. Now take out the dipstick again and check the oil marks on both sides of the dipstick. Normally, a dipstick has two markers, one for minimum oil level and one for maximum oil level. The oil level of your engine should always be in the middle of minimum and maximum markings. After checking, insert the dipstick back in its place and lock it by moving it clockwise.

How to Know Engine Oil Health

The health of the engine oil depends on various factors. It’s not only when your change cycle is nearing, but the engine oil can also deteriorate way quicker ahead of the change cycle. To know if something is wrong with your car’s engine oil, you are supposed to check the colour and texture of the engine oil. If the colour of your car’s engine oil is brown or dark, you have nothing to worry about. But if you notice a light or milky appearance, it may be an indication of a coolant leak in the engine.

Also read - Choosing the Best Car and Bike Engine Oil in India

In addition to that, also look for any metal particles in the engine oil as that could mean potential damage to the engine’s internal. In any of the aforementioned cases, you need to get your car fully diagnosed and get rid of these problems.

How to Top-up Engine Oil Correctly

Every engine comes with a recommended oil that has been mentioned in the vehicle’s user manual. You are supposed to only add the recommended engine oil for the long life of your engine. The oil grade follows a nomenclature such as 5W-30 etc. You need to top up the engine oil only when the level is below the minimum mark.

To top up the engine oil, make sure your car’s engine is cool and the car is parked on a flat surface. You need a funnel, a cloth and the new engine oil. Generally, the quantity of oil top-up is very less, unless your car has witnessed any engine leak in the past. You have to top up small levels of engine oil and check the oil level simultaneously. Adding too much oil could affect the engine life and performance. You need to attain the sweet spot between the minimum and maximum level and your engine is up for munching more miles effortlessly.

If you found this article informative, make sure to check out other interesting reads on the Carorbis Blog and also read How to Clean Car Cover at Home.

The Correct Way to Buy a Used Car.

Put together by industry experts, top mechanics and workshop owners

Used Car Check List Image

The Ultimate Used Car Checklist (OVER 90 Points)

The Correct Way to Buy a Used Car

Used car dealers generally try to hide this from you and we are revealing it all…

  • How to properly inspect a car
  • Hidden things to lookout for
  • How and when to negotiate a lower price

Enter your details

Our first focus is protecting your privacy, and we pledge to keep your email secure! Please refer to our privacy statement for more details. We appreciate your trust in us and promise to keep your email address away from prying eyes!

Amit Saraswat

Amit Saraswat

Born and brought up in Agra, he grew up reading magazines more than textbooks. With a keen interest in cars, he decided to make his future in automotive journalism and is currently handling content at Carorbis.