How to check engine oil? - Advice corner / ELF

How to check engine oil in a car?

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Checking cars’ oil level helps prevent faults and most importantly avoids mechanical damage which may – in the short-or mid-term – prevent your vehicle from running smoothly.

Before you begin:

  • The manufacturer's service manual will tell you how often you should check your engine's oil level, as well as what type of oil you should use.
    Caution! If you have to top up your engine's oil, it is very important that you use the product recommended in your user guide.
  • The vehicle's manual will show you where the oil gauge is on your engine.
  • Make sure the engine has been switched off for at least 2 minutes so that the oil is "resting" and at the bottom of the sump.
  • Check that your car is on a stable and horizontal surface in order to ensure that you get a good reading.
  • Get a cloth or a roll of paper towel.

How to check the level:

  • Open the engine’s bonnet and locate the engine oil gauge or dipstick (this is usually a brightly-colored ring or hook).
  • Pull on this hook in order to remove the stem in its entirety. Then wipe it with the cloth and insert it back into the gauge.
  • Pull out the stem once again and look at where the mark left by the oil is. This is your engine's oil level. You should also see the two lines or marks for ensuring that oil levels are between the minimum and maximum levels.
  • Your engine's oil level should be between the "minimum" and the "maximum" lines on the gauge.

How to put oil in your car?

Never put more than the "maximum" quantity of oil – doing so may damage your engine and its oil-tight seal.
Similarly, the level should never be below the "minimum" line so as to ensure optimum lubrication at all times and avoid engine wear.

  • If the level is below the "minimum" line, you must top up your oil immediately.
  • If you think that the level is too close to the "minimum" line, it is advisable (although not obligatory) to top up the oil.

If you need to top up your oil, refer to your manufacturer's user manual or our website to find out which product is suitable for your engine.

Discover in images how to check engine oil