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How to Check your Vehicle’s Engine Oil

Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle: not enough oil, and improper lubrication can cause significant damage to engine components. Too much oil, and excessive oil pressure can also result in potentially expensive repairs.

For this reason, checking your car’s oil level is one of the most important things you can do in order to extend your vehicle’s life. Fortunately, it’s also one of the simplest steps to preventative maintenance.

Here’s how to check your oil:

  1. To ensure an accurate reading, make sure that you are parked on level ground.
  2. Next, safely prop your hood open and find the dipstick. It is usually identified by an orange or brightly colored handle, labeled with the word ‘OIL.’ If the dipstick isn’t visible, consult your owner’s manual for a diagram of your engine compartment.
  3. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it down with a towel or rag, and then replace it into the engine, making sure it goes all the way in.
  4. After letting it sit for a minute, pull the dipstick back out. Be careful not to turn it upside down as the oil mark may run and skew the reading. The oil level should be between the upper and lower line. Depending on the dipstick, there may be upper and lower holes instead of lines, or hash marks.

If the oil level is below the bottom mark, this means that your vehicle is in need of additional oil. When adding oil, be sure to never fill it with more than a quart at a time, without checking the level again, as you do not want to overfill the engine.

If the oil level is above the upper line, then it’s time you consulted with a one of our LOF-Xpress™ technicians. While someone may have just accidentally overfilled the oil, a high oil level could also indicate other engine issues, like a blown head gasket.

Normal oil consumption, rated by most manufacturers, is around 1 liter per 1,600 kilometers. If you are using more oil than this, then we recommend a trip to one of your convenient LOF-Xpress™ locations.