How Often Should You Check The Level Of Your Engine’s Oil?

5. How Often Should You Check The Level Of Your Engine's Oil1
Read Time:6 Minute, 21 Second

At the very least once a month, or before any significant trip, we advise you to check and top off your oil. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, engine oil should be changed at regular intervals.

You may need to change your oil more often if:

  • You drive frequent short runs (less than 8 kms)
  • More than 50 percent of your driving is in heavy city traffic
  • You drive long distances at high-speeds in high temperatures (above 32°C)
  • You drive in dusty, sandy or salty conditions
  • Do a long trip with a heavy load, including towing

What will you do as a result? Right, make sure to check the engine oil. Watch this movie first if you don’t know how to do it.

How Do You Check Your Oil Levels?

Knowing when to check the oil is important, but you also need to know how to do it correctly. Fortunately, if your engine is cold, it only takes a minute. You must wait for your engine to cool before putting it back in the oil tank, also known as the sump, if it has just been used. You can check your oil in five easy steps:

  1. Open the car’s bonnet, then position the car on the support prop.
  2. Find the dipstick, then remove it. Use your manual if you can’t find it.
  3. Replace the dipstick after cleaning it.
  4. Check to see if the level is within the range suggested by the dipstick after you’ve reinserted it.
  5. If the oil level is low, top it off and check it the following week to make sure there is no problem.

There isn’t a standard amount of oil that should be in every car because each one differs based on the manufacturer and engine size. Assuming the engine is cold and the car is parked on a level, flat surface, check the oil level. Verify that the bonnet is open and fastened, then look for the dipstick, which is typically marked with a ring at the top. When you remove the dipstick and clean it with a rag or tissue, two markers indicating a minimum and maximum level should be visible. After that, insert the dipstick back into the tube and wait a short while before removing it once more. The oil level should now be roughly halfway between the minimum and maximum markers; if it is more toward the minimum level, you will need to add more oil because you are running low. As you add the oil, be sure to check the levels frequently because adding too much oil can harm your engine. Check out the RAC’s helpful online guide, which includes a YouTube tutorial, to learn more about checking your oil in detail.

5. How Often Should You Check The Level Of Your Engine's Oil2

Getting Your Oil Checked for An MOT

If you haven’t leased a brand-new vehicle, your car may be older than three years. With these vehicles, it’s crucial that you schedule your car for an MOT every year because it’s not only legally required but also one of the key inspections done during an MOT.[1] When your oil levels are correct, the garage will let you know and may even offer to top them off while your car is there. However, it’s best to check the oil level before your MOT because the garage needs the level to be accurate in order to test emission levels and your car will fail, or the MOT may not take place at all, again wasting your time and money.

These factors make leasing a new car occasionally more affordable than buying or leasing an older one. You only need to have the vehicle serviced if you are leasing a car for a short period of time, up to three years.

However, it is advised that you check your oil levels at least once per month as a general rule. But it’s advised that you check your oil before you leave if you’re going to be traveling a long distance, perhaps for work or to take your family on vacation. In order to ensure the smoothest possible trip, it’s also a good idea to check your tires’ tread and pressure as well as the fuel and washer fluid levels. You definitely want to avoid having metal on metal contact between the internal engine components because it can seriously harm your engine in a matter of seconds if there isn’t enough oil in your car, even for a brief period of time.

When there is an issue with the oil level in your car, which could be caused by the temperature of your oil, your car may occasionally let you know. The oil temperature gauge, which is sometimes found on the dashboard, the dials in front of the driver, or in the vehicle settings on the car’s infotainment system, can be used to check this. There is typically a small oil can symbol on your dash that will light up if the car detects that something isn’t quite right with your oil, but this varies by manufacturer, so check your car’s manual if you’re unsure.

You should regularly service your car in addition to having it inspected by the MOT. The oil level will be checked and topped off as necessary when you have service performed on your vehicle. Although this depends on your driving habits, mileage, and car, it is advised that you change your car’s oil about once every 12 months. Additionally, it’s crucial to use the right kind of oil for your vehicle because using the incorrect kind of oil can seriously harm your engine. Check your owner’s manual or get in touch with the manufacturer to make sure you’re using the right oil for your car; every vehicle has unique needs.

What to Do If Your Oil is Low?

Now that you know how to check the oil and how often to check it, you need to know what to do if the oil level is too low. Fill it up with high-quality engine oil as soon as possible, then wait a few days to a week before checking it again to ensure the level is within the recommended range. A fault, such as a leak, could ultimately result in serious damage to your car if your oil level drops again. So that a qualified mechanic can identify the problem, you should bring your car into a garage.

How Often Should You Change Oil?

You should keep track of how frequently you change the oil in addition to knowing how frequently you should check the oil. Fresh oil is typically amber in color, but it eventually turns darker until it is black. Although this is a sign that it needs to be changed, the distance traveled and the length of time since your last oil change provide a more reliable indication. One reason to keep your car’s service history current is that when you take it in for maintenance, the oil and oil filter will both be changed.

FAQs

Should I Check My Oil When the Engine is Hot Or Cold?

We recommend checking the oil level either before turning on the engine or 5 to 10 minutes after shutting down so you can have all the oil in the oil pan to get an accurate measurement.

How Often Should You Top Up Engine Oil

We recommend that you check and top-up your oil at least once a month, or before any long trip. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, engine oil should be changed on a regular basis. If you: frequently drive short distances (less than 8 km), you may need to change your oil more frequently.

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