How do I check the engine oil level?
Part of being a responsible vehicle owner and ensuring that your car lasts as long as possible is keeping an eye on fluids. There are few fluids as essential as engine oil. You should check the oil level regularly – at least once a month, but more frequently is fine, too. Here’s how to check it:
Park the car level.
Engage the parking brake and put the transmission in park.
Turn off the engine after it reaches operating temperature and let it sit for several minutes to allow oil to drain back into the pan.
Pull the hood release latch.
Open the hood and secure it with the prop rod.
Locate the oil dipstick – it’s at the front of the engine.
Pull the dipstick out and wipe it on a rag.
Reinsert the dipstick and pull it back out again.
Check the oil on the stick. It should be between the two holes (the upper hole is the full mark and the lower hole is the add mark).
If the level is below the lower hole, add a quart of oil.
Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing