Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How do I check the oil?

asked by on

How do I check the oil?

A: Keeping an eye on vital fluids is part of b...

Keeping an eye on vital fluids is part of being a responsible car owner. One of the most important (and most easily checked) fluids is engine oil. To check it, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes before checking the oil.

  2. Open the hood.

  3. Locate the engine oil dipstick. You’ll find it on top of the engine near the oil filler cap. It has an orange handle.

  4. Pull the dipstick out of the tube.

  5. Wipe oil off the stick (you can use a paper towel, a grease rag, or a cloth).

  6. Reinsert the dipstick into the tube.

  7. Pull the dipstick back out and check the end to determine the level of engine oil. It should be between the upper and lower marks (holes).

  8. If the oil is at the lower mark or below it, you’ll need to add a quart of engine oil.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Poor idling, hesitation on acceleration, and oil on spark plugs.

Hello. From what you describe, it would appear that your vehicle may be experiencing more than one issue. Oil on the spark plugs can be caused by a few different things. If you also found oil in the spark plug...

Q: Brake lights will not turn off

If the brake lights will not turn off, the brake light switch is likely failed, or out of adjustment; disconnecting the battery won't do any good. I suggest you have a trained professional, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect and...

Q: How do I release a locked seat belt?

If you move around in your seat, or try and put on your seat belt too quickly, the belt will sometimes lock. When this happens, you won’t be able to extend your seat belt at all. Releasing a locked seat...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.