How Do I Check My Engine Oil Level?
The 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.
That’s why 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:
- Your vehicle should be warmed up, parked on level ground and left to sit for 10 minutes before checking the oil to ensure an accurate reading.
- Safely prop open your hood and look for the oil dipstick. It can usually be identified by a yellow or brightly coloured handle. If it isn’t visible, consult your owner’s manual for a diagram of your engine compartment.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it dry with a shop towel or rag and replace it, ensuring it is inserted all the way back in. Let it sit for a moment before removing again.
- Slowly 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.)
Oil should not be added unless it is below the lower fill line. If there is oil inside the crosshatched area, then do not add any more.
If the oil is below the lower line, then it is under-filled and should be topped up. When you are topping up the oil, be careful not to add more than a quart at a time so as to avoid overfilling the engine. Each time you add oil, let it settle for a few minutes before re-checking the level for the most accurate reading.
If the oil level is above the upper line, then it’s time you consulted with a mechanic. 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 you may want to schedule a service appointment at Vernon Nissan. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how to check your oil – no question is too small for our skilled service technicians, and we would be happy to help you.