How to check your engine oil

Three out of four Brits don't know how to check the oil in their car, according to research from Mobil 1. More worryingly, almost half of drivers don’t know why oil is used in their car’s engine.

The research also found 94% of motorists were unaware that using the correct oil can significantly prolong the life of their engine, as well as potentially improve fuel economy. All of which means that at a time when British car owners are feeling the pinch like never before, they could be driving blindly towards expensive engine problems in the future. 

You could be driving blindly towards expensive engine problems

You wouldn't survive very long if all the blood was drained from your body. It's the same for your car's engine; let it run out of oil and it won't be long before the whole things destroys itself. That's why you need to make sure there's enough oil in the engine. It takes just a couple of minutes; here's how. 

  • Park your car on level ground and switch off the engine.

  • Open the bonnet and leave the car for five minutes, for the oil to settle.

  • Pull on the loop of the dipstick and take it all the way out.

  • With a clean paper towel or rag, wipe the oil off the dipstick.

  • Put the clean dipstick back in the engine, pushing it all the way in.

  • Pull the dipstick back out; towards the bottom end will be two markings. The oil level should be somewhere between these; if there's no oil showing at all, the engine is dry and it'll soon be wrecked.

  • If the oil on the dipstick is below the line marked ADD, put in a small amount of oil.

  • Add oil by unscrewing the oil filler cap, on top of the engine.

  • Using the correct type of oil (check the handbook), top up the level.

  • Check the level again and add more if necessary; don't add too much oil as removing oil is much harder than adding it.

  • Put the oil filler cap back on and make sure it's tight.

  • Make sure the dipstick is back in place as well.