BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How to check & topup the oil in a car engine

Your rating: None
Oil is critical for an engines long life and fuel efficiency. The engine uses a small amount of oil even when in good condition. This makes regular checking and topping up important. Using this guide you can ensure the level is correct at a regular intervals.
What you'll need: 
Lint free rag or cloth
Petrol engine oil or Diesel engine oil
Make sure the car is on a level surface. In an area where you can access the engine safely.
Locate the bonnet release catch. This is normally located under the dashboard on either the driver's side or passenger's side.
Pull the lever firmly to release the main bonnet catch.
To open the bonnet the safety catch has to be released. This is done by hand and is normally located under the lip of the bonet left or right of centre. Lift the bonnet a little to help access it.
Once released, lift the bonnet and hold in place with the stay. This will be a rod located at the front or side of the engine.
The oil level is checked with a metal rod called a dipstick. The dipstick will have a plastic top or a hooped top and is normally labelled oil. On new cars they are colour coded yellow.
Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with the cloth and replace it firmly and fully. Remove it again and look at the bottom 3inchs/70mm there will be marks to indicate full and low level. The oil on the stick should be between these two marks.
If it is low, half a litre is normally the amount required to be added to increase the level from low to full. This is added via the oil filler cap located on the top of the engine labelled oil.
Add a little oil at a time and recheck the level after each addition. Wait a little time for the oil to run down. Never over fill.
When correct at the full mark refit the oil filler cap and the dipstick. Close the bonnet and check it is fully closed on the catch.
When buying the oil check it is correct for your engine
The local petrol station is a good place the check oil levels
Ask for help if unsure
To help locate the dipstick and the filler cap use the manual for your car.
Never over fill the oil
Never under fill
If unsure consult the manual do not guess where to fill


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links