How To Check Your Car’s Engine Oil

March 1st, 2024 by

How To Check Your Car's Engine Oil

Oil is what cleans and protects your engine. Without it, damage to your engine will occur that can result in costly repairs or even engine failure. So, one of the best ways to protect your engine and your vehicle is to check its oil level regularly. If it’s been a while since your last oil change, or if you drive an older vehicle with a lot of miles, checking your vehicle’s oil can help you stay informed about your vehicle’s maintenance needs, therefore preventing extensive damage to your engine. Now that we’ve covered the importance of checking your oil, let’s go over how you can complete this process yourself. To learn more about the importance of checking your oil, give our service department a call at Premier Clearance Center Metairie.


With any type of vehicle maintenance or repairs, one must prepare the vehicle and make sure that any necessary safety precautions are taken. When you’re checking your oil, you’ll need to park the vehicle on level ground, turn off the engine, and put on the parking brake. Then, you’ll need to lift the hood and equip the safety catch.

Locate and Pull Out the Dipstick

For most vehicles, the dipstick is easy to locate due to its bright orange or yellow handle that is marked with an oil-can symbol. Once you’ve located the dipstick handle, have a towel or rag on hand as you pull the dipstick completely out of its tube. Use your rag to wipe any oil off the end. Then, you should see two lines at the tip of the dipstick, the bottom one tells you that your oil level is one quart low, and the top line shows that your oil tank is full. Depending on your vehicle, these lines may also be marked with words such as “add” or “safe”.

Check and Note Your Oil Level

To check your oil level, you’ll need to slowly insert the dipstick all the way back into its tube. Then, take it out once again and do not wipe off the oil. Instead, you’ll need to look closely at the oil that’s sitting on the tip of the dipstick. Where the oil lands on the two lines will tell you if you need to add more. If the oil is at or below the lower line, more oil needs to be added. If it’s between the two lines, you have enough oil.

What To Do Next

If your vehicle has enough oil, the process is complete, so you can replace the dipstick and close the hood. If you need to add a quart, it’s always a good idea to check again after the new oil is added. Before you do another check, you’ll need to wait a few minutes to let the oil drain into the crankcase. Then, you can perform another dipstick test to make sure your oil now falls between the two lines.