So, you’re a woman driver and you want to check the engine oil level in your car.
Well, you’re in the right place and hopefully, this article will help you do just that.
Why is this specifically for women? It seems that lots of female drivers out there have a sort of repulsion to these kinds of tasks.
Some major reasons are lack of interest (which is very understandable), then there’s some fear, and perhaps above all a ton of other obligations that most women have in their everyday life.
But, I assure you if you drive a car, then checking the oil is immensely important. Both for your car and your home budget.
Not to mention that this is very simple to do and takes literally minutes.
WHY IS AN ENGINE OIL CHECK SO IMPORTANT?
Without engine oil, your car’s engine cannot function at all.
Engine oil is a vital component that lubricates all the inner parts of the engine.
A low oil level or even worse the lack of oil can eventually lead to catastrophic damage to the engine rendering the car useless.
So no oil means engine damage meaning no car.
Besides this, by checking the oil level regularly, you can get a good idea about the condition of the engine in your car.
For instance, if the engine consumes a lot of oil in a shorter period of time, it usually means something is wrong or the engine is on its last legs.
So, by learning how to check the engine oil level you can prevent some possible huge damage and expense and get some vital information about your car.
Perhaps it can help even decide if should you sell the car altogether.
WHAT IS AN OIL DIPSTICK AND HOW DOES THE WHOLE SYSTEM WORK?
The oil dipstick, as the name says is a metal stick that is inserted into a sleeve located on the engine.
When inserted, the lower part of the stick is dipped into the engine oil which sits in the oil sump (it’s a kind of pan holding all the engine’s oil).
Imagine if you were to dip the stick into a metal pan full of oil. It’s exactly the same thing only difference is the kind and looks of the pan.
On the dipstick, you’ll find engraved or bent, a simple measuring gauge with which you actually read the level. The gauge is the part you should pay attention to.
The gauge has a minimum and maximum setting.
So, once again, what you are essentially doing is dipping a stick into the engine oil and checking the level with it.
Simple as that.
HOW TO CHECK THE ENGINE OIL IN A CAR?
For checking the engine oil level, prepare a clean cloth or even better a paper towel for wiping.
Another very important thing: check the oil level when the engine is cold. This way you’ll get an accurate reading which is very important.
Also, you’ll avoid working around a hot engine which is hazardous and there is no need for this.
In order to check the engine oil first raise the hood (aka the bonnet).
- First, pull the release handle for the hood, it’s located on the driver’s side near the footwell or under the steering wheel.
- Pull the release latch, raise the hood, and insert the prop rod. Make sure you do it properly so the hood doesn’t accidentally fall on you. Skip this step if the hood has gas struts and stands on its own.
- Find the oil dipstick. It’s very recognizable by its bright color, it will usually be orange, red, yellow, or else, it will be sticking from the engine and usually has a loop handle for getting it out easier.
- Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a cloth or towel
- Insert the dipstick again, wait for about 10 seconds, and pull the dipstick out once more. Do so in a calm manner, don’t wave the stick around as this can make the oil slide on the dipstick and give a false reading.
Look at the mentioned gauge as this is the most important part of learning how to check the engine oil level. If everything is OK, the oil level should be just between minimum and maximum, in the middle of the gauge
A lower level means you have to add oil and a higher level means you have too much.
A couple of millimeters above or under the middle is not alarming. But if the oil level is low or even worse under the minimum level top up the oil as soon as possible as this is dangerous.
The rarer case is that there’s too much oil. If it’s a couple of millimeters above the middle then this is OK and tolerable but if it’s on maximum or worse above it, get the excess oil out of the engine as this is also not good for it.
- Once you’re finished, return the dipstick back and make sure it sits firmly in place.
You can repeat the measuring one more time to be sure that the reading is accurate.
- Once you’re finished lower the hood and properly close it.
So, learning how to check the engine oil level is, as mentioned, a very simple procedure that you can surely do on your own.
It’s good to do this at least twice a month, even more often if you drive an older high-mileage car or one that burns engine oil.
Also, you should do it before a long road trip to perhaps avoid problems.
In real-time, as mentioned, this takes only minutes, you can literally do it before you start the drive.
No need to avoid the engine oil check whatsoever. In return, it might well save your engine.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO CHECK THE ENGINE OIL LEVEL IN A CAR? YOUTUBE VIDEO