How to check the oil levels in your car - motoring tips from EAC Telford
25th March 2014
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Checking the oil is a simple, routine job that many motorists don't bother to do.

You should check your engine oil levels at least monthly - more frequently if you are a high mileage driver. Think of motor oil as the life blood of your car’s engine. Regular checks help to keep your engine running well and getting the best mpg out of it. The correct oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts, and helps keep the engine clean and from overheating.

All you’ll need is a rag or paper towel, and your owner’s manual in case you get stuck. This should also tell you what tecnical specification of oil you need to top-up your engine oil.

Step 1 - Switch off your engine
Your car should be parked on level ground. Turn the engine off and wait five minutes before you begin.

Step 2 - Locate your dipstick
Open the bonnet and look for the dipstick - most likely brightly coloured, it'll have a handle on top to make it easy to pull out! Pull the dipstick out of its tube.

Step 3 - Clean your dipstick
Use your cloth or paper towel to wipe the oil off the dipstick. Look at the oil level marks of the end of it before you re-insert it into it's tube.

Step 4 - Check your oil level
Slowly pushing the dipstick all the way into its tube, then pull it out again. You'll see immediately where the oil has left a mark on it, the level should be between the upper and lower marks - if it is closer to 'low' or 'empty' mark, you need to add some more oil.

Step 5 - Top-up your oil
Make sure you have the right oil for your engine (owners manual). Carefully remove your oil filler cap on top of the engine. Don't assume you'll need lots of oil - add a little at a time (best to use a plastic funnel). Let it settle and re-check with your dipstick. Don't fill above the 'max' or 'full' line on your dipstick - overfilling causes leaks and wastes your oil, so take your time.

And of course ... if you get stuck, you know where we are!.

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Mark Luckman

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