It’s worth checking the oil level of your vehicle every couple of months if your car is an old model. The consequential damage to the engine if it drops too low can be severe and horribly expensive.
You will need a pair of rubber or latex gloves and some kitchen roll. Your car needs to be parked on the flat and the engine cold before you start – this means waiting 30 minutes if you’ve recently driven it and 10 minutes if you’ve just re-parked it. Have the right engine oil for your car and a funnel handy, in case you do need a top-up.
HOW TO CHECK AND TOP UP THE OIL IN YOUR CAR Photo Gallery
Open the car bonnet (check your car’s manual if you can’t find how to do this) and disengage the safety latch to open it fully. Pull out the support strut and hook it into the roof of the bonnet.
The oil dipstick should have a brightly coloured handle. Pull the dipstick out of the tube it’s lodged in. Wipe the oil off with a piece of kitchen roll. Insert the dipstick fully back into the tube. Take it out again. If the oil level is correct, the oil on the dipstick should be between the MIN and MAX markings.
Top up the oil if necessary, using the funnel. Pour slowly and be careful not to overfill as this can be damaging to the engine. Avoid spilling any oil as it is harmful to the environment if it gets into the ground or waterways.