How to check your oil

You might be surprised to hear that three quarters of all Brits don’t know how to check the oil in their car. And even more worryingly, half of drivers don’t know why oil is used in their car at all, according to new research from Mobil 1.

The study also found 94 per cent of drivers were oblivious to the fact that using the correct oil can significantly prolong the life of their engine, as well as potentially improving fuel economy.

You wouldn’t survive very long if all the blood was drained from your body. It’s the same for your car’s engine; let it run out of oil and it won’t be long before the whole things destroys itself. That’s why you need to make sure there’s enough oil in the engine. It takes just a couple of minutes, and here’s how to do it.

  • Park your car on level ground and turn off the engine.
  • Open the bonnet and leave the car for five minutes, allowing the oil to settle.
  • Pull the dipstick all the way out of the engine.
  • With a clean paper towel or rag, wipe the oil off the dipstick.
  • Put the clean dipstick back in the engine, pushing it all the way in.
  • Pull the dipstick back out. Now, towards the bottom end will be two markings. The oil level should be somewhere between these; if there’s no oil showing at all, the engine is dry and it’ll soon be wrecked.
  • If the oil on the dipstick is below the line marked ADD, put in a small amount of oil into the oil filler on the top of the engine.
  • Check the level again and add more if necessary; don’t add too much oil as removing oil is much harder than adding it.
  • Put the oil filler cap back on and make sure it’s tight.
  • Put the dipstick all the way back into the dipstick tube.
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