How to Check Your Car’s Oil

Maintaining proper oil levels in your internal combustion engine (non-EV) is just as vital as proper air levels in your tires. To help you keep your vehicle running strong, it’s important to check your oil levels regularly between oil changes. Here are some tips to help you check yours.

Checking Your Engine Oil

Once a month between oil changes, follow these steps to check your engine’s oil quality and level. This will help determine if you need to add oil or get your oil changed. Some Les Schwab Tire locations offer oil change services. Check your nearby location and schedule an appointment today.

Step 1: Park on level ground

You won’t get an accurate oil level if your car or truck isn’t level.

Step 2: Get a clean paper towel

You’ll need it during the oil check process.

Step 3: Let the vehicle cool off

Wait about 20 minutes before checking the oil. This will ensure you get an accurate reading.

Step 4: Lift the hood and locate the oil dipstick

Check your owner’s manual if you don’t know where it is.

Step 5: Pull out the dipstick

Then carefully wipe the oil off the last few inches of the dipstick.

Step 6: Re-insert the dipstick

Ensure it goes all the way in and clicks or slides into place.

Oil Levels on a dipstick.

Step 7: Pull the dipstick back out

Take note of where the oil lands on the level indicators at the end of the dipstick. The upper line means your vehicle is full. If the oil only reaches the first line, it means you are nearly a quart of oil low.

Step 8: Inspect the oil

As the oil in your vehicle gets used, it will get dirty and thick. Clean oil will appear amber in color and nearly transparent. If your oil looks dark and sludgy, it could be time for an oil change.

Step 9: Wipe the dipstick again

Then re-insert it.

Les Schwab Tip: Want to double-check the levels? Wait a few minutes and start at step 5.

Adding oil to a car  

How To Add Motor Oil To Your Vehicle

If the oil in your vehicle looks clean and levels are clearly a quart low, it may be okay to add some oil. CAUTION: Check your owner’s manual for the specific type of oil you need, including synthetic or blends of traditional and synthetic oils.

To add oil, you’ll need a clean oil funnel and a quart of quality engine oil.

Step 1:

Remove the oil cap and insert the clean oil funnel. Consult your owner’s manual to find the oil cap on your vehicle.

Step 2:

Pour only one-quarter of the quart of oil into the engine.

Step 3:

Wait a full minute. Then pull the dipstick to check the oil levels.

Step 4:

If needed, add more oil. If the levels look okay, stop there.

Step 5:

Put a cap on the remainder of your quart (save it for later). Pull out the funnel and wipe it clean. Then, replace your vehicle’s oil cap. Make sure it is on tight.

Step 6:

Wipe away any drops of oil that fell onto the engine or nearby parts.

Engine oil cap off, showing where to pour oil.  

Keep Your Car’s Engine Safe With Les Schwab

To help maintain your vehicle’s longevity, check your engine oil often between oil changes. When you need an oil change, check with Les Schwab first. Some locations offer quality oil change services from the pros you know and trust.