A vehicle more than a couple of years old may use a bit of oil between services. Even some models straight off the showroom floor are known to consume a bit! Most of the time, it’s nothing to be worried about – if you keep on top of your top ups.
How do I know if my engine oil needs a top up?
Alongside tyre pressure, water levels and a host of other basic checks; you should be popping the dipstick out to check your engine oil level once a week. Keep on top of it now, and your engine will stay in pristine condition.
Other signs your engine oil is low could include:
- An engine oil pressure warning light on the dash
- A knocking sound from the engine on startup or whenever it’s running
- Loss of power
If your oil level has dropped low enough to display any of these symptoms, there’s already some expensive damage being done. So lets dive into making sure that doesn’t happen hey?
What you need
Every engine is different and will require a specific grade of engine oil. You can find the correct engine oil (and any part for that matter) using the My Garage feature on the Supercheap Auto website. Just punch in your rego number and state, or search by vehicle make, mode and year.
Now, how easy is it to top up the oil?
It’ll take you no more than five minutes! If your vehicle has been running, allow a few minutes for the oil to settle.
Next, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or cloth.
You'll find the dipstick protruding from the front or side of the engine. It's easily located by looking for the yellow looped end.
Push the dipstick all the way in, wait a moment, then withdraw it to check the level. It’s a good idea to keep the rag in your other hand to catch any oil drips.
The oil should be between the two marks - not above the top mark or below the bottom mark.
If the level is low, remove the oil cap and add a small amount of oil using a funnel. If you’ve been keeping on top of your oil level checks, you shouldn’t need more than a litre.
The scale on the side of the bottle will indicate how much has been added. Continually check the level by repeating steps 2 and 3.
Once the level is correct, ensure the dipstick and oil cap are secure and any spilt oil has been wiped away.
The correct amount of engine oil not only helps keep your engine running smoothly, but if the oil level is too low your engine will also wear more quickly. In the long run, a simple oil check really is going to save you time and money.
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