With so many different types on the market, as well as a lot of conflicting advice, engine oil can be confusing to both new and experienced motorists alike. Join us as we explain the basic rules of engine oil maintenance, as well as how to choose the right oil for your car.
How Often Should You Check Your Car’s Oil?
Most manufacturers recommend that you check your car oil every month or so, especially before making a long journey. That said, if you’re driving a car over 10 years old, it could be worth checking it even more regularly.
Checking your car oil level can help you to work out if your car is getting through oil at a faster rate than it should be, or losing oil to a leak. That means with a simple check, you could prevent considerable, expensive damage which can be caused by low oil levels.
You’ll also need to keep track of how regularly your oil is being changed. One way of doing this is monitoring the colour – for example, amber oil is generally fairly fresh, whereas dark brown or black oil has been well-used, and may need replacing.
Checking Your Car’s Engine Oil Level
Luckily, it’s quick and easy to see your oil level. Firstly, you’ll need to let your engine cool down before you open the bonnet, so it’s worth leaving it for at least half an hour to let the oil sink back into the tank. Here’s how to check the oil in your car:
- When the engine is cold, pop the bonnet of your car and prop it open.
- Find the dipstick and gently pull it out of the tube.
- Using a rag or cloth, wipe down the dipstick and then put it back.
- Now lift out the dipstick again, and see where the oil has marked it. All dipsticks have two marks indicating the optimal oil level in your car – so if the oil comes up somewhere in-between, you don’t need to top up.
- If the oil comes up below the bottom mark, it’s time to refill.
Picking The Right Oil
There’s a whole host of different engine oils available on the automotive market, but finding the right one for your car is simple with Euro Car Parts. Just put your registration number into our Fast Finder tool, and we’ll narrow it down for you – eliminating any incompatible products, so you’re left with a range of different engine oils suitable for your precise make and model. Alternatively, you can check your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website, both of which should also provide a list of usable oils.
Putting Oil In Your Car
So, you’ve checked your oil level and it’s looking a little low. Topping up your engine oil is a straightforward process too, but first, there are few things you’ll need:
- Kitchen towel or rag for cleaning up drips
- A funnel
- A pair of protective gloves
- Bottle of good-grade engine oil
Once you’ve got your kit together, you can pop the bonnet of your car and prop it open. Next, look at the engine bay and find the oil filler cap – it’s usually labelled with the word ‘oil’ or marked with an image of an oil can.
Flip the cap open, insert the funnel, and gradually pour in the oil, maintaining a firm grip on the bottle. To avoid overfilling, it’s best to add a little bit at a time, and keep checking the dipstick at regular intervals.
At Euro Car Parts, we offer over 130,000 different products from reputable brands, all at affordable prices. Find the items you need online and enjoy complimentary click and collect to your nearest branch, or get free home delivery with any order over £25. Plus, if you don’t feel confident changing your engine oil at home, you can make the most of our Fit It For Me service, providing you have your oil filters replaced at the same time.