Logbook Loans Tips – How to check the oil level

Learn how to check your oil levels with our logbook loans tips series…

Are you the type of driver that doesn’t want to know what’s underneath the bonnet? There are a few of us here like that at logbook loans! As long as your car is running well you’re happy right? …But when a certain light blinks on your dashboard you’re left bewildered and wondering what it means? Perhaps you think you should leave it for a mechanic just in case?

There are certain problems that your car will encounter that may need the expertise of a mechanic, but often if we just do a little DIY and treat our car with care we can avoid some bigger problems later on.

Checking for oil is possibly one of the easiest procedures you can do to ensure your car will run smoothly. Do not get intimidated by that big engine and all those nuts and bolts once you open up the bonnet. With our quick step-by-step guide, you will quickly learn how to check your car for oil, and how easy the short procedure is.

We recommend carrying out an oil check once a month, and sometimes even more frequently for older cars, or if you clock up high mileage.

Our quick guide is for vehicles that use an oil dipstick. If your vehicle does not have one, consult your car manual for the process which it uses.

1. Locate the dipstick
Locate the oil dipstick. This can be either toward the rear of your engine closer to the windscreen or it can be toward the front of the engine toward the bumper. Ensure that your car engine has been turned off for at least ten minutes.

2. Pull out the dipstick
Pull out the dipstick and wipe it on a lint-free rag if you have one available. If you are checking the oil while you’ve been journeying and do not have a lint-free rag available, tissue should suffice. Just try not to use your hands or clothes or you’ll have some unnecessary cleaning to do.

3. Put the dipstick back in
Once you’ve wiped the dipstick clean, insert it back into the pipe from where you removed it. Sometimes, you need to manoeuvre it slightly – twisting it sometimes helps – and it should slide in without hassle.

4. Pull the dipstick back out (a dipstick hokey cokey if you will!)
Remove the dipstick once more. Look at the gauge at the end of the dipstick. Ideally a film of oil will be over the section that says ‘full’, meaning you don’t need to add oil at this stage.

If, however, the film of oil is quite low, you need to add engine oil to your car. There will be a cap which says ‘engine oil’ or something similar on top of your engine. Most cars also use symbols to depict items under the bonnet – check your car’s user manual to check what you’re looking for.

To decide on the oil you should add, you should consult your owner’s manual, or check online. You might be able to determine what type of oil your car needs yourself. Study the different types available on the garage’s shelves. Some will be suitable for cars with high mileage; some are for new engines; some are for high performance, some for diesel, some for petrol etc.

If you are still unsure and need help gauging the type of oil you require you can ask an attendant at the garage.

If you’re in the unfortunate situation that your car ran out of oil and your engine suffered extensive damage, you might require a loan to fix your car. At logbook loans, we have lots of different options which could help you out. Simply give us a call, or visit one of our branches to find out how you can secure one of our logbook loans today.

Previous logbook loans tip: How to change car tyre