When Is the Best Time to Check the Oil in a Car?

The best time to check the oil of a car depends on its age; older cars require cold engines for oil checks for the most accurate readings, while dipsticks on newer cars are made to accommodate warm engines. Whenever the oil is checked, the car should be parked on a flat, even surface.

Oil should be checked weekly to ensure that there are no leaks that go unnoticed. The following steps list how to properly check the oil level in a vehicle.

  1. Locate the dipstick
  2. The location of the dipstick varies from vehicle to vehicle. Once found, make sure it is not the transmission dipstick
  3. Pull out the dipstick
  4. Pull the dipstick out of the engine and inspect it. There is a fill line located on the end. If the oil is under the fill line, there may be a possible leak. Additionally, check the consistency of the oil. If it is dark, milky or both, there may also be a leak.
  5. Top off the oil
  6. If the engine does not have the required amount of oil, then top it off. Lack of oil will cause the engine to lose lubrication, which can damage various important components. Lastly, slide the dipstick back into the engine.