How to check your oil
The chances are that your dipstick and oil filler cap are yellow, making them easy to find. If it isn’t obvious, then your car’s handbook will show you where they are.
To check your oil:
• Make sure you have the recommended engine oil to hand.
• Turn your engine off and let it stand for five minutes or more to let the oil drain into the bottom of the engine. Be careful if the engine has been running as everything under the bonnet – including the oil – will be scalding hot. This is why I check my oil first thing in the morning when the car is cold.
• Pull out the dipstick. Wipe it on a lint-free cloth or piece of kitchen roll.
• Push the dipstick back in and make sure it is fully seated. Withdraw and look at where the oil level is.
• There are two marks on your dipstick and the gap between the two is one litre. This helps you gauge whether you need to add a whole one-litre bottle or just a small part of it.
• If you need more oil then undo the oil filler cap. Top up the oil carefully, making sure not to spill any on the engine. (If you do spill some, wipe it up; it won’t harm your engine but might make a small amount of smoke when it burns off!)
• Give it a minute or so to drain to the bottom of the engine. Wipe the dipstick and re-check the oil level.
• Repeat until your oil is level with the ‘full’ mark on your dipstick.
• Replace the dipstick and oil filler cap.
That’s all there is to it!