When the Summer heat hits us, our cars will be guzzling oil like there is no tomorrow! With summer road trips coming up, it’s important to keep a close eye on your engine oil. When a car becomes hot, it needs as much lubrication as possible. You’ll need to make sure you top up with the right oil as this is essential to keeping your engine healthy. If your engine is running on low oil levels, friction will increase between it’s moving parts and risk permanent damage to your car. By keeping your oil level maintained, it will save you major engine issues further down the line.

If you’ve checked your oil level and discovered it’s low, here is how you can top up your car oil in just a few minutes.

Purchase the right oil for your car

Topping up with the wrong oil can damage your engine, so it’s vital to check what one is right for your car. You can find this out in your car’s handbook, or you can do a quick Google search. Shell and Mobil have oil matching services on their sites. You’ll need to know your vehicle’s registration, or the make, year, engine, and fuel information.

What will I need?

  • A rag or cloth to clean up oil
  • Correct engine oil for your car
  • A funnel
  • A pair of gloves and goggles for safety

Your Step by Step Guide

1 Find your car oil filter

Before you go ahead with topping up your oil, you need to make sure the engine is switched off and everything is cooled down. This will ensure the most accurate possible reading. Once the bonnet has been lifted, you will need to find the oil filter cap in your engine bay, which is usually labelled with “oil” or a small picture of an oil can on top. If you struggle to find it, your owner’s manual will have everything you need to know. The oil filter is typically found at the front of the engine. You’ll need to unscrew the top and set it aside.

car oil guide

2 Check the dipstick

After unscrewing your oil filter, you should find a dipstick. If you pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean, you then need to place it back inside until you hear a click. Remove the dipstick again, so you can see an oil stain show up to a certain point on the now clean dipstick. This shows how much oil you have in your car. Your dipstick will have two lines and the oil mark should sit between these. If it sits below the lowest line, then you need to top it up immediately.

3 Add your oil carefully

If you’re unsure about the amount of oil you need to add, slowly pour it in and check the oil level by reinserting the dipstick. It is important to only add a little bit at a time, wait a few minutes to let it run down to the bottom of the engine and then recheck the oil level. You want the oil level to be close to the top line on the dipstick. It is advised to use a funnel as it makes it easier to add oil without spilling it on the engine bay. It is vital you don’t overfill your oil filter as this can cause serious engine problems.

car oil guide

4 Close the oil filter properly

Once you have checked your oil level is sufficient, you need to make sure you close the oil filter properly to ensure it doesn’t leak. Your engine should be good to run straight away. You should check your owner’s manual about how long your oil will last until it needs topping up again. Most experts advise to check your oil level every month, or more frequently if you have to drive long distances regularly.

car oil guide

Find out more Car Maintenance tips on the Advanced Auto Glazing blog page, including a series of Automotive Troubleshooting Guides.

Summer Car Maintenance Series

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