Keeping Your Engine Happy: A Guide to Inspecting Your Car's Oil

Alex Rozan

Similar to how our bodies require regular checkups, our cars do too. A fundamental part of this car care routine involves inspecting the oil – the lifeblood of your engine. This seemingly straightforward task can unveil critical insights into your engine's well-being and thwart potential issues in the future. So, grab a rag and immerse yourself in the world of dipsticks and oil drops! This content is created by experts at On Spot Cash For Cars in Brisbane, QLD, ensuring you have the knowledge to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Why Inspect Your Oil?

Think of regular oil inspections as proactive maintenance. Like checking your tire pressure, monitoring your oil level and condition helps spot issues early and avoid more significant problems later. Here's why it's important:

  • Maintain Performance: Proper oil level and quality ensure smooth engine operation and optimal performance. Skipping inspections can lead to increased wear and tear, reducing your car's efficiency and power.
  • Prevent Damage: Low oil levels or degraded oil can cause friction, leading to engine damage and costly repairs. Early detection can save you from major headaches and expenses.
  • Extend Engine Life: Regular oil changes and inspections contribute to a longer and healthier engine life. Your car will thank you for it!

When to Inspect Your Oil:

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but a good rule of thumb is to check your oil at least once a month, especially before long trips or in extreme weather conditions. Consult your car's owner's manual for specific recommendations based on your make and model.

The Tools of the Trade:

You won't need a fancy toolbox for this inspection. Here's what you'll need:

  • Engine oil dipstick: This trusty tool resides under your car's hood and measures the oil level.
  • Clean rag: Wipe away any oil residue for clear readings.
  • Paper towel: Handy for absorbing excess oil or spills.

Step-by-Step Inspection:

  1. Warm up the engine: Drive your car for a few minutes to get the oil circulating. Park on level ground and turn off the engine.
  2. Locate the dipstick: Consult your owner's manual for its exact location, typically near the engine block. Pull it out slowly and gently.
  3. Wipe the dipstick clean: Use the rag to remove any oil residue from the end of the dipstick.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick: Push it all the way back down into its tube, then pull it out again.
  5. Check the oil level: Look for two markings on the dipstick, typically labeled "Full" and "Low." The oil level should be somewhere between these marks.
  6. Inspect the oil: Observe the color and consistency of the oil. Fresh oil is amber-colored and translucent. Dark brown or black oil indicates it's time for an oil change.
  7. Refill if needed: If the oil level is low, add oil of the same type and viscosity recommended in your owner's manual. Don't overfill!
  8. Dispose of used oil responsibly: Take it to a designated recycling center to avoid environmental harm.


  • Safety first: Always be cautious around a hot engine.
  • Cleanliness is key: Wipe the dipstick thoroughly to ensure accurate readings.
  • Consult your manual: Refer to your specific car's instructions for oil type, capacity, and recommended change intervals.
  • Don't ignore warning signs: Unusual oil color, metallic particles, or burning smell indicate potential problems requiring professional attention.

By making oil inspection a regular part of your car care routine, you're contributing to your vehicle's health, ensuring optimal performance, and avoiding costly repairs in the long run. So, grab that dipstick and give your engine some TLC! Your car will purr with gratitude.


Bonus Tip:

Consider investing in a small, funnel-shaped container for adding oil. This helps prevent spills and makes the process cleaner and easier.