How to Read the Oil Level Correctly on a Dipstick?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertHow to Read the Oil Level Correctly on a Dipstick?
Daniel Moore asked 5 months ago
I've been trying to check the oil level in my car, but I'm unsure how to read the dipstick correctly. Should I consider the oil level where it appears solid at the bottom of the dipstick or where the oil has traveled up the side? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 5 months ago
Hi there, Daniel! Thanks for reaching out with your question about how to correctly read the oil level on a dipstick. It's a common query, and getting it right is crucial for maintaining your car's health.
  1. Oil Level Indicator: The correct oil level is usually indicated by two marks or holes on the dipstick. The oil should be between these two marks. If it's below the lower mark, you need to add oil.
  2. Reading the Dipstick: When you pull out the dipstick, the oil level should be read where the oil is solid across the stick, not where it may have smeared up the sides. The smear on the sides can occur as you pull the dipstick out and isn't a reliable indicator.
  3. Checking Procedure: To ensure an accurate reading, follow these steps:
    • Make sure the car is on a level surface.
    • Turn off the engine and wait a few minutes to let the oil settle.
    • Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it fully, and then pull it out again for the reading.
  4. Adding Oil: If you need to add oil, do it in small amounts. After each addition, wait a few minutes and recheck the level. It's important not to overfill.
  5. Additional Tips: Some dipsticks have etchings or other indicators to help read the level more clearly. Also, checking the oil when the engine is warm (but turned off) can provide a more accurate reading.
Remember, maintaining the correct oil level is crucial for your engine's health. If you're ever unsure, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional mechanic. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team