A Complete Guide on How to Read Oil Dipstick

Reports from car owners have it that the engine Oil dipstick is hard to read, this article will show you the easy and efficient way to read an Oil Dipstick.

Engine oil is an import fluid that needs to be added in the right proportion in automobiles to enable proper functionality.

If the Oil content is low or excess, it could result in serious damage to the engine and other moving components.

The Oil dipstick is a tool that is used to Gauge the amount of oil remaining in the engine, it is mostly situated at the hood or engine of a car.

By default, the general steps on how to Read your oil dipstick has been provided to you in your buyer manual but it’s almost the same for all car model.

Without wasting much time, let’s learn the read an Oil Dipstick appropriately.

How to Read Oil Dipstick

The importance of oil to a car can’t be over-emphasized, It helps prevent friction between two moving parts in the engine thereby preventing engine damage.

An Oil Dipstick can be Read by anyone, as long as you’ve got the basic knowledge that we’re going to show you below.

1. Open the Car Manual

As stated earlier, car manufacturers always have the best time to check your oil level using a dipstick.

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While some asks users to read the dipstick when the engine is still hot, other requires that the engine be cool to get an accurate result.

Although, it’s generally required to allow your car to cool so that Oil could settle down and give accurate readings.

2. Make sure you’re parked on a smooth road surface

The position of your car plays an important role in how oil will be positioned in your engine. Do well to park on the leveled ground to help you get the best result on your dipstick.

Slant or bent road surfaces will likely produce incorrect measurements and readings.

3. Lift the Car’s Hood

The hood that grants you access to the Oil dipstick is mostly situated in front of the car, back of your car, or inside the motor depending on the car brand.

You’ve to get past it to reveal all engine components and also create a good oil reading environment.

4. Find the Oil Dipstick

The Oil dipstick is usually a long metal piece that’s insulated with a yellow, red, or orange circular plastic at the edge.

Depending on the car brand, Oil dipsticks are made up of dots, holes, inscriptions, or lines to show oil levels.

You can refer to your manual guide if you have confusion locating the Oil dipstick, however, they’re mostly located close to the engine bay.

5. Take and Wipe the Oil Dipstick Clean

Without applying force, take the dipstick out of the engine and wipe it clean of all oil content.

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You can get a rag for this purpose and make sure to wipe it clear off previous oil. This is relevant to get us a proper oil reading.

The presence of oil on the dipstick might complicate our readings which isn’t ideal.

6. Insert your Oil Dipstick to take Readings

You’ve to immerse the clean dipstick into the Oil again to take a proper inspection and reading depending on how your dipstick is built.

Most oil dipsticks have the F and L inscription on them to denote full and low respectively, others have a line at the bottom and another at the top while some have dots located up and down.

If your oil level is at the L mark and below then you’re short of oil, but if the mark is between F and L then it’s moderate.

How to Read Oil Dipstick

Also, it’s not only when your oil level reaches the L mark that you can initiate an oil top-up, once the oil Is reducing below average; pour oil into the existing content.

Nevertheless, you should consult your car manual to get the best-tailored oil readings.

7. Wipe and Insert the Oil Dipstick

After you’ve taken your readings and decided on adding a little top-up, oil change, or covering the oil.

It’s important that you clean the dipstick a second time before inserting it into its port.

That’s the complete guide on how to Read Oil Dipstick.



What level should oil be on the dipstick?

After taking a dipstick measurement, the level of the Oil should be in-between the low and high marks. You can also initiate a top-up if necessary.

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What does good oil look like on a dipstick?

Good motor oil has a near-transparent and glossy look. If you notice a dark, dirty look or the presence of particles then it’s time for an oil change.

Is it OK to slightly overfill the engine oil?

While car owners are often tempted to slightly overfill engine oil, it’s not a good practice. Asides from engine damage, Excess oil can cause oil leakage, excess smoke from the engine, and strange noises from the engine.

What do the dots on the oil dipstick mean?

The dots on the Oil dipstick signifies the minimum level an engine oil should be at for the proper functioning of the engine.