Engine low on oil where and how to refill

Check on Engine oil levels how low on oil where to refill and how do it?

1. Locate the oil filler cap in your engine

Should be easy to do, it’s normally marked with the word ‘OIL’, or with a icon or picture of an oil can.

Make sure you get the right cap, though – pouring oil into another filler spout i.e. the coolant or the brake fluid, could have disastrous consequences. Consult the owner’s manual

2. Pour in as much oil as you need

If you’re using a funnel, position it on top of the spout. Start to pour. Don’t pour oil in right up to the level of the filler cap, this will be far more than your engine needs and could cause damage the next time you start your engine.

As a guideline, on most dipsticks, the gap between maximum and minimum will represent about a litre. So if your oil level is at the minimum mark, you know you’ll have to put in roughly that much to get it to the maximum. And if it’s only half-way down, you know you will probably need to add half a litre to top it up again.

You should still make sure you pour in small amounts, though, checking the dipstick each time by following the procedure above, until you reach the maximum mark. That way you won’t over-fill.

When checking your oil, what should I be looking for?

Checking your oil can also give you a good idea of your car’s engine health. If you seem to be having to top it up regularly, example every couple of weeks, then it might be using a bit too much, or there may be an oil leak, so it’s worth taking your car to a garage to ask their advice.

There may be nothing to worry about, but it’s worth checking.

The oil on your dipstick could be any colour ranging from an inky black right up to a light golden colour.

If you notice any other colour’s of fluid in the oil on your dipstick, or if you can see little creamy-coloured deposits that look like chunks of mayonnaise, there may be a bigger problem with your engine.

Try not to use your car, and get it booked in at a garage as soon as you can. It may need to be drained and replaced.

After making sure that you are on level ground, drive your vehicle up onto the wheel ramps so that the front tyres are elevated. Set your handbrake, and brace both rear wheels with wooden blocks to prevent the vehicle from rolling.

Cold oil will not drain properly, so before starting work, drive your car around to raise the oil temperature to bring it to normal operating temperature. Then switch off the engine and raise the bonnet to loosen the oil filler cap to avoid creating a vacuum. This will allow the oil to drain from the bottom more freely.

Drain the old oil. Locate the oil drain plug on the underside of your vehicle. It should be located at the bottom rear end of the engine sump or oil pan.

Place the drain pan underneath the drain plug and slightly toward the back. Using your spanner, turn the plug anticlockwise until it rotates freely. Finish removing the plug by hand. At this point, be careful of the oil since it may release rapidly and is likely to be rather hot.

Note: Most drain plugs also use a sealing washer; be careful not to lose this!

Oil change step 4 Remove the oil filter.

Loosen the oil filter by turning it anticlockwise with a filter wrench. Complete the removal by hand, taking care not to touch the hot exhaust manifold. The oil filter may be filled with oil and feel slightly heavy, so carefully ease it down and away from the engine and tip its contents into the drain pan. Note: some oil filters are mounted horizontally and when you loosen them they will leak some dirty, hot engine oil. Don’t worry, this is normal, but be ready for the leak by having several absorbent rags. Take your rag and wipe in and around the filter seat on the engine.

Oil change step 5 Take your rag and wipe in and around the filter seat on the engine.

Then take a new filter and use your finger to apply a light film of oil (new or used) to the gasket (the circular edge of the filter itself), which acts as a sealant.

Carefully screw the new filter onto the threaded oil line, turning it clockwise.

Once aligned properly, the filter will thread on easily. Tighten the filter by hand, taking care not to over tighten.

Clean the oil plug and copper gasket and then align and replace the plug.

Screw the plug in by hand and finish by tightening it with a wrench. Once again, don’t over tighten.

Oil change step 6 Add clean oil

Carefully release the handbrake and allow the car to slowly roll back down the ramp to level ground (do not run the engine at this stage or severe damage will occur).

On the top of the engine you will find the Oil Filler Cap usually marked with the symbol of an oil can. Unscrew the cap and proceed to fill the engine with the required quantity of oil, checking with the dipstick to ensure proper fill level.

Replace the cap and wipe off any spillage. The oil light should go out as soon as the engine is started.

Run the engine for several minutes, then switch it off and check the dipstick once again to ensure proper oil level. It is likely that you will have to add some more oil at this point.

Last, but not least, check under the vehicle for leaks – especially around the oil filter and sump drain plug.

Oil change step 7 Dispose of used oil

The final, and in some ways most important, step to your oil change is the proper disposal of the used oil that you have drained from your vehicle. Used motor oil is highly toxic to the environment and it’s of the utmost importance that it’s disposed of in a safe fashion.

Transfer the used oil to a sealed container and consult your local garage about options for safe disposal. Chances are that a garage in your area will take the oil off your hands and arrange for it to be recycled or safely disposed of. You could also contact an environmental agency that can direct you towards an alternative option.

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