DIY Car Maintenance – Check Your Engine Oil

Girl doing DIY Car Maintenance on Roadside

Here at Gumtree, we’re an independent bunch. We do our own laundry, tie our own shoes, and make our own dinner! When we have car trouble, unfortunately, it can be a little harder to problem-solve solo. That’s why we are introducing the Gumtree DIY Car Maintenance Series, to help you stay safe on the road and keep your car running for years to come, with little to no expense. Check back weekly for more car tips and help, including How to Buy Used Cars, How to Check Your Battery, and How to Check your Tyre Pressure!

Checking your engine oil might seem out of your reach, but it’s actually quite simple, and takes no time at all! You should check your oil at least once a month to keep it running healthy. If you dirty oil, or your engine oil levels are low, it can allow excess friction and cause a multitude of problems to your engine. All you need are the following:

  • Good lighting
  • A clean, lint-free rag

Step 1:

Lift the hood and make sure the engine is cool.

Step 2:

Locate your dipstick. Rear wheel drive cars usually have their dipstick located towards the back, whereas front wheel drive engines have the dipstick located near the front.

Step 3:

Pull the dipstick out, and wipe it off with a clean, lint-free rag.

Step 4:

Reinsert the dipstick.

Step 5:

Pull out the dipstick again, and look at the tip. Note the consistency of the oil, as well as the level and smell. If the oil smells like gasoline, or leaves a smudge when you rub it it between your fingers, it’s time to change your oil. If your oil level is low, add only as much oil as the dipstick indicates. To much oil can harm the engine.

Step 6:

Re-insert the dipstick and close your hood. You’ve checked your engine oil!


For all your cars, parts, and accessories needs, check out Gumtree.


To learn to check your tyre pressure in less than 2 minutes, check out our DIY Car Maintenance – How to Check Your Tyres Pressure

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