How to Check Engine Oil Consumption

Oil in an engine.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-25
What You'll Need
Plastic gloves (optional)
Old cloths
Small funnel

The engine oil consumption should be checked regularly. This way, if there is something wrong you could spot it at an early stage. High levels of oil consumption may be indicative of a leak or some internal engine wear. This article will show you how to check your engine oil consumption properly.

Step 1 - Park the Car

It is very important that you park the car on a level surface. If the car is not on a level surface, the oil will be shifted more to one side. This will give you an incorrect measurement. It doesn’t need to be on a perfectly leveled surface. The important thing is to avoid parking it on a slope or something similar.

Step 2 - Start the Engine

This step is very important. Start the engine and let it run for about five minutes. This will help the engine reach a warm temperature. Alternatively, you can take it for a spin around the block.

Step 3 - Turn Off the Engine

Turn off the engine and leave it to rest for not more than 10 minutes. This will allow the oil used by the engine to fall into the pan.

Step 4 - Find the Oil Dipstick

Normally the oil dipstick is located at the side of the engine. It is normally labeled “Engine Oil”. Grab the dipstick and clean it using the old rags. Make sure it is very clean, otherwise you won’t be able to use it properly.

Step 5 - Insert the Dipstick

Now insert the dipstick into the tube. Make sure that it is completely inserted. Usually it sits on its own handle base. Leave it there for a few seconds. Take out the dipstick and put it on the paper in a horizontal position.

Step 6 - Read the Oil Level

Now it’s time to read the oil level. The dipstick has two labels, the “Full” mark and the “Add” mark. When the level of oil is very near to the “Add” mark, you have to add a quart of engine oil. Make sure you use the car manufacturer's recommended oil for your engine. If the oil level is between the two marks, you need to add half a quart of engine oil.

Step 7 - Pour Engine Oil

Remove the small cap covering the engine oil container. This is usually labeled as "engine oil" or the like. Normally, it is located above the valves, on top of the engine. Use a small funnel to pour in the engine oil. Do not pour more oil than is needed. Now take note of the mileage present on your odometer.

Step 8 - Check Engine Oil Consumption

Take the car for a spin. Once you are done, repeat the process from step 1 through step 6. If the oil marks the “add” mark, most likely there is something wrong with the car. It is advisable to take it to a garage to get it checked.