Changing Engine Oil

How Do You Top-up Oil in a Car

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 17, 2017
How Do You Top-up Oil in a Car

Engine oil plays a very important role in the running of a car so it's essential that you check your oil levels regularly and top up when necessary. If you are near or below minimum levels you should put oil in your car so it doesn't run out.

Remember that oil loses its properties over time and slowly becomes contaminated so it's important that you change the oil completely after a certain number of miles (normally between 3,500 and 5,000 miles).

Engine oil's main functions are: lubricating moving parts, cooling the engine, sealing the space between the pistons and piston rings and cleaning the engine to remove any carbon residue build-up which could form inside. Seeing how important it is, at OneHowTo we want to show you how you top-up oil in a car.

You'll need:

  • Engine oil
You may also be interested in: How Often Should You Change Engine Oil

Steps to follow:


Leave your car to cool before putting oil in your car, otherwise you'll burn yourself. Cars can become very hot so it's very important you do this, making sure that your car has cooled completely.


Lift the bonnet of your car and look for the oil cap, which is normally labelled 'OIL' and, in some cars, is even accompanied with a picture so that it is easily identified. Check the level with the dipstick, which will usually be a marked with a colored handle near to the oil cap. There will be high and low markings on the dipstick, but you may need to clean it first and then reinsert it to get an accurate reading.

How Do You Top-up Oil in a Car - Step 2

Once you've located the oil cap, open it and pour the oil into the hole. Be careful while doing this: pour it in slowly, starting with half a litre of oil.


After you've poured in the first half liter, screw on the lid and wait for 5 minutes to give the oil a chance to settle so that you get an accurate indication of the Oil level.


After this, check the oil level again. Does your car require more engine oil? Always try to make sure that the oil level is near the maximum line.


Now you've successfully topped-up the oil in your car, if you notice that your car's oil levels are running low, repeat steps 2,3,4 and 5 until the oil is at the optimum level. If it has been a while since you changed the oil or you do a lot of miles, it may be time to go to a mechanic so that they can change it completely.

If you want to improve the performance and lifespan of your car then have a look at our other car maintenance and repair articles here.

If you want to read similar articles to How Do You Top-up Oil in a Car, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.


  • For your own safety, always make sure that your car engine is fully cooled before adding the oil. If the engine and the oil are hot, when you open the cap, the oil might squirt out and burn you.
  • To make sure that you add oil that's suitable for your car, visit your mechanic to ask what type of oil you should use, with specific information about the brand, the additive type and the viscosity grade.
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How Do You Top-up Oil in a Car