Oil Change and Filter

Step 24 - After installing the motor oil, use a shop towel to help catch any random oil drips left from the funnel.

Remove Oil Funnel

Step 25 - Next, inspect the cap seal before reinstallation, thread the cap on by turning it clockwise until tight. Clean area with a shop towel.

Engine Oil Fill Cap

Step 26 - Then, locate and remove the oil level dipstick to check oil levels. (Note: The oil level can only be measured after the engine has been run for about 20 seconds, this action fills the oil filter with oil.)

Oil Level Dipstick

Step 27 - Once removed, wipe the dip stick using a shop towel and reinsert the stick, wait, then pull the stick out again. This action will produce the engine oil level which should be at the top full mark, between the add and full lines represents a measured quart.

Oil Level Dip Stick

After the job is complete, check under the vehicle for oil leaks. Clean excess spilled oil before starting the engine to avoid oil smoke when the engine heats up.

Helpful Information

Each manufacturer has their own recommendation when is comes to engine service and weight and type of oil used, this service schedule will vary due to driving conditions. When not knowing the amount of motor oil used in a particular engine, start with four quarts then start checking and adding oil until full.

In colder regions allow extra time to pass before rechecking oil, this added time is used for allowing newly added oil to drain into the oil pan where it is measured.

Due to the clarity of new engine oil, it can be difficult to see, use a flashlight to help detect the oil level. If the last engine service interval is unknown remove the dipstick and inspect the clarity of the oil. Inferior oil filters fail to remove carbon particles causing premature wear and eventually failure.

Best Practices

  • Check engine oil on level ground
  • Use quality oils and filters
  • Dispose of used oil and filters at local parts stores


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2013-10-26)