Posted under Motor Oil

Many drivers are unsure about checking oil level. If you want to learn how, you’ve come to the right place. After all, Jiffy Lube® services thousands of vehicles every day with the Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change.

Please note: these are general tips. For how to check oil in car, you should refer to the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific vehicle.

How to check the oil in a car depends on the vehicle make and model. Many newer vehicles have digital dashboard monitors, so drivers can quickly and conveniently stay updated on their vehicle’s motor oil. But, if you need or want to check your oil level manually, below are the steps for the general process: 

  1. Have a rag or paper towels handy. Checking oil level can be a messy job!
  2. Make sure the car is parked on level ground. 
  3. The engine should be turned off and cold so that you don’t burn yourself on hot components. However, some manufacturers recommend checking the oil level when the engine is warm so refer to your owner’s manual for your specific vehicle.  
  4. Open the hood and locate your oil dipstick. - it’s usually marked with an orange or yellow handle.
  5. Pull the dipstick out from the engine and wipe away any oil. 
  6. Return the dipstick to its original position and then remove it again. 
  7. Read the dipstick. Every dipstick has a way of indicating the proper oil level. Yours will likely have one of these:
  • Two pinholes
  • The letters L and H (for low and high)
  • The words MIN and MAX
  • Simple area of crosshatching (If the top of the oil “streak” is between the two marks or the crosshatched area, the engine oil level is fine)
  • If the oil level is low, additional oil should be added

What If Your Car Needs Oil?

Whether it’s a digital dashboard monitor alert or a dipstick reading of “low,” you may discover it’s time to add motor oil. Always use the grade of oil — usually 0W-20 or 5W-30 — recommended by the manufacturer. If you’re unsure, or you can’t find your owner’s manual, eel visit your local Jiffy Lube® service center and a trained technician can access this information for you.

Now Let’s Top Off Your Oil

Be sure to have a funnel handy to avoid spills.

  • To add oil, remove the oil filler cap. It’s usually clearly marked and located on top of the engine
  • Carefully add the oil a little at a time. Over-filling can damage your engine.
  • Begin by adding about half a quart (about 16 ounces)
  • Wait a minute, and then check the dipstick again
  • If the oil level is still below or near the minimum amount, add the remainder of the quart
  • Replace the oil filler cap, and you’re done!

We’ve talked about the how, but what about the when? Checking oil levels should be done regularly. Make it part of your car care routine and try to do it after every fill up.

Jiffy lube technician conducting an oil change in order to prevent engine wear

What If DIY Isn’t Your Thing? 

If you don’t want to check your own oil level, Jiffy Lube® has your back. Bring your car into your local Jiffy Lube® location and a trained technician will:

  • Check your oil level
  • Explain your options
  • Ask you about your driving conditions and explain which motor oil is best based on your driving habits
  • Help you decide if you need a complete oil change or just a top off

Did You Know? 

With every Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change, you receive complimentary fluid top off service on vital fluids in between visits. Just stop in within 3,000 miles of your last Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change.

Read More About It.

What happens if you don’t change your oil? Regular changes are an important part of preventive maintenance and can help prevent engine wear. Find out why.

Please note: Not all services are offered at all Jiffy Lube locations. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube service center or visit for specific services offered.