How to add motor oil

Close up of Lincoln mechanic adding motor oil

Motor oil is your engine’s lifeblood. It lubricates the internal parts, so the engine can run smoothly and efficiently.

Because your engine needs a certain amount of oil to run right, you should check your vehicle’s oil level every time you fill up the fuel tank.

Follow these steps to check and add motor oil. For additional information about motor oil, check your owner’s manual.

  1. Open the hood and find the oil dipstick. It’s near the engine and usually has a brightly colored handle.
  2. Pull the dipstick out, wipe the metal section clean with a rag, then fully insert it and remove it.
  3. Your oil level is the highest point on the dipstick that is coated with oil.
  4. If the oil level is between “MIN” and “MAX,” you don’t need to add oil, and can replace the dipstick and close the hood.
  5. However, if the oil level is at or below “MIN,” you’ll need to add oil now.
  6. Find the oil fill location—it may have an oil can icon on it. Remove the fill cap and place the small end of the funnel into the fill hole.
  7. Add oil by pouring in roughly a quarter of the container at a time, waiting a minute for the oil to drain to the pan, then repeating steps 2 and 3 each time. Stop adding oil when the dipstick shows oil at or just below the “MAX” mark.
    It's important to add oil in small amounts, and never add oil past the dipstick’s “MAX” level. Too much oil in your engine can be just as bad as too little.
  8. Remove the funnel and replace the dipstick and oil fill cap. Make sure both are fully secured in place, then close the hood.