Hand holding an oil dipstick

Engine oil dipstick, what is it for?

Hand holding an oil dipstick
min reading
Have you ever wondered what the engine oil dipstick is for? We tell you the importance of this element in your vehicle.

Proper lubrication is essential for a vehicle’s engine to function properly. Oil ensures this by protecting parts from damage and maintaining optimal temperature. All vehicles have a device, the engine oil dipstick, to measure the levels of this fluid. We will tell you what it is for and where you can find it.

What is the oil dipstick?

The engine oil dipstick is a long, thin object under the vehicle’s hood. It is metallic and has a shape that allows it to reach the oil tank without problems measuring its level.

Therefore, the oil dipstick acts as a handy level indicator for the lubricant in your tank. This easy-to-remove probe uses notches to show you the current oil level.

What is the engine oil dipstick for?

The oil dipstick is intended to check that the level of this lubricant is not too low or high. When measuring it with the probe, remember that it must be located at a distance that should not exceed one liter, whether due to excess or defect. In addition to measuring the oil level, the dipstick shows us if there is any malfunction in the electronic engine gauge.

If the oil level is below the recommended level, the tank must be refilled; if it is higher, it should be drained. However, driving with inadequate oil levels, especially if they are very low, will cause engine damage.

How to know the oil level that each vehicle needs

Each vehicle model needs its own oil levels, for this reason, it is necessary that you always consult its manual to ensure that you are driving with adequate lubrication.

This is why the dipstick is so important on any vehicle. If you notice that it is damaged or in poor condition, the best option is to replace it as soon as possible so that you can make adequate measurements to protect your engine.

In addition to performing periodic measurements, maintaining adequate levels and using quality oil, you will need to perform proper maintenance on your vehicle.

Where is the oil dipstick located?

The engine oil dipstick is present in all vehicles, but it is located in a different place depending on whether it is a car or motorcycle. Below, we tell you where you can find this device.

  • In cars: Grab the hood release lever and pop the hood open. Your engine oil dipstick will likely be on the passenger side, but some models stash it near the front. It should slide out easily thanks to a handy guide. You will recognize it easily since it has a colored ring that allows you to differentiate it.
  • On motorcycles: in these vehicles, the oil dipstick is located on the side of the bottom of the engine.

How to check the oil level

To check the engine oil level, you will only need to use the dipstick. First, you will need to turn off the engine and let the car cool so that the crankcase can drain and the oil levels can stabilize.

A close-up of a mechanic's hand holding an oil dipstick with a drop of oil on it, checking the oil level in a car engine.
Hand holding an oil dipstick

Next, remove the rod from the guide in which it is placed and clean it with a paper or cloth.

Put it back into the oil tank and take it out to check the level it shows . You will see that the oil has stained the dipstick and the amount of oil will be shown. For it to be adequate, it should be more or less halfway along the rod, between the minimum and maximum point marked on the probe.


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