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How to check & top up your oil level

Checking your car’s oil level and topping it up. When you’ve watched this video, you’ll be able to do it standing on your head.

How to check & top up your oil level

Checking your car’s oil level and topping it up. When you’ve watched this video, you’ll be able to do it standing on your head. 

Engine oil is essential to keeping your car running smoothly and efficiently. Here’s how to check it.

  • Before you start, you’ll need a lint free cloth and the correct engine oil for your car.
  • It’s good to have oil at the ready: in your boot or at home. 
  • If the oil level’s low, you’ll see a warning symbol on your dashboard. If you do, pull over and stop somewhere safe. Or drive to the nearest petrol station.
  • Park on flat ground. You’ll get a more accurate oil level reading.
  • First, make sure your handbrake’s on and your ignition’s off.
  • Wait around 10 minutes for the engine to cool. Then open your bonnet.
  • Reach under the dash and pull the lever. 
  • The bonnet will pop open.
  • Lift the bonnet slightly and feel the release catch. Slide it to the left.
  • Lift the bonnet fully, then prop it up safely.
  • TOP TIP: Don’t open your bonnet in a high wind.
  • Look inside the engine bay for the dipstick. 
  • It has a brightly coloured handle.
  • Pull the dipstick out, then wipe it on a lint free cloth so the end is oil free. 
  • TOP TIP: Use disposable gloves if you can.
  • Push the dipstick back: all the way in. Pull it out again and look closely at the end.
  • You’ll see two notches. These indicate the minimum level and the maximum level. The right amount is somewhere between the two.
  • Is the oil at the minimum level? You’ll need to put more in, immediately. 
  • TOP TIP: If you haven’t got oil with you, don’t drive off. Walk to get some or call for roadside assistance.
  • To top up your oil, uncrew the filler cap. It’s marked with the same symbol as your dashboard. 
  • Slowly pour in some oil using a funnel to help avoid spillages.
  • TOP TIP: To avoid overfilling, pour in small amounts of oil at a time. 
  • Keep checking the level with the dipstick.
  • When you’re finished, screw the cap back on firmly. Now close the bonnet. 
  • Hold it up with one hand and release the strut with the other. 
  • Tuck the strut back out of the way. Let the bonnet down, then about 30 cm from the body, drop it to lock it. 
  • TOP TIP: Don’t push the bonnet down to lock it: you might dent your lovely car.
  • Finally, just check the bonnet is flush to the body.

That’s how easy it is to check and top up your oil. 

But if there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask your Ford Dealer. 

And if you find this video useful, check out the others in our ‘How to…’ series: it’s designed to help you keep your Ford in top condition and make best use of its many features.


The wrong oil could invalidate your warranty. So always use oil recommended for your car. 

Do not remove the filler cap when the engine is running.

Do not add oil further than the maximum mark.

Oil levels above the maximum mark may cause engine damage.

Soak up any spillages immediately with an absorbent cloth.