Do You Know How to Check Your Oil ?

Do You Know How to Check Your Oil ?


As simple of a question as it may seem, do you REALLY know how to check your oil?  Motor oil is the lifeline of any vehicle so knowing if you are low on oil is a very important thing.  Likewise, if there is too much oil in your vehicle….being overfilled can be just as bad as being low on oil.

Oil consumption seems to be a frequent topic of conversation in the shop when it comes to Audi and Volkswagen.  Many of the cars on the road today mention that they have to add oil between oil services & scheduled maintenance.  Here are a few pointers to keep in mind in order to ensure that your vehicle is giving a proper reading.

  • Make sure that your vehicle is on a flat surface and the engine is OFF (key on, just not the engine).  The oil level sensor is located in the oil pan so if the vehicle is not level, it could give an improper reading
  • Remember that some of these vehicles do not have a dipstick.  Manufacturers rather have a “dummy” plug where the usual dipstick goes so there is not a quick check for oil level.  Audi owners rely on their MMI (Multi Media Interface) to read oil level.   * see picture
  • It is ideal to check the oil when the engine is cold.  When the engine is hot, the reading will be lower due to some of the oil circulating throughout the engine block. 

When you check your oil, pay attention to the smell and/or color of the oil.  If the engine oil smells like fuel, there may be other issues to tend to and if the oil color is very dark, it may be that the oil change interval is too long (or there are other problems lurking).  We recommend having a synthetic oil service performed every 5,000 miles for VW and Audi. 

If you are unsure of how to read your vehicle’s dipstick (if applicable), we will be happy to show you the proper way.  Don’t be so quick to add more oil if you are unsure of how much is in your vehicle.  Taking the necessary precautions will ensure that you maintain your vehicle the correct way.