How to Pour Motor Oil


One of the easiest ways to maintain your car is to perform regular oil changes and check the oil level in your engine between changes. Topping up oil to keep the fluid at its maximum level will help your engine last longer. Learn how to pour motor oil to prevent overfilling and minimize mess. A few simple steps and tricks will help you do it right.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual
  • Funnel
  • Motor oil
  • Clean cloth
  • Open the hood of your car and locate the oil fill spout on the engine. If you cannot easily find it (look for the cap with an oil can symbol), consult your owner's manual.

  • Remove the cover and dipstick from the oil fill spout. Wipe the dipstick clean and replace it in the spout all the way before drawing it back out again and reading the oil level to know how much oil you need to add (there is a 'add' and 'full' mark on the end, the oil should reach the 'full' mark). Wipe the dipstick clean again and place it to the side.

  • Place the narrow end of the funnel inside the oil fill spout.

  • Open your bottle of oil by twisting off the screw cap.

  • Turn the bottle so you can see the side that is clear and has graduated markings indicating the amount of oil in the bottle in milliliters.

  • Pour a small amount of oil into the filter and wait for it to run into the engine. A good amount to start with will lower the oil in the bottle by about 20 ml.

  • Check the engine oil with a dipstick again to see whether it needs more (make sure you remove the funnel before inserting the dipstick). If more is required, repeat these steps by pouring in small amounts of oil and then checking the level. When the oil reaches the "full" mark on the dipstick, remove the funnel and return the dipstick and screw on the cover of the oil fill spout.

Tips & Warnings

  • Drape a cloth around the oil fill spout of your car's engine block so if any oil spills the cloth will absorb it before it gets on the engine or wiring.
  • Don't spill motor oil on your engine block or any of the electrical wiring in the engine compartment. Oil on the block will heat up and smoke and oil on the wiring can interfere with the connections of your car's electrical system.

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  • Photo Credit Auto Engine image by Andrew Breeden from
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