The importance of dipping your stick

Posted on October 18th, 2021 by GEM Motoring Assist

It is not often appreciated that engines consume engine oil, even if they are unworn and not leaking. As a result, the sump level drops, shortening the life of the remaining oil and risking severe engine wear, or even complete failure.

The findings from Castrol’s autumnal Oil Check Challenge makes for interesting reading, especially considering that the oil blender recommends monthly level checks. It discovered that 70% of respondents in its nationwide survey check their engine oil level less frequently and almost a third of them have never topped up any car they have owned with oil.

Garages to the rescue

While it is easy to chastise car drivers for this basic maintenance oversight, it is not always easy to check the lubricant level. Some cars lack even an old-fashioned dipstick. Therefore, do not feel ashamed to ask a garage to check the level for you.

Furthermore, if you need to top-up your engine oil, choosing the correct lubricant is not always straightforward, especially on more recent cars. The main issue is that engine oils are becoming almost bespoke to the vehicle maker and choosing the wrong lubricant can cause expensive problems later. Therefore, check your handbook for the manufacturer’s specifications. Should you not be able to access the handbook, ask your garage for advice, or you can choose one of the many online oil check guides, such as the one on Castrol’s website .