How to Check Car Oil at Home

You know to get a BMW oil change every 10,000 miles to keep your luxury vehicle performing at optimal levels on Corona roads, but is there additional maintenance you should be performing in-between oil changes? In addition to replacing the oil regularly, you can check the oil level and quality about once per month to ensure everything is in working order. Lucky for you, learning how to check car oil is very simple! The service pros from BMW of Murrieta provide detailed steps in the guide below.

How to Check the Oil Level in a Car: Step-by-Step

If you’re driving a new BMW vehicle in Riverside, learning how to check the oil level in your car should be as simple as reading an electronic oil monitor. Late-model BMW vehicles utilize a condition-based service monitor to alert you of maintenance items like BMW oil changes. If the oil light is orange or yellow, it means your oil level is low. If it is red, it means the oil pressure is off and you should schedule service without delay.

If you’re driving an older BMW vehicle or a different brand entirely, you’ll need to follow these steps for how to check car oil using the dipstick. Wondering if you should check the oil with the car on or off? Your car should always be completely off when you check the oil.

  1. Park your car on level ground, turn the engine off, and give it a few minutes to cool down.
  2. Pop the hood and locate the oil dipstick; if needed, you can consult the owner’s manual for its location.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe the oil from it using a rag.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick, then pull it out once more, this time leaving the oil on. Inspect both sides of the dipstick to get the oil level. If the top of the oil streak falls between two marks or within a cross-hatched area, your oil level is good. If it falls below the marker, you will need to top off.

If you’ll be adding more oil, check our owner’s manual first to ensure you have the proper grade of oil. Then, remove the oil filler cap and use a funnel to add a little bit of oil at a time, checking the level in-between so as not to overfill the reservoir.

Why Learn How to Check the Oil in a Car?

By learning how to check the oil in your car, you can stay on top of potential engine issues before they snowball into serious problems. If the oil level is low or the oil quality isn’t quite right, there might be an oil leak or another issue that requires professional attention. It’s recommended to check the oil level in your car at least once per month.

Can You Reset the Oil Change Light?

Sometimes, your BMW oil change light might remain illuminated after you’ve already had an oil change performed. In this instance, you can follow the steps below to reset the light, but you should only do so if you’ve already taken care of the oil change:

  1. Turn your car’s engine off, but keep the electrical systems on.
  2. Locate the “reset” button on your dash (most often, you’ll find it near the speedometer and fuel gauge).
  3. Press and hold the button until you see a service message appear with a reset menu, then release the button.
  4. Continue pressing the button until the reset menu reaches the oil service light.
  5. Release the button at this point, then press and hold once more until it says “Reset?”
  6. Release the button again, then press and hold it while the “Reset in Progress” message is displayed. When the message changes to “Reset Successful” you can release the button.
  7. Turn the ignition off and wait a few seconds, then turn it on again to ensure the oil service light is now off.

Schedule BMW Oil Service at BMW of Murrieta!

If you need help checking your car’s oil or you suspect your car has an oil leak, allow the service team at BMW of Murrieta to help. Contact us to get started or use our online scheduling service to easily find an appointment that works well with your busy Ontario schedule!

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