Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

How Cold Should a Car Engine Be to Check the Oil Level?

    Completely Cold

    • Checking oil is an important part of maintaining a vehicle. Most vehicle engines should be completely cold when you check the oil level, mainly so you don't burn yourself. A cold engine will ensure there has been adequate time for all the oil to drain from the engine into the oil reservoir.

    Warm Temperature

    • Some car manufacturers recommend checking the oil when the engine is warm. Wait a few minutes after turning the engine off for the oil to drain completely.

    Bottom Line

    • Some automakers recommend checking oil while the engine is warm. Home mechanics should follow their manufacturer's recommendations. If the vehicle manual does not recommend a particular method, check the oil with the vehicle completely cold to allow all oil to completely pool in the oil reservoir.

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