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Oil – The life-blood of your car's engine...

...and its quality, condition and performance affects every mile that you travel. A quick, once-a-week check can save big money and avoid big trouble.

The vehicle should be on level ground, and the warm engine should have been switched off for a couple of minutes to let the oil settle.

Check in your handbook for the precise location of the bonnet release and the oil dipstick in the engine bay – an illustration in the handbook will help you find them both, as well as the bonnet support arm. Have a cloth handy.

Pull out the dipstick by its finger-loop or grip and wipe the lower end of it with the cloth. Carefully replace it back in its location hole, making sure it is fully inserted.

Now remove the dipstick it again, this time checking the lower end for the oil left clinging to it. Check this residue's position between the 'upper' and 'lower' marked grooves. The upper mark is the 'full' or 'max' (maximum) line; the lower is the 'add' or 'min' (minimum)

Not until the oil level has fallen to midway between the two marks do you need to 'top up' the oil.

To add oil, find the filler cap located on the top of the engine (it will have an oil can symbol on it but you can refer to your vehicle’s handbook if you are not sure). Unscrew it and add around a half litre of oil.

Wait for a minute and then recheck the level using the dipstick as before. If necessary, add a further small amount and repeat visual checks until the three-quarter point is reached.

Don't overfill the oil – the maximum line really DOES mean maximum! An oil level between halfway and three quarters towards this top line is fine.

Replace the oil filler cap and make sure that the dipstick is back in position.

* If the oil looks black or cloudy and not clear, it might be time for an oil change, even if the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended mileage interval has not been reached. Your XPart AutoService centre can advise.

Your XPart AutoService centre can replenish your car's engine with the right oil from XPart's comprehensive range of synthetic, semi-synthetic and mineral lubricants.

XPart oils – mineral-based, part-synthetic and synthetic – offer the correct blends for every make and model of car on Britain’s roads. 

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XPart is a Division of Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Ltd.