Too many drivers take protection for granted


An inaccurate oil level reading could leave your car over or under filled, resulting in excessive engine wear.


Almost one-third of motorists are risking engine damage by not checking their oil properly, according to research from car care company Comma.


Some 29 per cent of respondents in a recent survey didn’t realize the importance of checking engine oil on a level surface, and a whopping 71 per cent failed to recognize the significance of using the correct grade of motor oil to top levels up.


Checking the engine’s dipstick on a level surface is an essential part of obtaining an accurate oil level reading as the oil settles evenly in the engine’s sump. An inaccurate reading might leave your car over or under filled, resulting in excessive engine wear as the engine components grind against one another without the proper protection the oil affords.

Even those who knew a level reading was necessary could not necessarily explain the reason why. Over half of those interviewed failed to answer, with one respondent even proffering: ‘Because my husband told me to!’

But motorists are also slipping up when replenishing oil supplies. In fact, six in every ten motorists admit to being utterly ignorant to which grade of oil should be used in their engines.

Standard oil ratings, such as 10W40, refer to the temperature levels at which the oil will protect an engine, making it imperative to observe the oil type recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Using oil other than a recommended grade could mean the lubricants are either too thin or thick for the engine to run efficiently and with adequate protection.

You should keep an eye on your vehicle’s oil quantity as part of a weekly vehicle check, which should include checking tire condition and pressures, fluid levels and all bulbs.