How do I Check and Add Engine Oil?

Motor oil is your engine’s lifeblood. It lubricates the internal parts, so the engine can run smoothly and efficiently.

Because your engine needs a certain amount of oil to run right, you should check your vehicle’s oil level every time you fill up the fuel tank.

Follow these steps to check and add motor oil. For additional information about motor oil, check your Owner’s Manual. If you have any questions, please contact your local Ford Dealership.

Before you Start

There are a few things you should do before starting:

  • Get a metal or plastic oil-fill funnel, an oil rag and one or two quarts of the vehicle's correct grade of oil. You can find the grade in your owner's manual.
  • Park the vehicle on level ground—if the vehicle isn’t level, the oil level can be incorrect when you check it.
  • Turn your engine off, and wait 10 minutes so all of the engine’s oil drains into the oil pan.
  • Roll up or remove loose clothing, and keep your arms away from the cooling fan(s) when checking the oil—fans can turn on automatically, even when the engine is off.

Checking and Adding Engine Oil

  • Open the bonnet and find the oil dipstick. It’s near the engine and usually has a brightly colored handle.
  • Pull the dipstick out, wipe the metal section clean with a rag, then fully insert it and remove it.
  • Your oil level is the highest point on the dipstick that is coated with oil.
  • If the oil level is between “MIN” and “MAX,” you don’t need to add oil, and can replace the dipstick and close the bonnet.
  • However, if the oil level is at or below “MIN,” you’ll need to add oil now.
  • Find the oil fill location—it may have an oil can icon on it. You will find the location of the oil filler cap in your owner's manual. Remove the fill cap and place the small end of the funnel into the fill hole.
  • Add oil by pouring in roughly a quarter of the container at a time, waiting a minute for the oil to drain to the pan, then repeating steps 2 and 3 each time. Stop adding oil when the dipstick shows oil at or just below the “MAX” mark. It's important to add oil in small amounts, and never add oil past the dipstick’s “MAX” level. Too much oil in your engine can be just as bad as too little.
  • Remove the funnel and replace the dipstick and oil fill cap. Make sure both are fully secured in place then close the bonnet.

Quick Tip

Your motor oil should be changed every 7,000-15,000 kms, depending on your vehicle’s model year and driving conditions. Most Ford vehicles have an Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor that can help you keep track of when an oil change is needed. Exceeding the recommended service interval by as little as 3,000 kms can cause significant damage to your engine! 

Important additives in synthetic oil can begin to break down very quickly after the service recommendation. Anti-oxidants and anti-wear additives breaking down can allow sludge to form within the engine, preventing the proper circulation and flow of oil to key areas such as bearings and fluid galleries. Viscosity modifiers also break down after being exposed to high temperatures (higher than planned temperatures occur in an engine when the lubrication isn't working as designed, increasing the friction internally) and become less effective at keeping fast moving, fine tolerance metal surfaces away from one another. Detergents and solvents degrade quickly after the service schedule which prevents them from being able to wash away carbon and soot from building up in the engine. Oil changes also provide a way of flushing contaminants in the engine such as metallic debris, carbon build-up from unburnt fuel and dirt from the engine, so delaying the oil change continues to circulate these contaminates around the engine doing further damage. 

Between changes, your vehicle’s oil level can drop a small amount within the normal range. However, if it drops to the “MIN” mark or lower between oil changes, you should take the vehicle to your local dealership and let the factory trained technicians inspect it to determine the cause.

Regular Oil Change Schedule

For your specific vehicle, please refer to the Service Price Calculator found here in order to see an estimate of your next service cost. Your Customer Assistance Warranty and Service Guide booklet, found in the glove compartment of your vehicle, will also give you an indication of when your next Scheduled Service is due and what work your Ford dealership will perform.  Your local dealership can provide factory trained technicians and the right parts to ensure the correct services are performed on your vehicle to maximise its service life.