Wondering if you can check your engine oil with the car running? A twisted and dangerous question. Here’s what my experience says.

Do You Check Engine Oil With Car Running?

Most people don’t check engine oil with the car running or while the engine is on, and even it is advised not to do so. Checking engine oil while the car is running or while the engine is on is a bad idea, and you might hurt yourself even if you dare to do so. 

Now, why is it said that you should not check engine oil with a car running? Let’s have a look!

You Should Not Check Engine Oil With Car Running!

  • Checking the engine oil with a car running is just like to ax yourself on your leg and is none less than the danger of getting burn marks. We all know that the engine is the most heated part while the car is running or on, and the engine oil present inside it also gets heated up to a large extent.
  • Now, if you even try to touch that boiling hot oil to check the level of engine oil, you might get your hands burnt badly because, at that very moment, it is at its maximum heating point and even might have started breaking down or evaporate due to high heat
  • Another reason you should not check engine oil with car running is that the main aim of engine oil is to provide lubrication to different parts and cool down pistons so while the car is running, the engine oil is being used by various parts. All the oil is not present in the oil pan, so that you won’t get the proper reading.
  • Except this, like other liquids, oil also gets expanded a bit at a high temperature. So if you check it while the car is running, you might end up taking a wrong observation, and there might be a possibility that the level of engine oil, in reality, is lesser than what you observe at that moment. 
  • The oil is continuously pumped to different parts like pistons, cylinders, rings, and valves from the oil pan. Because of this, too little oil would be left in the oil pan so that you will get quite inappropriate measurements or observations.

From above, it is clear that you should not check engine oil with a car running in any way, then when should you check it so that you get nearly accurate measurements and that too without hurting yourself. Let’s have a look below.

When Should You Check Engine Oil?

There is no best time to check engine oil, but ideally, it is advised to check once the oil is either warm or at normal temperature. If you have recently come back from a drive, you should not immediately check the engine oil no matter what!

At least wait for 5-10 minutes after turning off your car’s engine before checking the engine oil, or else you might end up hurting your hand badly, and you won’t even get accurate measurements.

Alternatively, you can also check your car’s engine oil before driving but make sure if there is severe cold weather, then warm the car for a minute, turn off the engine and wait for 2-3 minutes before checking the engine oil. 

Verdict

You should never check a car’s engine oil with the car running, and it can be dangerous as well as you will get wrong measurements. As mentioned above, either check the engine oil before driving or wait for 5-10 minutes after you have turned off the engine.

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