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The Importance of Checking Your Oil

Engine Oil check
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The blog this week is about the importance of checking the oil in your Volvo or Toyota regularly. Preferably weekly! Oil is like the blood supply which flows through your engine – it keeps all the moving parts lubricated so there is no friction and premature demise of moving parts. No engine oil will result in the failure of your actual engine – those things are very expensive to replace! Read on to see some top tips:

Running low on motor oil can cause a lot more damage to your car than you might think. So please do not ignore the dashboard lights! You really should get into the habit of checking it weekly. Having a low level of oil in your car will mean that the engine is being worn far quicker than it should be and can lead to you having to fork out on expensive repairs to get it back on the road again. In extreme cases it can ruin your engine completely, resulting in a need for a new engine!

As car owners it's one of the most important things we're supposed to do - look after the engine and top up the oil regularly - but it's also one of the most neglected aspects of car ownership. You should not leave it to be done once a year at your annual car service. Research shows that one in three cars has too little oil to run effectively, and many people wait until they see that little red light blinking at them on the dashboard, warning them that it's been too long since they paid their oil levels attention. In many cases, if you see the warning light come on then the damage has already been done and rather than preventative action, it becomes a case of damage limitation. We cannot stress enough that preventative maintenance is ALWAYS cheaper than reactive repairs – that is the truth.

How Often Should You Check Your Oil?

You should perform several checks as part of your weekly routine. Checking your oil levels in your Volvo or Toyota and topping up when necessary should be near the top of that list. If you notice any oil on the floor when you’ve been parked up, or any other problems that you think might be related to oil levels, check it then too. If in any doubt please seek the assistance of your local independent garage. It’s always handy to carry some oil, coolant and water in the boot of your car because you just never know when an emergency will crop up!

How Long will it Take you?

It shouldn't take you any more than 10 minutes to check your engine oil levels and top up if required. 10 minutes of your time every week is priceless in comparison to a new engine! You can incorporate a check of the coolant levels, washer bottle and brake fluid all at the same time! You clean your house regularly so why not check your levels on your car regularly?

What Kind of Oil Should you be Using?

There are lots of different types of oil and they are used for different purposes. Before you go out to buy it, refer to your owner's manual and make sure that you know what you should be looking for. The thickness of motor oil is referred to as the viscosity and is shown on the container as an SAE rating. The quality is shown with an ACEA or API classification.
Under the API system - the top grade for petrol engines is labelled 'SJ'. 'CH' is the equal standard for engines that run on diesel but 'CF' is the most common. Under the ACEA system - 'A' is for petrol engines, 'B' is for diesel engines and a roman numeral tells you the grade - 3 being the highest and 1 the lowest.


If you're still not sure ask a professional at your local independent garage for advice before purchasing oil as using the wrong oil type can significantly damage your cars performance and can lead to more severe problems. Over filling the oil is also a big no no – so please pay attention. Do not check the oil whilst the engine is hot and do not check the levels whilst you are parked on a hill. Happy Safe Motoring Folks!

Here at ACC UK Ltd, Winners of The Motor Trader Independent Garage of The Year 2015, 2019 & 2020,  The Inspire Customer Service Excellence 2016 Award, The Eagle Radio Customer Focus 2017 Business Award, The Workshop Magazine Workshop Manager of the Year 2017 Award, The LiveWire Excellence In Vehicle Servicing 2019 Award and The Aftermarket Excellence Award for Best Website 2019, The Eagle Radio Biz Award – Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 & the SME News Magazine Most Trusted Car Servicing Provider 2020, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding customer experience for a fraction of the cost of a dealership. Give us a call and let us quote you for your next service or repair on your Volvo or Toyota. We service all areas around Farnborough, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnham, Guildford, Frimley, Camberley, Hook, Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Yateley, Hampshire and Surrey. We offer free collection and drop off services. We also have a fleet of courtesy cars to allow you to get on with your schedule whilst your Volvo or Toyota is with us. Happy Motoring from all at ACC UK Ltd – Independent Volvo & Toyota servicing, repair and MOT specialists based in the heart of Farnborough, Hampshire.