Weekend workshop: how to check oil

If the oil in your Toyota runs low it could damage the engine and leave you with a big repair bill. That’s easy to avoid if you make checking the oil level a regular part of your car maintenance routine.

This ‘weekend workshop’ will show you how to check the oil level in most Toyota models and top it up if you need to. Please note, however, that the GR Supra requires a different, software-based procedure, so please refer to the owner’s manual for further details.

Park your car on level ground. Open the bonnet and find the dipstick. It’s usually brightly coloured to make it easy to spot.

Pull the dipstick out and wipe it with a clean rag. Find the minimum and maximum marks. Then replace the dipstick and pull it out again. The oil should come somewhere between the two markers. If it falls below the minimum level you need to add some more oil.

Engine oil: What oil for my Toyota?

It’s very important you use the correct grade. Take a look in your Toyota’s handbook to check, or contact your local Toyota dealer if you are in any doubt.

Find the filler cap. It should be clearly marked, but refer to your handbook if unsure. Unscrew it so you can pour in the oil. Use a funnel to prevent any spillage. Add just a little, then check the level again with the dipstick. Repeat until the oil level is at the maximum marker.

Wipe away any spillage, replace the filler cap, and close the bonnet. That’s all there is to it.

See also:
Weekend workshop: how to change oil
Weekend workshop: how to change a wiper blade
Weekend workshop: how to change a tyre


  1. I have a TOYOTA HIACE 2.5 D4D 2KD-FTV. According to the Toyota SDS, it needs 7.3 lt engine oil (when replacing the oil filter as well). Even though, I follow religiously the sds recommendations, the dipstick shows always more oil in the engine & the oil is constantly well above the MAX dot when car is hot (and cold). Any idea? Thanks a lot. Nikos from Greece

  2. Hi Nikos,
    Thank you for your comment. We’d advise contacting Toyota in your region as they would be in the best position to help. Many thanks.

  3. Hello. Can you tell whats the exact recommendation for Toyota Prius 2nd gen, Reg: AJ57 LLX. I have used 5w30 and A5 and C3 variants in the past. Also is 0w20 or ow30 any good for winter?
    Abdul UK

    1. Hi Abdul,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We can confirm that the recommended oil for this vehicle is 5W-30 FE.

      We hope this helps.

  4. I’m in Pakistan where temperature is around 40 degree c in summer. I’m using Toyota pixis space what engine oil should i use

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately we are unable to advise on vehicles outside of our region. Please contact a Toyota distributor or specialist in your region for assistance. Thanks.

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