Can you add oil while engine is running?

Ever found yourself in the dilemma of wanting to give your vehicle an oil boost but caught in the crossroads of whether to let it purr or silence the engine?

Fret not, for we’ve delved deep into the realms of automotive wisdom, and the solution awaits you right here.

If you’re just adding a bit of oil or putting in more after an oil change, make sure the engine is turned off.

If you’re topping up, wait a few minutes for the engine to cool down before adding oil to avoid getting burned.

Is it okay to add in oil while the car is in motion?

Usually, it’s not a good idea to add oil when your car is running.

The problem is that the engine gets really hot, and if you accidentally touch any part of it while trying to add oil, you could end up getting burned.

So, it’s safer to wait until the engine cools down before topping up the oil.

Additionally, if the engine is running, the oil is so hot that it might splash on the dipstick.

This makes it tricky to get a correct reading before and after you add more oil.

An image illustrating if its okay to add oil while the engine is running
A technician pouring oil to a car engine Source: carfixboss

What’s the reason you shouldn’t add oil into a running car?

Pouring oil into a running car is a no-go because the engine and the oil inside are scorching hot.

Some folks believe adding room temperature oil to a hot engine could harm it, but that’s not entirely accurate.

The real issue is the engine being too hot to touch without getting burned.

If you accidentally touch it, you’re in for a painful experience.

Besides, even if you manage to add oil while it’s running, you’ll still have to turn off the engine and let it cool down to get a correct oil level reading.

Failure to do so will result in the oil getting so hot that it can splash on the dipstick thereby giving you inaccurate reading.

What occurs when you add oil to a car that’s already hot?

Generally, there’s no harm in adding oil while your engine is hot. However, you may get yourself hurt in the process.

In a hot car, not only is the engine scorching, but the oil is too.

Whether you’re just finishing a long drive or a quick ride, both the engine and oil are too hot to touch.

Moreover, in high temperatures engine oil becomes thinner. This makes it more fluid and prone to splashing.

For such reasons, you must allow your car to settle down and cool before adding oil.

should i add oil when my engine is in motion?
Should i add oil when my engine is in motion?
Photo credit: motorverso

How much time should I allow my car to run following an oil change?

Ideally, it’s advisable to run your car for approximately 2-3 minutes after an oil change.

This can allow the engine to run briefly, thereby helping circulate the fresh oil.

It’s good practice to keep your car running after an oil change to check for any oil leaks from the filter or drain.

While some mechanics might do this for you, it’s wise to inspect your car yourself to make sure everything is okay.

To wrap it up

Whether you’re in the habit of topping up your car’s oil between changes or it’s a new concept for you, it’s crucial to learn to do it safely.

Always ensure your vehicle is parked on flat ground and turned off when adding new oil to prevent any accidents or injuries.

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