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How to Check Your Bike's Engine Oil Level?

Team AckoNov 18, 2022

Picture this. You are cruising on your bike on the highway to reach your weekend getaway destination. But all of a sudden, you feel excessive heat from the engine, and the bike comes to a complete stop. You wonder what's gone wrong and find out that the engine is low on oil. Panic sets in, as your planned vacation might be disrupted due to this hurdle. Wait, breathe, relax. You can avoid such a situation if you regularly keep an eye on the vehicle’s oil level. Read ahead as we provide you with a complete guide on how to check the engine oil level in a bike.

How to check the Bike Engine Oil level

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How to check Motorcycle Engine Oil level

You can check your bike’s engine oil level without the need for any special tools. It’s a simple, straightforward and easy process; hence, you don’t even need any assistance from a mechanic to check the engine oil level in your motorcycle.

There are two ways to check the Bike Engine Oil level, depending on the type of motorcycle you own.

  1. Through engine oil level dipstick

  2. Through engine oil level window

In the following sections, we will explain both methods of checking the engine oil level. 

Steps to check the engine oil level

Checking the oil level in bikes is a simple process as it does not require any tools or special skills. All you have to do is a visual inspection. Following are the steps to check the oil level in your motorcycle’s engine.

1. Check oil level with a dipstick

You can follow the steps below to check the oil level with the help of a dipstick.

  • Step 1: Park the motorcycle with the help of the main stand. If your bike doesn't have a main stand, make use of a paddock stand or ask someone to hold/sit on the bike for you.

  • Step 2: Switch on the engine, let it idle for a few minutes and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 3: Loosen the oil filler cap and clean the oil dipstick with a cloth.

  • Step 4: Dip the stick inside the oil till the filler cap touches the thread.

  • Step 5: Remove the stick and check the oil level.

You can see two lines on the stick; the top one indicates the oil is full, and the bottom one indicates that the oil is low. The level should be between the two lines. You must top up the engine oil if the oil level is below the lower line. If it's above the top line, you need to drain out the excess oil.

2. Checking through oil level window

Here are the steps to inspect the Bike Engine Oil level through the oil level window.

  • Step 1: Park the bike using the centre/paddock stand or ask someone to hold/sit on the motorcycle.

  • Step 2: Turn on the engine, let it idle for a few minutes and then allow it to cool down for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Step 3: Check the oil through the transparent window on the engine casing.

The engine oil level should be between the transparent window's upper and lower level marks. Top up or drain the excess oil as per the reading.

Points to keep in mind while checking Bike Engine Oil level

Here are a few points you must consider before checking the engine oil level in your motorcycle.

  • Do not check the oil level when the bike is leaning towards one side. Always park the bike in an upright standing position.

  • Do not check the oil level when the engine is too cold.

  • Warm up the engine by idling it for a few minutes and allow it to cool for a few minutes before checking the oil level.

  • Pay attention to the engine oil’s texture and colour to determine its quality. 

How to know engine oil health

Checking the engine oil level in your bike determines not only the quantity of oil but also the quality of the oil. Yes, you can evaluate the quality of the oil by visual inspection. The following points will explain how to know the engine oil health when checking the engine oil level.

  • If the oil looks slightly goldish, it is in good condition, and there’s no need for an oil change.

  • If the oil colour is black, it has lost its capability of lubricating the engine’s components. Hence, you must immediately change the engine oil.

  • If the engine oil is whitish, the coolant liquid (only for liquid-cooled bikes) has mixed with the oil. In such cases, visit the service centre immediately to stop further damage to the engine.

After how many kilometres should you change the Bike Engine Oil?

Typically, you must change the engine oil every 2,500 to 3,000km for the perfect working of the motorcycle's engine. However, refer to your bike's owner's manual to find the exact oil change intervals. Following the bike-manufacturer-recommended oil change interval is crucial for the engine's longevity.

Effects of low Bike Engine Oil level

Engine oil is a crucial fluid that keeps the engine running in perfect condition. Lack of it can lead to severe problems, and you may end up paying a hefty engine repair bill. Hence, it’s extremely important to maintain the correct engine oil level at all times. This section explains the effects of riding your bike with a low engine oil level.

  • Low engine oil level causes faster wear and tear of engine components. With less oil between the moving engine parts, the level of friction increases, and so does the wear and tear.

  • If you ride the bike with a low engine oil level, the engine starts to overheat. The increased friction causes more heat; without sufficient oil, the heat is transferred to the engine casing. Engine oil also acts as a coolant and mitigates the heating due to friction.

  • Low engine oil also causes carbon deposits to form on the engine components. Carbon deposits can significantly impact the overall performance of the engine.

  • In a worst-case scenario, the low engine oil level can also cause the engine to seize. In other words, the engine components, such as the piston, crankshaft, gearbox, etc., can get jammed without proper lubrication.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most common questions and their answers related to the checking of Bike Engine Oil level.

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How often should I check the engine oil level on my bike?

You can check the Bike Engine Oil level every week. It is one of the most critical aspects of motorcycle maintenance. 

Do I need any tools or help from a mechanic to check the motorcycle engine oil level?

You do not need any tools or mechanic's help to inspect the engine oil level.

Can I top up the engine oil myself if it's on the low level?

You can top up the engine oil level by yourself. However, ensure that you top up with the correct grade of engine oil as recommended by the manufacturer.

Will the low engine oil level affect the fuel efficiency of my bike?

The low engine oil level will have an impact on fuel efficiency. With issues like engine overheating and excessive wear and tear of components, the overall fuel efficiency may drop significantly.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only. It is recommended to take the help of an expert before making any related decision.

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