I have a 2008 Buick lacrosse

I'm pretty sure you're suppose to check the engine oil after the car has been sitting for at least 5 minutes with the engine off. But now I'm questioning this because I read online that you may want to recheck it once it's running to determine you have proper lubrication

I checked the oil when it was cold, overnight and the dipstick read that it had less than a 1/4 of oil... extremely low, below the add mark by a good inch, so I added two quarts and checked it again, now it shows that it's topped off, at the full line

I started the vehicle, rechecked the oil, now it shows double the fill line on the dipstick.

So I guess my question is, when do I check my oil, when it's cold, or when it's running and hot, or when it's hot but stopped.

I've never had oil jump around so much in my life, I've always just checked it when the engine was cold

  • 1
    Hot or cold does not matter, as long as it is checked after it is tuned off for a few minutes.
    – Moab
    Commented Jan 13, 2019 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


You check engine oil with the engine OFF. Preferably at least about a minute or so after running. Hot or cold engine doesn't matter. Pull the stick out, wipe it, put it back, pull again and read.

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