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Subaru Check Engine Oil Level

This guide provides instructions on how to check the engine oil level on a Subaru and add engine oil if the level is low. 

Subaru  Check Engine Oil Level


What you will need

oil light warning on dashboard


  1. Pull the hood release under the dashboard of your Subaru and open the hood.
  2. Open the hood and locate the oil dipstick.subaru oil dipstick location
  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it fully.check subaru oil level


  4. Before reinserting the dipstick, note the Max and Minimum levels. SUBARU OIL LEVEL MAX MIN
  5. Insert the dipstick back into the engine for 5 seconds. Make sure the dipstick is fully inserted.remove dipstick
  6. Pull out the dipstick and note the level. The level should be between the Min and Max marks. SUBARU DISTICK NOTCH If the level is below the Min mark, follow instructions in the next section to add oil.
  7. Locate the engine oil cap and remove it by turning it counterclockwise. Subaru engine oil cap location used to add engine oil
  8. Add 1 quart ( or about 1 litter) and wait 5 minutes.
  9. Recheck the engine oil level using the instructions above. Add engine oil to bring the level between the Min and Max mark.check engine oil level on subaru outback forester impreza wrx crosstrek legacy

Do not allow the level to go above the MAX mark.

Possible risk of burning due to engine components being hot.

If your Subaru engine oil level is below the MIN mark, add engine oil immediately. Do NOT drive or keep the engine running if your Subaru oil light or oil pressure light is on. These instructions will help you check the oil level on a Subaru Impreza, Outback, Forester, WRX, Legacy, Crosstrek.

Only continue driving if the oil light is off.


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Safety Tips

Auto Repair Safety Notes



  • It is normal for new oil to turn black pretty quickly, but that doesn’t affect the quality. 
  • After you add oil, you should wait a couple of minutes for the oil to get to the oil pan before you make another measurement. 
  • Checking the oil level right after you turned off the engine can give you inaccurate measurements. That's why we recommend you should wait at least 10 minutes after you turn the engine off. 
  • Do not drive if the oil light stays on. If the oil light stays on, it means low oil pressure or no pressure which can lead to catastrophic engine damage. 
  • Make sure the hood is closed properly. Do not drive if the hood does not latch. 

Can I drive with low engine oil?

NO. This is not recommended. Driving with low engine oil will cause damage to the internal components of your engine over time. Also, proper engine cooling and performance will suffer as a result. 

What type of oil should I put in my car?

  • You should always add the OEM recommended oil viscosity to your vehicle's engine. (i.e 5w30, 10w30) you can consult your owner's manual for this information. If you do not have or cannot locate your owner's manual, use 0W-20 or 5W-30. 

Where can I get engine oil? 

  • You can purchase engine oil at many auto parts stores including Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, including box stores like Walmart. 

How much engine oil should I add?

The engine oil level is indicated by two marks towards the end of the dipstick. The higher mark on the dipstick is the full indicator, and the one towards the end of the dipstick is the low level. 

However, always start with a half quart, check the reading again and add more if necessary to prevent overfilling.