Mechanic checks the oil level in a vehicle

Is it okay to add new oil to a vehicle without draining the old?

Low Oil FAQs and Solutions

You may be noticing some issues with your motor oil. Perhaps it’s low, or perhaps you’re just being told it needs to be changed. Is it okay to just pour some fresh oil into your vehicle’s “oil spout” and call it a day?


Err on the safe side and schedule an appointment at our service center!


No, it’s not okay to add new oil to a vehicle without draining the old. Oil is meant to be changed, not filled up like a gas tank. In addition, an essential part of refreshing your oil is changing the oil filter.

Why does the oil filter need to be changed?

If your oil isn’t looking so great, the filter is also likely pretty filthy. A point comes when an oil filter gets inundated with the very contaminants it’s supposed to filter out of the oil. At this point, it can no longer trap and hold contaminants. Thus, the oil in your tank will no longer be filtered like it should.

When oil is too full of contaminants, it begins to form sludge. As you might expect, this can be quite harmful to your engine.

If you replace your engine, you may wonder: Do I need to break my vehicle in again?

Man drains oil into pan and dirties his fingers

Why is the oil in my vehicle low?

Low oil levels in your vehicle can be due to oil leakage or burning. If your engine is leaking oil, determine where the leaks are coming from and have them repaired. If it’s burning it, try using an additive or shortening your oil change interval.

While vehicles are not supposed to burn much oil, older vehicles can do so. Because of wear, vehicles tend to consume more oil as they age. When ignored, this can result in major damage to the car’s engine. Oil burning can be caused by worn valve stems, guides, seals and piston rings.

A telltale sign of an engine burning oil is blue smoke in the exhaust. If your vehicle is only burning a small amount of oil, you may not see the blue smoke, but will probably be able to tell when you check the dipstick.

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