How To Check Bike Engine Oil Is Functioning

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 18/04/2023

Your bike’s engine oil plays a vital role in keeping the engine lubricated, ensuring that the engine’s components do not grate or thrash against each other. Therefore, every bike owner should know how to check their engine oil levels periodically.

If you don’t pay attention to your engine oil levels or change the oil when it needs to be changed, it can damage your bike’s engine - Leading your bike to break down when you’re on the road. In the worst-case scenario, you could get into an accident.

Insurance policies for bikes offer financial assistance for repairs and damages. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip out on bike maintenance. A two-wheeler insurance policy is there to protect your bike as a last resort. It does not cover damages due to negligence.

Checking Your Engine Oil Levels

Checking and changing your bike’s engine oil is vital for your bike maintenance. It’s important to do this if you want to avoid any engine malfunctions in the future. Your bike’s engine oil is there to cool and lubricate the engine’s internal components.

If it’s ignored or neglected, it can result in you needing to replace your bike’s engine, which is a costly process.

So, how do you check the engine oil level? — it’s a fairly simple process.

Ideally, your bike engine needs to be cool when you do this. If your bike has been running - you need to park it, turn off the engine and wait 15 minutes for it to cool. Your engine should not be too cold for this process.

There are two ways to do this:

  1. With An Oil Gauge Or A Dipstick

  2. Through The Engine Oil Level Window

How To Check Your Oil Level With A Dipstick?

This doesn’t require any special tools or skills. It’s just a visual inspection. To get started, you simply need to remove the bike’s oil-level gauge or filler cap, clean it first and then dip it back into the oil till.

Pull it back out and check the wet marks on the gauge. Preferably, the oil mark should be between the full and low mark on the gauge. If the bike's engine oil level is below the lower line (low mark), you need to top up the engine oil, and if it’s above the top line (full line), you need to drain out the excess oil.

How To Check Your Oil Level Through The Oil Level Window

This is also a visual inspection. The oil level window is a transparent window on the engine’s casing. It’ll have an upper and a lower marking on it to indicate how much oil is currently in your engine.

Ideally, your oil level should sit between the window’s upper and lower levels. Pay close attention to the oil’s texture and colour to determine its quality.

Your Engine Oil Health And What It Says About The Condition Of Your Bike

Regularly checking your bike’s engine oil can help you catch more minor problems before they become more significant. Here are some signs to help you better understand the engine oil’s role in how your bike functions.

  • It’s a good sign if your bike engine oil is still a beautiful amber colour like it was when it was freshly poured out of the bottle. This is the ideal condition your engine oil should be in.

  • Your engine oil needs to be changed if its colour changes to black or if it has significantly darkened.

  • Your bike must be taken to the nearest workshop if the engine oil smells like gasoline when checking it.

  • If your oil is a milky white colour, then it means that the coolant has penetrated the oil. This could mean that you have an engine problem or a blown head gasket.

  • If your engine oil is depleting faster than usual. In that case, it could be a valve or piston problem that needs further investigation to determine the root cause.

Additional Warning Signs To Watch Out For

Here are some additional signs that are also indicative of low engine oil.

  • If your bike oil indicator stays on. Most bikes today have indicators that tell you when your bike is low on oil. When this is the case, a warning light comes on.

  • If your bike engine makes a metallic clattering sound. This is an easy tell - It indicates that your engine components are losing their protective layer or grease that keeps them lubricated.

  • Another serious symptom is the smell of burning metal when you’re driving. If you’re on the road and this is the case, stop your bike immediately and press the emergency stop button.

How Often Should You Change Your Engine Oil?

Generally, changing your engine oil every 2,500 to 3,000km is best to ensure your bike runs smoothly. It’s best to refer to your bike owner’s manual to know exactly when you should change your bike’s engine oil.

If you’re unsure, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your bike’s recommended oil change intervals.

What Happens When Your Bike Engine Is Low On Oil

A lack of engine oil can cause many problems for your bike. In the worst case, you can end up with a long list of repairs that will eat away at your savings. Here’s a list of what low bike engine oil levels can do to your bike:

  • It can cause faster wear and tear of your engine’s internal components. Also, when there’s less oil in your engine, there’s less lubrication, so it can cause a lot of friction between the engine’s moving parts.

  • Low engine oil levels can cause your bike engine to overheat. More friction between the moving parts also results in more heat being produced. The engine oil acts as both a lubricant and a coolant for your engine.

  • Low engine levels can cause your bike engine to seize in more severe cases. This is because your bike engine components, like the gearbox, piston, crankshaft, etc., can get jammed without proper lubrication.


Your bike’s engine oil should be changed at regular intervals regardless of what type of bike you own. If you do not maintain your bike properly, or do not change the engine oil in time, it can significantly damage your bike’s engine. It will not only disrupt your day-to-day activity but will entail big expenses unless you have Tata AIG’s two-wheeler insurance policies with add-on covers. While third-party bike insurance is mandated by law, it is a comprehensive insurance policy that covers such expenses.

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