Halifax, West Yorkshire

What no dipstick?

What no dipstick?

I love red cars. I’ve always loved them.

My first red car was a 999cc H reg red Ford Fiesta, which I got for my 18th birthday. No central locking, manual windows and a manual choke (remember manual chokes?! – probably not if you’re under 30 😂).

We went everywhere together and our relationship lasted for four years. Then I qualified as a physio, got my first job at Calderdale and decided to treat myself to a tiebreak green, Peugeot 206 Roland Garros edition. The car was very swish – air conditioning, central locking, panoramic glass sunroof – the works.

I’ve had a few cars since then; a Mazda RX8, a Freelander 2  and a Discovery 4.

I’ve now come back to red, and you will have seen my little red mini parked outside the clinic. It isn’t the most fancy, but I love it 🚘.

However, the other day I got a warning message on my dashboard to say that my oil level was drastically low.


Now let me let you into a secret. As a child, I didn’t particularly like doing traditionally girly things. I was a dab hand at building flat packed furniture, decorating and tinkering with cars.

You’d usually find me with my Dad doing something messy. So, I’m fairly comfortable with a car engine.

Armed with a bottle of oil (5W/30 in case you were wondering, not olive), some tissue and my car keys, I popped the bonnet to look for the dipstick.

Shock. Horror 😱. There wasn’t one!

I messaged Matt at JT Motors in Ripponden (slightly embarrassed) and asked him, ‘Other than the person driving the car, is there a dipstick in the mini?!’

The answer dear friend, is no.

The car does it all electronically. So, to find out how much oil I needed to put in I must first drive with critically low oil for 30 minutes in order to press the button, to get the reading of just how low the oil was!

The other thing you need to know about me is that I don’t drive very far. I’ve had my car for two and a half years and I have done 2000 miles.

So, the idea of driving for 30 minutes just to test the oil felt like asking me to drive to the south of France!

If only I had a dipstick! I could pull it out of the engine, give the dipstick a little wipe, pop it back in again and then pull out to see how much was in the oil tank!

Anyway, on Matt’s advice, I shoved a litre in and everything seemed to be okay.

It got me thinking though, why does everything these days have to be so complicated?

Healthcare can sometimes feel like that with products like Apple watches or WHOOP wrist bands analysing our every waking (and sleeping) moments.

We’ve lost our way.

Let’s be more dipstick.  Stick to the basic principles of eating well, sleeping well, doing exercise and spending time with people that make you feel good 💃🏼.

You’ll be better off if you do.

Until next time,


P.S. You’ll be pleased to know, I’ve managed to drive for 30 minutes ferrying the boys around this weekend and hurrah, oil level is now spot on 🙌🏻