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Old 09-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #1
Booger-Toast
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Default oil level different on each side of dipstick

Hey guys, I have a 2012 STi limited (left hand drive) and have noticed ever since i got it that whenever i check the oil level in the morning when the engine is cold, on level ground, it is at a different mark on one side of the stick versus the other. pulling it out, the driver's side of the stick measures about half way between the high and low holes in the stick (with very thin streaks along the edges of the stick up to the top notch), and the passenger side is exactly at the full mark.

what gives? it's like the dipstick is going into the oilpan at an angle or something.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
Bacon117
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Not an unusual problem. A lot of cars do this. I don't know if b/c it's going in at an angle or not. It might be scraping some oil off the dipstick tube. Measure it multiple times, and go with the lower side.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
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i dont feel comfortable doing that, especially since i'm getting mixed messages from everyone. one dealership says the stick goes in at an angle, the other one says it goes in adjacent to the oil pan and that it's a split sump so you'll get different levels all the time on each side. i get the same measurement all the time so i thought it was weird.

anyone know the real answer?
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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My dipstick is the same way (ej22). I always use the lower side as well. That's the side with the "L" and "F" letters, so I would assume that's the side Subaru wants you to read. It would make sense.

Unless they changed the dipstick and you have a L and F mark on both sides?

Edit: and I agree 100% with Bacon117 about checking it multiple times, each time you check.

Last edited by ManualOverAuto; 09-30-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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you look at both sides of the dipstick and take the middle average of both sides together if that makes any sense to you.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDCOFF View Post
you look at both sides of the dipstick and take the middle average of both sides together if that makes any sense to you.
Umm not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManualOverAuto View Post
That's the side with the "L" and "F" letters, so I would assume that's the side Subaru wants you to read. It would make sense.
It should...
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:21 PM   #8
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Double post.

Last edited by 04furesterXT; 10-05-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
Umm no it doesn't.

It should...
Heh heh.

Agreed to use the "front" side. Reasoning: after many Subarus, it always makes the most sense (to what I took out and put in).

Multiple reads are necessary as well for (OCD?...no, sometimes it's just off) reassurance. This might mean driving a short bit after maybe adding some oil and trying again. Key is little bits at a time after you are close, the heavy handed may need a fumoto.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:39 PM   #10
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It has been suggested by others that you must remove the o-ring from the cap portion of the dipstick in order to get a good reading. This because with the o-ring in place, compressed air is pushing the oil level within the dipstick tube downward.

I do remove the o-ring when measuring oil level, and I believe that I get a better measurement. However, I still get different readings on either side of the stick. Different by about 3/16 inch.

To my knowledge, no one has satisfactorily explained why that is so.

Frank
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:50 PM   #11
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On my cars ('99 Impreza and '03 Outback) the dipstick enters the pan at an angle, which easily explains the differing readings. Is it not that obvious on newer Subarus???
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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Here's one of my oil pans...as you can see, the dipstick tube enters at about a 45 degree angle to horizontal. Is this a lot different than newer Subarus?

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Zuccarini

To my knowledge, no one has satisfactorily explained why that is so.

Frank
Look a few posts up for "BlueSubie's" post. Read the thread in his link and look for the post by "killerBmotorsports" (I think). He explains it pretty well.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Zuccarini View Post
To my knowledge, no one has satisfactorily explained why that is so.
It's pretty clear with the pan off. The dipstick comes in at an angle. The "bottom" side of the dipstick gets more oil on it than the "top" side.

The correct orientation is with the oil symbol "right side up" when you're standing at the nose of the car... this will always have the letters on the "top" side of the dipstick that gets less oil, and this is the side to read.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:00 AM   #15
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Is just reading the side with the hash marks that difficult to comprehend?

I just wait a few seconds before I pull the stick out to read it. No need to remove any o ring.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #16
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I had not previously read killerbmotorsports comments, but the 45 degree entry into the oil pan makes perfect sense. I have even made a geometric sketch of a dipstick entering the oil surface at a 45 deg angle, and that can easily account for the difference in readings, front to back.

As an aside, I feel that we are needlessly obsessing of the possible difference of a few ounces of oil, one way or the other. IMHO, if you measure anywhere between the 'L' and 'F' marks, with or without oil cap and/or o-ring, you are fine.

Thanks for straightening me out.................. Frank
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
Umm not.



It should...

haha only on nasioc...

I don;t just pull this **** out of my ass, this is coming from a mechanic
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:13 PM   #18
04furesterXT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDCOFF View Post
haha only on nasioc...

I don;t just pull this **** out of my ass, this is coming from a mechanic
I didn't pull that out of my ass either. I pulled it out of the owner's manual.

Ha ha definitely on NASIOC. Internet genius!
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04furesterXT View Post
I didn't pull that out of my ass either. I pulled it out of the owner's manual.

Ha ha definitely on NASIOC. Internet genius!
and you trust something coming from subaru when their own factory tunes run lean and cause ringland failures...
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #20
04furesterXT
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I don't need to trust Subaru to tell me how to read a ****in' dipstick.

I just put that out there for people that are anal retentive/ignorant enough to think that being a few drops of oil off the full line is going to make their car explode.

Your mechanic just told you that so you would beat it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #21
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Oil tolerance... It's built into every car...

This is so grandma, who never checks her oil, can still get to bingo...

the 3/16" difference from one side to the other means next to nothing... take a mental avarage and call it good... (I stay near the high side, not 23/64th from the top)
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #22
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Jesus, people. Some things don't require this much thought.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:59 AM   #23
04furesterXT
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Apparently they do.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:39 PM   #24
VDCOFF
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Originally Posted by Bottom Feeder View Post
Jesus, people. Some things don't require this much thought.

your right, i just like pissing off ignorant nasioc members
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:01 PM   #25
04furesterXT
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Why bother posting then? You can just talk to yourself in the mirror about reading your dipstick...
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