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Old 10-06-2012, 01:30 AM   #1
limitwrx
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Default 12' wrx oil level when cold

I have been changing my own oil the past 10 years on all my cars, but for some reason the wrx makes me feel like a noob!

Just did my first oil & filter change or my 12 wrx. Read the faq on this topic, but I am confused on the oil level that's shows on the dipstick.

The manual says to check it warm - where should it roughly be when cold then? Iam also getting two different reading on the dipstick (eg: the side that doesn't have the full low marks shows higher.)

You guys with the newer WRX's how much oil are you putting in ?
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:45 AM   #2
WRX boarder
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2012 is 4.4qt capicity
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:56 AM   #3
DONx3
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I check mine cold and it should be on the uppermost hole; there should be a small film of oil covering the hole. It's confusing checking the oil warm but it should be at the small notch near the uppermost hole (http://www.subaruforester.org/galler...1_IMG_0662.JPG).

I believe it holds 4.8 quarts but check the manual; I would get 5 quarts and fill until the dipstick reads full.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:20 AM   #4
limitwrx
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Thanks. Yeah my manual is showing 4.4 Quarts when the filter is changed.
That's what I have in there now, but its still showing in the middle of full and low when cold.

The manual says to check warm I guess when warm it will be near full. I will recheck in the morning.

Also, strange why the smooth side of the dipstick shows higher then the other side.

Thanks for the replies!
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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You can check it while your car is on the sun or when you are at 0 degrees Kelvin and all matter as we know it stops.....when the level is somewhere between the holes is all that matters. Don't over-complicate the most simplistic items. Oil on the stick somewhere? Smoke cigarettes.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
MaddMax
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OK, since no one is really helping you here.

1) Don't pay attention to the unmarked side.
2) Hot oil expands slightly, giving fractionally higher readings. Ideally, check the oil when it's cold or cool. The hot "full" mark is that notch above the "F".
3) You want the cool oil to be at F.
4) When checking the oil, remove the oil filler cap. It helps give more accurate readings. For whatever reason these boxer motors, the oil level can bounce around a bit when the cap is on.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:23 PM   #7
Barnold
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Is your car on level ground when you checked it?
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
limitwrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax
OK, since no one is really helping you here.

1) Don't pay attention to the unmarked side.
2) Hot oil expands slightly, giving fractionally higher readings. Ideally, check the oil when it's cold or cool. The hot "full" mark is that notch above the "F".
3) You want the cool oil to be at F.
4) When checking the oil, remove the oil filler cap. It helps give more accurate readings. For whatever reason these boxer motors, the oil level can bounce around a bit when the cap is on.
Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
the suicidal eggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax View Post
Ideally, check the oil when it's cold or cool.

You want the cool oil to be at F.
That is incorrect. You're supposed to check when the oil is hot, at least a few minutes after shut down so it has a chance to drain.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:12 AM   #10
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the suicidal eggroll View Post
That is incorrect. You're supposed to check when the oil is hot, at least a few minutes after shut down so it has a chance to drain.
Why would you want to check the oil when it's hot? It expands; therefore, giving a slightly higher reading. The manual specficially advises against checking the oil at least for 10 or so minutes after shutdown. Waiting longer is even more ideal.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:42 AM   #11
101101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the suicidal eggroll View Post
That is incorrect. You're supposed to check when the oil is hot, at least a few minutes after shut down so it has a chance to drain.
Eggroll is right: Maintenance section of '12 owner manual. Check page 11-8:
Quote:
Check the engine oil level at each fuel
stop.
[...]
If you check the oil level just after stopping
the engine, wait a few minutes for the oil to
drain back into the oil pan before checking
the level.
Just after driving or while the engine is
warm, the engine oil level reading may be
in a range between the upper level and
the notch mark. This is caused by thermal
expansion of the engine oil.
To prevent overfilling the engine oil, do not
add any additional oil above the upper
level when the engine is cold.
Check it hot at each fill up. My method is to fill up the car, then after filling it check the level. I assume it takes "a few minutes" to pump gas to allow oil to drain back to the pan.

As a side note, I've experienced the oil reading to change by about 1/2 the distance between the low and full mark based on if it's hot or cold.
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:55 PM   #12
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101101 View Post
Eggroll is right: Maintenance section of '12 owner manual. Check page 11-8:


Check it hot at each fill up. My method is to fill up the car, then after filling it check the level. I assume it takes "a few minutes" to pump gas to allow oil to drain back to the pan.

As a side note, I've experienced the oil reading to change by about 1/2 the distance between the low and full mark based on if it's hot or cold.
He's correct in that there is procedure for checking the oil when hot, no where is it noted you're to only check it when its warm/hot. You guys are reading words that aren't there. This isn't ATF where you want to check levels at operating temp.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #13
the suicidal eggroll
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Sure you can check the oil when it's cold, there's nothing wrong with that, you should just aim for a slight lower fill level than when it's hot.

Personally, I do either. I aim for somewhere between the low line and middle when it's cold, and somewhere between the middle and high line when it's hot.
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