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Old 07-24-2003, 10:14 AM   #1
quickscooby
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Default Do you have to top off your oil between oil changes?

It seems like once or twice during all my 3000 mile oil changes that i have to put about a 1/4 of a quart to 1/2 a quart into the car. It's really hot in Texas. It's in the 90s to low 100s. I drive the car really hard but i use mobile 1 synthetic and change it every 3000 miles.

The only concern that i have is a couple months ago i was driving the car pretty hard and i pulled into the driveway and i had steam coming from the bottom of the motor. It did it for a couple of minutes and then when i tured the fan on it stopped. It was steamy/light smokey. It was raining that day so i thought maybe i just ran through a puddle of water. The thing that got me is that i had the car parked and idling for a couple of minutes when i noticed it. I haven't seen the car do that since. And i have been to the track and the dyno since then and the car still seems to run strong. Should i be concerned? Are there some easy checks i can do?

Or does everyone have to top their cars off too?
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:35 AM   #2
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Adding oil shouldn't be a concern unless it's more than a quart total between changes. 50% of the adding is due to the inaccuracy of the damn dipstick itself. You remove, wipe, and read. No matter how many times you do it, the "line" will appear different every time. It also will change if you haven't driven much or a lot, etc. Don't worry, every engine consumes a little oil. The old rule of thumb I have heard is more than a quart between changes, start worrying. This rule is modified to a case when it comes to Fords though.
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:14 AM   #3
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The line on the dipstick is just below the fill dot. If i've been driving hard in the heat with only that much oil do you think it hurt anything?

When do you check your oil? 5, 10,30 minutes after turning the car off or completely cold?
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:22 PM   #4
Tim Sanderson
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It is true that engines do consume oil. Oil consumption can be brought to a bare minimum by using the correct weight oil. If for instance you are using 5w30 and loosing oil between changes, then try 10w40 on your next change. The 10w40 is a little less viscous and should reduce consumption(assuming same brand).
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:53 PM   #5
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When I was using dino & under 7000 miles, I had to add oil. Since switching to synthetic and being over 7000 miles - no.

Although, with the USEFUL dipstick readings on my car, who knows how much oil I really have down there
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Old 07-24-2003, 01:06 PM   #6
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My car has 22,000 miles on it. I've used mobile 1 5w30 since about 4,000 miles. Why is the dipstick so inaccurate then? It seems like i get different readings sometimes too.
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by quickscooby
My car has 22,000 miles on it. I've used mobile 1 5w30 since about 4,000 miles. Why is the dipstick so inaccurate then? It seems like i get different readings sometimes too.
I dunno. I thought it was just me, until I read in another thread about how bad it is. I'm no mechanic, but I'd think the dipstick just protrudes down into the oil pan and measures the depth of oil in it. How hard can it be to screw that up? I always measure on a flat surface, and get weird readings.
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Old 07-24-2003, 05:34 PM   #8
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Hey quickscooby, what's up?? Didn't expect to see ya here also....

Same here man....I use 5w-30 Mobil 1 also.
Approx 1/2 quart between changes. I'm up here in the crazy NY weather pattern...dunno if it's a heat issue

Guy at Mobil station told me once that Subie engines are notorious for burning some oil...not a bad thing, just the way it's designed......HHmmmm...flat engine layout??
Wonder if Porsche's have the same problem

Anyways.....later dude
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Old 07-24-2003, 05:42 PM   #9
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"Guy at Mobil station"
You trust him?

Ive got three subaru with over 150k miles on an EJ series engine and when they arent leaking the oil consumed between changes is so small its hard to detect on the dipstick. On one of my cars that I push VERY hard I usually change oil at around 5k and I estimate I might lose 1/4 cup of oil during that time?
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Old 07-24-2003, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
The 10w40 is a little less viscous
It's actually MORE viscous.

Just remember, it can take a while for all the oil to drip back down to the oil pan. To be absolutely sure, wait 5-10' after car has stopped on a flat surface before checking the oil level.
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:37 PM   #11
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i waited and it still was just below the fill dot. Someone else told me that turbo cars aren't supposed to consume oil especially with only 22k on it. And some others told me that turbo cars do. Which is it?
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:03 PM   #12
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This may seem silly, your car is parked level right?
And no oil usage here. 43k miles and counting. (Using Mobil 1 5w30 by the way)
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:13 PM   #13
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Yeah it's level. You guys are starting to scare me
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
"Guy at Mobil station"
Quote:
You trust him?

It was the head mechanic....not sure how smart these gas station mechanics are though
Just passing along info ciper.......

Never Said I trusted him
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Old 07-24-2003, 11:25 PM   #15
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I run Amsoil 5W-30 and I'd say I usually add about 1/4 quart in the 4000 miles between changes. I'm not worried about that amount, and like others have said the dipstick doesn't make things any easier to get an accurate check.

With all of the doo-dads for the WRX that are sold by the multitude of vendors, I can't believe nobody's come up with a quality aftermarket dipstick. Something with a knurled end and a nice finish (i.e., the opposite of the piece of crap that came with the car ). I'd be on that in an instant if they did.
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Old 07-25-2003, 09:20 AM   #16
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Default just out of curiosity....

you guys who are burning oil between oil changes.....how did you break your cars in? Did you do the 1000 mile soft break in according to the manual? or break it in with a hard throttle,but not red line it. I'm Just trying to see if there is any corealation between burning oil and breakin.
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Old 07-25-2003, 10:46 AM   #17
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Default Dipstick

The dipsticks on our subarus follows this metal tubing. It's bottom is actually curved inwards! hence the inconsistencies. Why can't they make it straight down like a normal car?!
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Old 07-25-2003, 12:28 PM   #18
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My car has never needed topping up. However, I would not worry about the amount you are using - definitely within tolerances. I'd be concerned if you were having to add more than a quart between oil changes.
From what I understand from my friends who are Bimmer fanatics, the high performance in-line 6's in the M3's as well as older M5's and M6's are notorious for using oil.
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:04 PM   #19
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Default Re: just out of curiosity....

Quote:
Originally posted by wolf2810
you guys who are burning oil between oil changes.....how did you break your cars in? Did you do the 1000 mile soft break in according to the manual? or break it in with a hard throttle,but not red line it. I'm Just trying to see if there is any corealation between burning oil and breakin.
I kept mine under 4000 RPM for the most part, and did the varying-speed thing. I went over 4000 RPM on a few occasions in first or second gear, but never close to redline.
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:42 PM   #20
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I was moderate on mine. Mainly around 5000 shifts for about a 1000 miles but there were a few 6000-6500 shifts. I break the car in like i plan on driving it. Not too rough but rowdy. I redline my a lot. I mean like 75% of the time.
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Old 07-25-2003, 02:30 PM   #21
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I use Redline 10w30 with 5K mile intervals and have never needed to add any oil. I agree that the dip-stick SUCKS.
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Old 07-25-2003, 09:23 PM   #22
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One other thing I forgot about....make sure the dipstick is FULLY seated. I have gotten myself on this before where the dipstick stops on the O-ring and not the top of the stick. This is especially prevalent with the tranny fluid, it takes me like 3 tries to get it to fully seat right.
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:49 AM   #23
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I think I'd worry more if the engine was a quart low rather than worry that it may be a cup low. Doesn't the WRX dipstck have a safe range on it or an add a quart range? I'm almost positive my RS has a safe range where if the oil is in that area of the stick, all is good. I'll check later.

Most engines will burn some oil when worked or diven hard. I would think that Subaru's would burn some oil between changes seeing as Porches are a bit hard on oil, at least the older air cooled ones.

Side note - where I used to work we had a 95 Chevy van with a 350. It used 1 quart of oil between 3K changes. Even from the first oil change. Asked the dealer. "oh, that's normal"
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Old 07-28-2003, 08:53 PM   #24
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Hmm... now you guys are getting me worried. I run my '99 RS hard sometimes, but generally i'm pretty easy on it. I've got 65,000 on it, and it burns about a quart between 5000k oil changes. I'm taking it into the dealership soon for a CEL, and I think I'm going to ask this, if this is a big deal or not
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Old 07-29-2003, 04:11 AM   #25
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I am way glad to read this thread. It is the first one where I have heard others talk about not being able to get a consistent reading.

I do add oil once in awhile. Usually about 1/4 at a time. Once or twice, mine has been about 1 qt low at oil change, so I kinda keep track of it.
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