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Old 02-06-2005, 05:11 PM   #1
QwikRex
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Default Oil level question

If parked on a slight incline, would the oil dipstick read higher or lower than when parked on an even surface? Also, when is the best time to check the oil level? After sitting overnight, or after being driven, and allowed to cool down(how long?). I don't know if I'm the only one, but I find it a bit difficult to get an accurate reading on the dipstick.
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:11 PM   #2
WRXRgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwikRex
If parked on a slight incline, would the oil dipstick read higher or lower than when parked on an even surface? Also, when is the best time to check the oil level? After sitting overnight, or after being driven, and allowed to cool down(how long?). I don't know if I'm the only one, but I find it a bit difficult to get an accurate reading on the dipstick.
It would all depend...on the incline! It could go either way, causing it to read higher or lower. Off the top of my head, a side to side slant would alter it too...driver's side higher would give you a lower reading, too, since the stick is hitting the sump on driver's side. I'd hazard a guess that facing uphill, you'd get a lower-than-accurate reading.

I like to try reading first thing in the morning, before starting ;-), after she's sat all nite. I concur with you on the difficulty getting a *consistent* read--seems like I can check it three times, clean-wiping in between, and see different levels---heck, I can usually see a different level, from one side of the stick to the other!

Now, at least we know it's not just our two cars...or, is it just our two cars?!?!
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:37 PM   #3
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Not sure If it would read higher or lower on an incline. I totally agree w/ you WRXRgr about how hard it is to read our oil lvls. The best time to check your oil is when its been sitting over night wherever you park it. If you don't want to wait that long I would wait until the engine feels warm and not hot to the touch. I also always read the same side of the dipstick.
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:58 PM   #4
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Please post in the right forum.

There are many experts on different facets of Subaru information. They tend to view and respond in the forums where their knowledge level is highest. By posting in the inappropriate forum, you are not only diluting the wrong forum, but short changing the search results of others and increasing the chances of an expert missing your question.
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:08 PM   #5
QwikRex
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How long is long enough to wait to check oil level after driving? How long does it usually take to allow all the oil to drain back into the pan? Also, when reading the dipstick I get spots of oil that look like it was tracked up from the dipstick or scraped off. My question is, if the second dot is not filled, then the oil level is not past that point correct? Even if the oil was scraped off the stick, the oil would still remain in the hole correct?

Last edited by QwikRex; 02-08-2005 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:18 AM   #6
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bump.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:13 AM   #7
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Always check your fluids on a level surface. All the measuring devices are calibrated for it. Sure, you *could* figure out exactly how a change in incline affected the perceived level of your fluids, but to be accurate you'd need to measure that incline and do the math to figure out the change in level based on the incline. I don't know about you, but I'm not whipping out a bar level, a protractor and a calculator every time I want to see if I need to put some oil in. Just find a flat spot and check it there rather than giving yourself a headache.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QwikRex
How long is long enough to wait to check oil level after driving?

===I wait 15 minutes or more.

How long does it usually take to allow all the oil to drain back into the pan?

===15 minutes or more...no, j/k..."It depends"...on how hot the engine is at shut-off (hotter means oil will be thinner, and drain faster), the base viscosity of the oil (5W30 should drain down faster than 10W30), the actual viscosity of the oil as it *is* (if it's become a thickened sludge in your engine from being run for 2.5 zillion years, it will drain slower), somewhat on ambient temps (if you're in Point Barrow and it's -25 degrees, the thinning effect of residual engine heat will at some point become offset by the thickening effect of the friggin' cold ambient temp). There's probably some undocumented effect from cosmic rays, day of the week, and the Coriolanis Effect, as well.

Also, when reading the dipstick I get spots of oil that look like it was tracked up from the dipstick or scraped off.

===Of course you do, silly rabbit! That's why you pull, wipe, insert, and then read it. The WRX dipstick tube does seem to be worse than most engines I've worked with for re-depositing "tube oil" on the stick, however...

My question is, if the second dot is not filled, then the oil level is not past that point correct?

===Wait, I thought your question was how long you should wait...nevermind. Correct, if the second dot has not been wetted by engine oil, the level of engine oil should not be high enough to reach it...assuming you fully inserted the stick!


Even if the oil was scraped off the stick, the oil would still remain in the hole correct?

===Maybe, maybe not...how would the oil be getting scraped? Just look at the *stick* and you should be able to see the oil remaining on it.
The 99% probability is that you are doing a fine job of reading the level. The really important thing is that you ARE checking it...so keep up the good work!
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