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Old 09-26-2005, 05:26 PM   #1
blackie
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Default will the oil dip stick read higher or lower than normal on warmed up engine?

Ive been trying to keep better track of my oil levels lately and wanted to know that if i check the oil level when the motor is cool will the level be lower or higher than when after the engine is warmed up?
Should i check the levels when the engine is cool or hot for best results?
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Old 09-26-2005, 05:41 PM   #2
Boom05rs25
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Should be the same either way. Wait a Min. to check it after start-up to insure all the oil flows back into the pan.
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:24 PM   #3
obxtoy
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The best way is to check it cold in the morning after sitting overnight. Usually on my WRX the oil expands when its warm and might seem overfilled but its not
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:45 PM   #4
shemoves
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check cold. Will read higher do to thermal expansion when warm/hot.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:39 PM   #5
Tim Sanderson
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Immediately after shutting off the car, popping the hood and checking the dipstick i think It will read a little low. After about 10-15 minutes it should read normally. The oil takes awhile to drain back into the pan.

I'd like to see a test as to how much expansion your going to get from 5 quarts of oil at operating temp.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:48 PM   #6
Mulder
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The upper hole is the "full cold" level. The notch in the dipstick above that is the "full hot" level.
It is most accurate to check it in the morning before the engine is started, after sitting overnight. This assumes the car is parked on level ground.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:57 PM   #7
MrH00nel2
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check when the engine is cold.. ex. after a few hours or in the morning.
when the car is started all the oil is displaced and a little is in the pan.
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Old 09-27-2005, 12:16 AM   #8
RedGred
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Default Unabomber's Manifesto

Quote from Unabomber's Oil FAQ

"How do I check my oil? The oil should be checked warm. This means your engine has been run enough for the coolant temp level to be normal. The best spot for checking is during fill ups as most gas stations have 100% flat surfaces at the pumps. The distance between the holes equals 1 quart. If the oil level is in the middle of the holes, it is properly filled. The bottom hole equates to 1/2 quart low and the top hole equates to 1/2 quart too full. Keep in mind that you should check your oil several times in one session as occasionally, it will give false readings as the dipstick is a crude instrument for measuring.

A note about oil levels though. As long as you are between the two holes, you are 100% fine. If you are at the bottom hole, add 1/2 quart at your earliest convenience. If you are at the top hole, you can run your car as normal without removing any oil. Once you are outside the lower and upper oil limits, you should become concerned about an immediate removal or addition of oil."

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...hreadid=499177
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:43 AM   #9
Corkfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulder
The upper hole is the "full cold" level. The notch in the dipstick above that is the "full hot" level.
It is most accurate to check it in the morning before the engine is started, after sitting overnight. This assumes the car is parked on level ground.

Yep. The notch on the dipstick indicates the full hot level. I've never had a car that were so difficult to check the oil on. It has to be on a perfectly level surface to get an accurate reading.
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:25 PM   #10
blackie
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i dont believe checking the oil level while the engine is warm could be accurate. because i have a 5 gallon drum of used oil im garage, in the morning the oil level is a good 5 inches away from the top, but on a hot afternoon the oil will rise and spill out the top sometimes, that being said, how could you get an accurate reading while engine is warmed up????
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Old 09-27-2005, 05:04 PM   #11
CharT
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Why would an accurate oil level be important on a cold engine? Wouldn't you be more concerned about the oil level when the engine is at operating temperature?

Anyway, my oil checking procedure is to park my car in the garage after work. Go in and change my clothes. In the 15 minutes or so that the car is parked on a level surface, the oil drains back into the pan. Then I go out and check the oil level. It usually differs from the cold level by about 1/2 the distance between H and L. So, when I check warm and it's on the H, it'll be halfway to L when cold.
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:21 AM   #12
GravelRash
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Be aware that many have reported difficulty getting accurate, consistent, readings with the WRX (not sure about RS, STi, other...).

I always have to read multiple times - wiping the stick dry each time - to finally get a consistent reading. Full cold is easier, but still have to do it.

There are some other recent threads about this issue.
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