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Old 06-01-2000, 11:42 PM   #1
Dynamic Uno
Member#: 1
Join Date: Jun 1999
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Alameda, CA
2011 Impreza WRX STi

Post Oil Level Check

When is the right time to check the oil level? When the car is cold? When the car is running? When the car is off but warm? I am confused. My oil level is playing tricks on me.
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Old 06-02-2000, 05:27 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 274
Join Date: Sep 1999


I do it when the car is cold, to give the oil a chance to run down and settle in the pan.

read about that method in "Auto Repair for Dummies"

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Old 06-02-2000, 06:57 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 160
Join Date: Aug 1999
2000 Integra Type R
Pheonix Yellow



Check it when the engine is cold.

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Old 06-02-2000, 08:33 AM   #4
R Diamond
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 58
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Alexandria, VA
04 STi (blue/gold)
98 2.5RS Turbo (sold)

Thumbs down

Anyone else hate that cheap flimsy dipstick?

My ex-car (85 Corolla GT-S) had a solid, easy-to-read dipstick. Any chance that an aftermarket company makes a decent one for us?

(I just find reading a dark fluid between dots of on a flimsy dark stick unnecessarily difficult)
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Old 06-02-2000, 09:59 AM   #5
Scooby Guru
Member#: 873
Join Date: Feb 2000
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: www.testdrivemylife.com
2014 GLK/allroad
Datsun 71 240Z & 68 2000

Thumbs up

Actually, the 2000 manual says to run the engine until its warm, then shut it down for about 5-10 minutes or so. Make sure its on level ground and then check the oil level...

I have always checked the level when the car is cold... but Subaru says do this... so hey when in Rome.. do as the Romans do!

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Old 06-02-2000, 10:43 AM   #6
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 274
Join Date: Sep 1999

scrappy, thats what I usually end up doing.

just make sure you give the car 5-10 minutes to let the oil run back down into the oil pan. Otherwise you'll most likely get a low reading.

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Old 06-02-2000, 11:02 AM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 226
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Fremont, CA
1999 Impreza 2.5RS
Rally Blue Pearl


There is history here. Car makers use to set the dip sticks to check the oil cold. What would happen is people on a long trip would check the oil hot and say, hey looks good to me. BUT, really the heated oil expanded and was really low. So, all of the car makers changed to checking when warm.

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Old 06-02-2000, 11:59 AM   #8
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1135
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: BAICED


I've always been told to check it when it is cold for engine oil and running for tranny fluid. Also, make sure your car is on a level surface.
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