Why is the rum gone?
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United Kingdom
County: Greater Manchester
You need to be very careful with this.
If you misread the dipstick you can be in a whole world of trouble........
In my experience the on dash oil level indicator is vague and one missing bar (of the 6) can be over a litre in the sump (or maybe more!)
and the dipstick can read wrong if you don't know what you are looking at.
The stick goes through (IIRC) 2 bends before it hits the oil, the oil level when at max (and a fair bit below that) sits in contact with the bottom of the dipstick tube.
If you let the car sit overnight and pull the dipstick out you can have a reading of about 3 or 4 inches over max even if the level is low. (due to the oil being drawn up the tube)
If you clean the dipstick and re-insert it then pull it out again you might get an over full reading in one side of the stick and a midway between full and empty reading on the other side if the stick.
Always go with the low reading.....
When inserting the dipstick do not twist it round (as is the norm in some cars!) This will simply cause the stick to rub against the inside of the tube which has been covered in oil overnight whilst the stick was almost but not quite touching the inside of the tube.
Don't know if this makes a lot of sense, (it's late o'clock on Friday and I've been out all night!) but the physics of fluids in tight spaces basically means you should always believe the low reading on the dipstick (without rotating it in the tube) I trusted the on dash oil level and it cost me a turbo (which is still knackered so will cost me another rebuild soon, or no doubt a protracted and painful warranty claim against the original rebuild company)
If you check your oil on a reasonably level surface, with the engine stone cold, and you remove the dipstick and clean it before dipping it again without twisting it and both sides of the dipstick show you have a good (full) level of oil in then you have nothing to worry about.
any deviation from that and I'd worry...