Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Phil Dando

Q.When to take a dipstick reading

I know this sounds like a silly Q but....

I've been running a '96 Vectra 2.0Di for a while now and have read somewhere that they take quite some time for the engine oil to drain to the sump so readings should be taken quite some time (say 1hr+) after the car has been warmed up.

I have been following this routine for a while and found it to not be consuming much oil.

It's just been into the garage to look at an intermittent fault and they said they needed to put over 1L of oil in as it was very low.

I drove the car from the garage this morning, arrived at work about 9am then dipped it at lunch (1:30pm). The oil level was covering the entire plastic level- way above max.

I've phoned the garage and they said the engine oil should be checked about 15mins after stopping the engine which in this case would probably give a low, artificially low in my opinion, reading of the engine oil level.

Leaving it longer will allow more oil to reach the sump and give a higher reading.

The question is this. Which method is correct for this engine as I'm either running the car most of the time rather low on oil or the garage has overfilled it depending on when you dip.

Finally what damage will occur to my engine due to over-filling and will it cause damage in the 40ish motorway miles I will need to cover before getting the potential problem sorted.

Thanks, Phil
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Mutley
Never had a Vauxhall but I have always understood that the oil level should be checked when the engine is cold to give a true reading.
What does the handbook say?
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Phil Dando
Not got it to hand I'm affraid, I will be checking it when I get home. The instructions I follow will most likely be from that or Haynes.

Cheers, Phil
What petrol handbook says - Big Vern
My handbook (Petrol Vectra 98 1.8 16v GLS) gives the following: Car parked on level surface, engine should be at operating temp, engine off, wait at least 2min.

Difference between max and min typically 1L suppose you should be able to get a happy medium, when hot + 15 min waiting time reading near min, after an hour reading max....... ?! hummmmm
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - pete
I always understood you checked the oil level when "hot" (oil expands when warm) on a level surface , allowing enough time for all oil to return to the sump .
The reading should be beetween the two marks max & min.
A garage forcourt i am told has to be level by law (good place to check level)
Overfilling in extreme cases (i understand) can cause crankshaft to froth up the oil causeing overpressure in the engine , as bad as too little oil.

If your engine requires longer to settle the oil (i read that somewere as well)
i would suspect the "dipstick" at the garage may have dropped one. Take it back , park up check it and get them to confirm there mistake asap.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Phil Dando
Cheers guys.

After my drive home tonight I'm going to dip after a couple of mins, then 15 then about an hour and see if the level changes.

I think the 2.0 turbo diesel vectra engine has been reported as one that takes a long time to allow the oil to drain to the sump. So much so it was said by some to burn a lot of oil when infact it just taking a long time to drain to the sump.

I'll be driving by the garage tomorrow morning if the level is too high.

Thanks all. Phil
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Phil Dando
From HJ's Car - by - Car breakdown

"DI 16v has undeserved reputation as an oil burner. What actually happens is that oil collects in the 16v head and takes a long time to drain back to the sump. Dip within an hour of stopping and you will get a falsely low reading leading you to overfill with frech (sic) oil"

So there you go :-)

Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Bono Estente

> "leading you to overfill with frech (sic) oil"

Yes Phil, this is presumably meant to be "french oil", recalling the sharp practice on French trunk roads where the filling station attendant dips the oil before it has settled and overcharges the driver for a can of oil he didn't need.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Brian
Apparently, if you overfill a diesel then oil can be blown past the rings and the engine will run by burning the oil, making it difficult to control/turn off.
I don't know how far OTT you have to go to induce this effect.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Richard P
My 2000 Vectra DI with 26K on the clock DOES drink oil. Mine still consumes about 0.4 litres/1,000 miles. I don't entirely agree with HJ's opinion on this one. I am hoping that eventually the oil consumption will diminish and have never found the sump to be overfilled after topping up the oil level. This is a very good engine as it is very economical with reasonable performance (even better with a tuning box!), but is rather noisy at idle and under acceleration.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - alvin booth
had the same problems with my 98 DTi vectra and found leaving it for an hour with the engine oil still hot gives the most accurate reading.
When the car has been standing overnight the oil creeps up the dipstick to well over an inch over max and many wipes are needed to get a reading.
I went back to the main dealer and he eventually gave me a new dipstick which was fitted to later models and is a coiled spring type.
Made little difference to the readings but I believe it is essential to dip this engine hot (as per the handbook) and to leave it for an hour as you do Phil
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Flat in Fifth
I've said this before but my 2.0DTi also drinks oil.

Due to the good info on this site I read the owners manual (doh!) and now dip only when engine and oil hot after standing on a level surface for 45-60 minutes. The car standing on the level surface for 45 mins that is, I go in and have a brew! Never fill it to more than half way between min and max, it still drinks oil and its on about 50K now.

It once went from full to the check oil level warning on the dash display in a frighteningly short distance, not much over 1000 miles, I forget now.

Have to say though that the consumption is less on the oil I put in rather than the dross that the dealer uses. Would put in semi synth but can't recover that on expenses and its not my car, so some poor sod is going to get a shock when it goes through the auctions.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Phil Dando
'96 2.0Di vectra. 146,000 miles and climbing. About 300-450 miles per week and I've put in just over a litre in in the last 3-4 months. Gets checked normally once, sometimes twice a week.
Re: Vectra 2.0Di To Dip Or Not To Dip. - Richard P
Phil, I would be interested to know how reliable your engine has been over that distance. Have you had it since new? Did the engine initially consume more oil? Any particular problems to mention regarding the engine or car?



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