04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - Adam {P}
Good morning everyone.

I'm sorry for the peculiar thread title it was the best I could think of in my hungry state.

I must confess, after my last car debacle, I am very paranoid about oil. I don't understand my w's from my semi synthetics or my Castrol from my Sunflower but I do know that it's important.

To that end, I checked the oil this morning as I do every 2-3 weeks and I have two questions...although I'm afraid both are as stupid as each other but I rather like this car so I don't want to do something silly like break it.

a) When looking at the dipstick, I can see some engraved markings that look at bit like this..(forgive my horrendous attempts at showing you):


So one would think that that is the measurement for the oil with the topmost x being the maximum. But, a little further up, the dipstick kinks and there are some traces of oil on that kink. Am I reading it correctly or would the maximum be the kink?

b) I moved the car, left it for ten minutes and checked the oil and it covered around three quarters of the X's so presumably I need a little top up. Now then, what do I need? The manual says it must conform to ACEA A1 or A2 but I can use A3 although "this has no bearing on whether it's mineral, semi or fully synthetic." It also gives me a table detailing I need a certain grade if I live in Outer Mongolia or whether I'm on desert patrol and reading between the lines, I *think* I'd be best with 5w40 from looking at the table but what kind? Fully, semi or mineral?

As you can see, I'm dangerous as soon as I open the bonnet but I don't want to mess anything up, so, here I am!

Many thanks for any pearls of wisdom you can impart. I realise I've made an easy subject very complicated and for that, I'm sorry.


P.S. The car is a petrol.
04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - prm72
Adam, yes the top of the XXXXXXXXX is full NOT where the dipstick kinks, also 5-40 is i think a full synthetic and is better than semi-syn and would be my choice
04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - Adam {P}
Hi prm,

Thanks for the reply. Although oddly, just checked it again and it's pretty much on full! I think I shall invest in some 5w40 anyway though just in case.

Thanks for your help.

04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - Lud
Sounds to me Adam as if there's nothing whatsoever wrong with your car and like most modern cars it isn't using any oil to speak of.

If you just 'moved the car' and then only left it for ten minutes all that cold oil would have been distributed all over the engine and be running down into the sump very slowly. Ten minutes wouldn't do it with a cold or nearly cold engine. More like half an hour or an hour. That's why manuals and cunning old mechanics advise you to get a car thoroughly warm before changing the oil. Makes the process much quicker.

I suppose the oil is spotless too? That makes it harder to see what the real level is. OO-er! Better bung in another litre just to be on the safe side! (NOT)

Paranoia has no useful role in running a car although a bit of caution is all right. Cold, calculating, observant, flexible and willing to learn are best...

04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - piston power
One good tip with oil change it regular i do the family cars service and they get full oil and filter every year & if doing 15k+ a year every 6 months gets a another oil and filter, this may be a little overkill some will say but oil is the thing that saves the engine.

I work on engines that do over 300k with good quality oil and filter regular and no problems, just your standard service items.
04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - Adam {P}
Lud! It's been a while sir! How the devil are you?

I think you might be right about the car. The problem is, I like it...so I worry. In some respects, it was much better having a car I hated. I gave up worrying about it when I realised it had no effect whatsoever on the health of the car and in the end, I used to laugh at the problems it threw at me.

Just to be on the safe side, I'll follow your advice and stockpile a good 100 litres of oil. Better too full than too empty I say!

Thanks again to you all for your help.


04 2.4 a. Do I need oil? b. What kind? - bathtub tom
>>Better too full than too empty


The max and min marks on a dipstick are just that. As long as the oil level is above the min and below the max, it's fine.

I never fill above max, and I certainly don't waste my time keeping it on the max like many folk I know. Overfilling can cause damage.

I don't bother too much if the level falls a little below min just before an oil change. Why put new oil in I'm soon going to throw away?