Dipstick accuracy - Mick Snutz
My driveway is on a slope and although I regularly check my oil level, I'm often wondering how accurate is the level shown on the dipstick.

If I start the car and move it into the road (which is reasonably level) how long would I have to leave it before getting an accurate level of oil in the engine assuming its started from cold and switched off again after only 2 minutes?
Dipstick accuracy - freddy1
isnt oil runny? when you drain it into a flat container , you have trouble walking aroud without it spilling

within a few secs/mins would be ok
Dipstick accuracy - Old Navy
If the engine is cold it will take quite a long time to drain from the top of the engine to get an accurate reading. On arriving home, stop on the road and check the oil level while the engine is warm then park on the drive. I am not going to use the "S" word.
Dipstick accuracy - Hugo {P}
I read the title and immediately thought of how exacting a given idiot should be!

Never mind.

I thought the correct advice was to check the oil with the car on the level. I've never done this any other way.
Dipstick accuracy - Victorbox
Vauxhall actually advise in their handbooks to only check oil hot on level ground say 3 to 10 minutes after switch off to allow oil to drain back into sump. They recommend never checking it when engine is stone cold as more oil will have drained into sump giving the impression that the oil level is higher than desirable.
Dipstick accuracy - Spospe
1) Measure oil level 5 minutes after stopping on level ground and verify that it is correct.

2) Move vehicle to where you usually keep it and measure oil level again.

3) Mark dipstick at this new oil level and then you will be able to check that it is right (and top-up) as required.
Dipstick accuracy - Doc
They recommend never checking it when engine is stone cold as more oil will have
drained into sump giving the impression that the oil level is higher than desirable.


I don't understand this!
Surely the only accurate reading is when all the oil has drained into the sump; that is when the engine has been off for a long time.
Dipstick accuracy - L'escargot
Assuming you park in a level carpark during the normal working week, why not check it there before you start your homeward journey?
Dipstick accuracy - lotusexige
Does anyone else remember to storey about the BMC1800 and dipsticks?
Apparently there were some of them trashing the engines in Australia. No one seemed to be able to figure out why. Eventualy it was noticed that it happened to people who were heading off on long journeys and before setting out they filled the sump to the maximim. I would assume that a long journey in Austarlia is more than a couple of hounder miles and cars in those days did use a bit more oil than now. I turned out that when they wre filled to tha maximum or pssibly a bit over the crank was hitting the oil and frothing it. Result wrecked engine, the cure to put the max line on the dipstick a bit lower.
Dipstick accuracy - mike100
Something I wish manufacturers would do is tell us the volume between minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick. Make it a lot easier when topping-up instead of guessing and checking....and reguessing....and re-checking.
Dipstick accuracy - daveyjp
My handbook gives me this information - half a litre.

I would congratulate Ford for now using a bright yellow dipstick to improve contrast.

VAG use black - not much use when measuring oil in a diesel.

Toyota use a metal alloy which is a light yellow colour and a very similar shade to new engine oil.
Dipstick accuracy - ifithelps
...I wish manufacturers would do is tell us the volume between minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick...

"Not much" is a good general answer.

Dipstick accuracy - Robbie
A few weeks ago I passed a young lady who was attempting to check the oil level in her MB A Class. The car was half on the kerb and half on the road, and she told me that it had plenty of oil in it - acording to the dipstick. The kerb outside her house is quite high. Suggested that she put "CICELY "- her car - on the drive and leave a few minutes before she checked it again.

Apparently, she had had to have a new engine fitted because it had seized up due to lack of oil.

Dipstick accuracy - harib
I would congratulate Ford for now using a bright yellow dipstick to improve contrast.
VAG use black - not much use when measuring oil in a diesel.
Toyota use a metal alloy which is a light yellow colour and a very similar
shade to new engine oil.


My old Peugeot 306 had a silver-coloured dipstick which was easy to read. My current Leon diesel has the VAG black dipstick which I find really difficult to read sometimes.
Dipstick accuracy - Dynamic Dave
Something I wish manufacturers would do is tell us the volume between minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick.


Vauxhall do. 1 litre between the min & max marks. On some earlier Vx's though it can be ¾ of a litre. Consult the handbook.
Dipstick accuracy - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
My loan petrol Corsa has got a very easy to read castellated metal scale.Was at 3/4 up the scale. Spashed a bit more 5W/30 in.Like to have the level on maximum.
My usual diesel Octavia has a weird round black bit that seems to show different readings on both sides.
The shiny metal dipstick is usually much easier- why do designers have to mess with such a simple item? Being on the flat is very important when checking.
Dipstick accuracy - Ravenger
Assuming you park in a level carpark during the normal working week why not check
it there before you start your homeward journey?


That's why I have to do. My driveway slopes, so I can't get an accurate oil level reading at home. Instead I check it out in the work car park.
Dipstick accuracy - Sparrow
My 3 series diesel BMW has an electronic oil checker that you can call up on the dashboard display by pressings few buttons. Whenever I've checked it the reault has been the same - full - whether I check it hot, cold, during driving or when stopped.
Dipstick accuracy - NARU
Someone's just sent me this lovely joke......

A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in Britain .
~~~
Well, there's a very simple answer.
~~~
Nobody bothered to check the oil level.
~~~
We just didn't know we were getting low.
~~~
The reason for that is purely geographical.
~~~
Our OIL is located in The North Sea
~~~
All Our DIPSTICKS are located in Westminster !!!
Dipstick accuracy - Nsar
Given that the distance between low and normal notches is about 3cm on most dipsticks and the width of the dipstick is say 2mm, it would have to be a slope of about 45 degrees to make the slightest difference to the reading!
Dipstick accuracy - Dave_TD
Not if the dipstick isn't mounted bang in the middle of the sump...
Dipstick accuracy - SteveLee
The dipstick in my Citroën C5 V6 is impossible to read, it shows either nothing, or when wiped and redipped always shows overfilled. When I change the oil I measure how much I put in to get the "right" amount, it's still impossible to get a repeatable level on the dipstick. The oil level indicator (when you turn the ignition on) always reads as empty. I'm surprised it hasn't gone bang yet because I never have any idea how much oil is in it. I'm a competent mechanic not a casual DIYer - if I can't fathom it out, pity the non technical owner coz those engines do burn a bit of oil when thrashed. The dipstick tube goes through a few twists and turns before it gets to the sump, this means there is always residual oil in the tube to ruin the level you have on the dipstick as you withdraw it.
Dipstick accuracy - Bill Payer
The dipstick in my Citroën C5 V6 is impossible to read


Isn't that the same engine as used in other models - Peugeot, Jaguar, etc? If so, do they have the same problem?
Dipstick accuracy - brum
On my VAG engined 1.9Tdi the dipstick is mounted centrally and is very consistent irregardless on car tilt etc.

However my 1.2L fabia 2 has a dipstick mounted at the end of the engine, and the engine is tilted at about 10-15 deg accross the engine bay. It is EXTREMELY sensitive to car tilt both cross and length ways. A slighty sloping drive can see the level change halfway min to max (0.5l). If the car is leaning right/left you can see levels change from min to max! It also seems sensitive to temperature, I'm not sure why.

Had a similar story though less extreme with a 1.3cdti Corsa D :( - excuse me while I go and wash my mouth out with soap!

 

Ask Honest John Right column

Value my car