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  #1  
Old 01-05-2001, 07:50 PM
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The reason I ask this is because I have always believed that checking the oil when it was cold would give a more accurate reading. However, the owner's manual tells you to check it when it's at operating temp. I would think waiting until first thing in the morning would definetly give all the oil a chance to make it's way down to the oil pan. Is there that big of a difference in the oil level when it gets hot. I know that it thins out, but does it make a noticeable difference on the dipstick?
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1999 MB SL500 (101,000 mi)
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2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (205,000 mi)
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2001, 08:26 PM
Brian K
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I don't think it matters!!

As long as you give it at least a few minutes after running to let most of the oil drain back, maybe 10 minutes, I'd bet the measurement would not be significantly different than it would be if you measured it stone cold.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2001, 08:33 PM
Johnson Chan
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It honestly doesnt matter too much.

You see, if its been sitting overnight, everything drains all the way to the bottom, making it higher. If the engine is running, then it makes the reading lower.

What I do is after an oil change, run the car for 5 min, and check for leaks, then shut it off, take a break and come back after 5 min and check the oil. My cars dont use oil in between oil changes but I check from time to time n e way.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2001, 12:35 AM
dlswnfrd
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Hot or Cold?

It depends if you want to get your fingers burned or not.Your right, do it your way or the Manuals way. Satisfy where the level is at both temps and reference these levels. No big deal. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald
you do know what direction oil goes when you secure the engine don't you? Gravity 101.(joke)
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2001, 04:42 AM
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The volumetric expansion of engine oil is about zero so does not come into the reckoning at all. My 117 engined 500SEL V8 holds about 8 quarts and the difference between the upper and lower red min and max mark is about a quart. I seem to remember reading in the service CD set, a bulletin that suggests you do not run at the full mark but rather drop it about 1/2 quart to the mid way area. Over servicing is as bad as underservicing and I will always check the level cold, usually in the morning when it has had a chance to drain back into the sump.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2001, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I guess I'll stick with checking the oil when it's stone cold. This way there is no shadow of a doubt that all the oil is down in the pan. I have had this car now for 3 months now, and I am still trying to establish an oil consumption rate. I recently did a 500 mile around trip to VA from NJ and she used up some oil. This I would imagine is due to 1) switching down to 10W-40 and 2) cruising at a steady 70-75 mph for 5 hours each way. Thanks again for the replies.
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1999 MB SL500 (101,000 mi)
1983 Porsche 911SC (149,000 mi)
2004 Volvo V70 2.5T (205,000 mi)
2014 Tesla Model S 85 (75,000 mi)
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2001, 12:34 PM
dlswnfrd
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Hot or Cold

We all have our own little quirks. The important thing is consistancy. If you check it hot today and cold tomorrow you WILL be confused. The reason most of us run our crankcase lower than the full mark after an oil change is the difference in litres and quarts. We in the USA fill with quart cans of oil and the volume is in litres. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald
just a little low
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2001, 01:07 PM
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I always used to check the oil cold, but now I am beginning to think it should be checked hot. I usually check it twice a week, and on long trips everytime I stop for gas (sometimes three times in one day and the engine is at operating temp). The reason I am thinking no longer checking the clod level is that my engine doesn't need oil when it isn't running. When it is hot, and there is oil through out the engine the level will be lower than when cold, but this is when the engine needs to have oil and it needs to have a certain level of oil (enough to cover the pump and make sure there is enough to keep it pumping continuously) even though there is oil circulating through the engine, not just in the pan. I'm not saying this is the way to do it for sure, but the manual says to check it hot and this might be the reason why. The manual says the difference between the min and max marks on my dipstick (420SEL) is two quarts. I had been filling it to the max (checked cold), and the car seemed to be using quite a bit of oil. I had to top it off with a quart every two weeks. Then I started checking it hot and making sure it was full half way between min and max hot, and the level has not gone down in over a month. I think I have found the perfect level. It does get a little higher when you check it cold as all the oil has dripped down, its just shy of the max mark when cold.

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  #9  
Old 01-07-2001, 07:37 PM
dlswnfrd
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Hi Jason

Happy New Year Jason from Houston. You check your oil your way. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald.
only 1 qt.between marks
on a 103.983 engine, I theeenk
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2001, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
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Hot or cold, anything between "ADD" and "FULL" is ok.

Per the above posts, there isn't a lot of level change with temperature.

Turn off the engine, go get a wiping rag or towel, pull the stick, wipe it, insert, pull and read. That's enough time for enough oil to drain back for a good reading.

BCingU, Jim

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  #11  
Old 01-08-2001, 11:21 AM
dlswnfrd
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Jim Hall

I went to school with a Jim Hall. In Albuquerque(thought I couldn't spell it HUH). I hope your's and my comments put this forum to bed. Happy Trails Beep Beep from Houston.

Donald
I'll check it my why
How about you?
Sounds like a song.
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