Dipstick Readings??
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This is a discussion on Dipstick Readings?? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Is it just me or does anyone else get "shady" readings from their engine oil dipstick. I usually wait five ...

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    Registered User F1-racer's Avatar
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    Dipstick Readings??

    Is it just me or does anyone else get "shady" readings from their engine oil dipstick. I usually wait five minutes or so after shutting down the engine before checking and when I do its a real sloppy reading. I often repeat the process three or four time till Im satisfied with the reading at the "dot".

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    Registered User djrez4's Avatar
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    It happens all the time. The tech put an extra 0.2 qts of oil in my car when i got my oil changed because it wasn't reading "full" after the recommended 4.8 qts.
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    Banned dark_rex's Avatar
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    test your engine oil when the engine is COLD. otherwise a good amount of the oil is still up in the block, rather than drained to the pan where the dipstick measures from.

    dR

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    Registered User F1-racer's Avatar
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    Dark, I let the car sit three days once before checking and the reading still isnt all that convincing. Again it took 2-3 tries for "good" reading. And I did notice it was about 1/4q low. I topped it off, went for a ride,killed engine,waited 20 min and same thing crappy readings. I know its no big deal, but with a turbo charged car it is even more critical that the oil is checked, and checked often. So why should it be such a pain in the ass to check something as important as oil level? what is the opinion of others, is it the dipstick itself?, is it just the excess oil in the dipstick "housing".

    Djrez, I heard it takes 4.5q. Is 4.8q the definate amount?
    I actually made the same mistake as your tech. Put 5q cause of faulty readings. It realy sucked have to remove the plug and drain 1/2q, Well actually ended up being almost 1q I drained. Hard to estimate it coming out of oil pan.

    Thanks for any info

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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    I have the same problem, oil is all over the dipstick no matter how long it sits... it's even harder to read the tranny dipstick though, I've wiped it off and looked at it 5, 6, even 7 times and still couldn't tell where the hell the oil was.. I usually end up guestimating where it is, very frusterating.

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    Registered User djrez4's Avatar
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    4.8 qts is what the manual says. I don't have anything else to go on.
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    Registered User ryland's Avatar
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    Was going to post a new thread, but found this one in a search so I will revive it.


    Can anyone tell me the "proper" location on the dipstick that the oil level should be at? Should it be in between the L and F or should it be filling the "F" hole? Stupid thing is so hard to read!!!

    TIA
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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    I think anywhere in between should be fine, but don't take my word for it.

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    On a semi-side note, with the new oil filters were getting from subaru (080AA or something, small black ones,) is oil capacity less because of the smaller filter.

    I have also been adding close to about 5quarts each change because after 3K im down 1quart every time. Ive also noticed a nice gas smell when changeing my oil, but i assumed that there would noticeable engine problems if this were an issue .
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    Subaru Newb MainFrame's Avatar
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    I don't know about the gas smell, but a quart every 3K miles is a bit much. I only have to add about two tenths of a quart every 5K miles, and my car has over 40K miles on it .

    Are you using synthetic oil?

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    Mobil 1 Trysynth 5w30.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Trisynth is the older formulation; Supersyn is the newer M1 API SL oil. You can and may in fact see higher oil consumption using M1 5W-30. 1 qt every 3000 miles is not extraordinary.

    I use about 600 ml every 3000 miles, less if I drive at lower speeds vs. high speed motorway driving, and less if I spike my M1 10W-30 with some 15W-50.

    Check out the oil change sticky for more consumption info.
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    Actually its supersynth i was remembering back to before when they did the switch over from trysynth. In anycase ive talked to a few people about both the oil consumption and gas smell. The service guy at my local dealer, who happens to be a very respected guy on nasioc, said that beacuse i changed oil very soon after getting my car, around the 1700 mark, that i removed the metal shavings that were necessary to seat the rings properly and that because of this i may be consuming oil.

    A master mech friend of mine also told me that i might be having gas go by the rings because i drive my car fairly harsh but i really dont beat on it all that much and he doesn't have much scooby experience at all so im not sure what to believe.

    But like i said, after aprox 3K miles my oil level droped to a little below the L mark on the stick which i believe is right around 1qt, which im really not all that worried about, but its the strong gas smell thats got me a little scared. Ive got 15K on the motor right now and seriously considering takeing it to the dealer and telling them to either do an oil analysis or removed the heads and take a look. Btw, awesome sticky thread on oil changes there, you seem to be a very knowledgable person. Thanks for all your help!

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I like that thread too, dozens of people posting useful experiences.

    If you do decide to do an analysis, check the sticky thread again for a link to the oil site that has many, many Subaru oil analysis results.

    The consensus seems to be that our motors are easy on their oil. This doesn't mean they won't use any, though it does mean you can expect very good longevity from the oil-lubed parts and very low wear metals.

    People have changed oil sooner than you and have not had issues. Your oil use can and may vary depending on use patterns. An analysis is always interesting to see; you can do one yourself by getting a kit online and mailing it back ($20 USD or so).

    For my first two changes I saw virtually no use; then it started using a little oil, then went back to none, then used more and so on. At 15K your motor may not have settled in to the use pattern you'll see for the rest of its life. One thing you might want to see is if there is any PCV problem at all, as this can increase consumption sometimes. Another thing to consider if the dealer says "normal" and you want to use less oil is to switch to a different viscosity and/or a different brand (depending on your climate of course, stay within reasonable viscosity for the heat/cold you're seeing).
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    Registered User BrandonWRX's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Synx
    On a semi-side note, with the new oil filters were getting from subaru (080AA or something, small black ones,) is oil capacity less because of the smaller filter.

    I have also been adding close to about 5quarts each change because after 3K im down 1quart every time. Ive also noticed a nice gas smell when changeing my oil, but i assumed that there would noticeable engine problems if this were an issue .
    I have an 04 4EAT and WHen I was under my car I saw the small black one and the normal white oil filter. I dont know if this is what you mean but the black one seemed to be a ATF filter.
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