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#4493447 - 08/20/17 08:40 AM Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull?
Idlewild294 Offline


Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 23
Loc: TX
Anyone else here have difficulty reading a dipstick on the second pull? My dad always taught me to pull the dipstick out, wipe it off, re-insert and then check it to get the proper level. What is wrong with checking the level on the first pull? I've found that the second pull tends to have smeared oil due to the first pull dragging oil into the tube. Is wiping down the first pull just old school thinking, or is there a method behind it?

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#4493454 - 08/20/17 08:49 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
You can get a reading off the first pull. Though I find that I get a more definitive one on the 2nd or additional attempts. In most cases I have to check both sides of the stick for confirmation. Sometimes the 2 sides "appear" to show different levels from "smearing" and require another attempt.
_________________________
----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs

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#4493455 - 08/20/17 08:50 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
DBMaster Offline


Registered: 09/18/12
Posts: 5322
Loc: DFW
If you check when it's cold, as I have always done, first pull ought to do it.

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#4493457 - 08/20/17 08:52 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
speedyswede Offline


Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 198
Loc: Southeastern, PA USA
If you're checking the oil level while the engine is hot(immediately after driving), the oil has just been sloshed throughout the sump(and dipstick) via the crankshaft...so the first pull is usually inaccurate.

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#4493461 - 08/20/17 08:56 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
merconvvv Offline


Registered: 07/10/16
Posts: 682
Loc: il usa
Cold engine first pull infinetly better on dark oil colored dipsticks
_________________________
1988 Mazda RX7 na PP 10w30 Noack 4.7
1994 Chrysler Concorde 3.3
1999 Ford Expedition 4.6 QSUD 10W30 NOACK 5.0

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#4493464 - 08/20/17 08:58 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: merconvvv]
paulri Online   content


Registered: 08/14/15
Posts: 753
Loc: CA, USA

Not being funny here---just trying to make sure I know what you are saying.

You prefer "cold engine first pull" if the dispstick is dark colored, or if the oil has already turned dark?


Originally Posted By: merconvvv
Cold engine first pull infinetly better on dark oil colored dipsticks
_________________________
2005 Toyota Sienna LE; 148,000 miles
1998 Honda Civic DX; 197,000 miles

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#4493468 - 08/20/17 09:03 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
SilverFusion2010 Offline


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1657
Loc: Crawfordville FL
A cold pull for an engine that has sat over night will be accurate
_________________________
2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 178k miles M1 HM 10w-30

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#4493476 - 08/20/17 09:13 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
With Magnatec it is a guess.


Edited by wwillson (08/21/17 07:39 PM)
Edit Reason: bypassing censor

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#4493480 - 08/20/17 09:16 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29747
Loc: NY
I check it first thing in the morning after it sat overnight on level ground. The first pull gives the best reading, each pull after that drags oil up the dipstick tube making it harder for me to read.
_________________________
God Bless Our Troops


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#4493498 - 08/20/17 09:46 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
Nick1994 Online   content


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10097
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Sometimes the first pull reads high for me. Depends on the car.
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2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 79k PU 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 228k M1 AFE 0w30 & Wix
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 146k M1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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#4493503 - 08/20/17 09:52 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: paulri]
merconvvv Offline


Registered: 07/10/16
Posts: 682
Loc: il usa
Originally Posted By: paulri

Not being funny here---just trying to make sure I know what you are saying.

You prefer "cold engine first pull" if the dispstick is dark colored, or if the oil has already turned dark?


Originally Posted By: merconvvv
Cold engine first pull infinetly better on dark oil colored dipsticks


Cold engine after sat overnight first pull is infinetly better regardless of color of dipstick (new unused).

If u check the oil after driving around 2nd try is more accurate.

If the color of the dipstick and color of whatever oil u got match then it is hard to read in general.

Some dipsticks are aluminish in color and they are the easiest to read.

A bitoger here said to put the dipstick on paper and observe the marking left on the paper to get accurate reading.
_________________________
1988 Mazda RX7 na PP 10w30 Noack 4.7
1994 Chrysler Concorde 3.3
1999 Ford Expedition 4.6 QSUD 10W30 NOACK 5.0

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#4493507 - 08/20/17 09:57 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: demarpaint]
paulri Online   content


Registered: 08/14/15
Posts: 753
Loc: CA, USA
I think you and merconvv are onto something. Both my manuals say to check it warm, but on the Sienna, I've always struggled to get a clear reading (plenty of oil high up on the dipstick).

I checked it cold just now (fairly level driveway) and first pull gave me the clearest reading I ever recall on this Sienna. And it was pretty much where it would have been had I checked it warm---I intentionally topped it off with just a bit less than I thought it needed (not wanting to overfill) a day ago, after doing a warm pull.

Made a believer out of me.


Originally Posted By: demarpaint
I check it first thing in the morning after it sat overnight on level ground. The first pull gives the best reading, each pull after that drags oil up the dipstick tube making it harder for me to read.
_________________________
2005 Toyota Sienna LE; 148,000 miles
1998 Honda Civic DX; 197,000 miles

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#4493520 - 08/20/17 10:09 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
Spike555 Offline


Registered: 08/15/17
Posts: 36
Loc: West Michigan
You can use something sharp to score the dipstick at the full mark, that way you will always be able to see where the oil is supposed to be.

I always check the oil after it has sat overnight, every saturday morning before the first start of the day.

And you can check the oil on a hill, once you know it is full and you always park on the same hill you mark the dipstick where the "full on a hill in the driveway" oil level would be.

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#4493532 - 08/20/17 10:21 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: paulri]
demarpaint Offline


Registered: 07/03/05
Posts: 29747
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: paulri
I think you and merconvv are onto something. Both my manuals say to check it warm, but on the Sienna, I've always struggled to get a clear reading (plenty of oil high up on the dipstick).

I checked it cold just now (fairly level driveway) and first pull gave me the clearest reading I ever recall on this Sienna. And it was pretty much where it would have been had I checked it warm---I intentionally topped it off with just a bit less than I thought it needed (not wanting to overfill) a day ago, after doing a warm pull.

Made a believer out of me.


Originally Posted By: demarpaint
I check it first thing in the morning after it sat overnight on level ground. The first pull gives the best reading, each pull after that drags oil up the dipstick tube making it harder for me to read.


wink I'm glad it made a believer out of you. In over 40 years of driving, and even more years tinkering, I have yet to have a vehicle that that method of checking oil didn't provide the most accurate and repeatable results. Think about it, if the oil expands when hot, engine not hot enough, should have been run longer, oil still returning to the pan, oil splashed up the dipstick tube, etc. you've taken all of that out of the equation. IMO the best possible time to check oil is after it sat overnight on level ground. Maybe there is car out there that letting it sit overnight won't work, I haven't owned one, let alone driven one.

Having said all that it is also a good idea to learn how to check the oil level when traveling and refueling, and knowing how/if that reading differs. I let mine sit on level ground for about 15 minutes and feel confident with the results.
_________________________
God Bless Our Troops


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#4493535 - 08/20/17 10:27 AM Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294]
shrooms Offline


Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 844
Loc: NEPA
Overnight first pull. Done.
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2002 Mazda MPV. PUP 5W20, Fram XG2, Dex VI
2001 Honda Civic HX. M1 EP 5W20, Fram XG3717

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