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Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? #4493447
08/20/17 08:40 AM
08/20/17 08:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 23
TX
Idlewild294 Offline OP
Idlewild294  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 23
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?

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493454
08/20/17 08:49 AM
08/20/17 08:49 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
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
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493455
08/20/17 08:50 AM
08/20/17 08:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,378
DFW
DBMaster Offline
DBMaster  Offline
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,378
DFW
If you check when it's cold, as I have always done, first pull ought to do it.

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493457
08/20/17 08:52 AM
08/20/17 08:52 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 198
Southeastern, PA USA
speedyswede Offline
speedyswede  Offline
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 198
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.

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493461
08/20/17 08:56 AM
08/20/17 08:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
il usa
merconvvv Offline
merconvvv  Offline
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
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
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: merconvvv] #4493464
08/20/17 08:58 AM
08/20/17 08:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
CA, USA
paulri Online content
paulri  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
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; 156,000 miles
1998 Honda Civic DX; 202,000 miles
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493468
08/20/17 09:03 AM
08/20/17 09:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
Crawfordville FL
SilverFusion2010 Offline
SilverFusion2010  Offline
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,755
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
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493476
08/20/17 09:13 AM
08/20/17 09:13 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,772
MD
AirgunSavant Offline
AirgunSavant  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 3,772
MD
With Magnatec it is a guess.

Last edited by wwillson; 08/21/17 07:39 PM. Reason: bypassing censor
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493480
08/20/17 09:16 AM
08/20/17 09:16 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,416
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,416
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

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493498
08/20/17 09:46 AM
08/20/17 09:46 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,682
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,682
Phoenix, AZ
Sometimes the first pull reads high for me. Depends on the car.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 84k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 230k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: paulri] #4493503
08/20/17 09:52 AM
08/20/17 09:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
il usa
merconvvv Offline
merconvvv  Offline
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 682
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
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: demarpaint] #4493507
08/20/17 09:57 AM
08/20/17 09:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
CA, USA
paulri Online content
paulri  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 839
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; 156,000 miles
1998 Honda Civic DX; 202,000 miles
Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493520
08/20/17 10:09 AM
08/20/17 10:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
West Michigan
Spike555 Offline
Spike555  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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.

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: paulri] #4493532
08/20/17 10:21 AM
08/20/17 10:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,416
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,416
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

Re: Dipstick reading on first pull or second pull? [Re: Idlewild294] #4493535
08/20/17 10:27 AM
08/20/17 10:27 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 844
NEPA
shrooms Offline
shrooms  Offline
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 844
NEPA
Overnight first pull. Done.


2002 Mazda MPV. PUP 5W20, Fram XG2, Dex VI
2001 Honda Civic HX. M1 EP 5W20, Fram XG3717
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