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How full is full? Settle a debate #4587381
11/28/17 10:10 AM
11/28/17 10:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 46
IL
jcartwright99 Offline OP
jcartwright99  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 46
IL
Recently, after changing my oil in my Ford Fusion a buddy of mine said my oil was low. I assured him it wasn't. The owners manual said 5.7 quarts (with the filter). I ended up putting in 6. After measuring several times in a few different days, it's just above the crosshatched section of the dipstick and a little below the top (max) hole.

My friend and I got into a spirited discussion on how much oil you should have in there. He claims it should always be right at the top Max hole and you if you aren't, are low on oil. I say as long as it is either in the crosshatched section or a little above you should be fine. I told him you never want to overfill or be at that over or into that top hole because then you are overfilling it (and that can be bad). He doesn't change his oil and has always gone to Jiffy Lube type places. His rationale is that they always show him his dipstick at the max level.

I am not messing around, so I came here to the oil experts. Who is right on this?

Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587384
11/28/17 10:15 AM
11/28/17 10:15 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
2015_PSD Offline
2015_PSD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,594
Planet Earth
From an OCD point of view, I would guess to be FULL, the oil would need to be EXACTLY at the maximum line on the dipstick--IF that is what the manufacturer intended. With that said, within the crosshatches is operationally fine and I would not add until the oil hit the add line on the dipstick (but that is just me).

Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587385
11/28/17 10:15 AM
11/28/17 10:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 113
US
TheOilWizard Offline
TheOilWizard  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 113
US
You are correct in this instance. Anywhere on the crosshatch is a safe operating level.

It's probably smart to keep the oil near the max line simply so you have extra capacity in case of a leak.

Also, don't exceed the max fill line. More is not better in that scenario.

Don't take our word for it, check your owners manual!

Last edited by TheOilWizard; 11/28/17 10:16 AM.
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587386
11/28/17 10:17 AM
11/28/17 10:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,509
Wet side WA
JohnnyJohnson Offline
JohnnyJohnson  Offline
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,509
Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: jcartwright99
He doesn't change his oil and has always gone to Jiffy Lube type places.


Never listen to anyone to lazy to do their own oil..
This sounds like many people I've ran into in life that always have the answer for everyone but their own life is a total wreck.


2004 Corolla 126649
Out: VML 5w-30 TG4967 OCI 5007 Miles
In: EDGE EP 5W-30 Bosch 3311 122537 7-18-18
2006 Duramax 74478
Out: T6 5W-40 M1-303
In: T6 5W-40 XG9100 73705 4-22-18
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587400
11/28/17 10:28 AM
11/28/17 10:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 318
NC
fenixguy Offline
fenixguy  Offline
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 318
NC
I like to get it as close as I can to the top mark when changing but I don't add any throughout the interval unless it's at the bottom mark (I don't have to add any to any of my vehicles). I've overfilled enough times that I take it slow until I get it close to the top. Usually start with a quart less than total capacity and run the car a few minutes. Then add accordingly.

And don't take an internet forum's word for it. Read the owner's manual and see what it says.


'16 Frontier SV 4x4-PP/Nissan OEM
'08 CR-V EX AWD-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram TG
'01 Civic EX-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram UG
'00 Civic LX-PYB/Fram UG
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: JohnnyJohnson] #4587403
11/28/17 10:30 AM
11/28/17 10:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 464
Utah, USA
28oz Offline
28oz  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 464
Utah, USA
Originally Posted By: JohnnyJohnson
Originally Posted By: jcartwright99
He doesn't change his oil and has always gone to Jiffy Lube type places.


Never listen to anyone to lazy to do their own oil..
This sounds like many people I've ran into in life that always have the answer for everyone but their own life is a total wreck.


Isn't that the truth! Just like parenting advice from the relative/friend who doesn't have kids, or financial advice from someone who is always broke or in debt.


-----------------
1990 Nissan 300zx - Castrol Edge Euro 0W-40
2004 Nissan Quest - Pennzoil Platinum Euro 0W-40
2003 Ford Excursion 7.3 PSD - Mobil 1 TDT 5w-40
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587405
11/28/17 10:31 AM
11/28/17 10:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,599
Regina, Saskatchewan
sir1900 Offline
sir1900  Offline
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,599
Regina, Saskatchewan
1. Add the required quantity according to the manual.

2. Run the engine for a minute or so.

3. Check the dipstick. Use the level shown as a guide of where you should be level-wise.

Dipsticks are not always accurate, so if you put in 5.7 qts and it "appears" low, then you are in some respects, overfilling when you add enough to reach the max line. Having said that, if you added a small amount (0.1-0.25 qts), you likely aren't doing any harm.


2015 Infiniti Q50
VAS 5W-30 + FRAM PH6607

2015 Nissan Murano
Mobil1 AFE 0W-20 + FRAM XG6607
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587411
11/28/17 10:32 AM
11/28/17 10:32 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,679
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,679
Jupiter, Florida
My Cessna 177RG aircraft has a Lycoming engine. The sump holds 8 quarts. The filter and oil cooler hold exactly 1 additional quart.

When it's full, after a proper oil and filter change using 9 quarts, the dipstick reads 8 quarts.

Lycoming allows the engine to run, in flight, as low as 4 quarts. Testing shows that the engine will not suffer oil pressure problems in any aspect of flight until it's at 3 quarts on the dipstick.

There is nothing special about the engine. It has an oil pan and pickup much like a car.

For years, racers have improved power and economy by running the engine with less oil. As there is less oil to whip around inside the crankcase.

The bottom line is that every engine has a significant safety margin built in. At some point, under normal driving conditions, the oil pump pickup will be uncovered, say on a hill. Prob about 2 quarts total.

Last edited by Cujet; 11/28/17 10:33 AM.

People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587413
11/28/17 10:33 AM
11/28/17 10:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,292
Douglas County, Colorado
bigj_16 Offline
bigj_16  Offline
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,292
Douglas County, Colorado
Isn't this more of a philosophical debate? Is it a half quart above the low mark, or a half quart below the full mark?

Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587415
11/28/17 10:34 AM
11/28/17 10:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 21,228
ON, Canada eh?
StevieC Online content
StevieC  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 21,228
ON, Canada eh?
I always keep it to the top of the fullest allowable mark that is not considered "Over Filled". This allows, in the case of a leak or if the engine decides to burn some oil, a safe reserve for me to notice it. If it's at the bottom of the "Safe" area and this happens you could be starving the engine for oil in some cases.

Also my OCD wouldn't let me do it any other way anyway. wink

Last edited by StevieC; 11/28/17 10:35 AM.

'18 Dodge Grand Caravan GT - AMSOIL SS 5w20
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: Cujet] #4587418
11/28/17 10:37 AM
11/28/17 10:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 341
Texas
mpersell Offline
mpersell  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 341
Texas
Dyno guys will often drop a quart out of an engine to get a higher hp rating for their clients, it only helps a little like around 5hp.

Originally Posted By: Cujet


For years, racers have improved power and economy by running the engine with less oil. As there is less oil to whip around inside the crankcase.



2016 Kia Soul - Amsoil
2017 Tundra - Amsoil
Making a living with free software
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587419
11/28/17 10:37 AM
11/28/17 10:37 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,242
Texas
JustinH Offline
JustinH  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,242
Texas
I'm OCD about it.

I measure oil down to the ounce, I think my hyundai takes 5.23 quarts.

I try to get it as close to 5.25 as possible.


'11 Hyundai Sonata GLS
'11 Scion XB
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587420
11/28/17 10:39 AM
11/28/17 10:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,481
Texas & Global
4WD Offline
4WD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,481
Texas & Global
You got him how much did you win ? wink


2018 Chevy 1500 Z71 4WD
2017 Chevy Tahoe LT 4WD
2014 Fusion Hybrid Titanium
2013 Cruze LTZ - RS Turbo
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587426
11/28/17 10:45 AM
11/28/17 10:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,486
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 6,486
...
There is a difference between full and enough. Full requires a reference. For most of us that is the dipstick where Full is clearly marked.

You may have enough oil in the sump to run the engine safely but that doesnt mean its full.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: How full is full? Settle a debate [Re: jcartwright99] #4587427
11/28/17 10:47 AM
11/28/17 10:47 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 302
Texas, USA
WylieCoyote Offline
WylieCoyote  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 302
Texas, USA
I like it to land somewhere between the crosshatches and the hole on oil changes. If it ventures below the top of the crosshatch during the interval, I add.

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