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Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195438 08/24/19 12:40 PM
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It's fine like it is. I'd wait til it got 1/2 way down before I added any oil. Of course that would depend on how soon my next oil change was and if I had an already opened bottle.


'98 LEX LS400 305K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 70K

Shell Gas and Truck 5W-30
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Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195441 08/24/19 12:40 PM
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If my oil level is anywhere less than the 4/5 mark, I can't sleep grin2

Typically keep all cars at Full mark ... prefer just a hair over F as oppose to a hair under LOL

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195468 08/24/19 01:11 PM
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SWS Offline
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A factor to consider:
I live in a hilly area - e.g. my street is a 26% grade.
On steep hills I wonder about how much margin I have above the oil pickup when I am below ‘full’ on the dipstick.
I think it’s a valid concern - although the oil light has never come on in 30 years in various cars.
No idea if my Hondas have baffles in the oil pan to help keep the pickup covered.
Maybe someone from San Francisco can offer a worst-case scenario.

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195480 08/24/19 01:21 PM
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hallstevenson Offline
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It's a range - anywhere within the range is perfectly fine. Leave it alone.

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195483 08/24/19 01:23 PM
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I am with most others.
So long as oil is between Min and Max, I usually don't worry about it.
The oil level is a range, not a specific (that is why the dip sticks are labled Min/Max or H/L or "Full" then 1 inch (or whatever distance) "Add"

But, if you are @ min and are 500 miles from an oil change, I would not add the full qt to get it to max. I may change early, or add 1/4 qt, or just leave it alone depending on consumption.

Just a few examples.
My truck uses 1 qt every 1500 or so miles, so I check it at 1000 miles, if almost at min, I just add a full qt. If not, I check it again in 500 miles.
My Scion has been about 1/2 qt low at oil change time (5000 miles), but @ 2500 miles the oil still reads at max, so I don't worry about it.
Sisters Santa Fe, hers uses a qt every 7000 miles, so I add a qt when I am around, even if it still reads at the half way point since I don't see it often.
Same for my brother in laws truck, he is about 1 qt every 2000 miles, so I add a qt around 2000 miles, then change it at 4000 when it is close to low again.


'18 Santa Fe: PP 10W-30/OEM
'18 Soul: Synpower 5W-30/PG
'10 Santa Fe: Synpower 5w-30/D+
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Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195503 08/24/19 01:48 PM
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Each of our vehicles gets a regular check and if below 3/4 of the way from Low to Full, it's topped off.


Lates.
Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195511 08/24/19 01:55 PM
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madeej11 Offline
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Personally I like to keep my oil level where yours is right now. I'd rather be a little under than a little over. No need to top off.

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195658 08/24/19 05:34 PM
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eljefino Online Content
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Fun fact, this "let it go down a quart" rule is a holdover from canned oil, because who wants to open a can and have its half-used contents getting dusty in your garage?

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195678 08/24/19 06:17 PM
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ZZman Offline
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Depends how anal you are. Some like it topped up. Others like myself wait until it hits the low/add mark.


2007 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD.
2005 Toyota Avalon XLS
Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195790 08/24/19 08:54 PM
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They give you an inch-long ‘good’ range because a dipstick inserted into a tube sticking into your oil pan is the furthest thing from a precision instrument. Unless you have a sight glass on the side of your oil pan, you’re trusting a tolerance stack-up to tell you where your oil level is.


2014 Mazda CX-9 Touring AWD
2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5195900 08/25/19 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mahanddeem
Hello,
Car brand and oil used is irrelevant here.
I have about 3600 miles on the oil and filter now. Oil level is 1/4 of the distance from H mark on my dipstick.
Like in this pic, see the arrow:
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]
I know the hatched area (from L to H) is around 1 quart of oil distance.

Should I top it?
What do you do usually in such a case?

Thanks

Seriously?
The owners manual for my trucks engine states that it holds 6 qts. of oil, with the filter. When an OCI is done to my engine I use a MC FL-400S oil filter along with 6 qts. of oil. The oil on the dipstick reads half way in the cross hatched area. I NEVER add more to bring it up to full. WHY? Because Ford specifically states that 6 qts. is all that's needed. The same goes for my trans pan. With just a pan and filter change I add 4 qts. of MC Mercon V fluid. It brings up to the middle of the cross hatched area. Ford specifically states 4 qts. are all that is needed.
Why add extra when you know you did as stated in your owners manual? By filling until you reach the top of the cross hatched area, will that make you sleep better at night? What do I do in such a case? LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
coffee


2007 F150, 4.2 V6
Havoline PRO DS 5W20, M1-209A
"One Filter, One OCI!"
"One Box, One OCI!"
Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: SWS] #5195925 08/25/19 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SWS
A factor to consider:
I live in a hilly area - e.g. my street is a 26% grade.
On steep hills I wonder about how much margin I have above the oil pickup when I am below ‘full’ on the dipstick.
I think it’s a valid concern - although the oil light has never come on in 30 years in various cars.
No idea if my Hondas have baffles in the oil pan to help keep the pickup covered.
Maybe someone from San Francisco can offer a worst-case scenario.


^^^^ This ^^^^

Depending on the car, dipsticks can give false readings if the car is not on fairly level ground. My driveway is at about 12-15 degrees slope. If the Mazda is parked uphill, it shows slightly above full, on level ground it shows a midway reading and parked downhill on the driveway, shows at the low mark. I've also learned from experience, that from mid-way to the high mark is about 1/2 quart (on my Mazda). Two different Toyotas read with different imprecise indications.

Suggest parking on level ground and get a baseline reading. FWIW, on all my vehicles, I fill to the top of the mark and when the next OC comes along, it's down to just a little bit.

Ray

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: RayCJ] #5195926 08/25/19 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RayCJ
Originally Posted by SWS
A factor to consider:
I live in a hilly area - e.g. my street is a 26% grade.
On steep hills I wonder about how much margin I have above the oil pickup when I am below ‘full’ on the dipstick.
I think it’s a valid concern - although the oil light has never come on in 30 years in various cars.
No idea if my Hondas have baffles in the oil pan to help keep the pickup covered.
Maybe someone from San Francisco can offer a worst-case scenario.


^^^^ This ^^^^

Depending on the car, dipsticks can give false readings if the car is not on fairly level ground. My driveway is at about 12-15 degrees slope. If the Mazda is parked uphill, it shows slightly above full, on level ground it shows a midway reading and parked downhill on the driveway, shows at the low mark. I've also learned from experience, that from mid-way to the high mark is about 1/2 quart (on my Mazda). Two different Toyotas read with different imprecise indications.

Suggest parking on level ground and get a baseline reading. FWIW, on all my vehicles, I fill to the top of the mark and when the next OC comes along, it's down to just a little bit.

Ray

Oil should always be checked on level ground [or at least level to the eye] or the reading isn't going to be accurate. With regard to a 26% grade, one would hope the engineers took that into consideration when they established the safe range on the dipstick. The engine oil level at the low end of the safe range "should be safe" under any conditions encountered. Operative words being "should be safe." Me I wouldn't wait until I hit the low end of the range. If I have the hood up and the oil level is a little low I top it up, and I always check oil on level ground.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5196018 08/25/19 07:38 AM
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I was born a quart low. That's why I attend AA.


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2001 Tundra Access Cab, 1998 Accord LX, 1968 Corvette L36 Roadster, 1965 Olds 4-4-2
Re: Noob question! When do you need to top to H mark on dipstick? really needed? [Re: mahanddeem] #5196044 08/25/19 08:09 AM
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If it's a Hyundai 2.4L GDI engine - you are best to always keep it at the full mark .


'17 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L GDI 5W20 QSUD / Fram Ultra #9688
'10 Hyundai Elantra 2.0L 5W30 (50%) / 5W20 (50%) QSUD / Fram Ultra #9688
'07 Kia Sedona 3.8L 5W30 Castrol EP / Fram Ultra #9999
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