Forums Migration

Please read this thread

Recent Topics
Safety kleen seals.
by Chris142 - 07/07/20 10:58 PM
I do a full detail everything 2 or 3 years.
by SLO_Town - 07/07/20 09:59 PM
Oil Recommendation 2020 GR Supra
by afree - 07/07/20 09:51 PM
I need to drive it more...
by SLO_Town - 07/07/20 09:43 PM
Pennzoil
by BlueOvalFitter - 07/07/20 09:07 PM
100k 06 Fusion 2.3
by Aichiguy - 07/07/20 08:13 PM
CHINA
by buster - 07/07/20 07:52 PM
Darker varnish spot on rocker arm
by Spetz - 07/07/20 07:29 PM
AC Delco Dexron VI $18.76 a Gallon Amazon
by Matt1980 - 07/07/20 07:17 PM
ALS labs change in fuel dilution test
by LotI - 07/07/20 06:50 PM
Archery high tech
by CourierDriver - 07/07/20 06:42 PM
Odd filter issue
by fatrap314 - 07/07/20 06:33 PM
Lexus IS 350 AWD 2016 0W-20
by hotp4nts182 - 07/07/20 06:14 PM
Duh-- Didn't know there was a SIM card.
by csandste - 07/07/20 03:54 PM
Running 40 PSI vs 35
by Mr_Luke - 07/07/20 03:05 PM
Kidney Filtration-Secondary Effects???
by TravlinTech - 07/07/20 02:41 PM
When to replace mower deck?
by supton - 07/07/20 02:39 PM
API SN safe for TGDI?
by mdixon26288 - 07/07/20 02:18 PM
Newest Members
fatrap314, hotp4nts182, LeslieX, Mayuraj, thexeve
71876 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
72 registered members (4WD, BHopkins, 65falconfast, 19elantragt, BlakeB, 7 invisible), 1,470 guests, and 24 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics307,580
Posts5,313,513
Members71,876
Most Online4,538
Jan 20th, 2020
Donate to BITOG
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
How to Properly Read a Dipstick #5443707 06/01/20 07:59 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
G
Gebo Offline OP
OP Offline
G
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
I am in my 6th decade and I thought I knew how to read a dipstick. You pull it out and wipe it off. You then stick it and all the way and then pull it out and read where the fluid
levels are. Simple as pie, easy peasy normally.

I was listening to a podcast and the man was giving instructions on how to properly read a dipstick. I was gonna fast forward until I heard him say, "...very few people know how
to properly read a dipstick." Lewis Altazan got my attention.

Here is the nitty gritty, cut to the chase summation. Always read both sides. If your dipstick reads two different levels, you always read the lowest level as that is the true level.
Oil and transmission fluid can't crawl up the stick. The lower level is the accurate level.


I can't tell you how many times I get confused reading ATF dipsticks as they are practically never the same on both sides. Now, after many years I know how to read a dipstick.


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443720 06/01/20 08:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,507
K
krismoriah72 Offline
Offline
K
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,507
I would like to learn how to read a Subaru dipstick. Ive owned three of them.. and its like playing a slot machine sometimes..

Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443721 06/01/20 08:24 AM
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 36
V
VolvoZ Offline
Offline
V
Joined: Nov 2019
Posts: 36
I agree. It is important and sounds so simple, but it is very much dependent on the design of the dipstick and engine. My daughter’s ‘03 Nissan Maxima with the 3.5L is absolutely horrible in terms of dipstick reading. Every time you pull the stick, it reads differently. One side is definitely reading different from the other. If the engine was recently shut off (like in the last 15 minutes), forget about it. Apparently there is an oil passage that runs across the dipstick along the way and messes up the reading due to oil dripping down it. Knew a guy who said he blew the engine in his Maxima, probably due to WAY overfilling the engine due to this dipstick issue.

Our 06 Honda 3.5L, Volvo inline 5s and Buick 3.8L are easy and straightforward.

Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443723 06/01/20 08:27 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 16,295
S
supton Offline
Offline
S
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 16,295
[Linked Image]

Err, you get the idea. Ya going to believe what has worked for you for umpteen decades is now suddenly wrong on the basis of one podcast?

Single point data is almost useless, but whatever. Going by the almighty owners manual for my car, it takes 3.8 quarts on an oil change (with filter). I put in 4, run it, let it sit over night. In the morning I can pull the dipstick and on the side with the marks it will read full. Flip it over to the side sans marks and the oil level will be around the add mark. Averaging the two would say I need to add more oil, no? Probably why they didn't put marks on both sides--it's scribed marks, not holes. [That makes me wonder: if it's got holes maybe the OEM knows it doesn't matter. If it's got scribes and only goes in one way, maybe it does. And 99% of the time I'll bet it doesn't matter, not unless if you are a) racing or b) running the fluid until its rendered back to Crisco.]


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443730 06/01/20 08:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
G
Gebo Offline OP
OP Offline
G
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
Supton, I’m at a loss for words. sailing


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443734 06/01/20 08:46 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 16,295
S
supton Offline
Offline
S
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 16,295
Originally Posted by Gebo
Supton, I’m at a loss for words. sailing

Sorry, it was a bit harsh, but it had to be said. It's good to look for devil's advocate thoughts & opinions, and good to perodically test one's opinions & beliefs, but one ought to move cautiously when a single reference point indicates other than what has been "good and right" for a long time. Only when the data starts to pile up should one think that they've been wrong all this time.

cheers


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 206k
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 160k
2003 CRV, 2.4L/4AT, 161k
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 225k
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443739 06/01/20 08:49 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,889
O
opus1 Offline
Offline
O
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,889
That's pretty much how I've been doing it. I have to admit I've not yet had a car where the two sides read differently, at least not to a large enough degree to notice, but it's a habit I've had for a long time. Possibly due to every single lawn mower I've ever used or owned giving a different reading depending on which side I checked.


Current Fleet:

2010 Hyundai Sonata GLS
2009 Chevy Cobalt SS Sedan (yes,the turbo)
2002 Dodge Dakota SXT Club Cab
1994 Ford Ranger XLT (RIP, Dad)
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443744 06/01/20 08:58 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 5,175
B
BMWTurboDzl Offline
Offline
B
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 5,175
Who remembers when the typical reading (oil level) was on a cold vs a hot engine?


“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

435i
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: VolvoZ] #5443749 06/01/20 09:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,388
G
GSCJR Offline
Offline
G
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,388
Originally Posted by VolvoZ
I agree. It is important and sounds so simple, but it is very much dependent on the design of the dipstick and engine. My daughter’s ‘03 Nissan Maxima with the 3.5L is absolutely horrible in terms of dipstick reading. Every time you pull the stick, it reads differently. One side is definitely reading different from the other. If the engine was recently shut off (like in the last 15 minutes), forget about it.

+1


07 3.5L VQ35DE NAPA FS 5w-20 ProSelect 21358 158KM
10 3.5L 2GR-FE NAPA FS 5w-20 ProSelect 27047 180KM
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443750 06/01/20 09:02 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,777
C
Char Baby Offline
Offline
C
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,777
I am finding that the new vehicle dipsticks(if available) are much harder to read. They're long, skinny, round pieces of cable or thin steel tubing or plastic some XXXX on the end AND, just too difficult to read.

The Firebird in my signature for both the oil & tranny has a nice long piece of FLAT springy steel that is easy to read with great marking.


Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: supton] #5443754 06/01/20 09:06 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
G
Gebo Offline OP
OP Offline
G
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
Originally Posted by supton
Originally Posted by Gebo
Supton, I’m at a loss for words. sailing

Sorry, it was a bit harsh, but it had to be said. It's good to look for devil's advocate thoughts & opinions, and good to perodically test one's opinions & beliefs, but one ought to move cautiously when a single reference point indicates other than what has been "good and right" for a long time. Only when the data starts to pile up should one think that they've been wrong all this time.

cheers


I still don't know what to say. This info came from a well respected mechanic Louis Altazan at Agco Automotive. I have no idea what you are talking about. I learned the correct way to read a dipstick by reading the lower level. If I am checking the fluid level in a cylinder container and my dipstick gets too close to the side of the container, the fluid level could read higher than the actual level. The fluid would be squished between the stick and the wall of the cylinder container. The side of the dipstick towards the center of the cylinder will give the accurate reading. It doesn't matter which way I flip the dipstick. The side of the dipstick that touches the cylinder wall will give a false high reading.

What I had always done was flip the stick one way and then the other and sorta average them out. I now believe that was wrong. Especially when checking HOT ATF. The low level is the most accurate level. Whichever way you insert the dipstick.


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443756 06/01/20 09:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
G
Gebo Offline OP
OP Offline
G
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 4,760
Oh, I am talking about metal flat two sided dipsticks. I have no idea what dipsticks are in cars that are made from 2009 and up. grin2


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443765 06/01/20 09:14 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15,149
A
ARCOgraphite Offline
Offline
A
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15,149
Sorry doesn't compute If the dipstick is inserted into the reservoir at an oblique angle - as most are
then it should be designed to have the hash on the intended reading side.

So You better have the dipstick inserted the right way not - 180.

I try to pay attention to how it came from the factory,

Also I check my oil: Cold, at work on a level parking space, maybe 2x a week when I'm leaving for Home at the end of the day.

Read on the First pull of the stick because With the small dip tubes, you will get a messy reading duo to oil "vacuumed" up the diptube.

HTH

- Ken

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 06/01/20 09:16 AM.

2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#9 70254mi-Rotella
Gas Truck 5W20 + Fram Ultra 7317 Filter
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443766 06/01/20 09:15 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,934
B
Barkleymut Offline
Offline
B
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,934
The dipstick on the wife's Flex is terrible, I can never tell where the level is. Been meaning to take some pics and post here.

The dipstick on the Vue is pretty good, when it comes out dry I add a quart (around every 1k miles)


09 Vue 2.4L 4spd AT/ 09 Flex 3.5L / 96 F150 5.0 5speed / 07 Mustang GT auto
Re: How to Properly Read a Dipstick [Re: Gebo] #5443774 06/01/20 09:20 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15,149
A
ARCOgraphite Offline
Offline
A
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15,149
Sorry doesn't compute!

If the dipstick is inserted into the reservoir at an oblique angle - as most are
then it should be designed to have the hash on the intended reading side.

So You better have the dipstick inserted the right way not - 180.

I try to pay attention to how it came from the factory,

Also I check my oil: Cold, at work on a level parking space, maybe 2x a week when I'm leaving for Home at the end of the day.

Read on the First pull of the stick because With the small dip tubes, you will get a messy reading duo to oil "vacuumed" up the diptube.

HTH

- Ken


2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#2 7378mi-MOTUL Specific VW508.00+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#9 70254mi-Rotella
Gas Truck 5W20 + Fram Ultra 7317 Filter
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

BOB IS THE OIL GUY® Powered by UBB.threads™