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Old 05-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #1
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dipstick or display

Good morning,
There is a discrepency of about half a quart of oil between the dipstick and the electronic display on the dash. The display says I'm a little low when the dipstick says just right. I personally go by the dipstick, my mechanic agrees, the dealer told me I should go by the electronic display. Anyone else have this issue and what are your thoughts? Sorry if this was discussed before, I did a search for oil level and didn't see any related topics. Also, I should note that the mechanic says that the dipstick corresponds to the physical amount of oil he puts in during an oil change.
Ken

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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The display is a nice reference, but I would go with the dipstick. The dipstick will not be tricked by something like parking at on a slant.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #3
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Your mechanic is correct. The Dipstick gives you a direct reading of the oil volume while the display merely interprets a signal from a sensor.

In TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) Boxster 2/99 1 1701, Porsche increased the Oil Filling Capacity spec from 8.7 Qts. (8.25 Ltr.) to 9.25 Qts (8.75 Ltr.) w/ Filter change.

Interestingly, there has never been a TSB issued on recalibrating the Oil Level Sender or DME. Nor has there been a revision of the Sender, or the Dipstick (PET shows the same PN for all model years). In other words, Porsche revised the oil capacity, but never modified the tools for measuring this revised capacity.

So, this revision automatically created a discrepancy between the digital gauge, the Dipstick and the fill spec. Presumably then, none of them are truly correct. A correct fill should read (theoretically) slightly higher on both the Dipstick and the digital gauge. In the case of the digital gauge, where each Bar represents roughly 8oz. or 1 Cup, you should now fill to the Top Bar (formerly the Bar beneath), but it also means there is no longer an indication of an overfill. Overfill a little, or a lot, and the gauge will read the same.

But, realize that there is an 'OK' range of 7 Bars (or approx. 1.75 Qts.), and OK means OK. This range gives you a lot of lattitude, while still being able to safely operate the engine (personally, I would fill to the Bar below the Top to insure there is no overfill).

It's usually better to run a little 'low' (less than Full), than risk overfilling the crankcase by obsessing about keeping it 'Full'. Overfilling can cause the oil to foam and risk oil starvation to the bearings as well as issues with the AOS system. Keep it in the OK range and you'll never have any issues.
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 05-30-2008 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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Lil Bastard,
Thanks, that's some good info.
When you list all the mods on your car and followed by "hack", what does that mean?
Ken
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SoCalKen
Lil Bastard,
Thanks, that's some good info.
When you list all the mods on your car and followed by "hack", what does that mean?
Ken
Hacks are generally mods of the existing systems or hacking into a potential the car already has but has not been activated.

For instance, all cars have the On Board Computer (Range, MPG, Avg. Speed, Ambient Temp, Speed Gong display) software already installed. Though to use it, you have to activate the software in the DME and add a switch to scroll through and reset the functions.

Many owners have sucessfully gotten around the Dealers and gotten these systems to work on their own using standard, or non-standard parts. Sometimes less expensive than having the option added, and sometimes the only way of getting the option once the car has been built or sold.

There are many sites linking to these various hacks such as:
http://www.patricktam.net/Weblog/CategoryView,category,Boxster%20Hacks%20and%20Mods .aspx

http://www.dennisvogel.com/heatedseats/index.html

http://mike.focke.googlepages.com/hacks
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 05-30-2008 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalKen
Good morning,
There is a discrepency of about half a quart of oil between the dipstick and the electronic display on the dash. The display says I'm a little low when the dipstick says just right. I personally go by the dipstick, my mechanic agrees, the dealer told me I should go by the electronic display. Anyone else have this issue and what are your thoughts? Sorry if this was discussed before, I did a search for oil level and didn't see any related topics. Also, I should note that the mechanic says that the dipstick corresponds to the physical amount of oil he puts in during an oil change.
Ken

I am a dipstick guy myself. My son thinks I am just a dipstick

Seems to me that trusting German electronics is rarely a good way to go if there is an alternative.

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